Since the pandemic emerged in late 2019, we’ve seen our fair share of workplace and unemployment challenges. In the face of such uncertainty, you’d rather hold on to your current job than risk taking a chance of moving into a new one.
So, what’s the economic situation now?
According to a report by the Business Times, Singapore’s official full-year growth forecast for 2021 was at an estimated 7%, which was on the mark on the previous forecast range of 6-7%.
Moving into 2022, the forecast seems to be more modest at 3-5%, according to an updated third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) report from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) released last November.
Despite the grim situation, employment rates are showing a steady growth year on year. Although not yet at pre-Covid levels, the positive trend shows that the jobs market is not in a slump.
According to figures from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the overall employment rate of residents aged 15 and above also grew to 67.2% in June 2021, up from 64.5% a year earlier. This is also higher than the 65.2% in June 2019.
In addition, MOM expects the labour market recovery to continue into 2022, “but in an uneven manner across sectors”.
2022 will be slow but not all sectors are doing badly
Although the recovery of the various sectors of the economy in 2022 is expected to be slow, it is also uneven, meaning that not all sectors are stagnating or declining. So, if you’re thinking of a mid-career switch, there are a few sectors that are worth considering.
Mark Lee shares his views on staying open to new possibilities!
The report by MTI indicated that some sectors have reflected promising growth prospects, especially for outward-oriented sectors due to high external demand for such services.
Generally, outward-oriented sectors refer to the below:
- wholesale trade
- transportation & storage
- information & communications
- finance & insurance
- professional services
Among the listed, the manufacturing sector is projected to continue expanding, with growth in the electronics and precision engineering clusters supported by sustained global demand for semiconductor and semiconductor equipment respectively.
In fact, the manufacturing sector has been posting rare growth while most sectors declined after the coronavirus pandemic struck. In 2020, the sector employed 450,000 people. While Singapore’s real GDP declined by 5.4% in the same year, the manufacturing sector grew by 7.3%.
Manufacturing: One-stop centre lends a massive boost
The manufacturing sector has also received a much-needed infrastructural boost with last year’s launch of The Industry Connect Office @ Jurong Innovation District (JID), a one-stop centre to help more manufacturers, especially local small and medium-sized enterprises, accelerate their digital transformation.
With the launch of the centre, around 1,000 local companies are poised to be supported in their digital transformation journeys over the next three years, where they can gain access to technology and training partners, develop new capabilities and redesign jobs.
The resilience and growth of the manufacturing sector and one which continues to contribute to 20% of Singapore’s GDP even amid the pandemic, is a testament that it may be worthwhile to explore jobs within the sector for its consistent stability.
If you’re currently thinking if there are any suitable job roles for you there, tap on the MyCareersFuture portal to find out the types of jobs available and fits you based on your skillset.
Tech jobs in demand
At the same time, growth in the information & communications and finance & insurance sectors are expected to be driven by healthy demand for IT and digital solutions, and credit and payment processing services respectively.
In a speech late last year, Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo said: “Early investments in digitalisation helped Singapore to transition well into a digital economy during the pandemic.”
The pandemic has also accelerated the digital transformation of many companies in Singapore as employers and workers adapt to working out of their workplaces. In providing continued services to customers amid restrictions, businesses as well as being able to provide services.
According to a job postings analysis by job site Indeed, the hiring for tech jobs in Singapore has been on the rise since October 2021. The trend is looking to spill over into 2022 as well.
The finding is backed by the Skills Demand for the Future Economy report which indicates an upward trend for tech-lite roles such as data analysts, digital marketers and fintech analysts just to name a few.
So, is it a good time to do a mid-career switch?
No matter what the employment climate is, making a career switch is a big thing. To know if you’re ready, ask yourself these four questions.
1. Am I sure of the new career path I want to go into?
If you’re unhappy with your current career path, you may be willing to rush into the first opportunity that presents itself. However, to avoid jumping into a job that you’ll regret, ask yourself if this is the right career move for you.
Do your research and tap into your network from various industries and find out more about the bigger picture.
2. Am I able to accept a potential pay cut?
Switching careers may see you have to start at the bottom again. Joining a new industry where you have lesser professional experience and accumulated skills would mean you have to take on a less senior role and possibly a pay cut.
So make sure you assess your savings account balance. If you have a family to support, talk to your spouse if the reduction in salary will cause any major disruptions.
3. Am I currently shouldering a huge personal commitment?
Your personal life can make a huge impact on your professional one. If you’re expecting or currently taking on a huge personal commitment, it would be wise to think through your decision to make a career switch.
For example, if you’re currently a parent of a newborn, would you want to be in a position where you’re taking on the stress of a steep learning curve at work, fueled by minimal sleep?
4. Am I planning to buy a big-ticket item?
We’re not talking about buying a PlayStation 5 here, but something bigger like a home. Qualifying for a home loan is a tricky business and changing careers amid buying a home may affect the outcome.
Banks often consider the candidate’s history of income stability when approving home loans. And you going from 10 years at a logistics company as a manager to two months as a junior marketing executive in an advertising firm industry, may be cause for a red flag.
Make an informed decision, less chance of regrets
Switching careers could be one of the best moves you’ll ever make. Just be sure that you’ve done enough research and personal preparations before taking the leap.
To get an idea of what jobs would be a fit for you, search for roles with the title or in the field you’re looking for, find the top five skills and then work out what experience you have that is relevant for the job role.
To make this process easier, tap on the MyCareersFuture jobs portal, the advanced portal that provides suggestions on jobs based on your skills. Here is a list of relevant articles compiled to help you decide how to see through your mid-career switch smoothly.