COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the professional landscape. Today, we are witnessing a shift in the makeup of the global talent pool. In the past, remote working was a privilege mostly reserved for freelancers and business owners. But amidst the pandemic, working from home has become a new norm for many.
Today, it is possible to become a full-time employee for a multinational corporation without needing to physically attend the office five days a week. Events and conferences happen via Zoom and other digital venues. Business collaborations take place over the Internet. Discussions can even happen asynchronously.
These changing work trends have resulted in a global pool of talent. You’re not only competing with those within your country or region—you’re now up against seasoned candidates from other countries.
Before the pandemic, many employees of ASEAN regional offices were located in Singapore. But today, regional talents can be working in an entirely different area of the world altogether. Likewise, people in charge of ASEAN regional offices can do their work from virtually anywhere. The global talent pool has become geographically unbounded.
Some employees return to Singapore from abroad to be with their families. Others may return to their home countries to save money, or for a host of other reasons. In the past, this meant giving up the job and salary of working abroad. Today, they can do this while being fully employed.
Of course, this might mean going to work at 3am. But many would find this a welcome trade-off. With remote work becoming more the norm rather than the exception, geographical limits are set to become a thing of the past.
Many companies would say that geography is still important. Aside from tricky time zones, there are problems of cultural immersion. This is true both for internalising company culture, as well as learning the culture of the market that a company is in.
But others have argued that the key is learning how to build trust. Trust is not a geographical feature, but a management feature. Hence, setting oneself apart within a global talent pool is a matter of learning. More opportunities will present themselves not only for those with remote working capabilities, but especially for companies and employees who can develop trust within a remote working environment.
Opportunities and Challenges in ASEAN
As the world’s third most populous economy, ASEAN is set to become the fourth largest economy by 2030. Although the pandemic has slowed down its growth, economists predict that it will rebound back on track no later than this year.
As the largest economy in ASEAN, Indonesia is of special interest. Since the last decade, the country is predicted to become the seventh largest economy by 2030. Singapore has a strong bilateral relationship with the country; since 2014, it has become Indonesia’s top foreign investor.
In the decade to come, this relationship will only get stronger. This presents an exciting outlook for regional talents in Indonesia. Singaporean business owners, investors, and employees can expect compelling opportunities within the region.
Now is the Time to Capitalise
There is never a better time to prepare than now. To make their mark in this exciting economy, Singaporean youth can start by strengthening their skill sets. Regional talents can broaden their perspectives and expand their horizons. These will allow them to gain a competitive edge amongst the increasingly crowded global talent pool in the years to come.
COVID-19 can be a great stepping stone to start capitalising on this opportunity. With the prevalence of online seminars and events such as the upcoming Young NTUC's LIT DISCOvery 2021 there is hardly a reason to pass on chances to learn. For employees, working from home provides ample time to develop new skills and perspectives. For businesses, the challenges of digital adaptation may be a good time to pivot to models that are better suited to capture opportunities that growth in the ASEAN region provides.
Rapid development is set to happen in the region within the decade. As geographical boundaries become less relevant, talents will need to develop new capacities to set themselves apart. Cognitive flexibility, digital literacy, decision-making, emotional and social intelligence, as well as a creative and innovative mindset are all invaluable for careers within the next decade.
Regional talents with a global outlook on various market sensibilities in the region will stand out from the others. Those who can keep up with corporate culture and cultivate trust despite remote working conditions will stay ahead of the game.
LIT DISCOvery 2021 returns with 4-days of exciting line-up of programmes!
Hear from our invited speakers as they discuss the development of ASEAN throughout the pandemic, and how our strong bilateral ties with various ASEAN countries continue to create business and job opportunities for youths. NOW may be the golden time for youths to capitalise on the opportunities in the region to broaden their skills sets and broaden their perspective and gain that competitive edge in the labour market.
All these issues and more will be talked about during the Young NTUC's LIT DISCOvery 2021 keynote sharing on the topic, Reimagining Workplaces: Blurred Regional Boundaries, scheduled on 27 July.
LIT DISCOvery 2021 is a four-day virtual symposium and marketplace. It features an exciting line-up of C-suite leaders’ keynotes, masterclasses, career profiling, mentorships, networking, career resources and featured job vacancies for young PMEs and graduating students. The event is organised by Young NTUC, powered by the National Youth Council and in collaboration with the SkillsFuture month.
Keen to find out how you can achieve your full potential and stay relevant in this new normal? Sign up for LIT DISCOvery 2021 now.