As we say farewell to the work year that’s passed, it’s time to start afresh and focus on how we can advance our professional lives in the year ahead.
1. Open Up your Options
With the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) expecting a slow down in the economy in 2019, now is the time to secure your future by learning new skills. As more companies are going online, there will be an increase in demand for digital skills such as analysis, big data and e-commerce in IT and IT-dependant industries like HR, financial services and sales and marketing. While job movers can expect pay increments of up to 15 percent, the shift to digital also opens up the opportunity to run a side business (e.g. an e-commerce store) or solidify one’s position in an organisation.
2. Learn to negotiate for better prospects
While upskilling opens the doors for career progression, it is the ability to negotiate that enables you to walk through them. Whether it is with your team, boss or a potential employer, negotiation is an essential skill to develop so that you can put your best foot forward, deal with push backs and create win-win situations for all parties.
3. Be a team player
As companies face increasingly complex problems, they will need people with diverse skill sets to come together and solve them. While teamwork has its challenges, it offers many benefits in raising productivity, innovation, and morale. It also exposes you to different skill sets and personalities, enabling you to sharpen your communication skills, learn from those around you and develop professional networks that could lead to bigger career opportunities down the track.
4. Communicate effectively for success
Communication is listed as one of the top skills to succeed in the future economy. This shouldn’t come as a surprise though as more workers have to engage in cross-border communications and utilise big data to present and support their ideas. No matter what industry you are in, effective communication will help you to strengthen your professional relationships and gain consensus on your proposals.
5. Embrace and champion change
The new year brings about change – both in our personal lives and changes in the nature of work with trends such as automation, hyperconnectivity, an aging workforce and a burgeoning middle class coming to the fore. The key to managing this is to not only adapt to the evolving demands of the workplace but also to take a proactive role in inciting change and getting those around you to support it.
6. Work on-time, not over time
Your expertise in project management can make or break a project. It’s always a good idea to set clear objectives, plan realistically, produce high-quality deliverables and stick within your timelines and budgets. The Project Management Institute (PMI) forecasts that 22 million new project-oriented jobs will be created by 2027, so there will be ample opportunities to create value with this skillset, no matter the job role or industry.
7. Fortify your digital future
Digital skills will be in hot demand in 2019 as the government continues to transform Singapore into a smart nation. To cater to an increasingly tech-savvy and mobile-first population, job candidates will be expected to be fluent not only in digital languages and social media tools but to also have an understanding of emerging technologies. Fortunately, these are skills rather than talents that can be learnt at any age.
8. Make time for yourself
According to data in Happiness at Work, the average person will spend over 90,000 hours at work over the course of their lifetime. Add in the habit of answering emails after work hours and this amount can be further inflated. There is something you can do about this though and that is to block out time in your schedule to focus on the activities that feed you. Online courses, such as those at Udemy, offer you the perfect opportunity to explore, ignite and develop your passions all at your own pace.
Ready to make 2019 your best work year yet? This year, be a winner in both your career and our lucky draw. Stand to win a pair of tickets to Bangkok when you 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 or sales centres islandwide from 3 Jan – 3 Feb 2019.