COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the professional landscape. Today, we are witnessing a shift in the makeup of the global talent pool. In the past, remote working was a privilege mostly reserved for freelancers and business owners. But amidst the pandemic, working from home has become a new norm for many. Today, it is possible to become a full-time employee for a multinational corporation without needing to physically attend the office five days a week. Events and conferences happen via Zoom and other digital venues. Business collaborations take place over the Internet. Discussions can even happen asynchronously.
Source: Unsplash These changing work trends have resulted in a global pool of talent. You’re not only competing with those within your country or region—you’re now up against seasoned candidates from other countries. Beyond Geography Before the pandemic, many employees of ASEAN regional offices were located in Singapore. But today, regional talents can be working in an entirely different area of the world altogether. Likewise, people in charge of ASEAN regional offices can do their work from virtually anywhere. The global talent pool has become geographically unbounded. Some employees return to Singapore from abroad to be with their families. Others may return to their home countries to save money, or for a host of other reasons. In the past, this meant giving up the job and salary of working abroad. Today, they can do this while being fully employed. Of course, this might mean going to work at 3am. But many would find this a welcome trade-off. With remote work becoming more the norm rather than the exception, geographical limits are set to become a thing of the past. Many companies would say that geography is still important. Aside from tricky time zones, there are problems of cultural immersion. This is true both for internalising company culture, as well as learning the culture of the market that a company is in. But others have argued that the key is learning how to build trust. Trust is not a geographical feature, but a management feature. Hence, setting oneself apart within a global talent pool is a matter of learning. More opportunities will present themselves not only for those with remote working capabilities, but especially for companies and employees who can develop trust within a remote working environment. Opportunities and Challenges in ASEAN As the world’s third most populous economy, ASEAN is set to become the fourth largest economy by 2030. Although the pandemic has slowed down its growth, economists predict that it will rebound back on track no later than this year. As the largest economy in ASEAN, Indonesia is of special interest. Since the last decade, the country is predicted to become the seventh largest economy by 2030. Singapore has a strong bilateral relationship with the country; since 2014, it has become Indonesia’s top foreign investor. In the decade to come, this relationship will only get stronger. This presents an exciting outlook for regional talents in Indonesia. Singaporean business owners, investors, and employees can expect compelling opportunities within the region.
Now is the Time to Capitalise There is never a better time to prepare than now. To make their mark in this exciting economy, Singaporean youth can start by strengthening their skill sets. Regional talents can broaden their perspectives and expand their horizons. These will allow them to gain a competitive edge amongst the increasingly crowded global talent pool in the years to come. COVID-19 can be a great stepping stone to start capitalising on this opportunity. With the prevalence of online seminars and events such as the Young NTUC's LIT DISCOvery 2021 there is hardly a reason to pass on chances to learn. For employees, working from home provides ample time to develop new skills and perspectives. For businesses, the challenges of digital adaptation may be a good time to pivot to models that are better suited to capture opportunities that growth in the ASEAN region provides. Stay tune for LIT DISCOvery 2022, coming your way in July! Rapid development is set to happen in the region within the decade. As geographical boundaries become less relevant, talents will need to develop new capacities to set themselves apart. Cognitive flexibility, digital literacy, decision-making, emotional and social intelligence, as well as a creative and innovative mindset are all invaluable for careers within the next decade. Regional talents with a global outlook on various market sensibilities in the region will stand out from the others. Those who can keep up with corporate culture and cultivate trust despite remote working conditions will stay ahead of the game. Join Digi-fam Community! To get more support and resources, subscribe to Digi-Fam Community today! Designed with empowering the YOUth in mind, you'll be able to LEARN new skills and knowledge through our LIT (Learning is Triggered) Series Career Programmes; SHARE experiences through our discussion platforms and BUILD networks for your future pathway. #EveryYoungWorkerMatters