How can I manage my job and my career?


A totally unscientific take on your career prospects according to your favourite CNY snack

Chinese new Year goodies

The definition of unscientific, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Not scientific; not based on or exhibiting scientific knowledge or scientific methodology; not in accord with the principles and methods of science.

So here we are. Armed with nothing remotely scientific and trying to convince you that you are what you eat during CNY. Then again, neither horoscopes nor almanacs are scientific.

As Singaporeans through and through, we believe in the power of food. And who knew that your favourite CNY snack can actually speak volumes about your personality, working style, and how your career is likely to pan out?

Ladies and gentlemen, which snack did you eat the most this CNY? And what does it all mean for your future? Pick your favourite snack to find out.

#1: Nian Gao (sticky rice cake)

Nian Gao (sticky rice cake)


Who ever knew that a tiny grain of rice could grow to become such a timeless specialty? Often misunderstood for being rigid in your ways, you are quite in fact the opposite. You are extremely adaptable and flexible, fitting well even in settings where many of your peers will literally crumble. That said, you will stick with your teammates through thick and thin, making you a great friend in need. People may sometimes get you down, but don’t allow your humble exterior overshadow your tremendous potential.

Likely careers: You can be anything you wanna be. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

#2: Love Letter

Love letters


You possess communication skills that are second to none. Because letters, geddit?! You may not realise it, but this helps you navigate the complexity of human relations confidently and effectively. You are especially proficient with the written word (and to a certain extent, Microsoft Word), which makes you a good fit for jobs that require literary prowess. People at your workplace tend to find you a nurturing and comforting influence who cares deeply for their safety and wellbeing.

Likely careers: Healthcare, education and the media

#3: Pineapple Tart

You are what you eat - Pineapple tarts: take charge of your career


A well-rounded individual, you appreciate tradition and yet are unafraid to take charge of your career and constantly reinvent yourself to adapt to change. Often the centre of attention, your popularity can be exhausting and sometimes that just makes you want to bottle yourself up. But no, as the “ong lye” that makes up the heart of a pineapple tart heralds, you are just destined for greatness.

Likely careers: Any industry you put your mind to

#4: Kuih Bahulu

Kuih Bahulu


Despite your well-known fluffiness, you are extremely thoughtful and forward-looking, with a keen eye for great opportunities that may come your way, even in areas you wouldn’t have considered previously. Reserved and reflective, your ability to absorb information is second to none. While others get comfortable and complacent, you understand the importance of upgrading and experimentation. And that makes you a firm believer of constantly learning. As Confucius said:
By three methods we may learn wisdom. First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the bitterest.
Likely careers: ICT, aerospace, marine & offshore, international trade

#5: Bak Kwa (barbecued pork slices)

You are what you eat - Bak kwa: vigour and raw energy.


Always striving to be the best that you can be, you are the ultimate representation of vigour and raw energy. Some may initially find your way of working hard to digest, but in the end it is precisely your unending resilience and thick-skinned, gung-ho nature that draw people to want to be around you.
Likely careers: Construction, real estate, transport, logistics, electronics

#6: Shrimp Rolls

Shrimp rolls


You appear simple and unassuming, but those who know you will know you can really roll with the punches. Your hidden sass adds to the crunch. You are the ultimate representation of sugar, spice, and everything nice. ‘Cos life’s too short to be mundane and mediocre – that’s just the way you roll.

P.S. Shrimp rolls make great friends.

Likely careers: The media, F&B, hospitality, retail and the arts

#7: Kuih Bangkit

Kuih Bangkit


Always elegant, well-presented, and striving for perfection, you bring together the best of cultures and ideas. Your humble exterior hardly does justice to your eye for the smallest of intricacies. Openness to new opportunities and selling your skills are your greatest assets, allowing you to absorb what’s best and filter out the rest.

Likely careers: Financial services, international trade

Our tummies have certainly grown this CNY, so why not resolve to grow ourselves professionally as well?
While our predictions are completely unscientific, the Adapt & Grow initiative can support you in your quest for prosperity amidst these seemingly challenging times. So you can continue to enjoy your favourite CNY snacks every year.

This article was first published on on 31 January 2017. 

Top image from here