2010

A Different Life With NTUC Income

By Farhan Shah

In the cutthroat world of business where the bottom line dominates the direction a company takes, NTUC Income is a peculiar anomaly. “We are social in purpose, commercial in approach. Our philosophy is to put people before profits,” Percy Chong shares.

Percy should know what he is talking about. After all, as Training Manager of Income Academy, Percy has helped an astounding number of people fulfil their hidden potential. “We value your human potential. You are not just a statistic in NTUC Income,” the 38-year-old stresses.

This credo is diligently followed in the organisation. All fresh recruits receive at least 95 days of training to prepare them for the rigours of their new career. Recognising the challenges of starting out fresh, NTUC Income has a host of schemes designed to help newbies tide through the first six months, such as educational allowance and the transition funding initiative.

Individualised Planning
NTUC Income employees are also given the freedom to pursue their own interests in the industry. “You can individualise your plan, develop your own set of directions on how you want to operate,” Percy muses. “Essentially, your career is a blank piece of paper for you to write on.”

This flexibility and independence afforded to the financial consultants allow them “an opportunity to lead the life they want.” In a world that is slowly embracing the benefits of work-life balance, NTUC Income has grabbed the initiative, to allow you to pursue your aspirations.

“For example, if you aspire to do mission work in Cambodia and still want a respectable income, this career gives you the chance to do just that,” Percy encourages. It is this corporate philosophy that has enabled NTUC Income to retain almost 80 percent of its workforce in an industry where the average turnover rate is an astonishingly high 50 percent.

“It’s not a dog-eat-dog world in here. The colleagues are the kind of warm and genuine people you will find in your own home.”

Key To Talent Attraction & Retention Revealed in National Research Study

What key attributes do you look for in your dream job?

Standard working hours, a good relationship with colleagues or a transparent organisation?

According to a recent study on talent attraction and retention – none of the above.

The top five attributes in the attraction of talent were ranked in order of importance by respondents as “opportunity for long term career progression”, “attractive overall compensation and benefit package”, “provide work life balance”, “opportunity to work in
different roles” and “training and development”.

When it came to the top five attributes in the retention of talent, respondents ranked
“attractive overall compensation and benefit package”, “opportunity for long-term career
progression”, “recognition and appreciation of employees' work”, “job security” and “provide work life balance” in order of importance.

The national research study, “A SNEF-StrategiCom Correlation Study In Branding of SMEs as Employers” was conducted by StrategiCom, a B2B branding specialist consulting firm. It was done in collaboration with the Singapore National Employers Federation.

5 Dynamic Thoughts to Engage Your Audience

One of the challenges most speakers would face is to engage the audience or get them involved. To have a non responsive crowd would not be a good thing. The speaker with all his enthusiasm and excitement pounces into action to inspire the audience to speak and has a mental timer inbuilt waiting to be triggered off. One of the many outcomes the speaker could face is not knowing when would be the appropriate or right time.

It would be too late and awkward to realize from the time the presenter asks for the crowd's participation and coming to the rude awakening that he is not getting the desired outcome. That would crush him or cause him to make further mistakes, creating a not so promising atmosphere and an uneventful presentation.

We can avoid these situations. Let me spark off some ideas that could alter the course of your presentation and making it not only interactive but interesting as well.

Build bridges
Some preparation that you could do is to make as many friends with the audience as possible. You could do it before your speech or during the speech complimenting your audience, possibly gaining some favour or eventually some fans. Just by making friends ensure you are not talking to a cold audience.

Observe bodies that speak
Look out for possible gestures and movements of your audience and pay closer attention to those who nod or smile and build on them. They are your anchors that illuminate your environment. They can possibly assist you in the interactive portion of your presentation.

Let’s have a toast as we celebrate JobsCentral/JobsFactory’s 10th year anniversary!

JobsFactory, together with sister company JobsCentral, celebrate our 10th year anniversary this year. Let us look back in time together and reminisce on how we grew from a 2-people strong team into one of the largest online job portals in Singapore!

JobsCentral and JobsFactory together is a rare local success story in the Internet business. We are proud to be 100% owned and managed by Singaporeans.

Our mission is to help jobseekers and students make better career and education decisions during each stage of their life. We have been fortunate to have grown the company over the past 10 years and currently we have about 2 million career seekers and 15,000 employers using our various media channels each year. Our channels comprise of job portals, scholarship portals, career magazines and large scale career fairs. When it comes to student recruitment services, we are the largest player via our BrightSparks and BrightMinds brands. JobsCentral currently operates in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

Ask any entrepreneur, and they will tell you that starting up a business is never easy. Let’s hear from our CEO, Lim Der Shing about his start-up story and plans for future growth.

Accountants need to be soft to be sharp

By Mark Billington, Regional Director, ICAEW South East Asia

Accountants might be focused on numbers but they should not neglect the importance of soft skills in today’s complex business environment. With Singapore embarking on a journey to develop the accountancy sector, the importance of non-hard skills have also recently been highlighted by Education Minister Ng Eng Hen.

Not only are soft skills increasingly sought after by employers and could help you climb the career ladder, it is also a requirement for efficient dealings with clients, customers, regulators, managers and other stakeholders.

Obviously, having a well-respected qualification, such as the ACA (Associate Chartered Accountant), is critical to build a successful career. However, that in itself might not be enough any more. If an employer has to decide between otherwise even candidates, demonstrating your softer skills might be the feather that tips the scales to your advantage.

Be Different, the American way

With a plethora of private institutions offering higher education in Singapore, selecting a suitable one in which to further your studies can be a daunting task. For Ismail Didih Ibrahim, however, the answer was simple.

By Tang Pin-Ji

Feeling that everyone else is getting “the same degrees”, the 25-year-old decided to break away from the mould and opt for the Center for American Education (CAE), where he is about to wrap up his two-year Associate of Arts degree programme with Broward College.

For the uninitiated, the Associate’s degree programme makes up the first two years of an American university education and comprises subjects from a diverse range of fields such as sciences, humanities and languages. With the Associate’s Degree, students can then spend their next two years on a Bachelor’s degree programme in a specialised field of their choice.

CMA: The Only MAD School in Asia!

If you need some help with chasing your dreams in the creative industry, CMA’s MAD formula – an integration of marketing, advertising and design concepts – may just be the perfect mix you are looking for!

By Becky Lo

The process of pursuing one’s ambition may not always be fast and straight-forward. Instead, it may be like what Gerry Seah has gone through – with several stops and detours, before you finally find the right direction to the desired destination.

Employer Branding: How Do Singapore SMEs Become Talent Magnets

By Charissa Lim, Consultant, StrategiCom

Employer Branding - An Introduction
As Jim Collins wrote in his best-seller “Good to Great”, “Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” The attraction of talent can be done through employer branding, which refers to “the attraction and retention of skilled personnel". The concept of Employer Branding is a fairly new one in Asia.

An employer brand is therefore defined as the image of the organisation as a ‘great place to work’, in the minds of existing and potential employees. Employer branding can also be perceived to be a talent magnet for companies to attract and retain the highest-calibre of employees.

TMC: A Name You Can Trust

With its established reputation and comprehensive syllabus, TMC trains its students for challenges in the real world.

By Becky Lo

Like many students who are furthering their studies in private education institutions, Dayalan Panneer Selvam’s main concern when choosing a school is the credibility of the academy and the recognition of its programmes.

Hence, when the 26-year-old first heard about TMC Academy, he researched on it and came away very impressed. “I have many friends who spoke well of TMC. They said that the teachers here are good and the school is also more reliable than others because it’s been around for very long,” Dayalan says.

Take a Break, Further Your Studies

After a few years of working, going back to school for postgraduate studies may be a daunting experience. However, with increasing competition in the marketplace today, it just might be the best option for you to keep up in the rat race.

By Becky Lo

A Bachelor’s degree is no longer enough for many professionals. They choose to pursue further studies for a whole plethora of reasons. Such studies range from studying for a Master's degree, a doctoral degree or other postgraduate qualifications such as graduate certificates and professional degrees. These students are usually called graduate students, also commonly known as postgraduate students.