millennials featured

What Do Millennials Think About Their Careers?

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millennials header

Millennials are an intriguing demographic.

 

Employers are often scratching their heads, trying to better engage with them to meet their unique set of needs.

 

What exactly do millennials want in their careers? How do I better retain my top millennial talents?

 

This article extracted key findings about millennials’ concerns and motivations towards careers.  The findings are found in the 2017 Deloitte Millennial Survey. You can find the full report here.

 

Each section starts with the general findings that the survey has found. This follows with some key takeaways that I have gathered from the insights.

 

So, what makes millennial employees tick?

 

millennials empowerment

Millennials and Empowerment

Millennials feel a great sense of control as an active participant in the workforce. They also feel most influential and accountable when working.

 

Businesses that provide a sense of empowerment can create a more positive mind set among employees. This also helps with greater long term development for the millennial employee.

 

Outside of work, millennials also want to be involved in ‘good causes’ and Non-Profit Organizations. This helps millennials to feel empowered and influence the world around them.

 

Takeaways:

One cannot see Millennial employees as simply cogs in a machine. They have a strong sense of pride for their employment. The level of empowerment different job offers will be a key factor for millennials during their job search.

 

Businesses should actively seek to empower them and offer suitable development opportunities. This will help business retain good talents within the company.

 

millennials societal impact

Millennials and Societal Impact

Millennials today believe that majority of businesses have a positive impact on society. They also have improving perceptions of how businesses conduct themselves in today’s society.

 

Yet, there is still room for improve for large businesses. Large businesses are not thought to be fulfilling their potential to improve society’s challenges.

 

Takeaways:

Societal impact and corporate responsibility are also important factors millennials consider during their job hunt.

Businesses have to invest in their societal contributions. This appeals to future millennial stakeholders, and will gain their trust and loyalty.

 

After successfully attracting millennial employees, it is also important to  provide community engagement opportunities.

This will lead to an increase in level of loyalty, optimism about society, as well as a greater positive perception of the business.

 

millennials stability

Millennials and Stability

There is a significant number of millennials who intend to leave their current jobs soon.

 

Yet, there is also an increasing percentage who seek greater stability in their employment.

 

What can explain this slowing trend of freelance and consultancy work?

 

This is likely due to rising flexible working practices within the workplace.

 

These flexible working practices include flexible time, role, recruitment and location.

 

It is also shown that flexible working practices have many benefits. These include higher levels of employee loyalty, productivity, engagement and accountability.

 

Takeaways:

It seems that despite the rising trend of the gig economy, majority of millennials today still prefer full time employment.

However, the traditional model of full-time employment is increasing obsolete.

They prefer a hybrid model: full-time work with flexible arrangements.

 

For employers, flexibility in working practices are integral to meaningfully engage millennial employees.

This can also spur them to produce better work for the company.

 

 

I hope that this article has given you a better understanding to what millennials want from their work and careers.

 

To better engage with them, do try to work on fulfilling these needs if your business is not currently trying to.

 

For millennial readers, did the above strike a chord with you?

 

How much do you agree with the above points? What other factors are important in your career search?

 

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What Is The Purpose Of Education?

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purpose of education header

Recently, there have been articles discussing various topics regarding education in Singapore, such as: the Singapore education system, value of a university degree, and even private vs public university degrees.

It seems like there is a focus on how education is simply as a means to an end: to get into a good university, secure a high-paying job, and live happily after.

While securing a good career is certainly one of the motivations of education, I think it does not adequately paint the full picture of what education entails and what it offers.

 

This article might seem like a deviation from our usual career development topics.

In fact, it might seem ironic to have a career development blog discussing this.

But hopefully this irony helps to better bring across the point:

A high paying job can be one of the rewards from education, but it should not become the sole focus.

 

Education and meritocracy

Singapore is known to be a highly meritocratic country. Education is often seen as one of the means of social mobility and opportunity to achieve success in life.

 

There is the typical ‘Singaporean dream’ that everybody strives for:

Getting into a good school, studying in a good local university, graduating and securing a good job in a big company, and finally climbing the ranks of the career ladder and living comfortably and happily ever after.

singaporean dream

 

Hence, it seems that the key purpose of education is to secure a good career for a ‘good future’.

 

However, this narrative seems to be losing relevance today. There are plenty of stories about people with good educational background, doing seemingly irrelevant jobs that they truly have passion in.

 

Moreover, this narrative is also flawed. There are other important intangibles that education offers that we should further focus on.

 

Education and soft skills

Education plays a key role in inculcating critical skills that are integral in our lives.

 

While they might not directly lead to a high paying job, these skills are essential in the holistic development of a well-rounded person.

 

One of the most overlooked parts of education is definitely the soft skills acquired from it.

 

These are skills that can be hard to acquire from anywhere else.

 

School and education provide a conducive environment that allows students to gain soft skills and other intangibles, such as:

  • Communication skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Social skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Networks and connections

 

Education offers an opportunity for students to be exposed to these skills, learn these skills, make mistakes, and grow from there.

 

As opposed to metrics such as salaries and job positions, these skills cannot be measured in tangible form.

 

However, this does not make them any less important.

 

Communication skills

The presentations and oral skills that students have been exposed to in education are all for good reason.

 

They help improve communication skills that are important not just in the workplace, but for any interactions in life.

 

Being able to listen to opinions, and to put across your points clearly, are skills that are important for success.

 

For example, communication skills will come in handy in a job interview. Learn more about job interviews here!

 

As this Forbes article puts it,

“It’s not enough to just come up with big ideas, you also need to work hard to communicate them clearly”.

 

Analytical skills

With the rise of bogus sites and fake news on the internet today, it can be extremely confusing for someone to identify true and valuable information.

 

fake websites

This is where education plays an integral role.

 

It inculcates analytical skills that helps people look beyond the surface of a piece of content, and determine its validity and legitimacy.

 

It also helps people detect inherent biases an author might have, and call out unreliable pieces of content.

 

Proper education helps us to make more rationale, informed and objective decisions.

 

 

Education is important.

 

Education can help us get a good career in future. But that is not the be all and end all of education.

 

Let’s not only be focused on the tangible and financial aspects of it.

 

The mark of a good education should also include one’s communication and analytical skills, among other soft skills.

 

The next time you consider the purpose of education, try to also consider the many other important aspects that education brings.

 

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Why I’m Always Late and How to Fix This: Tales of the Chronically Late

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always-late-header

Lately, there has been a surge of articles promoting how people that are always late are <insert a positive trait here>.

 

Apparently, being late is now seen as a symbol of success, creativity, health etc.

 

Always late articles

I, for one, am someone that is always late, chronically late. Be it classes, work, or gatherings, you name it.

 

But I am not proud of this. And this is the main motivation of this article today.

 

This might be quite a deviation from the usual posts you might see from DGG Resume.

 

If you haven’t already read them, we also have:
Resume tips
Interview strategies
Networking tips

 

But I feel that this is definitely a topic that has to be addressed, both for me personally and other people that face similar troubles.

 

This is not only related to our careers, but it is important for our personal development as well.

 

This is the story of my lateness. Let’s start!

 

People with Over-optimism (towards punctuality)

Over-optimism towards punctuality  is a key reason why people always turn up late.

 

In some cases, over-optimism can be a good trait to have. It can help tide you over rough times and provide you with the motivation needed. But not in this case.

 

When we are over-optimistic, we might always look towards the best case scenario. But this is no excuse for lateness.

 

Take for instance, a typical work day:

 

Stages of lateness

I may have checked Google Maps and found that it takes 45 min from my house to work by public transport.

 

Thus, I try to leave 50 min earlier than the meeting time. I still give myself a 5 min buffer!

 

In the morning as I wake up, I might find myself tossing around in bed for an extra 5 min.

‘I have a 5 min buffer anyway, right!’

 

I might end up being delayed for another 2 min due to a slight stomachache.

‘No worries, Google Maps tend to overestimate the time taken, so I’ll be fine!’

 

As I reach the bus stop, I might just miss the bus I need to take. The next bus comes in 6 min.

‘Okay, now I might be a little late, but just by a bit! Who knows, the office time might be slightly slower too!’

 

It all adds up

This brings me to this next point.

 

When we find that we get slightly delayed we think ‘Oh a 2 minute delay is no big deal’.

 

And perhaps waiting a few min longer for the bus is alright.

 

But we can suddenly find ourselves being much later than expected!

 

Why is this so? This is because, it all adds up.

Every little delay might seem miniscule. However one small delay might lead to another activity being delayed, and they can all snowball into something much longer.

 

This is similar to what the Murphy’s law indicates: What can go wrong will go wrong.

 

Turning your clock early

So what can we do to mitigate this problem? Having tried different methods, this is my favorite:

 

Simply adjust your clock’s time 5-10 earlier than usual!

 

This method might sound too simplistic to be effective.

 

You might be thinking: ‘Won’t you already know that your clock is faster? How would it help?’

 

I believe that there is a psychological influence that is behind this.

 

As you adjust the clock’s time, you consciously know that you have adjusted it to become 5-10 minutes earlier.

 

However, as you check the time, subconsciously the time shown on the clock acts as an anchor that makes you believe that the time shown is the accurate one. As days go on, you might even forget that you have adjusted the time in the first place!

 

This adjustment creates a real buffer of 5-10 minutes for you. Instead of just trying to wake up 5 minutes early, your entire body clock is now 5 minutes early!

 

If all goes well, you can reach your destination earlier and get settled down.

In case of any small delays, you will still be punctual! Seems like a win-win to me!

 

The early bird gets the worm. Why not try to adjust our lifestyles to become the early bird?

 

This is the story of my lateness. Let’s hope it ends here!

 

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4 Personal Takeaways From My First Internship

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Internships.

To some, they might be a necessary rite of passage to fill up their resumes for better job prospects.

To others, they are a good way to gain some valuable working experience in their ideal industries.

 

But not all internships are made equal.

It can range from being dreadful (see: photocopying documents, making coffee), to meaningful (see: leading projects, learning skills), and somewhere in between.

This can also be illustrated by the Internship Experience Spectrum:

 

the internship experience spectrum

 

Today, I will be providing glimpses of my first internship experience.

While doing so, I will share some of my personal takeaways from it. Hope this inspires some good old memories of your first internship as well!

 

Some background information: I did my first internship when I was about 22 years old, in a small events management firm. My main responsibilities were to assist with event planning and execution.

 

1. Importance of Training and Development

 

When I first joined the company, I expected to immediately start getting down to work and learning on the job.

 

Instead, we had the whole of our first week dedicated to learning events-related skills and information, such as the process of planning and executing an event, the people and logistics needed etc.

We were also given novel quizzes to complete.  We had to find the answers by consulting with different staff members from various teams of the company.

 

This training equipped us with relevant and necessary knowledge needed to better perform in our internships.

 

This also helped us to better understand the company and the industry, and more importantly, helped us break the ice with our fellow colleagues as well.

 

As a first-time intern, this emphasis on training and development was much needed.  I also appreciated being given opportunities to learn from the start, and not being thrown into the fire right away.

 

 

2. Strong Team and Organisational Culture

 

On my first day of work, I dressed in my best office working attire, trying to leave a good impression on my colleagues.

Little did I expect my outfit to make me feel out of place.

 

good impression

 

Everyone in the office dressed casually: some in T-shirts and jeans, while others had their outfits matching their own personal sense of style.

This was perhaps a reflection of the company culture.

 

The company had a very casual and easy-going kind of culture. Many of us interns sought to learn and grow, while the colleagues were very willing to impart their knowledge.

There was little sense of hierarchy, with everyone sitting around each other in one big office space.

 

I found that this was absolutely essential, especially in a company doing events management. Colleagues often had to work together to ensure smooth running of events.

 

A strong team culture can only help to make things easier for everyone.

 

 

3. Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

 

Throughout the internship, I was getting my hands dirty and was involved knee-deep in many of the events we organised.

 

Some of the most memorable ones include:

  • Leading team-building activities to participants at least 10 years older than me
  • Climbing on tall ladders to tie banners to tentages
  • Sleeping over at an event site to safeguard the event logistics

 

These were things that I would have never even dreamt of doing before this internship.

 

Aside from the above, the internship also granted me with great autonomy in the planning of many events.

I was also involved in pitching ideas, giving briefings, as well as planning and executing critical processes for different event.

 

These additional responsibilities, big and small, definitely helped me step out of my comfort zone and made me more confident in my own abilities.

 

 

4. Giving Your All In Everything You Do

 

One of the biggest revelations from my first internship was this:

 

revelation

 

In school, what’s the worst that could happen when you screw up a class?

You would do badly and maybe fail the test, but life goes on, no big deal. You know that the difference between a pass and a fail is maybe some scolding and nagging from your parents, and perhaps just some extra classes.

 

But in my first internship, what’s the worst that could happen if you screw up an event?

Consider this: Tens of thousands of the clients’ money is at stake. The participation of the many different stakeholders at the event is at stake. The company’s hard-earned brand image and reputation is at stake.

 

So, REALLY BAD things could happen.

It was truly Do or Die.

 

The stakes were high. I truly had to give it my all and make the events successful, no matter what.

Be it running errands late at night, working overtime or long hours, these were all necessary to ensure that all events ran smoothly and successfully.

 

Giving my 100% was no longer an option, but a necessity.

 

This attitude I learned also had a positive impact on me in my other endeavors after the internship.

 

 

As you might have realized, the lessons I’ve gained in my first internship were in the most intangible form: organizational culture, self-development and more.

 

Yet these intangible lessons learnt tend to also turn out to be the most valuable lessons in life.

 

The internship equipped me with valuable experiences, to become a better leader and a stronger person.

 

Hopefully this blogpost has inspired you to reflect on your past internship(s) and work experience(s) as well.

You too can discover your own learning points and takeaways!

 

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(Hint: Next topic will be on the LinkedIn platform!)

 

 

3 Strategies To Help You Prepare For A Job Interview

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interview-header

As you’ve go through our content here at DGG Resume, you’ve probably understood what makes an effective resume, and made use of the simple tips to boost your resume from our previous posts.

 

Perhaps you’ve also landed yourself a job interview! Congratulations!

 

But after completing the resume, here comes another nerve-wracking part of the job application process:

 

The Interview

 

Most people fear the interview process, myself included.

In fact, studies have shown that a whopping 92% of American adults are anxious about job interviews!

 

To help you get through the interview process successfully, here are some key tips to guide and inspire you as you prepare for a job interview.

 

1. Experience the Company’s Products/Services

I was having a phone interview with an E-Commerce company, when the interviewer asked if I’ve ever tried using their platform.

Looking to impress, I confidently answered ‘Yes’.

 

Naturally, she then followed up by asking about my most and least favourite parts of the platform.

But this  question caught me off guard. I had only used the platform once, and that happened many years ago!

 

I spewed out generic characteristics of good E-Commerce platforms, but the damage was done.

Needless to say, I failed to advance to the next round of the interview.

interview-experience

 

This tip might sound obvious, but it may surprise you how many people overlook this.

As candidates prepare for a interview, many simply focus on their own achievements, skills and strengths, and simply forget to consider the company they have in mind.

 

What better way to understand a company than to experience the company’s product/service offerings!

 

Whether it is a retail storefront, online-based business or any other business that is possible for you to try their offerings, try it!

 

Bonus tip: While experiencing the company’s offerings, don’t forget to take down notes on your reflections: what you like and dislike about the products, things you might be curious about etc.

These are first-hand reactions that could be useful during the interview process!

 

2. Do Storytell, Don’t List

Do you have that friend that likes to go over all his/her life stories and experiences, every time you meet up?

Does he/she keep on rambling over his/her fun times and expect you to be similarly excited and happy over them?

Now, you don’t want to be that friend, do you?

interview-storytell

As discussed earlier, candidates that prepare for a job interview often fall into the trap of self-focus.

Candidates often only consider their own skills and achievements and can’t wait to share them with interviewers.

 

This does not sit well with interviewers.

Although they might be interested in your experience, they are mainly interested to evaluate how:

1. You can contribute to the company.
2. You can fit with the culture of the company.

 

As such, listing your experiences and achievements since you were 13 in chronological order simply will not cut it.

 

Instead of simply listing, Storytell!

 

As you prepare for a job interview, try to recollect your different experiences and think of the overarching theme(s).

 

Let me give you an example:

 

1. You have struggled with your academics earlier in your life, but took on roles in your CCA and organisations outside of school.
2. While studying in university, you started on external courses and received certifications for different skills.

 

Both these experiences can represent how you are a curious and keen learner, not afraid to always continue exploring new skills and roles and expanding your horizons.

 

When sharing your past experiences with the interviewer, try to also focus on the overarching themes that represent you, rather than just listing out your achievements.

 

This requires a deeper thinking and reflection over your life, so do take time to sit down and reflect upon your personal overarching theme(s), to better storytell your life achievements.

 

3. Ask Good Questions

A key element in having a good conversation is the ability to ask good questions.

 

When you ask good questions to the interviewer, it reflects a few things about you:

 

1. You show genuine interest in the company, pondering over company and industry related issues.
2. You are well prepared for the interview and have put in effort to research information about the company and industry.
3. You show strong critical thinking skills that will be useful in future.

 

By now, you might be thinking to yourself:

interview-ask-questions

Here are some tips:

  1. Primary research

As discussed at the start of this post, trying out the company’s offerings can be a great way to start.

By trying the offerings first hand, it can better inspire some questions or areas about the business you might be curious in.

 

  1. Secondary research

Find out the latest news on the company by gathering information on the web:

Do they have any latest developments related to the job or responsibilities you might be involved in?

Do they have any news that you might be curious about?

 

Bonus tip: You can also do research on the industry and related trends and developments, and how they might affect the company. This will reflect a more mature and in-depth consideration of the issues of the industry at large.

 

 

Preparation is key

 

Now equipped with these 3 tips to prepare for a job interview, be sure to use these tips wisely and most importantly, RESEARCH & PRACTICE for the interview!

 

If you appreciated this article and enjoyed the tips, do give us a like on our Facebook page and share this article with your friends!

 

DGG Resume offers solutions that help you relieve the pain and hassle of job application, so that you can most easily and effectively apply for the jobs you want!

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(Hint: Next topic will be on internships!)

 

 

DGG Week Peek 01

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Here at DGG Week Peek, we condense 3 valuable articles we’ve found on the web every week. We provide you with key insights from each article, and some personal takeaways we’ve gathered. Read on to find out more about careers, lifestyle, personal development and more, all in one place!

 

1

Google Employees Weighed in on What Makes a Highly Effective Manager (Technical Expertise Came in Last)

leadership google

Leadership

After analyzing a large number of managerial-level employee data, Google found that technical abilities were less important than they expected.

They found other factors that were much more crucial in an effective leader:

 

1. Calm and collected leaders, especially during challenging situations:
Employees appreciate the leadership and patience from strong bosses especially in times of crisis

 

2. Collaboration with employees and personalized involvement:
Collaborative leadership and involving employees deeply in the work process is a long term investment for both the employee and the organisation

 

3. Empathy and care for employees’ personal lives:
Sincerity will be appreciated and reciprocated, and showing real concern creates significant impact in the long run

 

Despite much emphasis about the different hard and soft skills top leaders should have, it seems that the best characteristics a great leader should possess are those that simply come authentically and naturally from the heart.

 

 

2

After Giving 1,000 Interviews, I Found the 4 Questions That Actually Matter

organizational culture

Organizational culture

With experience of interviewing over 1000 people, this writer found that it is essential to hire for cultural fit.

He offers four questions that hirers can ask to make it easier for the them to evaluate the cultural fit between the potential employee and the organisation more accurately:

 

1. How did the culture at the last company empower/disempower you:
Reflects how candidates think about the importance of culture, and their work motivations at the last company

 

2. What were the characteristics of the best boss you’ve ever had:
Reveals what kind of leadership the candidates thrive under, and helps bring to light whether the candidate will be able to succeed in the new company’s leadership

 

3. Describe how you handled a conflict with one of your co-workers:
Shows the character of the candidate and how he/she perceives as a reasonable way to resolve a conflict

 

4. What kind of feedback do you expect to receive in this role and how often do you expect to receive it:
Reflects the candidate’s receptiveness to feedback, and in turn shows his/her inclination towards personal development and growth

 

Culture is extremely important for every organisation, serving as a binding thread between members of the team. It also provides intangible value as a guiding light and purpose. Jobseekers, do consider your own personal characteristics, what kind of culture you would thrive in, and how you can contribute to a company’s culture.

 

 

3

Rock your next interview with these 5 secrets of body language

body language secrets

Body language tips for job interviews

Many nonverbal body language cues during job interviews are very telling of our true emotions and personalities.

This human behaviour investigator offers 5 tips to prepare for job interviews. Jobseekers can use these tips to present themselves in the best light:

 

1. Handshake:
Give a handshake at the beginning and at the end of each interview, to have a good first and final impression

 

2. Confident body posture:
Helps to avoid looking insecure, and shows the readiness for the interview and the job

 

3. Fronting the interviewer:
A nonverbal sign of respect to the interviewer and the interview process itself

 

4. Authentic and natural smiling:
Shows good passion and chemistry in the topic of discussion

 

5. Appropriate eye contact:
Recommended to be around 70% of the time, reflecting strong interest and respect

 

We may all have our natural habits and tendencies, but practise makes perfect! These body language cues are definitely hard to perform naturally. Practice in front of a mirror/friends to exude confidence without looking staged.

 

 

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