Two years ago, Choon Chye began working with NTUC LearningHub in a purely sales-driven role, yet just two years later, his position has expanded out to business development and management. Nowadays, he can be found establishing partnerships and collaborations with different companies to bring their knowledge and skills to workers.
An advocate of lifelong learning, Choon Chye possesses an Advanced Certificate in Training and Assessment (ACTA), and has also earned certifications from the following courses: Executive Certificate in Data Analytics, WSQ Lead Team To Implement Change, WSQ Display Critical Thinking and Analytical Skills, and NCIF Agile and Scrum Fundamentals. We caught up with Choon Chye to chat about how pairing passion with professional development can propel your career path.
A fresh mindset is required to face learning challenges
With Industry 4.0 transforming the needs of every industry, workers face the intimidating challenge of having to learn new skills. However, Choon Chye advises that adapting to the new workforce all comes back to adopting the right mindset — which is something that you can change and develop.
“If you train your mind to be agile, learning will not be a roadblock in your career path — in fact, it will accelerate your career mobility and enable you to handle challenges with ease,” assured Choon Chye.
While age is often identified as a roadblock to learning, Choon Chye actually views that in a completely different light. “Learning should become easier as we get older because when we were children, we are sometimes forced to learn things that we don’t like out of necessity,” he suggested. “But as we grow older, we have more autonomy over what we choose to learn and have the financial stability to allow for more flexibility.”
Given the freedom to choose what we learn, what particular skills should we be developing in order to prepare for Industry 4.0? Working in a job that requires him to stay on top of the latest learning trends, Choon Chye summed it up in one easy-to-remember word: PIDA. “The Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) actually came up with a very handy acronym that outlines the key skills workers should pick up and it’s called PIDA,” recalled Choon Chye. “This stands for Process Automation, Internet of Things, Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence.”
Leading others begins with leading yourself
When it comes to leadership, an image of leading others commonly springs to mind. However, Choon Chye believes that leadership begins much closer to home. “The first and toughest person you’ll ever have to lead is yourself,” said Choon Chye. “Do you really understand yourself, and why you do what you do? We must first lead ourselves well before we can lead others.“
Although these questions may seem quite large and overpowering, Choon Chye advises that it really comes back to taking responsibility for how we think and act in each moment. “Whenever you face a setback, remind yourself that you’re always in control of your response to the situation, and how you feel about that situation,” said Choon Chye. “It’s all a matter of perspective.”
So for those who want to start leading themselves today, where do we start? Aside from recommending The Five Levels of Leadership — a 7-hour course built upon the foundational principles from John Maxwell’s bestselling book of the name — Choon suggested the following: “Choose to adopt a positive mindset over a negative one and learn to control yourself through habits and constant practice — a good first step is accepting your response to the situation and understanding that it is valid.”
Discovering your purpose fuels your passion and progress
Like many of NTUC LearningHub’s trainers and staff members, Choon Chye is dedicated to transforming lives for the better and this even filters down to how he works with his team. “Following the example of my boss, I put the welfare of our workers at the forefront of what I do,” explained Choon Chye. “So tasks that have a direct positive impact on their welfare will be prioritised over other work.”
This desire to help others doesn’t just come from anywhere though. It arises from a deep-seated understanding of why he does what he does. “Most people experience burnout because they don’t know why they are working — they don’t have any reason beyond the paycheck,” sighed Choon Chye. “Having a ‘why’ or ‘higher purpose’ in doing what you do is very important and this motivating drive or passion will allow you to face challenges with a positive mindset.”
So what’s the greater ‘why’ that drives Choon Chye to continually develop his skills and show up for his clients and colleagues every day? “I hope to inspire others to become better versions of themselves,” smiled Choon Chye. “The best part of my job is taking into account how many lives we have changed, and the scale and magnitude of that impact.”
This year, NTUC LearningHub celebrates 15 years of transforming people through accessible and affordable education. Since 2004, we have fulfilled over 2.4 million training places and transformed over 21,000 organisations.
Regardless of collar, age or nationality, we are here to help you upgrade your skills to keep up with a rapidly changing workforce. For more information on how we can help, talk to our friendly Course Consultants at NTUC Trade Union House, Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability, LHUB@Tampines Mall or any of our roadshows islandwide.