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Competition for jobs is heating up in Singapore. What now?

Staying relevant and adaptable in the workforce is key to survival in a post-pandemic landscape

13 Oct 2022
Competition for jobs is heating up in Singapore. What now?

To emerge stronger after the COVID-19 pandemic, countries are competing for top talent, so they can, in turn, stay competitive themselves. Singapore is no different.

Recently, the government announced the creation of a new five-year work visa – the Overseas Networks and Expertise (ONE) pass – for those making at least S$30,000 per month. Along with the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, this signals to the world that Singapore is opening its doors to talent.

In the words of Manpower Minister Tan See Leng: “Both businesses and talents are searching for safe and stable places to invest, live and work in. Singapore is such a place.”

While more talent certainly is good for Singapore, it also means inevitably more competition for Singaporeans. Here are some ways that you can stay competitive:

Become a cultural chameleon

Here’s something you might discover when you start to work with people from all around the world: There are a myriad working styles, and there’s no right or wrong. Being able to seamlessly switch across different work cultures, greatly increases your employment options, as well as and hireability.

This isn’t always easy to do. For example:  If you come from a culture where you’re not encouraged to speak up and voice your opinion, you might find it difficult to communicate in a workplace full of outspoken peers.

However, the cost of staying still or refusing to learn is even higher. When it comes to being culturally competent, learning soft skills such as empathy, leadership and communication can go a long way.

Build Your Professional Network

As the saying goes, your Network is your Net Worth. Knowing more people do wonders for your in terms of business, career advancement, personal growth, or simply new knowledge.

Taking the time to build networks can also keep you top of mind when opportunities such as job openings arise! This increases the probability of you receiving introductions to potentially relevant people.

Here’s an open secret: Many jobs don’t even get advertised – this is especially true higher up the corporate ladder. Having a strong networks is a powerful way of gaining access to opportunities that others can only dream of.

Stay Abreast of Industry Changes

It’s easier to change when you can see it coming from miles away. This is opposed to getting blind-sided and taken by surprise.

For this reason, it pays to be in the know. How can you do this? Cultivate a habit of following blogs, podcasts, and key opinion leaders active in your industry. See what trends the movers and shakers of your industry are saying.

Learn the latest disruptions to the business models, which roles are being outsourced, or perhaps even which sectors are growing.

The more informed you are the better prepared you will be for what lies ahead.

Upskill and develop your best self

We’ve saved the best for last: The best way to remain competitive is to upskill and constantly improve yourself. In this day and age, the most obvious way is to learn how to integrate technology to increase your productivity at the workplace.

Of course, learning tech skills is not enough. The more productive people are also able to leverage both technology and people to achieve what others will struggle with. If you want the latter, this also means acquiring leadership and management skills.

Generally, the skills you master can be split into two groups:

Hard skills are specific competencies, skills, knowledge, and abilities needed to perform a specific task or role. Your tech skills are likely to fall into this area.

Soft skills are personality traits, social competencies and skills, knowledge, and abilities used to perform interpersonal activities and unique tasks. Leadership skills fall under soft skills.

Invest and grow your wealth

Finally, while it’s good to stay relevant and remain competitive, it’s also crucial to set money aside, so you will be able to retire someday. Like it or not, there will be a day you’ll be unable to work. For this reason, you should be saving and investing your money!

In the words of Warren Buffet says: “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”

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