5 Simple Tips From Successful S’poreans On How To Survive & Escape The Rat Race

In Singapore, life is very simple.

You study. Get a full-time job. Get a wife. Have two kids. Get rid of the kids as fast as possible. Get a dog. Continue working. Die.

You know, the Singaporean dream.

Image: lazada.sg

You work hard at your job and even harder at being a pseudo politician in the office.

Image: Imgflip

All for the sake of one dream: to be a successful person in life.

If you find yourself nodding along to whatever I’ve said, then you’re going to want to hear these 5 tips from people who’ve made it.

Todo Todo Skills Marketplace

Okay, before we get into the meaty details, what exactly is Todo Todo?

Todo Todo is a joint initiative by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and People
Association (PA) to bring together a network of the Labour Movement, businesses, grassroots and industry professionals for youth to better navigate their career journey.

Every year, they organise an exciting event called the Todo Todo Skills Marketplace at different parts of Singapore.

And at this event, they invite experts and speakers in to talk about the current industry landscape, give tips and advice on how to secure the job that you want and give you a chance to network with notable employers.

All you need to invest is your time.

Image: Memegen

Okay, back to the topic.

What it means to be successful vary from person to person.

But the principles behind achieving your version of success are pretty similar.

Here are 5 tips from successful people who were present at the event to share their thoughts and experience.

1. It’s All About Value

Image: thegympod.com

AI is taking over jobs. Many are worried and some say that you need to make sure your boss likes you more than your chio colleague to be successful. While others might not even know what they want to go into.

But Gerald thinks that’s the wrong way to go about doing things. What you really need to do is to figure out what you should do that will provide the most value to your customers, or your employer.

It doesn’t matter if your immediate supervisor likes you (okay, it’ll help, a little) because if you can provide value to them, they’ll like you already.

After all, who wouldn’t like a person who can help them achieve what they want?

So look at yourself and ask, what can I do that will increase my value to the company?

Then do them.

Do enough of them and you’ll find yourself rising up the ranks.

Which brings us to the next point.

2. Know Your Priorities

The key word here is time management or prioritising.

Typically, when you hear time management, you’ll be thinking of these four squares.

Image: coachcarson.com

But that’s overcomplicating things.

Gerald from The Gym Pod has a simpler way of looking at things.

What’s the most important thing he needs to do (value)? Then, he looks at his tasks and decides based on what will help him achieve his bottom line, and what doesn’t.

I’ll look at what needs to be done, then determine if each of them can move the needle. For me, it’s the revenue. So I’ll do things that will help bring in the revenue first while delegating or doing the rest later.

If the needle doesn’t move even if I put 110% into the task, I won’t do it.

So if you’ve completed step 1 (determining what brings you the most value), it’ll make it easier for you to decide what you need to work on.

Try it out for yourself. Who knows, you might just be looking at your own office in 2020.

3. You Need To Have The T-Factor

Wait, what’s the T-factor?

You’ve heard of X-Factor, but not T.

Dwen Hwee, HR Head of Singapore and Korea at Singapore at Tata Consultancy Services, said that companies or bosses today are no longer looking for someone who specialises in one thing.

Instead, they’re looking for someone who is a Jack-of-all-Trade and a semi-master of one at the same time.

Something like this.

You have a breadth of knowledge across different segments. And you have one speciality as well which can bring your company up to greater heights.

So if you don’t have the T-Factor yet, it might be time to start building it up, even if you’re already working or going to graduate soon.

Plus, would you really want to specialise in a certain programme or trade, given how technology and disruption are happening in a matter of years, if not months?

4. It’s All About The Mindset 

One thing that speaker, Isabelle Li, co-founder of ROCKSTAGVID, said which I’ll probably remember for life is this:

Your degree is an invitation to a company. A chance for you to meet your potential employers face to face.

But that’s all it is. Once you get into a job, your degree’s as useful as used toilet paper.

Because from that moment on, what’s going to matter most is your attitude.

Are you a “can do” person or a “can’t do” person?

One will allow you to do things that will bring value to yourself while the other will see you stuck to your comfort zone. Probably forever.

A lot of people stopped learning when they enter the workforce. They stopped pushing the boundaries, stopped taking the initiative to do things that might seem like it isn’t part of their job scope.

That’s a one-way street to the opposite of success.

CEOs read a couple of books every single week. The reason? To expand their minds and get new ideas for their businesses.

You might not be your own boss. You might be an employee or an unemployed individual down on his luck.

But no matter who you are, it is important to continue learning not just to boost up your self-esteem but to make yourself and your ideas even more valuable to the business.

5. Data Science Is The New Place To Be At

So far, we’ve been speaking about soft skills and mindset.

Which is all well and good, but some of you are here not just to hear the same old drivel you can get from YouTube.

What you want are real tips.

And that’s industry 4.0.

Everyone on the panel agreed that when it comes to the year 2020 and beyond, one of the areas which will definitely need talent is the data science sector.

They’ll be looking for data engineers, data analysts and more.

After all, every company in the world is coming around to the belief that data is the next big thing that’ll bring them to even greater heights.

Which means, more and more of these companies will be looking for talents in this industry to bolster their workforce.

I.e., more jobs for everyone in the field.

So if you’re unsure about where to go, this could just be the field for you.

In fact, it’s not just data science. The Singapore government is now going crazy over the buzzword, Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs).

Image: Slideshare

These maps are done up by experts and analysts who attempt (pretty accurately) to map out Industry 4.0 and identify the needs and demands in particular fields.

So if you’re interested in finding out the landscape of your field when you graduate, it might be useful to check them out.

Everybody Has Different Interpretation Of The Word “Success”

Okay, this wasn’t exactly said by the speakers but one that I inferred from the panel.

Everybody’s version of success will differ from each other.

While it’s good to find someone who inspires you, don’t make it into a competition you will be obsessed over.

Because if that was to happen, learning new stuff or achieving new goals will not be fun anymore.

Which might make you lose interest eventually.

So don’t compare how much that person earns or the fact that he has more cars because everybody’s version of success is different. What’s important isn’t beating others at the game.

It’s all about beating the old you at your own game.

So there you go, 5 actionable tips that can help you stay alive and stand out from the rat race.

Let us know if you’ve any other tips you’d want to share with our viewers.

For more information about Todo Todo, you can check them out here.

This article was first published on goodyfeed.com and written in collaboration with Todo Todo