TL;DR – Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.
If you’ve been following the news, you’d probably have heard about this 49-year-old man, Chin Ming Lik, whose actual highest academic qualification is the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), managed to gain employment at 38(!) companies in the civil engineering field using fake qualifications.
He got caught only after four years and was sentenced to two years and 11 months’ jail and a S$1,600 fine.
Many condemned the human resources management of the companies he’d worked in for not conducting checks with the institutes on the authenticity of his certificates.
Questions as to how he got away with doing a job which he had no qualifications for were also raised.
While we certainly do not condone what he did, but if we were to look at things from another (hehe, perhaps more creative) perspective, what he’d done was actually pretty impressive.
And in fact, there are a few things that we all could learn from him.
1. Be resourceful
Being resourceful creates opportunities because it means knowing how to get the information and results you want.
And Chin did just that and achieved what he wanted.
According to TODAY, Chin forged a variety of education and work certificates which included:
- National University of Singapore (NUS) First Class in Civil Engineering degree scroll
- Building Construction Supervisors Safety Course Certificate supposedly from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM)
- Lifting Supervisor Safety Course issued by MOM
- Risk Management Course issued by the Singapore Contractors Association (SCAL) Academy
- Supervision of Metal Scaffold Erection Course issued by SCAL Academy
- Work at Height Course for Supervisors issued by QMT Industrial & Safety
- Construction Safety Course for Project Managers issued by Avanta Global
To be able to forge these many certificates for employment applications, one has got to be resourceful. I mean, an average person on the street wouldn’t have gone that far just to land a job, no?
I wouldn’t, at least.
2. You need a solid resume and superb interview skills
Dude gained employment at 38 companies, which essentially means that he’d passed at least 38 interviews in four years.
I’m sure not all the interview questions were easy, and you would at least need a little background and industry knowledge and even technical know-how. And yes, lots of conviction and faith in yourself too.
And to be able to ace all his interviews and get an offer again and again and again… he must have super solid interview skills, man.
Now, don’t say bojio. If you want to beef up your resume and arm yourself with adequate preparation to ace all interviews like Chin did, hurry and go talk to an e2i employability coach to enrol in the e2i’s Employability Skills Workshop.
The Employability Skills Workshop is designed to equip individuals with the necessary skills to enhance their employability. During this workshop, you will be coached on how to write a good resume and learn to answer the questions effectively so that you can impress your interviewers.
Being prepared is far better than being surprised.
3. Qualifications get you through the door, but skills and experience help you do the job
You may have the most impressive educational credentials, but without the aptitude and competency to work, it’s probably not going to get you anywhere far.
And this guy here, who’d obviously started out in his first company with zero skill and knowledge about the industry, wouldn’t have been able to stay in the industry for four years if he hasn’t learned anything along the way – at least enough to help him smoke his way through his employment.
Hey, to think that he’d even turned down a job offer because he thought the monthly salary of $7,500 was too low, he must have been a little better than mediocre, right?
Perhaps the four years in the industry has helped him to gain some skills and experience in a real work environment, albeit in an unorthodox way…
If you didn’t know, here’s a legit way to move into a new occupation or sector that have good prospects – without having to break the law – that is through the Place-and-Train and Attach-and-Train programmes under the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP). These programmes provide individuals with on-the-job training to facilitate and ease the transition when they embark on a new career.
Well I guess, sometimes all we really need is perhaps just a little bit of nerve, grit and resilience.
You see, even though Chin’s highest educational qualification is his PSLE, but that didn’t stop him from wanting to work as a project manager in the civil engineering industry.
He knew that it was a lucrative job, he wanted it and he got it.