We live in an era where career upheaval is both inevitable and necessary, and DPM Wong did not sugarcoat the reality. Speaking at the NUS IPS Singapore Perspectives Conference in January 2023: “These days, most workers now will have multiple careers in their lifetimes. Even in the rare case of somebody working in the same company throughout their lives, the work they do will likely evolve over time.”
He admitted that this will create anxieties, especially among older, mid-career workers.
“They are at greater risk of career disruption, as their skills will be less ‘current’ by definition.”
“The fear of being made obsolete is very real for them. It can also be daunting for mid-careerists to have to switch to a new field and start from scratch with uncertain prospects.”
Who counts as mature, you might ask? According to the Tripartite Alliance, which was set up by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), definitions of “mature” are not limited to employees approaching or over retirement age.
“Most define ‘mature’ workers as those aged between 50 and 59 or older, although a substantial minority (of various ages) include younger age groups.”
For such workers, there may be a sentiment of being too young to retire, but too old to change. This isn’t true at all!
This is why it’s important to relook career resilience. What this is, is the real-world level of how employable we are in the current job market, and whether we can bounce back in the midst of turmoil into a new job or role if needed.
If you feel that there’s a risk your current career or job might be in danger, here are some alternatives to consider below.
Are you experienced in your field, or an “expert” amateur in your interests? Consider coaching as your career pivot. From sports to education, there’s a wide variety of trainer roles available for various industries. Of course, they do generally need professional certifications in training and proof-of-expertise – but that’s where your passion and experience come into play!
Consultants advise companies on business processes and outcomes, share training on new technologies, and provide advisory and specialised services and capabilities. If your industry isn’t completely sunset, it might be a good idea to shift from your current position to a consultant in your field instead. This could be particularly beneficial for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that may not have the budget to hire a full-time head count for your specialty, but still need some advice and help in the area.
Content online is certainly a mainstay of the way our world communicates now. If that interests you, web developers work on the look and feel of websites and the technology that they function with.
And no, you don’t need a degree to get into the field, just a mix of graphic design practice and technical knowledge, which can be acquired gradually through courses, and then practised through building your own website. There are plenty of free online coding courses on YouTube to help whenever you get into a pickle as well! Alternatively, you can also consider enrolling in a Singapore Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) course or using Adobe’s own learning tools.
Social media marketing
In today’s social media-driven era, social sells — literally. Consider this: Singapore alone has over 4.6 billion social media users, providing companies with an ideal platform to sell their goods and services.
And it doesn’t mean that you have to be young and in-trend to get into the marketplace. After all, people of all age demographics are on these platforms, and they look for trusted personalities and advisors to help them know what’s what.
These days, more companies and marketing firms are seeking skilled social media marketers or digital content creators, and there are tons of online courses and resources to help you get started!
While e-commerce is certainly on the rise, ultimately, for some products and services, a personal touch is needed, especially for those that require strong relationships with customers.
If you’ve got great communication and interpersonal skills, and are able to work well under pressure, this might be a good field to get into. It’s not about academic credentials, but about whether you’ve got the right attitude and aptitude.
With Singapore’s ageing population, the rise and need for healthcare workers are inevitable. As such, it is crucial that clinical specialists are able to understand the needs of patients, both physically and mentally, and provide the help they need.
Such roles can be found at hospitals, nursing homes, private homes, clinics, group homes or other healthcare institutions. If you’ve got a caring disposition and want to make a difference in people’s lives, a second career in the field might be the right calling.