Your Career is Now on Autopilot Mode. That’s Good… Isn’t it?

Year-end is always a good time to re-assess where you’re at. And your work challenges ahead.

You’ve made good progress in your career. The increments have been decent, you’ve moved a notch or two up the corporate ladder and your housing loan is nicely being taken care of.  In short, you’re in a comfort zone. Encouraging, isn’t it?

Yes and no.

While it’s important to have a stable work environment, single-job stability may be overrated in today’s work culture. 

Based on a 2018 survey by Ministry of Manpower in Singapore, 40-49 year-olds who have worked for an organisation for at least 10 years stood at 39%, while in the 30-39 age bracket, the percentage plunged to 18%.  

There is nothing wrong with staying on in a good organisation, but it can breed complacency if you do not actively reinvent yourself.

Keep that in mind as you wind down for year-end and reflect on what lies ahead in 2020.

Start with the positives

What worked well for you this year? How were your appraisals? Perhaps a new skillset you acquired enabled your company to do stuff in-house. That’s company money saved. Maybe your networking skills landed your organisation a sizeable contract. 

Your enthusiasm didn’t hurt either. 

Give yourself a pat on the back for these accomplishments in 2019.

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Reflect on the hiccups

Perhaps you had fewer. Perhaps they were more painful, so you tucked them further away in your mind. What could have gone better? 

Ask yourself how things could have been more efficiently done. Perhaps there was miscommunication that led to greater anxiety at the workplace. A recent survey of 14 countries by Kantar, a data consulting firm, revealed that 44% of Singapore workers say they are affected by “stress and anxiety” at work, above the global average of 39%. So workplace anxiety can be a big issue in Singapore.

How readily could YOU have smoothened out any of the road bumps?

Now let’s talk about you…

Kudos came from management and clients alike in 2019. Use the accolades as a spur to do even better. Because come 2020, the previous year’s formula will need a re-look.  


A Checklist for 2020

Ask yourself how you can add value to your organisation:

  • Analyse yourself

What are your strengths? Weaknesses? Will mentorship or attending a course in investment banking for example help? If so, make it happen.

Read Also: Be My Buddy — Why Mentoring is Important

  • Find avenues for company productivity 

Make company productivity YOUR goal – and contribute to it. 

In 2017, the Republic of Singapore Navy, working with MINDEF and DSTA created a Finance Logistics Assessment Gauge  (FLAG) tool to detect transaction lapses signalling possible fraud immediately. This saved manual checks typically taking 3 weeks, equating to $1.5 million in manpower cost savings.

Identify time-consuming procedures within your company, find ways to cut back for company gain – and your satisfaction. 

  • Make your achievements heard 

Flag your achievements to management from time to time. Like at monthly meetings. Modesty is a very heartwarming Asian trait, but sometimes hinders recognition. Be proud. Be visible.

The bottom line? As tempting as it is, don’t go to autopilot mode. Remain committed to improvement. Human potential is not fixed, but human effort can be.    

So bring on 2020. With the right mindset, it’s only going to get better! 

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