18.35 Activism - Young Activists
Setting the Correct Compass On a Career

Contributed by Jonathan Tan, NTUC This Week

“I think at different phases in life, different priorities take place. For me, the last 10 years has always been about my career, and family and personal interest elements took a back seat.

“Looking at how my career has panned out over the last 10 years – from a fresh graduate to a career in banking and finance; moving to a career in Singtel; and then having an overseas working stint in Australia – I think I have a lot to give,” shared 35-year-old Andy Koh.

An associate director of product marketing for Singtel’s  broadband and home solutions, Andy is also a volunteer career guide with NTUC’s Youth Career Network.

While being at the right place at the right time has helped him grow in his career, Andy knows that making the right decisions takes some introspection, particularly when work progression plateaus or there are unsupportive bosses.

“That’s when you would start planning and start looking out for things that are essential to you in your life. Do you want pay or do you want progression? Do you want a balanced lifestyle, or something else in your life? That’s when you start to deliberate certain things in life because this job may not suit me, and then you make a move. But you need to be able to know what are the key elements you are looking for and important to you,” said Andy.

To him, passion is another important factor in carving out a career. It drives your behavior and if you’re not passionate about the things you do, it is very likely you won’t do as well as you would want to in the job that you embark on.

Andy shared how career networking platforms like LinkedIn have helped him better gauge the direction he wanted his career to move in.

“Whenever I needed to understand where trends were going, or how someone of my age group with the same profile and skillset, moves in their career, these platforms would be that first port of call. Subsequently, I would talk to my friends and they would advise on what to do and what not to do as well as help me get better background understanding of changes.”

Besides willingly sharing his work experience with youths, Andy is also looking at continuously learning fresh perspectives.

“As a young individual, I learn from them as well. That’s probably one of the reasons why I joined the Youth Career Network, to be able to help them and help myself.”

Delving into the Labour Movement

This zest for learning also saw Andy recently participate in the Labour Movement’s Youth Campus, where he got to meet with fellow youth leaders and learn more about the Labour Movement.

“The Labour Movement model is truly remarkable. Where I am as a career guide, I don’t see the mission first-hand, where there are social enterprises supporting in the care of working people. At the same time, there are other segments of the Labour Movement, such as the unions, supporting Growth and Fairness in the workplace. It was a great opportunity for me to learn and also understand how much this ecosystem is doing for workers in Singapore,” said Andy.