Category: Careers

  • Spirit of Service

    I’ve written before about public vs private sector jobs or career; and I’ve also shared about the story that we want to craft for ourselves. One of the biggest thing that I would urge all those considering public service to think about is the spirit by which you are serving in. Ultimately, as you enter…

  • What are you scaling?

    Having a good teacher who is appropriately empowered in the classroom can make a difference to the lives of students. If he or she stays in education, generations of students can benefit. The good teacher is not able to make the same impact on many more students within the same amount of time. It doesn’t…

  • Telling stories

    At some single-digit age I came to enjoy books, and stories. And at the age of 6 when I was in a mini-bus that was driving in and out of the Pinnacles Dessert in Australia, I spent hours telling stories to an attentive 4 year old friend I got to know in the tour group.…

  • Complexity & Bureacracy

    We all want to work for good companies. The brand names, the recognisable ones that makes the relatives go wow and continue conversation about what you do during Chinese New Year gatherings. Or maybe actually we just want a good boss who can give us that sense of mission, offer appropriate advice at the right…

  • Growing in commoditised markets

    Do you have a set way of thinking about innovation in business? These days, governments are heavily involved in funding research and development in a bid to help their economies lead the way in one area or two. These are all good except when people come to think of it as a one-size-fit all approach…

  • Being helpful

    Say your colleague approaches you for help and you offered some directions which he or she has tried. The colleague retorts “Hello, I’m not stupid”. How would you respond? Not that it happened in my workplace but I brought up this question because I’m thinking about the spirit that drives us to be helpful. Whether…

  • Public or Private Sector

    I once had a lunch at a friend’s place and her Dad simultaneously praised public service jobs for being good, stable places to be (he tries to get her daughters to join) while being critical about the work of public servants (“what do they do?”). I cannot be sure when he was being serious but…

  • Feedback & Criticism

    Being candid without reproaching people is a skill – it is subtle but somewhere along our upbringing we come to associate people with their actions and/routines as much as we allow those things to be part of our identities. Habits can be changed, personalities can be transformed. It’s not just about believing in yourself but…

  • Social Narratives

    I was reading this interesting take on the woke meritocracy by Blake Smith. The similarities to Singapore is uncanny not least because we have similarly competitive systems that have evolved to take into consideration academic grades and a myraid of criteria for university admissions. What is more similar, despite cultural differences in our preferred kind…

  • Financial Burdens and reference groups

    As we step into adulthood, we begin to realise how financial burdens starts to weigh on us just at a point when there’s supposed to be more financial capacity and independence. You look around you and see what you have been working for: being in a good job, wearing the nice suit or dress, driving…