4 questions to self-reflect before taking a new role in the digital economy

The year has come to a close.  Friends and business contacts regularly chat about the need to innovate and adapt.  Singapore has chartered the roadmap towards digitization.

And you figure “how about a career change?”

Possible Professions include:

  • Software Engineer
  • Data Scientist
  • Game Tester
  • IT Analyst
  • Programmer
  • UX Designer
  • Lead Animator
  • Security Consultant
  • Technical Writer
  • Web Developer

It’s always easy to conceptualise a beautiful picture on the other side of the fence.

  • An increase in your pay cheque
  • A fun and rewarding career
  • Growing demand in the ICT (Information & Communication Technology) industry

Looks like it’s worthwhile to take on new course using Skill Future $500.00 credit. But what’s going to happen if you struggle?

That’s where you should answer these 4 questions to make a better informed decision.

How comfortable are you to pick up new skills?

Interest gets you to the starting point.  It may not translate to an inner passion. Hence, it’s good to take a crash course first.

I took one day Python class at The General Assembly.  I like it in the beginning.  As the exercises get complicated, I start to lose my navigation. Soon, my interest falters.

I decide the technical stuff is just not for me. I will be better off in cross-border negotiation and selling to multinationals. Then again, I may just try UX Design – life is always about continuous improvement.

girls on desk looking at notebook
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Perhaps, a peek into the technicalities helps. Of course, if you have taken the basics or enjoy doing this, continue honing your ability. The best way to test out is to seek a 1-2 day fun program, interact with your peers before going full steam ahead.

Are you mainly a Right-Brainier or a Left-Brainier?

It’s about dominance. Left-Brainier are usually logical, rational, factual and methodical in thinking. Their jobs entail market analysis and research or roles that need to dissect issues and derive hypothesis.

Right-Brainier folks are creative, artistic and have great imagination. They can be Animators, Designers or Musicians.

There are a number of fun brain tests that you can easily Google.  Some can be 60% Right-Brainier and 40% Left Brainier. Once you identify, it’s time to put to test how adaptable you are. Get some software to try and join a specific community group as a fresh starter.

Explore and re-imagine!

How likely will I get hired after taking on a new skill in a new role?

Let’s be practical.  Big firms don’t just open the door for you.  You have to level up your abilities – and get a track record out.  Therefore, look into entry-mid level type in smaller or mid-sized companies.

As a Mid-Career Changer, sell your experiences.  For example, Left Brainier tell a story about the need to possess critical thinking skills that can be used to troubleshoot technical problems.  In other words, concentrate on the soft skills.

Zoom into job descriptions to get an understanding about the type of expertise needed. Then, develop a list of companies.  Put on a watchlist.  A good way to start is in LinkedIn.  Or if you need a Career Coach for easier guidance, you’ll know who to contact right away!

How can I manage my expectation?

A pay cut is hugely possible.  20%, 30%…..how much can you afford to take this risk?   A rule of thumb is usually 15% for most households in Singapore, given the high cost of living as indicated by Mercer annual cost of living study 2018 – Singapore is ranked fourth globally.

The other consideration is mindset.  Be prepared you will face a bunch of millennial and younger folks who can outshine you.  Dump your ego.  Instead, seek to learn the techie stuff and exchange views.  What you can offer is probably deep knowledge in specific matters – such as man-management if you are a Team Leader or workplace communication tips.

Another is to take a very open approach, just like how you start school on the very first day.

Lastly, think global.  Do well and you can be on the next plane to work for a Finnish based company who is superbly well versed in smart technology.  The opportunities are abundant, the road ahead is endless – just overcome the occasional speed bumps.

I hope this will provide a window of consideration for you.

Wishing you all the best and yes, my dear readers – a magical Christmas and happy holidays ahead!

 

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