S’pore workers savvy in personal branding

A GROWING number of employees in Singapore are becoming more savvy at marketing themselves in a fast-changing job market, according to a survey.

And most – almost three-quarters of the more than 2,700 polled – are prepared to spend their own money to upgrade their skills, and not wait for their employers to take the initiative.

This is especially so for those working in the utilities, manufacturing, engineering, and travel and leisure sectors.

In fact, barely half – 52 per cent – of the respondents polled feel that their bosses are ‘enthusiastic’ or ‘very enthusiastic’ when it comes to meeting workers’ training needs, says the survey by professional recruiter Kelly Services.

A substantial proportion of those polled – 39 per cent – think that their employers are ‘neutral’ in their approach to training, while 9 per cent see them as ‘somewhat resistant’ or ‘totally resistant’ to it.

‘There is a high degree of awareness about the pace of change in the workplace and the ability to manage this change,’ says Mark Sparrow, managing director of Kelly Services (Singapore).

Some three quarters of the employees surveyed believe that they will change their career and re-invent themselves at some point in the future.

Surprisingly, a larger number of older employees are more ready to embrace the changing labour market .

The survey shows that 63 per cent of the baby boomers (those born roughly between 1946 and 1964) are ‘very optimistic’ about being able to keep pace with the technological and other changes in the workplace, against 58 per cent for the Generation X (those born between the 1960s to early 1980s) and 51 per cent for the Generation Y (those born between 1976 and 2000).

Yet, it is more of the Gen X – 76 per cent – who expect to see a career change at some stage of their working life. The comparative numbers are 72 per cent for the Gen Y and 70 per cent for the baby boomers.

‘The survey results reflect an understanding that the days of a job-for-life, and even a career-for-life, are gone,’ Mr Sparrow says. ‘Increasingly, many people will have several careers and, in all likelihood, will have to take greater personal responsibility for managing their careers and developing new skills.’

Kelly’s survey report says that personal marketing, or branding, has become a feature of the modern workplace.

‘As many individuals are moving out of the typical employment relationship, they are thinking about how to promote themselves and stand out in the crowded workplace,’ says Mr Sparrow.

Almost two thirds (66 per cent) of the employees polled identify verbal communication skills as most important in building their identities; 60 per cent say it is resumes; 60 per cent think it is technical knowledge; 55 per cent feel it is written communications; 52 per cent point to personal attire; and 35 per cent indicate that it is the use of social media.
Source : http://news.asiaone.com/News/The+Business+Times/Story/A1Story20101119-247971.html

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