How will the changing economy and labour market affect me?


Finding your fit in the modern economic landscape

Workers in a meeting

The economy is always changing, and with it the skillsets required to keep it running. There is no longer a clear path to success in many industries. And if that isn’t enough, advancements in technology are increasingly changing the way people work.

Many of us may wonder if our skills will be relevant in the near future. . There are a few things to keep in mind to help us from being rendered obsolete overnight.

Taking the path less travelled

What you had studied in school does not necessarily define your future. A lawyer can become artistic director of a theatre company, a finance professional can move into F&B, and a university dropout can become a fashion heavyweight. Many skills learned in school, such as critical thinking and problem solving, have value in any industry.

Remember - it’s about being able to identify where there’s a need for your talent. It’s a mistake to think that you can fit only in one or two industries. In fact, there are schemes tailored to people who decide to make a mid-career switch. Always loved working with children, or wanted to try your hand in a creative industry? It is a lot easier to make the leap now through Professional Conversion Programmes.

Opportunity in adversity

Technological change disrupts all of us. It changes our routines, skillsets, the way we do business, the list goes on. In short, disruption is the new normal. However, disruption can be  a boon to job seekers; they can create opportunities where there were previously none.

Uber, Grab, Airbnb and Facebook dominate the headlines now, but yet another company will soon appear with a product that will change our behaviour. As these companies expand, they will eventually need for someone with your skills.

Facebook began as a social network within a closed community, and was staffed by a handful of people. Now it’s become a media company, a key communication tool, and an advertising platform. It needs to be supported by thousands of software engineers, creatives, salespeople, and more.

This means that you shouldn’t look at disruptive companies with fear. Instead,  how about learning about a little company that is making noise in your industry? You might want to start thinking about how you could make yourself fit there.

Knowledge – your personal game changer

Knowledge is the most important currency in this modern age. Keep yourself educated and you’ll never be blindsided by disruption. The employees with the highest value are the ones who are constantly expanding their personal and professional knowledge.

The best way to take advantage of the evolving economic landscape is to keep yourself in the information loop. Because information is now available at the tap of a finger, it’s imperative that you spend time keeping up with trends and find out what the next big thing in your industry might be.

Adapt and grow. That’s how you stay in demand.

Remember, you can tap on Government schemes like SkillsFuture and the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications system to help you improve your skills and take charge of your own careers. It’s always worth exploring these initiatives. You never know what you’ll get out of them.

Some things never go out of style

It’s important to remember that many soft skills will always remain relevant to some degree. Leadership acumen is an evergreen crucial skill, as is the ability to manage people, projects, and timelines well.

Employers who truly want to succeed should look beyond resumes. Intangible qualities and strong interpersonal skills will always have a place in any organization. A proven track record of having a strong work ethic, honesty, and empathy will go a long way. Strong endorsements for these qualities will give you a leg up on competitors.

So take pause before you surrender to the machines. There will always be opportunities – it’s just finding them and making sure you’re at the front of the line when they pop up.