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Be Like Water

“A dream career involves having a passion for what you do and building related soft skills.” For Timothy, a Supply Chain Analyst in Logistics & Distribution at ExxonMobil Chemical Asia Pacific, transferable soft skills could be that edge you need to pursue your dream job. The back story of a ‘drought’ season in life….. Engaging in work that Timothy had no interest in left a deep impact on him, and made him think about how he could help others discover their passion in life. Timothy felt that he could have found his way much earlier if he had a mentor in his youth. Not knowing what he was keen on, he followed advice from friends and relatives to accept a chemical engineering undergraduate scholarship. After 5 years in an unfulfilling career, Timothy decided to take an MBA. This allowed him to move from a technical to a commercial function. It was the best decision of his life! He loved working in functions like marketing, sales, business development and strategy. His role now requires him to be flexible and results-oriented to find new opportunities for company growth. He is a beacon of joy at work. A future of passion, purpose, and authenticity “Do you like what you do?” This question is crucial for lifelong happiness. Many young graduates would seek Timothy’s advice about the wisdom of following the herd. For instance, working in tech as it is a popular industry of choice. For Timothy, the key is to stay true to oneself. Research careers and search deep within to discover yourself. Be like water Unlike hard skills which are subject to demand, soft skills are part of who we are. They are fluid, evolving and transferable across roles and industries. Having confidence, awareness of one’s strengths, and good branding is valuable. Continuous improvement, learning, and networking build career resilience. Being open-minded in exploring and diversifying into new skills and careers helps us be more adaptable. Timothy has been a career guide with Young NTUC Youth Career Network since 2018 and has mentored many youths, providing guidance and advice. His most memorable mentee was a final year graduate who asked if it is better to travel outside Singapore since she perceived the country as being limited in opportunities. In Timothy's words, it all depended on her learning objectives, and the nature of the jobs she would be applying for. Would she be working on meaningful projects and benefiting from constructive interactions with her overseas counterparts? The true value of working overseas stems from gaining international exposure and cultural interactions. However, Singapore is strategically positioned as an Asian hub for many multinational companies. It might be possible that she could earn the same type of experience working in an MNC in Singapore, rather than travelling overseas. This case study shows that sometimes, each of us is right in the middle of our own “acre of diamonds”. We should develop the ground we are standing on before charging off in search of greener pastures. As a mentor, Timothy not only provided a listening ear, but also a thinking framework that could be applied to future decision making. It is important to identify the true objective and value of a decision before embarking on it. Let our choices be shaped by an abundant mindset!

Get good with money Timothy stresses the importance of financial education which is often not taught in school. Knowing how to make wise investments and plan for the future is valuable knowledge for life. Help others navigate the world smoothly A mentor can provide you with perspectives and opportunities that are hard to find via an Internet search. Timothy encourages youths to network regularly, meet a mentor if possible and learn from their experiences. Keen to be a mentor with Young NTUC? Hope to drive positive change? Sign up as a Career Guide and embark on a meaningful journey today! Keen to find a mentor? Subscribe to our Digi-Fam community to access our career resources and support network including the latest event happenings and more! Follow us on our social platforms: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok.


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