Have you always been passionate in making real impact and being the agent of change? If the answer is an absolute yes, then working for a startup should be your next call. Startups are looking for talented and ardent individuals who demonstrate a strong entrepreneurial zest and great teamwork skill.

In a small office with small team members, it becomes but obvious that everyone is expected to give their best and participate actively in achieving the business goals and objectives. Do you have what it takes to secure a startup job?

One of the biggest attraction for people to work at a startup is the unconventional perks offered. If you are tired of a corporate life which is tedious mundane routine, then working for a startup could bring colours to your life with fun challenges. If you are bored of wearing formal attire, then startup will give you a total authority of deciding the casual or semi-casual look to don today.

What makes it even better is, in a startup environment you get chance to do the real work and get recognised by the team. Owing to small team size, even the slightest achievement will be highly regarded and rewarded.

On the flip side of it, you should bear in mind that not everyone is suited for a startup life. Working for startup can be best described as riding a roller-coaster. There will be ‘down times’ where you have to sacrifice your sleep for completing a tough project. However, there will be ‘up times’ as well, where you can take a break and play ping-pong with your co-workers.

While we know that startup has different working vibes as in comparison to a corporate job, it turns out that landing a job at a startup requires much alike strategies commonly used for winning any other types of job. However, there are significant differences that you should note even before shooting out to your CV to growing startups, that you aspire to work for.

Here are 7 useful tips to grab the best deal and tread career growing on fast track from fast-growing start-up:

  1.       Be passionate about the company’s vision

Every startup is established on a solid ground of passionate vision. And that explains why entrepreneurs care so much about finding individuals who share the same passion to grow the business. That being said, it becomes crucial to demonstrate the reasons why you’re passionate and interested in joining the team.

  1.       Try the products or services

You should know what the startup actually does for a living. If it is possible, you can try their products or use their services and gain valuable information about them. Not only giving you authentic experience of being real user, this strategy will help you nail the interview.

  1.       Learn about the company culture

First of all, you should bear in mind that startups adopt much different culture from big corporates. Being part of the team means that you have to adapt yourself to fit into their fast-paced working environment that undergoes a continuous change. Be prepared for surprises (both good and bad ones) and so you will be ready to join the unicorn team.

  1.       Show genuine interests

You can tell if someone is genuinely interested or not, only through their cover letter or gesture during the interview. If you want to draw employer’s attention, it is imperative that you must show you’re genuinely interested with the job and the company. Only then, can they trust you to be the new hire.

  1.       Know the industry

The truth is, most startups fail in their first year. Owing to their competitive nature of workings, you need to know what kind of battle you will face ahead. Therefore, before coming to an interview, you should learn about the industry, the startup’s position in it, as well the competitors.

Do your research well, and this will showcase you’re serious about joining (and eventually growing) the team.

  1.       Demonstrate a reliable personality

Reliability is one of the most sought-after characteristics of a startup employee. With limited resources and plentiful tasks, everyone is expected to take ownership for their work and be fully responsible for their job.

  1.       Be true to yourself

Nobody wants to hire a phoney individual. So do not pretend to be someone you’re not, just for the sake of getting hired. Be true to yourself first and this does reflect in your workings, behaviour, passion and zest for excellence to deliver great business results.

What is your professional resolution for 2017? Is ‘moving up the leadership ladder’, ‘finding a new job’, or ‘switching career path’ included in the list? If you nod affirmatively to all of this, then stay alert!

The latest report compiled by ILO (International Labour Organization) suggests that global unemployment rate is expected to rise by 3.4 million in 2017. While this might come as saddening forecast, there remains greater opportunities for you to shine this year. But only if you pay attention to the current job market trends.

Despite ILO’s findings regards the rising global unemployment, in general we can see positive employment trends, such as pay rise, increase in number of job vacancies, as well as reduced job seekers in the talent pools.

While it is stated that the unemployment rate will rise modestly from 5.7 to 5.8 percent, in fact you do not need to be discouraged because there are still wide open opportunities for you. Moreover, if you hold a bachelor or higher degree, then you will have higher chances to land the job more quickly than others.

But before you dive into the street, it would be better if you learn what is hot in the professional world. Thus, you can equip yourself with the skills, knowledge, and attitude in accordance with the market demand. Here are 7 job market trends you should know in 2017:

  1.    Millennials will make up for most of the talent pool

By 2020, we will see an influx of Millennials entering the talent market. More Baby Boomers are entering retirement phase, leaving vacant job positions that need to be occupied by younger generations.

  1.    Gig economy is on the rise

Nowadays, more people are seeking flexibility in working. With advancements in technology, gig economy offers the privilege of managing your own working hours and workplace without having to be tied to a particular company.

If freelancing was often associated with an uncertain and gloomy future, now freelancing becomes one of the most profitable employment type. In the recent years, we have seen many platforms driving the gig economy, such as Uber and AirBnB. Not to mention the proliferation of businesses in need for skilled contingent workforce, driving the gig economy which is here to stay.

  1.    HR will focus on data-driven recruitment

Data science will transform how HR recruitment and hiring decision making process. Not only will this data help optimise the process, it will also help recruiters fetch better and more qualified candidates, through streamlined methods and practices.

  1.    Automation will change the work landscape

Along with continuous invention of new technologies, the world will undergo a phenomenal change in the automation culture. On one hand, the use of automation and machines in the business is proven to be highly profitable and effective, because it can improve efficiency and reduce the impact of human error.

If you do not want to lose your job and be replaced by a robot, then the key lies in continuous training and development to hone your skills and abilities, such that you can adapt to the changing landscape.

  1.    Tech jobs are in high demand

Do you hold a degree in computer science or information technology? Then, this year is going to be a great year for you. Tech skills are on high demand, considering how digital transformation has sparked change throughout the world. Especially if you possess skills in software engineering and data analytics, then there will be copious job openings for you.

  1.    Closing the gender pay disparities

With increasing demand for more transparent approach to employee compensation and benefits, it is predicted that 2017 will see more employers taking actions to close the gender pay gap. With the issue been debated for long, it is time business leaders take proactive steps to build better employer brands.

  1.    Return to traditional benefits package

Unless you plan to work for startups, most corporates will return to traditional benefits package rather than flashy perks. Rather than offering game pods, yoga class after work, and free lunch vouchers, employers will be more in favor of healthcare investment and pension plans.

What’s the most crucial (yet difficult) part of a job interview? The answer but obvious, will be the beginning. You have only one chance to make the first impression, so you have to make sure that it is a good one. No wonder, the first five minutes of your meeting with the hiring manager will determine, whether you stand a chance for getting hired or not.

When you manage to land a job interview, you are set to get started on a new beginning, with the organisation. Now you have to think of how to nail the interview and leave a great impression to eventually seal the deal. When you are prepping for an interview, you should bear in mind that everything you do, is under review.

From the moment you walk past the door, take a seat, answer the questions, to the time you stand up and leave the room, the interviewer is paying close attention to the slightest gestures, you make.Nothing seems better than walking out of the interview room with a feeling that you have nailed the interview.

However, did you really leave the room on a positive note with the hiring manager? This will be a different story to tell in itself. So, how do you deliver a strong and solid interview that will get you a job offer? Before heading out for your next job interview, take a closer look at the following tips on how to make a good impression during the interview:

  1.    Demonstrate positive attitude

Regardless of professional reasons, people have a tendency to hire people they like. Thus, all the qualifications and experience you possess could mean nothing, if you do not demonstrate a positive attitude towards the interviewer. The key here is to be your genuine self. It is important to show that you are likeable and a flexible individual at work.

  1.    Just be yourself

An interview is not just about whether the company is willing to hire you, but also about, if you really want to work there? Therefore, you have to make sure that the job is a good fit and the company culture is in line with your principles. Just be who you are, and the hiring manager will see the ingenuity in you.

  1.    Do your homework well

It will be a rash decision to show up at the interview without any adequate information, about what you’re going to deal with. Hence, upon receiving a call for the interview, make sure to do your homework well. Research for any information that you can find about the company, the interviewer, their products, as well as the job you apply for.

  1.    Propose your idea

From your research, you might discover the problems and challenges faced by the company. During the interview rounds, you can propose your idea to reduce and unravel the issues.

Emphasise that you can apply your knowledge and take advantage of your experience to resolve the glitches. This strategy will showcase your value and contribution you can offer, if the company chooses to hire you.

  1.    Stay positive

Nobody wants to hear complaints about your previous employer, or know how underpaid you are in your current job. Rather, the hiring manager is keen on hearing how the job will be a good fit for you.

Therefore, avoid using negative words as it will only imply your cynicism. Capture the interviewer’s attention by exuding positivity in thoughts, actions and they will naturally be drawn towards you.

  1.    Don’t try too hard

At some point, you just have to let it flow. Don’t try too hard to please the interviewers because they will know the difference between genuine gestures and the made-up ones. Being a yes-man is never a good way to start a job with.

While these tips might not guarantee you the job offer, they can definitely help you get a little closer to your dream job. Good luck with your job search!

What contributes the most to your success in career and business? Is it strong educational background? Years of experience? Or great deal of money? While it is undeniable that those variables are crucial, but there’s one thing behind every successful story: The power of networking.

When it comes to business, networking is the key for efficacious practices. Be it job hunting, working on a new project, promotion, or any other professional achievements, getting to know the right people who can leverage on your skills, is more important than talent in itself.

It doesn’t matter if you have all the required qualifications for your dream job. Unless you meet someone who can ‘bridge’ you to the potential job, you will end up going nowhere in your career.

Then what does the word ‘networking’ actually mean? In general, networking is simply the way you exchange information with other people in the professional world. The truth is, you can build network with everyone, everywhere. It could be someone you just met on the subway, someone within your field of expertise, or someone outside your industry. The wider your network is, you can gain better business perspectives, expand reach and get more career opportunities along the way.

While this might sound simple, networking is always easier said than done. Due to many reasons, some people might find it difficult to build and broaden their networks. In fact, networking is not merely achieved. Rather, it is seized through real, genuine efforts. Be it formal or informal networks, every time you reach out and communicate to others, there is always a chance that they can form a part of your growing network circle.

So, how do you harness the power of networking in your next job search? Here’s how:

  1.    Change your mindset

Before taking to the streets and meeting new people, it is crucial to change your mindset and garner new approaches or views about networking. Networking is not just about how addition of new people in your networks and reaching out can help you in your next job search. Rather, it is a game of give and take.

If you want to be helped, then you should be willing to lend a helping hand, too. To make the networks work, you should be able to build upon a healthy relationship formed by trust and faith.

  1.    Develop a strategy

Every successful action always comes from a well-thought strategy. And it applies to networking as well. To help you make a concrete move, you will need to prepare a tangible strategy. Such as for example, you can schedule to attend networking events such as job fair at least two or three times in a month. Or, you can prepare yourself by sharpening your communication skills.

  1.    Prepare your weapon

While networking is not necessarily about professional relationship, you should always be ready to seize on an opportunity to meet people along your life’s journey and build on your connections. If you are on a job hunting spree, then leveraging on your connections with a well-drafted resume should help you land the job of your dreams.

  1.    Be proactive

Networking is not given. Rather, you should put efforts to gain it. Therefore, you should be proactive in your job hunting process. Internet might have everything you need without much hurdles and painstaking efforts. However, nothing beats the ingenuity of getting out and meeting the real people.

You can take advantage of social groups and professional events such as seminars, job fairs, or discussions to find networks.

  1.    Leverage on social media

In-person meetings strengthen relationships, and social media helps build and maintain it. You can leverage on social media channel to flourish professional networking. Using social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter could be a great way to stay in touch with friends, colleagues, or someone you’ve just met. You never know who might turn up to you with a lucrative business deal or a job offer in store.

  1.    Stay positive

Getting rejected from companies you have always dreamt of working, might impact your morale and self-esteem. However, don’t lose out on your zest for life. Rather, stay positive and face tough times with a smile. Don’t be afraid to grab every opportunity that knocks on your door and embrace change with positivity.

Next read: Should You Say Goodbye to Rigid Career Plans and Go with the Flow?

Are you a fresh graduate in the process of job hunting? Every job seeker can imagine the strenuous process and experience of landing a job the regular way: graduating from reputed university, searching for job openings, applying for the job, going through tests and interview, and finally, the job offer from one of the companies.

The problem however is, sometimes reality bites. Regardless of how meticulously you plan out everything, unexpected things do happen and scatter your plans away. Should you just go with the flow, then?

Upon finishing your education, you might start thinking of what the future brings to you. After the graduation day, you create a career plan as a guide along your journey to the professional world. However, you should bear in mind that everything doesn’t always turn out as anticipated. Since, life is not merely a checklist that follows your instincts and will to succeed, there are times when you have to compromise and negotiate with the current circumstances.

Professional world is full of uncertainty. As the old adage goes, ‘Man proposes, but God disposes.’ It means, no matter how prudently you have arranged everything in your life (including charting out a professional career pathway), there is no solid guarantee that your life will function smoothly as you initially wished for.

Here are reasons why you should say goodbye to your rigid career plans and just go with the flow:

  1.    It releases you from limiting beliefs

Have you ever thought of something similar like this, ‘Oh, I can never be a leader, as I don’t have supporting leadership skills’? Such negative thoughts are formed from limiting career beliefs that comes within yourself.

Fear of failure and criticism is one of the most common limiting beliefs, that stops you from trying something new. When you decide to go with the flow, you will be freed from your limiting beliefs and ready to seize every challenge that lies ahead.

  1.    It helps you trust yourself

Before you can trust anyone else, it is critical to trust yourself first. Going with the flow will help you have faith on your own ability, to deal with everyday problems. When something is out of your control, you might be anxious about the future.

However, when it turns out to be fine towards the end, it will give you a greater sense of confidence. You will be convinced that you can handle everything better than you might have thought.

  1.    It helps you focus

When you create a list of everything, sometimes it makes you pay attention to trivial details more than the important ones. For example, when you are preparing for a job interview, you might list everything out, so you should bring from A to Z.

But you forget to bring the most important thing: your heart and passion at work. When you go with the flow, you can focus on something that matters in your life, more than anything else.

  1.    It makes you enjoy life

What is the joy of living out of scripted life? You can enjoy life more when you just go with the flow. No matter if you have to start your career right from the scratch you will find that every job is meaningful. Job search is hard. It becomes even harder when you feel that you have no idea of what you would do for longevity in career.

However, no matter what you do for living as a job or nurturing a silent dream and passion for life, you should think of the job as an experience that will enrich your soul. The trick is to see something things from different point of view, and you will find the job more enjoyable.

Rather than getting stressed up and anxious about the future, all you have to do is to accept what life brings and go with the flow. Take a deep breath and relax, because towards the end, everything will happen naturally.

Next read: Unconventional Ways to Land Your Dream Job

How far have you put in efforts to get noticed and land a job? Sending out resumes, attending interviews, and visiting job fairs could be the most common answers given by job seekers. Have you ever thought, that beyond all these means of reaching out to your future employers, there are some unconventional (and even unique) ways that will bring you to your dream job?

While the way people conduct hiring process has changed dramatically in the recent few years. However, the principle and process of job hunting hasn’t changed through time. The traditional formula is to search for job openings, apply for them, get interviewed, and if you meet the requirements, you will eventually secure the job.

Nevertheless, more and more people are realising that a stable job which pays off their bills at the end of the month is not enough. More than this, it is crucial to have a fulfilling career that will keep you engaged and committed for personal growth.

In today’s highly competitive era, job seekers are required to employ their creativity in order to stand out from the crowd. Even for the most optimistic individuals, days, weeks, and even months of job hunting to no avail can seem as an intimidating experience. Sometimes, all you need to do is open your mind and think outside the box.

Rather than letting yourself feeling frustrated and discouraged, it is time for you to plan a better job hunting strategy. If you want to land the job of your dreams, here are a few unconventional ideas for you:

  1. Advertise yourself

Advertising yourself in mass media is a great way to let potential employers know about your existence. You will need to demonstrate that you are a highly qualified individual who is keen on pursuing their dream job. You can print out your name, skills, and contact in public ad spaces such as local newspaper, billboard, poster, or online portals.

  1. Don’t trust your resume

You might possess all the competencies required for your dream job. The problem is, dozens of other applicants offer the same thing too. It is true that a resume will be your first weapon to set out on the company’s door. However, relying on your resume in itself is not enough to convince them your qualities.

Creating a portfolio will be helpful to showcase your capabilities as well as describe what you have achieved in the past.

  1. Apply for unlisted jobs

Have you ever found ‘candy taster job’ advertisement? While everyone will fancy the idea of getting paid for tasting delicious candies every day, chances are, such job ads can be hardly found. If you want to land on cool and extra-ordinary job like this, you should start applying for unlisted jobs. Remember, not all type of jobs are publicly advertised. Hence, it is time to be proactive.

  1. Go blogging

If you think that writing a blog is a great way to pass time, then perhaps you should re-think the idea. Going blogging is not only a great way to invest your spare time, but also can help you connect with your future employer.

To keep engaged with the blog, you should write on something that you like. When you have set up a blog, avoid radio silent and keep it updated. You might never know who will show up with a prospective job offer.

  1. Make a video resume

Amidst the competition for job, a written resume is no longer enough. To get noticed by top organisations, you need to get creative. Creating a personalised video resume can help you realise this goal. You don’t have to make it complicated. Instead, you can create a brief but attractive video resume that enlists your key strengths and previous experiences.

  1. Volunteer yourself

Volunteering yourself to work for free on projects could be an unconventional approach that will help you to eventually land the job of your dreams. To prove yourself to potential employers, you can participate actively in voluntary or freelance project that is related to your field of expertise.

Don’t focus primarily on how to make money out of the job. Rather, you should focus on how the experience will enrich your soul. Not to mention, volunteering is an effective way to build networking.

Everyone else might have equal skills and qualifications that you possess. However, unless you have something distinctive to offer, sending out resumes and cover letters will not guarantee you your dream job. Therefore, a dash of creativity is the key to grab employer’s attention. Let your creativity shine and soon you will fetch a dream offer your way, by treading the unconventional route to success. Sometimes looking beyond is the key to tap into bright future prospects.

Next read: Tips to Transform Your Hobbies to a Winning Career for Life

‘Tell me about yourself. What brings you here?’ When you hear this question during a job interview, do you think your interviewer wants to know everything about you? If you presume this, then you are wrong. Take it easy! This question is not a cue for you to babble non-stop for minutes.

No matter how many times you are invited for job interviews, each session always comes as a surprise and a daunting experience for most people. Some of the most common symptoms of interview stress include sweaty palms, dry throat, nausea, pounding heart, and even trembling hands. However, interview anxiety might affect differently to different people.

When they are nervous, some people can be extremely shy to find difficulty in arranging their words and answering to questions. On the other hand, some people become very talk-active when they are tensed, to end up talking too much.

Neither being overly shy or talkative is good for your image during an interview. When you close yourself, the interviewer will not gain much information from you. However on the contrary, if you showcase your gift of gab way too much, you might lose out on the opportunity to land a dream job too. Some job seekers are screwing up on interviews because they don’t know how and when to stop talking. The moment they open their mouth, they keep going on endless and revealing too much information (even the irrelevant ones) until the interviewer is finally bored.

Here are some things you can do when you find yourself going garrulous during job interview:

Ask for clarification. Sometimes, job seekers end up talking way too much because they do not understand the question in the first place. There might be ambiguous and unclear questions that could leave you puzzled on mind. If you face a similar situation during the job interview and are not sure of what is expected in response, don’t be afraid to seek clarification from the interviewer. Don’t assume and respond. Only when you understand what the real question is, can you provide better answers.

Ask the interviewer. The question is thrown and you have given your answer accordingly. However, the interviewer says nothing and keeps staring at you. In such a scenario, you might think that they demanded some more information from you. Therefore, you start expanding and babbling. If this happens, don’t hesitate to ask the interviewer if they want further details. If they say your answer is not sufficient, explain the necessary details, concise and straight to the point.

Ask a question. Indeed, there are some questions that require long answers. Nonetheless, it is inevitable that sometimes interviewers are distracted and lose their focus. To avoid rambling too much without the interviewer’s attention, you should make sure that they stay engaged in the discussion. You can ask questions such as, ‘Do I make myself clear?’ or ‘Would you like some details?’ The purpose of such questions is to keep the interviewers alert with your answer.

You might think that a job interview is the perfect place where you can sell yourself to the future employer. However, it is important to make note of the fact that an interviewer is a human, only at the other side of the table.

As the old adage goes, ‘less is more’, and this is apt in case of interview scenarios. Rather than going on endlessly with irrelevant explanations, long and pointless mumble, it would be better if you could communicate your answer effectively in short, brief straight points.

As you are not the only one on the list of candidates to be interviewed for a potential job role, you should stay precise, control venting emotions and make sure to retain employer attention even post the interview rounds – to leave a positive impression on their minds.

Next read: Social Media Dos and Don’ts for Fresh Grads Looking for a Job

Are you active on social media platforms? How do you manage your social media accounts? How often do you monitor your postings and home page? When was the last time you updated your information? Chances are, most fresh graduates today have at least one social media account online.

Be careful on the path to harnessing social media reach and networking with new people. Use of social media has its share of downsides as well. Social media today, is no longer merely used to connect with the world at large. If you are not vigilant enough in filtering through your social media posts, it could perhaps cost you a missed job opportunity.

Candidate’s social media ‘cleanness’ increasingly becomes one of the major consideration for employers as well. Jobvite survey notes that 92 percent employers use social media as a part of their hiring strategy.

Based on the latest Careerbuilder survey in 2016, 60 percent employers use social networking sites to research whether the candidates are professionally fit for the job role or not. Meanwhile, previous Careerbuilder survey in 2013 found 43 percent hiring managers stated that they do not hire a candidate due to the information they found on the candidate’s social media account.

As pointed out by the survey, there are several social media channels that might cost your candidacy, such as provocative or inappropriate photos (50 percent), drinking or using drugs (48 percent), and bad-mouthed previous employer (33 percent).

On the other hand, social media might improve your candidacy as well, as long as you convey a professional image (57 percent), showcase good personality (50 percent), and demonstrate a wide range of interests (50 percent). If you are a fresh graduate seeking to improve employment opportunity during the job search, you should pay attention to these social media dos and don’ts:

Dos

Google your name. Type your name on the search engine and see what it gives you. If the results give you negative pieces of content that originate from social media accounts, you should trace down the roots and fix them right away. This way, you can keep your personal brand clean and appealing.

Be consistent. Consistency is crucial for your personal brand. Your online information on social media should be in line with the ones you write in your resume. So, you have to double check if you have provided consistent name, education, work experience, and other personal information.

Clean up your profile. Make sure that your profile picture represents your professional side, especially on LinkedIn. If you intend to create a good impression for future employers, you should change your physically-flaunting pictures with more proper and casual ones. Not only your current posts, should you also take down all tactless posts from the past.

Pay attention to details. Your friends or followers might not make a big deal when you mistakenly spell ‘your’ and ‘you’re’. However, your future employer will. Therefore, make sure that you pay attention to details and avoid ambiguity in your posts.

Be social. It is social media, after all. You should make your online presence counted by joining and actively participating in groups related to your fields of expertise. Interact with people from the same network, you will gain deeper insights about the professional world and perhaps even find a new job opportunity.

DON’T

Be offensive. Refrain your emotions from publishing offensive comments or status updates on your social media accounts. When you want to get ahead in your career, it is important to keep your professionalism by circumventing such profanity.

Complain about previous employers. Not only unethical, complaining and bad-mouthing your previous employers will only leave negative impression about you.

Spread negative issues. Hoax and provocative news are easily spread over the internet. Don’t sacrifice your integrity by sharing such news on your social media accounts. Before posting and sharing sensitive issues, do research to find out the truth first.

Post inappropriate photos and videos. Think twice before you post anything online. Because once posted, you never know the effects they could bring in the future. Hence, never post questionable photos and inappropriate videos that can ruin your credibility.

Tell lies. This might be obvious, but many fresh grads fall for this mistake nonetheless. While it is important to keep your profile attractive with relevant qualification mentions, do not over exaggerate your achievements as you will only end up telling lies.

When it comes to social media, there are always two sides to the same coin. While social media can help boost your employment opportunity, if you let your guard down, then social media could impact your personal branding to affect any incoming job offers in the near and long term as well.

Next read: Top 10 User-Friendly Job Search Apps Every Jobseeker Should Possess

Work-life balance seems to be one of the most popular buzzwords among HR leaders and employees alike. As the demands keep growing, employees are often required to sacrifice their personal lives to meet business goals. This condition leads to imbalance between professional and personal lives. And apparently, Singaporeans face similar issue.

Singapore, being one of the world’s leading economy, is known for its longest working hours in Southeast Asia. The latest report from Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) Labour Market Statistical Information in 2016 notes that an average Singaporean works 45.6 hours per week.

This figure is even higher than OECD’s (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) finding on global working hours. OECD report in 2016 finds that Mexico holds the longest working hours among other surveyed countries, with ‘only’ 42.8 hours per week, followed by Costa Rica and South Korea.

Singapore government through MOM has advocated a policy to limit the long working hours to 44 hours per week. One of the primary reasons is to achieve work-life balance and create better working culture. However, given the latest stats showing exceeding number of working hours than the ministry’s initial recommendation, it seems that work-life balance is a need of the hour among Singaporean workers.

In 2016, Randstad Award survey reveals 47 percent Singaporean workers continue to work more than stipulated working hours. When we breakdown the percentage, the overtime workers consist of 52 percent men and 41 percent women.

However, employers are not the only ones to be blamed for the difficult realisation of work-life balance in Singapore. Employees are actually fully aware of the consequences of this long working hours. The survey notes that despite heavy work schedules, only 7 percent respondents state they would prefer to work less and 47 percent respondents seem to be contented with their current schedule.

So the question remains: What makes Singaporeans willing to work overtime?

Randstad reveals that the prospect of earning more is the key motivator, with 80 percent respondents stating that money is the major factor. The other factors, why Singaporeans choose working more than spending time at home are career progression and promotion (41 percent) as well as personal development (33 percent).

Interestingly, the same survey also highlights that work-life balance is actually gaining more attention among Singaporean workers. While salary and benefits remain the first factor for choosing an employer, work-life balance takes the second place of most important consideration before Singaporean accepts a job offer. In 2012, only 32 percent respondents see the importance of work-life balance. However, the percentage keeps increasing each year, as in 2016 it becomes 52 percent.

These statistics indicate that while the concept of work-life balance is popular among Singaporeans, it is less put to practice by Gen X, Y and Baby boomers who choose to work overtime. However Millennials in particular prioritise work-life balance, with 71 percent respondents showing strong preference to work more flexibly.

This phenomenon makes Singapore case interesting. While they want to keep their professional and personal lives healthy, they are willing to work more for better income and career progression.

To overcome this issue, the Singapore government has fostered the significance of work-life balance through several policies. Besides working hour limitations, MOM has also launched Strategies for work-life harmony which includes flexible work arrangements, leave schemes, and employee support schemes.

Next read: Happiness at Work. Pleasure or Fulfilment?

‘If you find your favourite hobby, turn it into a job and then you will never work again.’ Hayley Jones

What makes you accept your current job? Is it owing to your background education, good pay check, the company’s future prospect, the prestige, or your passion and hobby? Having passion towards what you do for a living is the key to happiness and fun working experience. Some people tend to see their work-life and hobbies as two different things. But what if you could actually transform your hobbies, bring in an element of more enthusiasm to create a winning-career for life? Sounds exciting? So is it achievable too.

The best job is done when you are having fun working on the project and it brings in an element of added joy while endowing you with a purpose for life. When people enjoy what they do for a living, they tend to give better performance and make the best of it.

Feeling committed to their job, they gain higher accomplishment compared to those who are not motivated towards their work. No wonder that in today’s rapidly-competitive world, more people are deciding to pursue a career by working for jobs they love, and in turn create a money-making machine.

Do you aspire  to join the bandwagon of these successful entrepreneurs who have transformed their hobbies into billion-dollar ventures today? Then, here are some tips that could guide you on your journey to turn your passion into a living:

  1.       Think out of the box

If you want to transform your hobbies to a winning career for life, you cannot be just mediocre hobbyist. You should dig deeper to develop upon your hobbies and make sure to master necessary knowledge related to it.

When you possess all of them, you should elevate your way of thinking to keep innovating and create something different. For example, if cooking is your hobby and you want to monetise upon the art and skill, you cannot just rely on available cake and cookie recipes already tried by consumers in the market today. You need to be innovative and creative to think out of the box to offer something new. To draw people’s interest to your brand, you have to come up with your own original recipe.

  1.       Get ready, stay focused

While you might be proud of your photography style as a part-time hobby. But if you have decided to turn the love for photography into a full-time business, then you need to distinguish your photography style by exploring insights into the industry and offer something new. You should be ready to give it your all and start right from the bottom. Success takes time and is a long process. It does not matter if you were a respected manager in your previous company. If you have decided to build on your own business, you should come to terms with the fact that every beginning starts with a scratch.

  1.       Be open-minded

None might criticise your hobby since most know it’s not a career for life. However when you convert your hobbies into real-business, then you have to allow opening up your mental horizons to garner new insights, thoughts, ideas, and even criticisms from others.

Before pushing your products into the market, it is important to ask for continuous feedback and suggestion from your family, friends, or relatives so you can improve better.

  1.       Don’t give up too soon

The process of transforming your hobby into a profit-making enterprise is not easy. Therefore, hardwork and persistence are the keywords you should stick by, if you want your business to succeed in the longer run.

You might need to sacrifice your sleeping hours or miss out on the latest TV show, when you are working on your projects. But, as long as you keep the enthusiasm high, your hard work will pay off towards the end of the day.

  1.       Keep it simple

Yes, you need to keep innovating your products or services. Yet, you should bear in mind that simplicity is the best policy. Do not make things complicated, or else you will not be able to communicate your brand to the potential customers.

Start your business with something simple that people can associate with in their daily life, to attract your targeted clients. Make sure to always stick to your main goals and success is only a byproduct of persistent hard work.

Be it gardening, cooking, sewing, writing stories, painting, or singing, there is always a way to transform hobbies into meaningful careers. All you have to do is step up and rise to the challenges on your entrepreneurship journey and get ready for the thrill it brings.

Next read: Happiness at Work. Pleasure or Fulfilment?