Online MBA Event / MBA Fair – All You Need to Know

MBA Event

We have been asked to share news of this MBA event and, because it is relevant to career development, we are doing so. The difference in this year’s event is that it is entirely online.

Discover a world of MBA opportunities online with Access MBA

Are you looking for the best way to grow your career as a business leader?

This online event gives you the opportunity to explore MBA programs from wherever you are located around the world.

Get ready to meet leading international business schools online and have all your questions about your MBA journey answered on the go.

What to expect from this online event?

  • Receive a personalized profile evaluation by our expert MBA consultants
  • Meet with the admissions directors of prestigious business schools in real time
  • Access scholarships from over EUR 3 million in MBA funding opportunities

What makes the MBA degree valuable?

The MBA study format is designed for business leaders who are ready to develop their international managerial career or wish to move to a different industry. Employers value the business fundamentals, problem solving mindset, and adaptiveness that MBA participants acquire by the time they graduate.

Take the first step by discussing your preferences for business schools and programs directly with admissions directors.

The Access MBA online events are free of charge, but meeting slots are limited.

Get started and sign up today à https://www.accessmba.com/link/FHu

Managing or Planning Your Career 1: Become known as good performer

To be considered as an excellent performer

When people start thinking about their career and how to improve it, they usually think about future jobs or the next promotion. While it is good to be future-focused and to have an idea of what should come next in their career, the actual starting point for managing one’s career is one’s current job. To stand a good chance of promotion in one’s present company or to obtain a more senior position elsewhere, it is essential to become known as an above-average performer.

But what does this actually entail? How does one move from being considered as “an ok worker” or one of the general group of workers who are deemed as ‘average performers’, to being perceived as ‘above average’ or an excellent performer?

Here are some approaches to improving your work performance reputation:

List out the key requirements for doing your job well. To find these requirements, dig out the job description and/or person specification for your position. You probably had a copy of these when you applied for the job. If you can’t find it, ask your boss or the HR department for a copy. Sometimes you won’t be able to obtain a copy of these as they simply might not exist! If that is the case, don’t despair – it’s not difficult to create them yourself!

Do a Google search for three to five advertisements for the type of job you do – it doesn’t matter if the ads are a few years old. From these advertisements, what skills, qualifications and experience are commonly required? These will be most of the key requirements for doing your job well. To these, you may need to add one or two requirements that are specific to your particular employment.

Rate yourself honestly against this list of key requirements – do you possess them all? If something is missing, plan how you are going to obtain it.

Next, clarify the KPI’s (key performance indicators) for your particular job and for your section or department. As “what is measured, gets done” is a quote that applies to nearly all organisations and sections within them, it is probable that your department is meeting its KPI’s. But what can you do to improve this performance either for yourself and for the department? If you can identify this and do something positive about it, you will be known as a good performer.

However, you need to go further. Ask your boss for a meeting about improving your performance. Ask him or her what factors exactly are you being assessed on – these may be your specific KPI’s, but there may be other aspects you haven’t thought about. These factors you need to focus on in future.

In this meeting, tell your boss you want to perform excellently within the next quarter, or half-year, or annual appraisal period, and ask what you need to do to be considered as an excellent performer. Write down whatever they say and later send them an email asking if your list is correct – this way you have an agreed record of the discussion.

Now, between the key requirements to do the job well, the KPI’s for yourself and the department, and, more importantly, your boss’s judgement about how to perform excellently, you have a list of what you need to focus on. So pay attention to these factors above everything else, and before long, you will be considered as an excellent worker!

Outplacement Support with a Difference

Outplacement Support with a Difference

A previous post on ‘’Ethical Outplacement or Retrenchment’’ on this site introduced and discussed Outplacement Support services in more general terms. This post focused on the benefits of such programmes to both retrenched employees and to employers. Since then I have been asked many times to elaborate on what’s involved in outplacement support, and particularly about the Career Choice and Planning programme.

Sandbox Advisors offers two complementary outplacement programmes: The Transition and Job Search programme which is the basic component of any outplacement service, and the Career Choice and Planning programme which provides greater support to the employee and facilitates reputation or brand maintenance for the employer.  

Career Choice and Planning Programme

A frequent reason for retrenchment is that a particular function (e.g. finance or IT support) is being outsourced to a third-party provider in a lower-cost country such as Malaysia, India, or The Philippines. Usually this follows an industry pattern, so as one company outsources a function overseas, so do others. The knock-on effect of this is that jobs in that function are in decreasing supply and increasing demand, so employees in these positions are going to find it harder and harder to find a similar job. The career choice and planning part of outplacement support helps retrenched employees look wider and beyond their previous role to find jobs or careers that they will find satisfying and fulfilling. It turns the traumatic experience of retrenchment into one of opportunity – indeed, many people look back on the experience as liberating, life changing, and the motivation they needed to move from a mundane job to a fulfilling career.

The career choice and planning module helps individuals plan their next move properly. Individuals are guided through a systematic process to get a detailed picture of their characteristics and preferences that should be taken into account for their next career move. These include:

•    Strongest life / career aspirations

•    Personality type and traits

•    Strong interests

  • Skills and strengths

•    Knowledge / motivation

•    Work values

•    Work environment preferences

•    Goals and constraints.

Psychometric inventories are used to help people identify careers and jobs that are firstly suited to their personality type, and secondly, to their core or strongest interests. Other assessments and exercises identify their skills and strengths (strengths being those skills that people are both good at and enjoy doing) and their work values. Participants then have four separate perspectives on finding a career direction that will be personally fulfilling and satisfying, and ones that they are likely to perform well in.

Obviously, this is far different than the individual looking for a similar role to the one they have just been terminated from, and possibly a role that is no longer being offered by employers.

Ethical Outplacement or Retrenchment

Outplacement Support

Outplacement / retrenchment is a stressful time for both those losing their jobs and those involved in administering the process such as HR staff and managers. Employers are obliged to make the process as dignified and respectful as possible, and to do so sensitively and fairly. The Tripartite Advisory on Managing Excess Manpower and Responsible Retrenchment (from the Ministry of Manpower – updated March 2020) elaborates on how companies should do this. In particular, MoM stresses that employers should assist those being retrenched in finding an alternative job and recommends the provision of outplacement assistance programmes or outplacement support services.

Outplacement support provides benefits to both the affected employees and to the employer.

For the displaced employees, outplacement support reduces the stress and anxiety the situation causes, and helps them maintain a positive outlook. Frequently the support provided reframes the awfulness of the situation into one of opportunity for the employees. Most importantly, outplacement support makes their job search more efficient and effective, and reduces the timeframe in finding another suitable position.

For the employer, the benefits of providing outplacement support to retrenched employees includes reducing the inevitable impact on the organisation’s reputation and brand, and helps preserve the goodwill of terminated employees. It also helps improve the morale, motivation, and productivity of remaining employees, and makes the firing process somewhat easier for managers and HR staff involved.

Outplacement support should be provided as soon as possible, preferably the same day that affected employees are notified. There are two benefits to this: Firstly, it provides immediate emotional support to those being retrenched, and secondly, it facilitates them in starting their job search immediately and in a planned way. The job search strategy part of the outplacement support will ensure that the affected employees avoid the many mistakes that job hunters are prone to.

Outplacement support has four main components. Firstly, as mentioned above, it is essential that each retrenched employee has a personal job search strategy that utilises the three approaches to finding jobs. This is the primary focus of outplacement support.

Secondly, the retrenched employee needs an impactful resume that will be noticed by those hiring managers it is sent to. An impactful and focused resume secures an interview. Thirdly, the retrenched employees as job applicants need to know how to convert job interviews into job offers. Most outplacement support services provide these three components. The fourth component is career choice and planning which gets the retrenched employee to look wider than their previous job. If one company is reducing its headcount in a particular function, it is probable that other companies may be doing so either now or in the not-so-distant future. It is therefore advisable for people to look at other jobs that they may be suitable for. This career choice process also helps individuals identify and compile their skills, strengths and work values – all of which supports their overall job search process.

Job Searching during the Pandemic Lockdown

Job Search

The COVID19 pandemic has led to an economic slowdown and the closure, hopefully temporarily, of many businesses. Numerous people have entered an already flat labour market and are seeking either permanent or temporary jobs. One area to focus on for the latter are where extra people are needed in coping with the effects of the pandemic, areas such as delivery drivers for the increased demand for food and other commodities, temperature screening, stocking supermarket shelfs, ancillary health services assistants, etc. Search these out.

Otherwise, use the extra available time to reflect on your future career. What is it that you want to work at for the immediate foreseeable future? What type of job(s) or career would you be passionate about? What type of job(s) or career will bring you job satisfaction and fulfilment, and therefore will perform well in? You may as well use this downtime to decide on a job that will make you happy!

Then have an honest look at your resume and at your skills-set. Take the time to upgrade your resume and have a separate version focused on the different type of jobs you are interested in. A generic resume rarely gets past the screening process, so work out what the key requirements are for each position you are interested in and make sure those keywords are prominent in the first half of the first page of your resume.

You should also do this for your LinkedIn profile – though your LinkedIn profile needs to be aimed at a wider audience than any of the versions of your resume. Google how to improve your LinkedIn profile and update it.

In relation to your skills, list ALL of the skills you have (those developed outside of work as well). Go through this list and mark those that you are good at. Then, from your list of skills that you are good at, mark those that you enjoy doing. These are your strengths – the skills that you are both good at and enjoy doing.

It is an interesting exercise to reflect on your strengths and see if there is a job that would facilitate you using as many of these as possible. When you work using your strengths, you not only perform well, but your job energises you and you feel satisfied and fulfilled.

Also, from your strengths list – using the words and phrases you used to describe your strengths, write a paragraph about yourself – this is a Strengths Profile. Incorporating this into both your resume’s ”Summary” or ”Professional Profile” and into the ”About” section of your LinkedIn profile will really add impact to both.

Then do a gap analysis between what you currently have in terms of QSE’s (qualifications, skills and experience) and those required for your target jobs. Identify those QSE’s you need to acquire or need to improve or update, and take action to do so!

Taking these steps now will leave you well placed when the labour market begins to recover.

Meet ONLINE some of the world’s best business schools on April 9

MBA Online

Do you have the drive to excel in business?

Seize the opportunity to meet online some of the world’s top business schools. Meet admissions professionals and find the programme that is best suited to take your career to the next level.

Why is an MBA worth it?

The MBA is a game-changing qualification. It will not only help you master core business principles with both breadth and depth, but also nurture the soft skills that are in high demand by employers today. The MBA is designed to equip you with the tools necessary for business leaders in a competitive, global business world.

Event highlights

Explore some of the top business schools globally from the comfort of your home – INSEAD, ESSEC Asia-Pacific, HULT, IE Business School, Singapore Management University, Suffolk University and more.

Talk about your aspirations with MBA Admissions Directors

A chance to win a free visit to a business school of your choice

Access MBA Online One-to-One event is free of charge, but meeting slots are limited and early registration is recommended. Sign up today on https://www.accessmba.com/link/Egf

Meet some of the world’s best business schools in Singapore on April 9

MBA Fair

Do you have the drive to excel in business?

Seize the opportunity to meet some of the world’s top business schools in Singapore. Meet admissions professionals in person and find the programme that is best suited to take your career to the next level.

Why is an MBA worth it?

The MBA is a game-changing qualification. It will not only help you master core business principles with both breadth and depth, but also nurture the soft skills that are in high demand by employers today. The MBA is designed to equip you with the tools necessary for business leaders in a competitive, global business world.

Start your journey to finding the right MBA programme by discussing your preferences and ambitions in person with admissions directors!

Event highlights

  • Explore some of the top business schools globally – ESSEC Asia-Pacific, HULT, IE Business School, Singapore Management University, Suffolk University and more.
  • Talk about your aspirations with MBA Admissions Directors
  • School panel discussions and workshops
  • A chance to win a free visit to a business school of your choice

Access MBA One-to-One is free of charge, but meeting slots are limited and early registration is recommended. Sign up today on https://www.accessmba.com/link/Egf

The New Year is a good time to review your career

The lunar new year is a good time to take stock of your career and develop some plans for it. This is particularly important if you feel in any way that your job is not a good “fit” for you, or that you have little or no passion for it, or you no longer experience any challenges in it. Even if everything seems to be ok with your current job, your career will still benefit from an occasional stock-take.

Most people unfortunately do not have a career plan – instead they ‘drift’ from job opportunity to job opportunity, and while this can work out alright a lot of the time, they miss out on obtaining the jobs and positions that would give them more satisfaction and fulfilment. To ensure happiness and fulfilment in your career, you need to take control of its direction.

If you don’t already know the type of work, responsibilities and environment that will be most satisfying for you, you should talk to a career coach who will assist you in identifying these [see articles on this site in relation to finding career direction] – this issue is beyond the scope of this article.

If you think that you are in the right career for you, and even the right job, taking stock of where you are and developing a plan for where you want your career to head in the next five or so years will be invigorating.  Here is what you can do.

Revisit your job description and determine if you are currently carrying out all the tasks and responsibilities detailed in it. If not, should you be? If doing more, then you have a case for a salary increase or a promotion. From the person specification, have you got all of the main and desirable requirements to do the job excellently? If not, the deficiencies are the basis of your career development plan and you should talk to your boss about how you can obtain the skills and/or experience needed.

Before seeking promotion, you should ensure that you are currently carrying out your job in an excellent manner.

Then you should look to the future. Where do you want to be in your career in five years’ time? Is that position just one step above your current one? If not, you need to identify a position (or positions) that would be a stepping-stone to it. Identify the requirements in terms of qualifications, skills and experience needed to be eligible for your desired position(s). Again, the gap between your current qualifications, skills and experience, and those required for your next position, form the basis of your development plan. At your next performance appraisal, the gaps you identify for both your current and next position jobs are what you tell your manager you need to develop over the next couple of years.

This exercise will give your career direction and a development plan. Have a great new year!

Access MBA Fair 2019

singapore job market hiring 3q 2017

As this MBA Fair is relevant to many of our readers, we agreed to announce it on our website. The following is from the organisers of the event:

“Join the Access MBA Tour and connect One-to-One with world’s best business schools. Find your MBA match with the help of our international team of business education experts.

Hold personal meetings with Admissions Directors from prestigious MBA programmes, get advice from our MBA consultants and GMAT instructors, and learn about 2 million euros in scholarship opportunities.

Some of the participating schools: INSEAD, IE Business School, ESSEC Business School, Strathclyde MBA – UAE, Singapore Management University, Duke University – The Fuqua School of Business and many others!”

Date: Tuesday, 17th September, 2019

Time: From 5:00pm to 10:00pm (upon invitation)

Place: Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands

Address: 10 Bayfront Avenue, Metro Station: Bayfront

Register today onhttps://www.accessmba.com/link/CeJ

Access MBA Fair 2019

As this MBA Fair is relevant to many of our readers, we agreed to announce it on our website. The following is from the organisers of the event:

“Join the Access MBA Tour and connect One-to-One with world’s best business schools. Find your MBA match with the help of our international team of business education experts.

Hold personal meetings with Admissions Directors from prestigious MBA programmes, get advice from our MBA consultants and GMAT instructors, and learn about 2 million euros in scholarship opportunities.

Some of the participating schools: INSEAD, IE Business School, ESSEC Business School, Strathclyde MBA – UAE, Singapore Management University, Duke University – The Fuqua School of Business and many others!”

Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Time: From 5:00pm to 10:00pm (upon invitation)

Place: Sands Expo and Convention Center, Marina Bay Sands

Address: 10 Bayfront Avenue, Metro Station: Bayfront

 Register today on: https://www.accessmba.com/link/CeJ

Changes to Singapore Employment and Work Pass Fees in 2019

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in Singapore has released details of increases to the administrative fees associated with the full range of employment / work related passes. The fee increases come into effect from the 1st April, 2019.

The old and new fees are:

Employment Pass:

Current fees: Application: S$70; Issuance / renewal: S$150.

Future fees: Application: S$105; Issuance / renewal: S$225.

S Pass:

Current fees: Application: S$60; Issuance / renewal: S$80.

Future fees: Application: S$75; Issuance / renewal: S$100.

Work Permit

Current fees: Application: S$30; Issuance / renewal: S$30.

Future fees: Application: S$35; Issuance / renewal: S$35.

Personalised Employment Pass:

Current fees: Application: S$70; Issuance / renewal: S$150.

Future fees: Application: S$105; Issuance / renewal: S$225

EntrePass

Current fees: Application: S$70; Issuance / renewal: S$150.

Future fees: Application: S$105; Issuance / renewal: S$225

Training Employment Pass

Current fees: Application: S$70; Issuance / renewal: S$150.

Future fees: Application: S$105; Issuance / renewal: S$225.

Dependant’s Pass

Current fees: Application: S$60; Issuance / renewal: S$150.

Future fees: Application: S$105; Issuance / renewal: S$225.

The full list of changes can be found on the Ministry of Manpower’s website at:   https://www.mom.gov.sg/~/media/mom/documents/work-passes-and-permits/work-pass-admin-fees-adjustments-2019.pdf?la=en

The Challenge for Workers Over 50

Harder to secure a new job

In general, the average time to find a new job in Singapore is three months – unless you are over fifty years of age that is, then it takes a lot longer. At 50 years old and above, there are fewer calls for interview per number of resumes submitted, and the interviews they do get are more focused on what they don’t have rather than what they can do. Frequently too the salary on offer is closer to that early career candidates with little experience could expect. When employers state that they ‘value’ the experience of older workers, often they don’t mean a monetary value!

A greater danger of retrenchment

Older workers generally earn a higher salary than younger people not only because of their experience, but because they have simply been in that company or that position for a longer time. They have received more increments over time and thus receive a higher salary. While this is generally good for the older worker, it unfortunately is a threat to their career. When companies plan to downsize, especially when they do so to reduce costs or to “protect future profitability”, those in greatest danger of retrenchment are the older workers on higher salaries.

While these challenges and threats definitely exist for older workers, all is not doom and gloom! With a little planning, there are actions that older workers can take to make their job search easier or reduce the likelihood of being selected for ‘outplacement’ – a sanitised way of talking about retrenching workers!

Staying up-to-date

Many older workers are perceived to be out-of-date in regards to the latest technologies and methods. In some cases this is true where especially new technology has surpassed their once prized expertise. Sometimes the new technology itself replaces an older worker’s job, but more often, because they are so busy doing their job as they always have, they haven’t managed to stay up-to-date with new ways of working that seemed to have crept in unnoticed.

All workers, irrespective of their job, career, profession or industry, and especially those in their 40’s and 50’s, need to ensure that they stay abreast of developments in their field. Read relevant trade magazines, either hard-copy or online; follow LinkedIn groups pertinent to your job area and industry; attend appropriate trade shows or conferences; and above all, make sure you attend up-skilling training workshops provided by your employer or outside bodies.

Staying up-to-date reduces your chances of being made redundant, and for job seekers, being up-to-date shortens the time it takes to find a new job.

Show them what you’ve got!

The catchphrase in job hunting is that a focused resume gets you an interview, and an effective interview gets you the job! This is especially important for older workers. A generic resume is unlikely to get anyone an interview – resumes must be focused and impactful to be effective. Older workers who are seeking a new job must ensure that their resume is focused on the main requirements of the specific job they are chasing.

Bear in mind that a resume is not simply about you, it is about what you can do for a particular employer. This is a different mindset than writing about yourself in your resume – what you need to write about is what you can do for that employer. Research the requirements for the job and make it abundantly clear that you have the experience and skills needed to that job excellently. And at interview, you must be proactive in demonstrating that you meet the main requirements and show how your greater experience adds value.

When in a job, make sure you possess the current requirements of the job to reduce the chance of retrenchment

Older workers in a job also need to research the current key requirements for doing the job well – research these requirements as if you were about to apply for your own job – what would your employer look for in candidates if you job was vacant? Then map yourself against these requirements – any gaps are your urgent development requirements! Make sure to ‘plug these gaps’ by attending a relevant training course or getting the necessary experience.