6 ways to jumpstart your career in Singapore

By Robert Half on 24 June 2019

If you're a professional seeking a career in Singapore, you couldn't have picked a better place to find a job.

Named the world’s easiest place to do business by the World Bank for the past 10 years, it comes across as no surprise that professionals worldwide seek career opportunities in Singapore.

Singapore has enjoyed a long-standing reputation as one of the world's most competitive economies, offering its professionals one of the highest base salaries in the Asia Pacific region.

So if making your mark is your career goal, here are six steps you can take to make the most of your career opportunities in Singapore.

1. Do your research for skills currently in demand

Identifying the necessary skills for your industry or the skills that are currently in demand is a great way to jumpstart your career in Singapore.

Take a look at job postings in your field to explore what are the most trending skills in demand. Specialist recruitment sites are a superb way to gain better insight. For a more deeper insight, consult the Robert Half Salary Guide which offers detailed insight into the current hiring market in Singapore, including top positions on offer and top skills in demand.

After identifying the necessary skills, there are two approaches you can take: If you already possess these skills, review your resume to make sure you have highlighted these specialties (including updating your LinkedIn profile) to catch the attention of potential employers. If you don’t have these skills, make an effort to build up those areas to position yourself more competitively among your peers.

2. Use SkillsFuture to expand your skills

The Singapore government actively encourages training amongst its citizens to improve job prospects. Building your skills by taking up courses for those in-demand roles is an effective way to take your career in Singapore up a notch.

One learning scheme you can invest in is SkillsFuture, which provides learning and development opportunities for local professionals aged 25 and up.

Offered by Singapore’s Council for Skills, Innovation and Productivity, SkillsFuture offers courses across 58 industries, which are administered by institutions of higher learning, training providers and public agencies.

SkillsFuture participants get to enjoy study credits, study awards and a mid-career enhanced subsidy of up to 90 percent.

Investing in courses offered by the SkillsFuture scheme can boost your employability, opening the door to opportunities to either specialise or expand your responsibilities in career opportunities.

3. Make a lateral move into another industry

If you’re a mid-career professional hoping to spark some career momentum, making a lateral move might be just what you need.

A career change can offer new skills, networks and opportunities increasing your marketability and helping you stay relevant in an ever-changing job market.

To help you change industries, Singapore’s Work Development Agency offers short-term courses in 11 industries, which are known as Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs).

PCPs offer both classroom and on-the-job training to immerse participants in their field of choice. This allows mid-career executives to move across industries with the appropriate training and support.

A lateral move can be a great way to expand your horizons and open new doors for your career. Take advantage of improving your skills through programs such as the PCPs to help develop your professional exposure to new industries and clients.

4. Regional roles offer broad exposure

Singapore enjoys a solid reputation as a regional hub for a number of industries, such as financial services and information technology (IT).

Applying for regional roles provides you with career opportunities in Singapore to collaborate with colleagues and clients from different backgrounds across the region.

The ability to communicate across cultural lines is highly sought-after in Singaporean firms with a regional presence – which traditionally enjoy more stable economic growth as compared to domestic firms.

This opportunity also offers other advantages for candidates including the chance to learn new languages, expand their network with international clients, and actively collaborate with global companies – an added bonus to your career portfolio.

5. Take a leap into Singapore’s sunrise industries

Besides being the epicentre of several global industry sectors, a unique path for career opportunities in Singapore can also be found in ‘sunrise’ industries. These industries refer to sectors that are relatively new in the country’s history, but experience rapid growth due to globalisation and technological progress.

Careers in sunrise industries are highly supported by the Singaporean government in its effort to position the country as a global innovation hub.

One example is Singapore’s financial technology (or fintech) sector, which is currently experiencing high growth. High digital penetration rates in the country have positioned Singapore as a testbed for new technology in the finance industry.

Jumpstarting your career in Singapore with a sunrise industry could put you in an exclusive position to witness fast-paced growth in your career.

Sunrise industries are also worthwhile options for executives (who may be re-entering the workforce) from traditional backgrounds, but with transferable skills such as finance, project management and logistics.

6. Consider joining a small business

If you’re not keen on joining a big company but still want to jumpstart your career in Singapore, look to local small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Joining an SME means exposing your career to a much broader level of experience than if you were to join a larger company that is more likely to have specialised roles. This expands your skill-sets, and subsequently, employability.

Plenty of jobs are available in local SMEs, which according to the Department of Statistics Singapore make up 99% of Singapore’s enterprises and whom hire 65% of the countries’ workforce.

Your career in Singapore awaits

Remember to keep you career goals in mind when you're on the job hunt.With various career opportunities across many sectors, as well as robust government support, Singapore is the perfect place for professionals to launch and expand their careers. Jumpstart your career in Singapore today!

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