Joan is not your average project manager; she is a striking example of a “Worker 4.0”. Joan’s holistic approach towards self-development, in nurturing her Technical, Adaptive and Technological capabilities, has helped her flourish for the past 7 years at NTUC LearningHub.
A driven and jovial individual, Joan works closely with local funding authorities such as e2i (Employment & Employability Institute) and IBF (The Institute of Banking And Finance) to advise financial institutions on future-proofing their workforce by having an edge over global competitors in this volatile job landscape. Her notable clients include United Overseas Bank, DBS Bank, and BNP Baribas.
With her experience developing customised “Workforce 4.0” learning solutions for the banking and finance sector, she distills her years of knowledge into 3 key learning points. Read on to find out what they are!
Advice #1: Adapting to change, one step at a time
Interestingly, Joan’s career did not begin in project management. Prior to her current position, she worked in a variety of roles throughout NTUC LearningHub before finding her niche. She started with in-house consulting that focused on service excellence, and now a business development and project management role.
“I started off as a project coordinator coordinating small projects. Through the seeds that were sown in the early years, these projects have now grown bigger, and have built my expertise,” she adds.
With an abundance of technological disruptions happening in the banking sector, she understands that “being adaptive and staying relevant are the keys to success.” Now, Joan imparts her wisdom to her clients by tapping on the adaptive skills that have helped her greatly through her journey. For the banking industry, she asserts that one of the biggest impacts NTUC LearningHub has made would be to motivate employees to “embrace change.”
Advice #2: Upgrading technical skills to get the job done
Aside from adaptivity, what else does it take to become a successful project manager?
While she has developed core skills in project management, Joan believes there is more to be learnt. Her outlook on upskilling, naturally reflected NTUC LearningHub’s ethos that learning is a lifelong pursuit. She explains, “I’ll want to strengthen my project management skills beyond just the basics. Deepening my skill set in project management is very critical to my job role and function.”
On top of her technical expertise, Joan also acknowledges that the ability to work with others is just as important.
In her role as a Project Manager, she works closely with her clients, and at the same time, fellow LHUBbers within NTUC LearningHub too. When companies are looking for customised solutions for their businesses, she cleverly taps on the expertise of her colleagues to bring more value to customers. She attributes this to her communications, PR and team-building skills which she has acquired through her technical competency as a Project Manager.
Advice #3: Keeping up with the latest technology and trends
For Joan, keeping an eye on the latest trends and technologies to remain relevant isn’t just a can-do, it’s a must-do. “Singapore is moving towards becoming an increasingly digitalised country, and because of that, staying relevant and having technological skills are very important,” elaborates Joan.
Citing FinTech’s rising popularity as an example, she mentions that people should be aware of the latest trends even if they are not in the industry. She explains this by pointing at the daily scenarios of going cashless, and how “payments can be done at a single touch or click”. She cheekily adds, “Would you want to be the only person using cash and coins in the future?”
So how can we go about keeping a finger on the pulse? According to Joan, it’s a choice that each of us needs to make every single day, starting with breakfast. For Joan, she begins the day by reading the local news “to find out about what’s happening in Singapore and the world” so that she will be in a better position to advise her clients on their training needs.
Staying relevant and being adaptive to the evolving environment can be a challenging task but with the right help, you will be able to achieve a diverse range of future-ready skills, just like Joan. If you are looking to follow in her footsteps, it all begins with adopting a positive mindset towards learning and development. As she always says, “While your job feels secure today, you must continue to improve for a better tomorrow”.
This year, NTUC LearningHub celebrates 15 years of transforming people through accessible education. Since 2004, we have fulfilled over 2.3 million training places and transformed over 16,700 organisations.
Regardless of collar, age or nationality, we are here to help you get equipped with the relevant skills for Industry 4.0. 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.