Pursuing A Successful Career? Here are 3 Useful Career Tips

Posted Posted in career tips

Career Tips Header

Career success! Isn’t that something that most of us dream of and work towards, but somehow feels so elusive and unattainable?

This is most likely because career success means different things to different people. So it can be hard for any article out there to give you a definitive answer on this.

 

I recently attended a talk where a speaker from a global MNC spoke about his top tips for career success.

 

While not all the tips were immediately relatable, I found many of them useful and took notes diligently.

 

Today, I would like to share these tips and chime in with some of my personal thoughts!

As a reader, you might not relate with every one of these tips immediately.

But keep them in mind, and this article in future. You might make sense of them in time to come.

 

Here goes!

 

Career Tip 1: Don’t follow money, follow experience

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Do you only want Money?

Especially relevant for young job seekers, salary is often a big factor in your career consideration.

 

I get it. When looking for jobs, I am often caught in this conundrum as well.

 

Do I go for jobs and companies that pay well, but am less interested in –

Or should I pursue jobs that I can have a good growth experience in, but might pay less?

 

This first tip resolves this dilemma well.

 

In short, pursuing jobs that can give a greater learning and growth experience should be of highest importance. If you follow experience and learn well, money will in turn follow in future.

A great way to do this is by taking on several internships!

 

This is also related to taking long-term view of your career. Taking a calculated ‘risk’ with less pay today helps to further improve your expertise. This will then give you a better pay in future, which can then justify this decision.

 

But this is not all about money. Even if we take money out of the equation, continuous learning and gaining new experiences will also give you greater career fulfilment.

 

Which brings us to the second tip!

 

Career Tip 2: Find many mentors

Career tips 2 mentors
Helpful mentors are great!

This tip suggests that we should find good mentors. After finding these mentors, look for top 3 skills from every mentor you have and learn these skills from them.

 

Not only will you find 3 valuable mentors to learn from, you will also develop 9 core skills that will be important in your life (quick math)!

 

Indeed, having mentors is definitely invaluable. But I know what you might be thinking: “How do I go about finding 3 good mentors?!”

 

If finding mentors seems out of reach, you can first start by building a network of connections to learn from. You can connect with people whom you look up to, or people in similar roles/fields as yours. A good place to start is on LinkedIn!

Learn from their stories, their experiences and their strengths in general.

 

Here’s another tip – Marketing guru Seth Godin also suggests this:

“If you can’t find mentors, find heroes”.

Heroes are your top leaders and businesspeople in the world. Say Jeff Bezos, Sheryl Sandberg or Jack Ma.

 

When faced with decisions, you can ponder:

“What would Hero X do?”

You can also take 1 attribute he/she is strongest at and try to learn and emulate it.

 

This way, this hero becomes your virtual “mentor” and a guiding stick as you go through your career and life.

 

Career Tip 3: Never stop learning

Career tips 3 learning
Spiderman doesn’t stop learning. Neither should you.

After you have found a good job, do you take a sigh of relief and get comfortable?

 

Your career and life does not take a standstill after you’ve found a job. In fact, learning and growth has only begun!

 

While pursuing your career and doing your best at work, take time off outside of work to continue learning.

This can be as simple as reading a book, an online article, or even listening to a podcast on the way to work.

 

If you want to deep dive into a specific skill, there are many platforms offering online courses at low prices – such as Skillshare and Udemy!

 

Singaporeans also can take advantage of SkillsFuture credits to upskill yourselves.

 

The world doesn’t stop evolving. Our learning efforts have to be on pace with the rapidly evolving world.

 

 

So there you have it, 3 simple yet useful tips to help you work your way towards career success.

 

Which of them do you find most useful? Do you have any tips that you would like to share? Let us know!

 

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DGG Interviews: Talking to Samuel from Reelfimpro

Posted Posted in DGG Interviews

In this edition of DGG Interviews, we talk to Samuel, founder of Reelfilmpro.  Explore his story of a career switch from banking to videography and photography, and how he overcame the many challenges along the way. You can also head on here to find out more about his services!

 

About Samuel

 

Q: Could you introduce yourself and your background?

 

I come from a very diverse background. My diploma was in Biomedical and the last thing on my mind was to enter a creative industry.

 

After graduation, I knew I wasn’t going to be in the biomedical industry. I didn’t want to be stuck in a laboratory. My certification was very specialised, and it was in 2009 during the financial crisis so job opportunities were scarce.

 

I landed my first job as a cinema manager, and later joined the banking industry for 6 years, before finally pursuing my passion in Videography.

 

Reel Film Productions focuses on both photography and videography. One of its key focuses is to produce social media content such as videos that are short and digestible for audiences.

 

Making the Move

 

Q: What sparked the move from banking to videography/photography?

 

I always have this notion: Life is short, you should make the best out of it. I was happy working in banking but videography is the port of call for me.

 

I bought my first camera, Gopro4 silver. That was how I started into videography. I was quite a fast learner and I realised that I was enjoying making videos very much!

 

I also noticed a rising trend in internet usage. As more and more users are engage in the internet and social media, I believed that this would have a large impact on the way businesses work and interact with their customers.

 

As I fell in love with videography, I was sure that I should make the move. Prior to this, I have yet to find anything that I was truly passionate about.

 

Q: What were some of the challenges when making the move?

 

I saw that many people were stuck at their jobs because of their years of experience, comfortable salary range and fear of change.

 

My first challenge was taking the financial hit. I was leaving a job that I had 6 years of experience in, to a job where I am going to start at the foot of the mountain. I needed to accept that for a start, I am going to be paid peanuts or worse, nothing at all.

 

The second challenge that I faced was from friends and family, as they told me that I was crazy to leave a corporate job and do something totally new like this.

 

Q: How did you overcome these challenges and persist on your change?

 

Since I was young, I have never believed in following the crowd. I always believe that to stand out is to be different. To be different is to do things and walk a path that is less travelled.

 

I don’t believe in a ‘No’, and the way to convince me that my path is wrong is for me to walk that path and realise that it is wrong. I need to experience it myself, rather than to hear other people telling me it is wrong.

 

I would rather do it and fail, than not doing it at all.

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 Q: What do you enjoy so much about videography and photography?

 

It’s hard to pinpoint what specifically I like about videography and photography, but I really enjoy the whole process from planning and editing to seeing the final piece of work.

 

When you take a good shot, you eternalise that moment.

 

That is one thing that fuels my passion for videography and photography: Capturing moments and creating memories.

 

Q: What has been the most satisfying/fulfilling movement after changing careers?

 

Shooting short films and making commercials for clients have been really satisfying for me. Next up, I would like to shoot a proper travelogue or travel-documentary work.

 

Reflections and Advice

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Q: Looking back, what do you think of the move now?  What are some of the things you would do different?

 

I think it was the right move for me, but there was a lot of risk and uncertainty. I don’t really like to look back on things. But looking back, I am definitely happy to have taken the plunge.

 

As the saying goes, ‘The best time to plant a tree is 10years ago’. I guess I would start out my videography journey earlier if I could start over again.

 

Q: What would you tell someone that is thinking of making a big change or trying an unconventional route today?

 

I have many people coming to me telling me that they want to pursue their passion as well. But I always tell them:

 

  1. Be sure that this is you they want
  2. Prepare to take the financial hit, and a change of lifestyle
  3. Work twice as hard, and be determined

 

You need to have an adventurous mind; Your new path is going to show you new challenges and help you gain new experiences.

 

You really need to get out of the comfort zone in order to make the switch.

 

You really need to be sure of what you want to do. The worse thing is to make the switch and realise that it is not something you envisioned.

 

You also need to have the belief that you can do equally as well, or even better than your current status.

 

Finally, you also need to make sure that they are able to monetise what you are passionate in. Not every dreams and passions can be monetised. You need to have a plan to make it all work out.

 

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We are currently partnering with Reelfilmpro to offer professional resume photography services! Want to have a professional photo that stands out and leave a great impression? Engage our services today to get your photo taken by a professional portrait photographer, Samuel himself!

Learn more about our professional resume photography services!

 

Job search need not always be a long and tedious process. Leave the job application troubles to us. Find out more about DGG Resume’s services here: https://dggresume.com/ourservices

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What Do Millennials Think About Their Careers?

Posted Posted in Uncategorized

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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?

Posted Posted in Uncategorized

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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.

 

Enjoyed this article?

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