I want to go into advertising, but don’t know anything about the industry and have no networks. What’s the best way to get in touch with a professional in this field?

Create that network! If you have a LinkedIn account, consider reaching out to advertising professionals via the social media platform. Send them a short message indicating your purpose and expand your network that way. In the meantime, look to expand your skill set in the advertising realm. Alternatively try going for virtual mentorships – the mentors are already ready to give advice, so it might be less scary than approaching blind.

I’m only 32 but I’m seeing my friends getting retrenched already, how can I ensure that my rice bowl is solid?

Unfortunately, retrenchments are more common today, and it’s typically not a reflection of one’s ability, but really, decisions necessitated by poor business/economic situations. Instead of trying to “ensure a solid rice bowl”, think about building your own career to be resilient. Skill sets that are transferable, constantly learning and upskilling, keeping curious and updated about new technologies, developments across industries, to ensure you’re adaptable. It’s not about finding a job in which you’re never going to get retrenched, but more that if anything happens you’re going to be in a good position to find something else. There should be no stigma in getting retrenched right now. That said, take every opportunity to do something meaningful. Even if you cannot find work, learn a new skill or volunteer for a good cause, so that there is no “gap” in your resume.

Advice when you feel incompetent at work – can’t finish work on time, burnout.

Why do you feel incompetent? Is the difficulty of work beyond your current skills/experience? Is the workload too heavy? Seek support from those in office as a start – is there a supervisor, colleague who is able to advise or guide you? Will communicating your current challenges allow someone in the position to help guide you through your issues? Sometimes, you might be struggling but the people who are able to help you may not be aware. Communicating clearly will help you find the right people who may be able to help. Consider getting mental health support. Make time in your routine to get in regular exercise to help you manage your stress levels. It’s free.