The Perfect Storm

2020 marks the year of extreme disruptions.

The coronavirus pandemic locks down countries, dramatically curtails economic activities, and severely jeopardizes entire industries like tourism and airlines.

Most Western countries resort to unprecedented deficits to sustain the livelihood of their citizens, attempting to lessen the downward spiral of the economy.

It’s no longer a question of whether the global recession will happen, it’s how long it will last.

Geopolitics makes things worst. The tension between superpowers and the rise of protectionism undermines collective effort to tackle the virus and economic challenge.

Social unrest, be they inequalities, racism, or pro-democracy movements, intensifies…


Career under the 4th Industrial Revolution

A career is a series of jobs. According to a survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017, a person holds an average of 12 jobs between the ages of 18 and 50.

In the context of a career, a job is defined as a role of employment. Switching from a junior role to a senior role within the same company is a job change. Quitting a full-time job to work as a freelance contractor is also a job change.

Although most people acknowledge the likelihood of changing many jobs throughout their career, very few would plan…


Job searching can be a dreadful experience, especially if you are a fresh graduate, you want to switch field, or you just lost your job. It is difficult because most openings ask for specific skills and relevant experience that you don’t have. It makes you feel like you need to start all over again.

While it’s true that you’ll likely need to learn something new, there’s a much higher chance you can re-use and build on qualifications you already have.

To build compelling qualifications for a job, you need to first understand the characteristics and nature of different types of…


If you want a successful career in the 4th Industrial Revolution

Why You Need A New Approach To Learn

Most people relate learning to education, and that a strong educational background is a precursor to a successful career.

Yet many of the world-changing leaders like Steve Jobs (Apple), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Travis Kalanick (Uber) are university dropouts.

The explanation is simple — college education only provides the foundation to learn. Learning of crucial career-enhancing skills starts after graduation.

The World Economic Forum: The Future of Jobs 2018 report provides several compelling observations:

  • If you start university education now, you will not learn more than…


How often does a brilliant idea spring to your mind and what do you do with it?

Those who’re biased towards actions would jump on it while others would probably mull on it for a while before archiving it.

At the extreme, this might cause undue distraction or missed opportunities.

A more balanced way to determine your next step is to examine the idea with questions from a wide range of angles.

The following would be good ones to start with:

  1. Is it something you’re passionate about?
  2. What outcome do you want to see after you’ve accomplished it (other than…


Leadership is probably the most talked and written about topic in career development. It’s rated as the top soft skill for the future of jobs according to a report from the World Economic Forum.

Leadership is not dependent on job title or seniority. Leadership is not just for work, it’s equally important for personal life.

Leadership is not something you can be good at after reading a couple of books or scoring straight A’s in leadership courses.

Leadership can be developed only when you start practicing it.

Here are 6 things you can do to start developing your leadership skill.

Write down a list of things you are good at


The future is changing — so will your job.

This is the theme of the World Economic Forum: The Future of Jobs Report 2018.

The report provides a 5-year (2018–2022) outlook of global employment trends by analyzing 313 responses from companies of different sizes, locations, and industry sectors, representing over 15 millions employees worldwide.

Under the 4th industrial revolution, companies are seeking to harness new and emerging technologies to

  • Reach higher levels of efficiency of production and consumption
  • Expand into new markets
  • Compete on new products for a global consumer base composed increasingly of digital natives

The share of work…


Life is full of uncertainties. Some people work very hard to deal with them while some prefer to ignore them.

In the workplace, ignoring uncertainties means you make a conscious decision to leave your work to chance. That’s not very career enhancing!

Uncertainties in the workplace generally fall into 4 categories:

  1. Technical
  2. People
  3. Career
  4. Environmental

Managing uncertainties in these 4 categories require different approaches but the principles are the same:

  • Don’t try to turn uncertainty into 100% certainty
  • Do what’s within your control to influence the outcome
  • Prioritize based on what affects you most

Technical Uncertainties

Technical uncertainties are things you’re not…


Everyone heard about the phrase “you should polish up your communication”.

In the workplace, communication is a necessity because you need to work with people to get things done, to get buy-in, and to get recognized.

Communication in the workplace is complex because you often need to interact with a variety of people through different channels.

Effective communication is about getting the right message across to the right people with the right contents at the right time through the right channel using the right technique.

To communicate effectively, you need to be fluent on various techniques in receiving, processing and…


Imagine one day you’ve invited a couple of close friends to your simple yet stylishly furnished apartment for dinner. While discussing where to go for your next group trip, you humbly tell your friends that you’ve got several job offers. You share your thoughts that you wouldn’t necessarily choose the one that pays most but will likely go with those that let you take full responsibility, work flexibly, with learning and growth opportunities, and have a positive impact to a cause you care.

This is probably the dream of most millennials.

If you’re one of them and you’re not sure…

Fernand Wong

Retired executive of a large global financial institution with a passion to help young adults develop their career (https://careerdevelopment4.wordpress.com)

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