For success, think like an entrepreneur

CAREER TIP: Mr Chan Ngee Key's advice: Be future-focused, employed-focused and pro-active.


    Nov 05, 2013

    For success, think like an entrepreneur

    WHEN taking charge of your career, it would be wise to think of yourself as an entrepreneur, even if you are not one.

    This is because the forward-thinking attitude and innovative mindset of an entrepreneur are essential in carving out an identity in today's workplace.

    "(Being an) entrepreneur is not just about starting a business. You may be in Microsoft, for example, but you must still think of crafting a good career development (plan) within the company," said principal trainer Chan Ngee Key.

    Mr Chan, the founder of training and coaching provider Springboard Talent, said having an entrepreneurial outlook helps an individual generate ideas which will gain him visibility with senior management.

    Speaking at a retirement-planning seminar organised by My Paper last month, Mr Chan said: "You have to take charge of your own career - (it's) not your boss or company's (responsibility)."

    Here are three principles he advocates:


    Have a vision and determine where you want to be in the company in three years' time, for example.

    Develop a personal identity and brand. Ask yourself: When you remove your company's name from your title, who are you and what skills do you possess?

    Stay connected within and outside the organisation.


    Take note of your ROI (Return on Investment) proposition. Beyond just delivering what your company pays you to do, be productive and take on more projects. This makes you indispensable.

    Adopt a life-long learning approach. Determine which skills are needed for you to get to the next level.

    Build up strong interpersonal relationships within the company.


    Inspire yourself. Do not rely on monetary awards to motivate you. Have a positive attitude after suffering a setback.

    Identify the training you need and ask your boss to send you for relevant courses. If your company does not want to foot the bill, treat it as a form of self-investment.

    Have work-life prioritisation. Decide whether your career or family is more important at this point of time in your life and make adjustments accordingly.

    Find someone more senior in your company to be a mentor. Ideally, this person should be able to guide and groom you, and also have influence over top management.