Be agile to make next leap in career



    Jan 12, 2016

    Be agile to make next leap in career

    THE year opened with negative news of tumbling stocks and falling fortunes.

    But do not let that get you down in career management.

    Be versatile. Be ready for anything. Reinvent yourself.

    These are the attributes of personal agility which are fundamental to career success, greater personal fulfilment and improved organisational achievements.

    One obvious way to personal agility is to reskill and upskill - take up courses to learn new things or to deepen your existing knowledge in an area of expertise.

    Take advantage of SkillsFuture Credit, for instance, which enables Singaporeans aged 25 and above to receive an initial credit of $500 for their training needs.

    There are some 10,000 courses to choose from and those who qualify can expect their account activation letters from this month.

    That said, what exactly is personal agility?

    It is the quality that enables you to be flexible and productive during times of flux and to expect and welcome each successive change as an opportunity to improve yourself and your organisation.

    Here are four actions to foster your capabilities for flexibility and versatility in the face of change.


    Reflect on times when change had positive results and apply what you learnt then to your current work situation.

    Prepare a list of the benefits that improved you and your organisation as a result of those changes.

    Be proactive and positive about engaging in the change process and network to obtain the facts and information you need to take advantage of the changes.



    Identify what you can control or influence. Focus your actions and energy on what you can control or influence and let go of the rest.

    Sort out the facts from the rumours to clarify how the change will affect you.

    Try to network with others who are moving forward and vow not to say "I cannot" - especially to yourself.


    Use your collective influential skills to drive the team and the organisation forward to accomplish goals. Identify potential obstacles and generate ideas to overcome them.

    Take calculated risks to move forward and be open to new ways of doing things to refocus your efforts.

    Aim for small, measurable steps and ask for help and resources to produce results.


    Watch for changing business factors that will affect your organisation, try to anticipate the next change and plan for future scenarios.

    Hone your ability to be nimble and maintain progress.

    Times of change can be daunting but they can often be rewarding as well, if you are agile enough to sort out what needs to be done to move forward.

    Watch your reactions that may be a stumbling block to your personal agility.

    They may include avoidance, resistance or unwillingness to refocus, all of which could prevent you from renewing yourself and your career.

    As you become more agile, check in with yourself and others to maintain momentum and to continuously improve your personal agility competencies.

    You will be on your way to managing your career more effectively and you will also be adding value in the face of what will certainly be more changes in the new world of work.

    This article is contributed by career consultancy Right Management and recruitment company ManpowerGroup Singapore.