10 years ago is such a long time. I was still the carefree single social butterfly who is always buried under a pile of work. I work hard, I play hard.

If you had told me that 10 years later, I’ll be a work-from-home mommy, I probably laugh in your face. 10 years later plenty in my life has changed, so have the working environment you are in. Unless you have been living under a rock (I’ll say lucky you!), you will be impacted by these changes. Let’s have a walk in the past, shall we?

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Diversify Culture

I really love this change. The first time I walked into a multinational company and opened my eyes to the diversity of different races and cultures. Previously, I worked in smaller local companies where the only foreigners are probably Malaysians, Filipinos and Chinese from China. I love it that I had an Australian as a boss, a Korean as a working buddy and an Austrian as lunch buddy. I enjoyed brainstorming with an American, argued with a French and gossiped with a Japanese. I learned so much to tolerate and to respect each culture and boundaries.

Freelancers & Contractors

They have been around for years but until the appearance of millennials, doing freelancing is always considered as a past time or part time job, nothing as serious as taking freelancing as a career. In fact, most recruiters won’t even recognize freelancing as a part of your career history in your resume! Nowadays, when you tell people you are a freelancer, they tend to be in awe. Not as in as prestigious as a surgeon or a lawyer. But freelancing is a step away from being an entrepreneur.

Less Travel More Technology

This year is all about saving Gaia and one way is to travel less. With advanced technology nowadays, business trips are cut into half. Even Skype has improved their streaming connectivity and clarity to allow realistic video conferencing between two country sites. Nowadays, with iPhones, you don’t even have to flip open your laptop but to video conference from your phone and even in bed!

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Blurred Lines Between Working Hours

With technology, comes blurred working hours. If you have a sensitive manager who respects your personal hours as private, good for you. I lost count how many times I was woken up from bed in the middle of Saturday nights by a panicked colleague, an overanxious boss and a demanding client. Usually the latter. If I have every penny for those times I was disturbed outside my working hours, I’ll be thrice a millionaire.

Flexi-working Arrangements

This, of course also means companies are able to allow flexi-working arrangements such as working from home granted to certain roles that don’t require to be tied to their desks. Great news for those who are parents or have aged elders at home. Having those responsibilities can be burdening to those who are in fixed working hours.

Yes Man Are Less Popular

Long gone are those yes men, or so we wish. They are still around but bosses who love those yes men are shrinking by the hour. Now if you stood your ground with solid facts and argue your way through to the top, you are respected for having a strong opinion. If it was 10 years ago, you probably get the boot.

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EQ Is Equally Important Than IQ

EQ is much more valued than yesteryears. What’s the point of having a brilliant idea when you can’t present it eloquently to your investors? And what is the point of staging a grand presentation when you can’t lure the investors to come? And what investors if you don’t know anyone? As you know, the department’s that brings in the money speaks the loudest, hence both sales and research are equally important for a growth of a company.

Wants More Than Just Qualifications

Heard of tough Google interview questions? You are not alone. Most of those questions are to test your personality, your logical thinking skills and your endurance. No longer hiring managers are just relying on qualifications alone to give you the job. In fact, when I was a hiring manager, I value on site interview attitude much more than the impressive words on paper.

Organizations like Shell, Airbus and Boeing even have psychological analysts in the room to silently evaluate you.

No More Iron Ricebowl

I am not sure about other countries but in Singapore, when you have a government job, you are more or less guaranteed a salaried job for life until you retired. These days, there is no such luxury where a job is for life. In fact, if you do…..read below.

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5 Years Are A Century

If you are holding the same role for more than 5 years, you are ancient. Be sure to check if you are not missing out on any promotions or upgrading opportunities. It is not surprising to be in the same company for 10 years but you need to evolve from position to position, in order to diversify yourself and keep growing. Otherwise, like technology, you are easily replaceable with a younger and better model.

I embrace rather than reject or avoid the changes. This attitude allows me to focus on the bigger pictures and not harping on change adjustments. Change is inevitable, it is you who decide whether the transition of change going to be easy and smooth or difficult and a struggle.

How did you deal with change? Did you struggle with it or you love the challenge? Come and share your experiences with us in the comments below.


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10 replies on “10 Things That The Workforce Changed 10 Years Ago

  1. Great articles again this week, dear Kally. Impressed with your ‘juggling’ skills (baby, husband, work, social life, etc.) Enjoy your weekend! Big hug and XxX
    ps: did you get my email plus article?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Patty!!! I gotten your email, sorry I hadn’t reply yet as I flew into Singapore from Kuala Lumpur today. I’ll reply you pretty soon and yes, I love your article and yes, I’ll feature it. Xoxoxoxo. Big hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting. Ha, makes me realize how old I am! I can’t keep up with the technology changes every six months to a year. I had no idea the current job market was the same way. People used to stay at job until they retired. Thanks for sharing, Kally 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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