You’ve resolved to “make more money” and “get a promotion” in 2018. So, what’s next? It’s one thing to know where your priorities lie, but it’s also crucial to take small steps now to steer your career towards more money and that promotion.
According to the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey for Q1 2018, hiring intentions have been described as “conservative” this year but remain trend positive, with 15 per cent of employers expecting to expand their staff strength. Employment will be most dynamic in the public, education, services and finance sectors.
Even if you are comfortable in your job with no plans to seek greener pastures, you’d do well to take measures to boost your employability. At the very least, climbing the corporate ladder might just become smoother and faster. Read on for these tips from HR professionals.
EMBRACE THE DIGITAL WAVE
Digital has become integral to every company’s vernacular, no matter your industry or position. Darren Tan, marketing manager at human capital solutions provider CareerBuilder Singapore, suggests signing up for an online marketing course to improve on your SEO (short for search engine optimisation) and social media management abilities, both of which can bolster the digital presence of your company or its products and services.
Lay Hoon Ng, associate director at Michael Page Singapore, says it’s important to constantly update your LinkedIn profile with newly acquired skills or completed projects, and to include a profile picture that’s professionally taken. She adds, “Social media [platforms] like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are fast becoming great tools for employment opportunities. Stay professional when speaking to potential employers on social media, as if you’re writing an email to them.”
As the government moves towards transforming Singapore into a Smart Nation, expect roles and processes to converge and become streamlined, thanks to new systems and infrastructure that reduce headcount and increase productivity. You may be required to perform several tasks that are technically not within your job scope. For example, a creative designer for a website now has to consider User Experience and User Interface, responsibilities traditionally allocated to an IT developer.
“Have an open mind, and don’t be ‘calculative’ about job scopes,” says Tan. “You’ll be able to move your career a lot faster this way.” Ng agrees: “If you have built a track record of moving into new areas while applying your skills, [you show potential employers] your ability to adapt.”
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should let yourself become overwhelmed. “Always remember that your primary role is what you have been hired for, and compromising on the quality of your main duties in lieu of other projects is not fair to you or your employer,” cautions Tan.
LEARN TO COMMUNICATE BETTER
According to JobTech’s Online Job Census for Q4 2017, soft skills such as effective communication and good public present skills topped the list of job requirements across all sectors in 2017. Improve on these fronts then, suggests Ng, especially in the areas of presentation, stakeholder management or project management communications.
“As even more multinationals establish their presence in Asia, we see an increase in regional roles which require communications with counterparts within the region,” she elaborates. “You can consider a business language course, perhaps in Mandarin or Japanese.”
LEVEL UP ON WHAT YOU'RE GOOD AT
Sure, it’s great to acquire new skills to stay relevant, but it’s also pertinent to strengthen existing ones. “The tougher your industry gets, the deeper you need to dig into your expertise and hone your talent,” says Tan. “The deeper your knowledge in your own field, the more you bring to the table during a discussion. Never stagnate!”
He offers one good way to start: Visit JobsCentral Learning to find a course that suits your needs.
UNDERSTAND IT’S ALL ABOUT WORK-LIFE INTEGRATION (NOT WORK-LIFE BALANCE)
“It’s not practical nor prudent to draw a distinctive line between ‘work’ and ‘life’,” says Tan. “Learn to embrace your livelihood as another aspect of your life that brings you fulfilment and purpose.”
This means ensuring that you’re in a positive headspace when you’re in the office by, for example, making your physical environment as comfortable as possible and making friends with your colleagues. Also, take control of your work “by exploring projects that value-add to the company”. As Tan states, “Not all of your work needs to be assignment planned by someone else.”
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