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Being a millennial is no easy feat. We have to balance work, play and family all whilst answering life’s toughest question (“what am I doing with my life?!”). Truth of the matter is, most of us have or will go through a quarter-life crisis where we get pretty panic stricken on what we have achieved and where our future lies.

While questions about who we are and if our life is heading in the right direction can be pretty difficult to answer, we picked up some pretty good advice (and a wee bit of fortune telling) when we headed down to the ‘Future Of Jobs Discussion Panel’ earlier in the week.

Source: MP Desmond Choo’s Facebook

The session, organised by Young NTUC, was aimed at equipping youth in navigating the job landscape as well as preparing them for the workplace of tomorrow by giving an insight into how it will evolve.

The panel discussion saw Labour chip in on discussions, giving their candid thoughts on how workers need to stay relevant and stay ahead.

Speakers at ‘Future Of Jobs’ Panel

Here are some pretty insightful nuggets of wisdom we picked up:

  1. “In about 20 years’ time…jobs that are outside of making music or art are going to be computer programs. Everybody else is going to  be pretty much obsolete “
    Pulkit Jaiswal 

With disruptions abound, the job landscape in Singapore is ever evolving and becoming increasingly tech heavy. It certainly bodes well to mull over future prospects and continually upskill to be able to plug the gaps in the future economy.

If the recent Committee on the Future Economy report is anything to go by, Singapore is looking ahead to chart the next phase of growth and you definitely do not want to get left behind.

  1. “Even in very tech-heavy companies…what you really want to see from a good employee…is somebody who can translate high  technology into something that I can understand”
    MP Desmond Choo

While we can’t argue that jobs in Singapore’s future are going to be more tech heavy, we still have to keep in mind that to climb the ranks at a company you have to establish soft skills.

In his recent Budget Debate speech, Labour MP Desmond Choo quipped that “being nimble and adaptable to change are the names of the new game.” Knowledge can be passed on but honing your soft skills will be what makes you more indispensable to the company.

Technological advances
  1. “In my opinion, what is going to take off in the next 10 to 20 years is this thing I call GRAI. Genetics, robotics and AI technology. I believe that these fields will generate the most amount of revenue“
    Pulkit Jaiswal

No surprises that industries that will likely see a jump in revenue and investment are tech-heavy. With huge leaps in tech advancements such as self-driving cars, we will very likely continue to see tech companies and start-ups breaking new grounds. As Singapore charts the way forward, it is necessary for workers to “keep up” and harness this technology rather than be replaced by it.

  1. “As a society that promotes entrepreneurship, we must be able to embrace people who fail ”
    MP Baey Yam Keng

Aspiring entrepreneurs are a dime a dozen and while it may sound very tempting to start your own company (your own rules and you answer only to yourself!), it takes a variety of skills, a lot of grit and just a bit of luck. A lot of startups often see themselves shutting its doors even before taking off.

Failure isn’t an easy pill to swallow especially in a competitive country like Singapore. While we are becoming increasingly encouraging of innovation and

entrepreneurship, we also have to be mindful to embrace failure as well.

  1. “If you’re starting a business… go out of Singapore and work for a startup… When you’re in Singapore… it’s very easy to get trapped solving very specific problems but when you go out… you’ll actually see a spectrum of problems you never thought could generate not only jobs but revenue”
    Pulkit Jaiswal

Go forth, see the world, conquer the world” so that we can gain experience and exposure – two attributes that MNCs value. These #wisewords were told to participants of the Future Leaders Summit by NTUC’s Labour Chief Chan Chun Sing who encouraged PMEs to gain exposure and a global perspective through working beyond Singapore’s shores.

Doing stints overseas can help broaden one’s horizons and encourage thinking out of the box, giving you an edge in the corporate world.

Successful entrepreneurs
  1. “Most of the people who are sitting in a very successful place… were at one point looking for opportunities as well…”
    Pulkit Jaiswal

Every successful person you know of from Bill Gates to Jack Ma have failed at one point or another. Successful entrepreneurs too started from the bottom, looking for investors and opportunities.

Having a successful career may seem like a long shot for someone who has just entered the working world. But, keep in mind that everyone starts from the bottom and that it’s normal to struggle to get to the top.

(Which is what makes achievements taste so sweet!)

  1. “No young person coming out of school has a network….”
     – MP Desmond Choo 

While one should always be resourceful in trying to tap on your networks when job hunting, many fresh graduates still require a stepping stone into the corporate world.

This was an issue that prompted Young NTUC to kickstart their Youth Career Network programme to help fresh graduates and first jobbers navigate the working world by linking them up with mentors in the field of work they are thinking of pursuing.

  1. “All of you out there the young and the not-so-young, go find somebody to talk to, expand your networks, ask questions…and look for mentors”
    MP Amrin Amin 

While Amrim Amin joked candidly that the “not-so-young” should also expand their networks and look for mentors, there is some truth to this. And the upcoming Todo Todo Skills Marketplace co-organised by Young NTUC is one such event that will give you a head start in navigating the job market. The team is bringing together career profiling tools, networking sessions with HR leaders and panel discussions with industry players coupled with mentorship and career advancement opportunities.

Looking Towards The Future

Source: Nanyang Polytechnic

While such sessions give us a look into the crystal ball at how the workplace of the future is shaping up to be, the onus falls on the individual to proactively seek out opportunities to reskill or upskill as well as expand your networks.

The Labour Movement has also gradually increased its representation of workers and ramped up efforts with targeted initiatives that cater to different worker segments. As such, tapping on this expanded network with the multitude of programmes and one-stop-shop solutions is a great option to help propel you in your career or get a foothold in another industry. Coupled with a forward-looking mindset, you’d be well on your way to being future-ready… come what may.

Also read, Everything You Need To Know Before You Take That ‘Easy Money’ Freelance Job

This article was written in collaboration with the NTUC.