New Age Careers – How Realistic Is it?

Pop a question to any millennial about what they work as, you will hear things like:

“I am a Website Developer by day, a Deliveroo guy by night and an e-marketer in my free time”

According to The Sunday Times, dated September 23, 2018, there is an article that highlights how young people take on quirky jobs that’s never on the traditional path of Bankers, Lawyers, and Doctors.

Ms Daphne Ng is a “Blockchain Entreprenuer”, Mr. Cheng You Zhi, aged 26 is a “Drone Pilot”.  You Zhi works for a drone-related services company that does surveying to photography. He starts flying drones at the age of 14.  This is like matching passion to a realistic day job.

Cool, isn’t it?   You get to choose your time and do whatever you want.
Others are clocking 9-to-6.

And it’s not just the young people. Folks that prefer flexibility are taking on jobs such as babysitting, handyman and dance instructors.  One can also take on a part-time job to be a “Shopper Bee”, helping customers select their groceries in a supermarket – and get paid for the number of hours

There is a list of 50 interesting roles which I have written here.

The “Gig Economy”, a word for freelancers is expanding around the region.  Websites such as offers one time projects that individuals are able to take on.

man holding gray and black dslr camera
Photo by Markus Spiske on

Be a photographer – decide your time.

Before we get too excited, we have to examine whether the “New Age Careers” are for you.

Personal Development

Consider a fresh graduate.  Out from school and need to gain life and work experiences.  To jump straight into entrepreneurship sounds sexy but may not be ideal for everyone.  Perhaps, working for a large corporation that offers overseas assignments offers a new dimension to personal growth. A firm that employs different nationalities will help one get exposed to best practices in cross-culture corporate communication – a skill that’s highly sought after by companies worldwide.

Getting straight to new age job sound like a great idea but let’s take a rain check here.

Do you have what it takes to seek growth?

As one seeks advancement, typically experiences and abilities count. This is through years of honing one’s skill set.  Going straight-on to a techie position is a good start.  But can this lead to a future demand that others are willing to pay you because you have the “X-factor skill?”

For example, if coding is what you do best, get on to one of the world’s leading firms to pick up the expertise. And it’s not just 1, 2 years experiences (unless you are tasked to oversee multiple functions that feel like 5 years!).  At least, an average of 5-10 years to get to a more respectable level; of course more years are better to attain Mastery level.

Therefore, the priority of personal development takes a higher priority.  An aspiration that’s beyond just dollars and cents.

If the position is a social media marketer, how will this be relevant to you in building a stronger work portfolio?  In other words, how can you progress thereafter? Barriers to entry are low; anyone can claim to be one.  Can this then help you to be a springboard for other career adventure in future?

Consider this – one who does mapping for a living has a highly specialised skill.  That can be something tangible.  Companies need specialists who understand location-based applications and know the technicalities, though niched, but one won’t be a highly competitive situation because the Profession is not a general trade.

This explains why choices have to be made carefully before jumping on to the new age career.


Disruption happens faster than we think.  A new breed of technology-related or other unique jobs are up for grabs. A better informed decision can be made after assessing where you are right now. If personal development is important and you lack the broad-based horizon, seek for a role that can bridge in this gap.  Practicality triumphs passion but one can always turn to part-time to hone another skill set in the overarching world of the 4th industrial revolution (e.g. Drone Specialist, UX Designer, Multimedia Developer, Vocalist, Data Scientist, Instagrammer)

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