Career Paths: What to expect in 2017?
By: Holly Sansom
The world is ever evolving, and along with it, the job market. With increasing importance placed on self-branding and interpersonal skills on top of hard skills, what can we expect in the job market in Singapore in 2017?
Singapore has proven itself a resilient job market with slow and steady growth, despite fluctuating concerns of a slowing Chinese economy. According to Kenneth Lim of Channel News Asia, “Job permanence has changed… But most important is understanding how to brand yourself, separate yourself, because your employment landscape is no longer Singapore - it's the whole world.” With this in mind, it is particularly important to consider how to position yourself in the evolving market.
Growing Careers for 2017
Although employment growth has remained relatively flat in 2016, IT is expected to be the most active sector for recruiters, and professionals in cyber security could see significant rises in salary. Specialists in niche markets such as treasury, auditing, and specialized engineers will also be in high demand, due to a limited talent pool. Continued growth is anticipated in the hotel sector, with tourism and hospitality continuing to boom in Singapore. Reports suggest Singapore will remain a candidate-driven market, so keep an eye on specialized accounting and HR roles as well. If you aren’t in one of these fields, try not to panic. There are many other ways to differentiate yourself and stand out in the market without resorting to a drastic career change.
Soft skills are gaining more importance in the career landscape moving into 2017. It is no longer enough to have a strong technical background, and hiring companies are looking for a well-rounded candidate with additional skills and interests. In your resume, be sure to include quantitative measures, but also show that you are able to work as a team and go above and beyond simply “achieving the KPI”. Companies are finding more value in hiring technical workers who play well with others, as this can prevent interpersonal problems moving forward and add synergy to their current teams. In this international job market, your application will be compared with resumes from around the world. It’s more important now than ever to differentiate yourself and create a cohesive “package” of your best characteristics for the intended position. Take your time to make sure your resume, cover letter, and social media/networking profiles align with your intended career path, and highlight your soft skills.
Transferable Skills and Adaptability
Over the past several years, there has been a push for schools in Singapore to build character values and “grit” to prepare students to succeed after joining an evolving job market. With continued technological progression, Singapore is seeing a tightening in mid-level workers with specific trade skills. It’s no longer enough to develop a specialized skill set and expect to remain in the same field for your entire career. The willingness to adapt can help save your career: If you are retrenched, the ability (and desire) to adapt will put you miles ahead of others in the same position who are not pushing themselves to apply their skills to new industries as needed. President of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises Kurt Wee says, “You still need traditional values like hard work, honesty and reliability, but we need to mix them with skillfulness, creativity and awareness of the current market.” You must pay attention when developing your career direction: don’t just follow the path that is growing, but focus on cultivating your own skills to be successful over time.