TL;DR – The workpace has become so different in the last 2 years and young workers are facing their own unique set of challenges.
“I have no idea what to do after graduation, I’m not even sure what industry I want to go into…” my Gen Z relative bemoaned. In the past year, we’ve adopted new tech for remote working, flexible work arrangements and well, we’ve changed our dress code for work even! Noticed how many of us have been dressing down more – ties, jackets and heels are rare sights at my office these days. With the workplace evolving so rapidly, how can we better support young workers?
In a May Day message this year, NTUC’s Secretary General Mr Ng Chee Meng shared that NTUC will be forming a youth task force that focuses on young people who are entering the workforce in order to gain a deeper insight into their work-life needs. Amid the chaos and changes, here are some advice for our young workers as you start your job search.
What industry should I go into? PSA: Here are the sectors that are doing well.
Industries and jobs that were in demand some years back are no longer hot’ today. Banking and Finance, healthcare, software and technology, data science, artificial intelligence, digital and internet marketing are among some of the top growing industries in Singapore. LinkedIn has shared some of the top 25 companies and, they are hiring!
How should I judge if a job offer is attractive?
Other than salary, consider the benefits offered. Does the company offer good bonuses? How many days of paid annual leave are you entitled to?
Employers are now encouraged to permanently offer flexible work arrangements by the tripartite partners – the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF).
Is the company offering flexi work arrangements – is it important to you?
A contract position… Can it be good for me?
Job security may be a concern for many when they are considering whether to take up a contract position. But hey, there are benefits too. Taking a contract job helps you get a foot into the door of a good company, who knows, something permanent may just come up – if that’s what you want. It can also provide additional experiences, knowledge, skills, and allow you the opportunity to work in different industries. Bonus: You can work at a company for a while (suss out the culture, the people, and the role) before committing fully.
How do I make the most of my first job?
The early months at any job are crucial and the experience can be exhilarating! Seize this time to learn as much as you can about the role, your reporting officer’s expectations and ahem, the dynamics of office politics. Really, you would want to avoid drama at the worldplace… Focus on asking the important questions and developing relationships with people who could guide and mentor you. Pro tip: Watercooler chats and coffee with co-workers are more important that you think!
Learn how to work in a team
In the corporate world, collaboration is key. Build your soft skills. I repeat, build your soft skills. In-person interactions, communication, time management, and conflict resolution skills. They are more important than you think as you progress in any company.
Stay open to new opportunities
The previous generations frown upon “job-hopping” and value staying “forever” in one job. Well, that has somewhat become outdated. Progressive organisations encourage workers to pick up new skills and move internally (preferably) to understand the different parts of the business. If you feel like your skills have become stagnant, it may be worthwhile to keep an open mind towards new opportunities after a few years.
Stay tuned for more advice and resources
In 2021, NTUC and SUTD carried out a research study surveying 1,039 young adults on their concerns at the workplace. Research showed that the top three challenges they faced were in managing career opportunities, finances and mental well-being, with more than one in every two respondents indicating that the most trying areas were in their career opportunities and prospects.
With the upcoming developments and focus on future workers, our youths will surely benefit from more resources!