These are the most difficult things a Singaporean employee has to learn

Learn. Unlearn. Relearn

Tan Xing Qi| Sponsored| Tsiuwen Yeo| July 04, 03:08 PM

The moment we receive our degrees and diplomas and enter the working world, we all realise one thing - Adulting is hard.

But it doesn’t have to be all that difficult to win at the game of life, all it takes is a shift in your attitude. We share how:

When you’re in your early 20s: How to successfully be a member of the working society


You’re fresh outta school and you’ve landed a good job. But while you’re doing what you’re passionate about, here’s the first thing you realise you didn’t learn in school: What are the unspoken rules? What are the new social norms?

You may also be very pek chek at this new term called red tape. And there is the constant need to seek approval before doing anything because your boss doesn’t trust you.

So what’s important here are soft skills to navigate the new world called “the office”. Being an effective listener and communicator is crucial to get your ideas across. If things like active listening, looking out for non-verbal cues, and goal-oriented questioning techniques are completely foreign concepts to you, you should consider picking up some communication skills by signing up for relevant courses.

When you’re in your 30s: Discover your strengths


Congrats, after too many late nights, you earned yourself a promotion. Which really means more responsibilities and work.

For many, you could be settling into a comfort zone, where you are so used to the job scope that you don’t find the need to learn new things and pick up new skills. In short, this might lull you into a sense of complacency.

Don’t fall into this rut. If you think you have maxed out what you can learn on the job, look for another skill to pick up. Have a talent for sales? Perhaps there might be gaps in your skill set to plug. How about polishing up your excel abilities and figuring out pivot charts? You could always scour online to find a complementary skill to help you out in your job.

The road ahead is long and you will never know when you will need a new skill or deeper expertise.

When you’re in your 30s: Staying hungry


Naturally, after more than a decade of the years of slogging, you might experience some burnout, which is perfectly normal.

However, note to self: don’t let the burnout burn your future. Why? Because you could easily be replaced by younger, more hardworking colleagues or even your hungrier peers.

This is where working smart beats working hard. Perhaps picking up a bit of meditation would give you that added edge and help focus your mind on the task at hand.

When you are in your 40s: Break out of your routine

Remember the movie “The Intern”?

Screenshot via

As you approach mid-life crisis territory, things can seem to be rather repetitive. You may even start to ask “Is that all there is to life?”

It is easy to lose sight of what you’re living for and lose motivation at work. But it doesn’t have to be like that.

It’s time to break out of that routine. You can start by doing something different every weekend, discover parts of Singapore that you’ve never seen before. There’s plenty to see.

With all that wealth of experience, perhaps it might be the best time to take on someone with potential under your wing. Transfer your skills and know-how to them.

Think about it, with a new padawan under your care means you’d be able to move on to the next level of challenges.

When you are in your 40s: Stay relevant


It’s easy to give this advice but we all know that it’s difficult to implement. How do we even stay relevant when we don’t know what are the jobs of the future?

But you are missing the point.

Instead of worrying what tomorrow will bring, it’s vital to continue the habit of learning, relearning and experimentation before the future arrives.

Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said that unemployment could rise in the future because of the lack of SKILLS and not jobs.

Because come to think about it, companies will always need workers but only those with the correct skills.

Now are you ready for that attitude shift?