Dubbed the “miniature Silicon Valley”, Singapore is home to 80 of the top 100 tech firms in the world. This ultimately means that there is a vested interest in the technology scene in Singapore.
But while tech jobs are growing in Singapore, not a lot is said about the working culture.
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Here, we look at the 10 things that you ought to know before you embark on your tech journey in Singapore:
1. Nothing Is The End Of The World… Except For The End Of The World
Oftentimes those who are just starting their careers will choose a job that doesn’t suit them.
Not a job they hate, per se, just a job that seems boring, or where they can’t really do what they like.
It’s a sad but realistic truth but some of them will continue keep this job out of fear of not finding something better.
This is wrong.
One solution is to quit your job. After all, you don’t want to be stuck in a job that you dislike and where you see no progress in.
Another (maybe better) idea would be to keep an open mind: every job is an opportunity to learn something and only you can turn things around.
2. If You Can’t Do It, Somebody Else Can
One advice you’ll probably receive before starting your career is to make yourself an invaluable cog in the machinery of the company.
But with so many talented, smart people eager to learn, that’s more a dream than a practical advice.
Instead, be the best version of yourself.
Don’t say no to new responsibilities and tasks. Think outside the box. Don’t just focus on meeting the set goals, but try to improve your results by constantly optimising your work. If you’re in marketing, think about building various crisis strategies. If you’re in web design, think whether an ad for outdoor banners is mobile-friendly too. You get the point.
3. School May Be Over, But Learning Isn’t
You’ll probably have heard it a thousand times over so let’s make it a thousand and one: There’s no end to learning.
Learn something new every day, whether from your field or not. Good ideas may come from your subconscious mind, but that doesn’t mean they appear out of thin air.
Instead, out of the box thinking is based on pre-existing ideas you’ve learned that your subconscious connects on the spot. Exercise your mind like a muscle, it will do you a world of good.
4. Do Something You Love, And You’ll Never Have To Work A Day In Your Life
Finding your passion isn’t just a saying. If you want to start your own business, find an idea you identify with completely, and turn into its fiercest advocate.
Involve the community, help people out and you will build a strong community of loyal customers.
Start a blog, write about what you want to do. But always consider your financial objectives. What strategy truly pays off? Follow the money, and your passion will flourish.
5. Network With The Best
Never be the smartest person in a room.
Surround yourself with friends and coworkers that can teach you new things, whether a new skill for your job or simply something like patience.
You also need a mentor to show you the ropes of your new job, someone who you can admire and aim to surpass one day.
6. Take Future You Into Account
Always have a plan for the next few years. Think about what makes you happy.
Are you a workaholic? Do you want to have lots of spare time? How important is work for you? What position do you think you’d be best at?
Take a few minutes to really listen to Future You and try to help him or her achieve their dreams.
7. Find An Empty Niche
Positioning isn’t a strategy just for brands, people should employ it too, especially at work.
As such, figure out what your company wants or needs, and try to fill that position. As long as it’s morally and legally ok, that is.
Maybe your company needs more structure, and someone who keeps track of everything that’s being discussed during meetings. Maybe your team needs someone to lighten the mood or bring some fresh donuts once in a while.
Just make sure that person is you, and everyone will help you more.
8. Don’t Be Afraid To Speak Up
It’s never a good idea to be a yes man or yes lady if you want to get a promotion.
Of course, you want to learn from smarter people who’ve been in the business longer than you. Of course, you want to hear everyone out before you speak your mind.
But still. If you have an idea, say it. If you think something is unjust or wrong, say it as well.
9. Know Your Limits
Imagine your manager saying this to you: “Please make some time to meet with me this afternoon. I want to discuss a few things you can improve about your work”.
Does that scare you? Does it feel like being dragged to the principal’s office?
It’s only because we tend to perceive our limits as something bad instead of embracing them.
As such, try to be glad every time you have the opportunity to learn from your failures, and never hide them.
Or maybe your project manager sees you have some good abilities, such as analytical thinking, and they just want to help you develop these abilities by giving you better projects.
It’s all about putting things into perspective and keeping an open mind.
Most importantly, never undermine yourself.
10. How You Treat Others Is How You Invite Them To Treat You
Always be kind. Always be helpful. Never bully someone. Never bad mouth someone, even if you think they deserve it. It will only come back to hunt you later, whether it’s a bad rep, or someone out to get you.
That doesn’t mean you have to allow being treated like a doormat, but you need to be open and honest with people.
Starting your career may seem like a once in a lifetime opportunity you can either screw up or not. But it’s not like that – you’ll have plenty of chances to do better along the way, as long as you have the right mindset.
This article first appeared as 10 Pieces Of Advice No One Has Ever Told You For Those Just Starting Out Their Career on Money Kinetics: Singapore’s definitive guide to financial literacy. Money Kinetics helps Singaporeans compare and evaluate loans, deals, cards and guide them to make their money work for them.
The article has been edited for concision and style with the permission of Money Kinetics.