Digital Roles available in Singapore!

 

Digital marketing
Digital channels

Finding a right talent has always been challenging for any company. At times, you have the right candidate but the salary expectations don’t match or could be some other issue. The recruiter’s job is even tougher now. She not only has to match skills but also make sure that employees stay longer. In this volatile market, finding someone who can do multi-tasking, has a great attitude, has an excellent product knowledge and is ready to start asap. Many permutations and the combination should match before the hiring materializes.

Digital skills have always been in demand. The growing influence of technology has created rapid demand. The talent available in the market is also over-rated. They are reaping the benefit of lack of talent in the market.

In my articles on LinkedIn, I discussed ways to resolve the dearth of talent in the region. And that is through investment in digital training. Not only an individual but companies have to start looking at training or reskilling their employees. And that is futuristic.

There are some roles that I have come across and looking for right talent :

Digital Media Buyer (Strategy + Implementation)
Client side
Market : APAC
Budget : 95K Max.
Experience : Agency experience is preferred. 7-8 years (Singapore experience required)

Programmatic Manager
Agency Role
Market : APAC
Budget : Last drawn (Nego)
Experience : 5-6 years (Singapore experience required)

Social Manager
Agency Role
Market : APAC
Budget : Last drawn (Nego)
Experience : 5-6 years (Singapore experience required)

Search Manager
Agency Role
Market : APAC
Budget : Last drawn (Nego)
Experience : 5-6 years (Singapore experience required)

Search Specialist
Publisher Role (CONTRACT ONE YEAR)
Market : APAC
Budget : Last drawn (Nego)
Experience : 5-6 years (Singapore experience required)

PRs/Singaporeans preferred but foreigners living in singapore are welcome to apply.

If you know anyone, please drop a comment below for more info.

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How to get an interview call?

Keep trying
Looking for a job

If you are frustrated by spending hours, filling up the application forms and still didn’t get interview calls. Then, it’s time to evaluate the job application process. The job market is tough. The competition is higher. One has to go an extra mile to get noticed.

The biggest challenge is that there are too many applicants for limited job vacancies. Chances are that you may end up under piles of other resumes. Therefore, it is highly recommended that every day the first thing a job seeker should do is to mark all the jobs that he would apply. That’s how he can be under top ten applications.

5 key steps you should take to stand out from the crowd:

1) Read the job description carefully:

So, basic, right?! Trust me more than 50%, apply by seeing the title of the job. They don’t get into the details of roles. To stay ahead, it is important to read the description in detail.You will be in better position to present yourself.

2) Attach Cover Letter:

No matter how lame you feel about writing cover letters. If you are serious about getting an interview call, then do little extra. From the first point, if you know the details, you would know how to position yourself to the company. It is not necessary that your profile matches 80% of the requirements. The most important is the attitude and wilingness to take up the job.

3) Resume/CV:

This is the first representation of you. It has to be sleek and concise. Someone who deals with hundreds of CVs would be quick in filtering them. The headline and keywords in the CV should be in line with the job description. Maybe you don’t change the content everytime but changing the headline is important.

4) Complete the details in Application form:

It can very frustrating when “taleo” (online application system) doesn’t respond fast enough. Worse is when you have filled the application form and at the last stage, it doesn’t let you submit. You need to refresh the page and fill in the details again. One can’t escape dealing with taleo but can bring it down. Write all particular on a separate sheet. Use the sheet to fill in taleo. Most of the recruiters use this form for screening. So, it is important that they have all details handy.

5) Follow up on your application:

90% of the applicants wait for the employers to get back. But these CVs are being vetted by a human being and he may have missed your CV. After the application is submitted, one can track the progress in the system. If not, reach out to company’s HR on your application.

6) Apply through an internal candidate:

Application through internal candidates is given more weight compared to direct applications. Most companies have employee referral program and they tend to trust internal recommendations. If you have any professional connection with an employee, don’t hesitate to reach out. They would be happy to help because it is in their interest too.

If we are not doing above steps then it’s like shooting arrows in the dark. These steps don’t guarantee a call but improve your chances for sure.

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How to Survive & Thrive During Job Loss!

 

Job loss

15 years ago, my father lost his government job. He was not alone. The central govt. of India decided to shut down the factory. Thousands of workers lost their jobs. It was a national news for many weeks. Till date, there are talks of reviving the Sindri fertilizer factory. Before shutting down, the govt. had given notice to all employees. But labor union played politics and stuck to their demands. The factory was running in losses. That lead to a decision to shut down the factory. The people were in awe. Losing a govt. job was unheard of. Nobody would have thought, not even in their dreams that govt. would take such a drastic step.

I was in college and my brother was in school, ready to go to college. It was a huge financial trouble in the family. Luckily, both my parents were working so our family survived. As my dad recalls, the first morning after voluntary retirement, he was sitting on the porch, angry and hurt. He was concerned about the future. He wasn’t prepared for the news.

The job loss is a big hit in a person’s psyche. He suddenly loses his self-worth. Relatives and friends came in to say sympathetic words. Some of my father’s friends/colleagues couldn’t survive the shock. They either went into depression or lost their lives (due to heart attack). The beautiful and peaceful sindri town turned into barren land.

15 years forward, I started working in corporate/MNCs. With the advent of globalization, anyone can open, any shop in any part of the world. A lot of people including us were benefitted because of private corporate jobs. The income level of lower middle-class rose. A happy and prosperous life was smiling. Children studied hard so that they could secure a high-paying corporate job. Climb the corporate ladder to become future leaders.
Then came, 2008 crisis. Many jobs were lost. Many dreams were shattered. A large chunk of banking and finance related jobs got cut. It had a ripple effect in other sectors too. Since then, corporate leaders learned a new method of running the business profitably and that is through “restructuring“.

When bottom lines are hit, they would cut a certain percentage of the workforce. That’s how they can continue to show profitability and raise company’s value. This is more prevalent is companies that are 10-15 years old.

Job losses are part of modern corporate life. It is inevitable. It has nothing to do with how hard you have worked for the company, how many years of experience you have, how many promotions you go that year or for that matter, even if you have been awarded “best employee” in that year. If your CTC (cost to company) is high and you are not aligned with company’s future, most likely you may have to say “goodbye”.

Parents and loved ones should understand that job loss is very common. Best is to lend support and help the person recover from the loss. Resilience is the only way to survive.
It’s necessary to have a solid financial plan laid out. One can continue to maintain a certain lifetsyle. Don’t associate self-worth with job and have a hobby that can be turned into business.

One of the biggest hurdle is the willingness to start afresh. Especially with age, ability to learn new skill diminishes. That must change. People should be ready to re-skill and start all over again. There is NO other choice. Every five years, job requirements change. In case you want to be relevant and continue to work for long, that is the way to go. Else news like 10,000 jobs would be lost due to AI would continue to haunt you.

Why can’t we make job loss a cool thing?! You never know from where and what kind of opportunity will knock on your door. Next time when you hear about anyone’s job loss, don’t JUDGE. Just lend a hand.

Job loss may also end up opening entrepreneurial doors for you. After few weeks of consideration, my dad joined my mom’s business and expanded it. And for last 15 years, they are successfully running the business and are proud of it.

job loss 2

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Powerful tool on client leadership!

I don’t know how many of you got a chance to go to corporate training. Usually, corporate training is supposed to be fun. Relaxing on the beach, boozing and partying are common in most training. Training is one of the perks that bigger organisations use as a bait to retain their top-performing employees. I was totally hooked on to it and attended several training sessions. Our training used to be gruesome but fun.

Most of the training that I attended was based on Time Management skills, Client servicing, Pitching process, Financials etc. One of the most interesting training was Client Leadership . It felt as if I got a tool for life. It is very powerful and can be applied anywhere in corporate life. There was a two-day training in phuket. I am not sure if I can detail out the entire learning but I will share as much I could –

So, name of the tool is PRC

P – Presence

R – Resilience

C – Curiosity

Presence

This means an aura or personality that one should have, that helps in getting noticed in a group of people. The aura/personality is a combination of dressing, voice, tonality, expression and confidence. It’s like you enter a room and people acknowledges or notices your presence. It’s like walking in a manner as if you know your ‘shit’ and you are up for any challenge. An authoritative figure with a pinch of humbleness. Be humble but assertive. It is important to have a presence because as people say the first impression is the last impression. If one has a “presence”, they get immediate acceptance in the group and it becomes a lot easier to break the ice in a room filled with strangers. Presence is critical in client meetings. If clients don’t think high of you in the first meeting, it is difficult to get them to listen to what you have to say.

Resilience

This means taking a step back in a crisis situation and understand the real reason of the problem. There are many times when we are in the midst of the crisis and we try to resolve immediately. Our reaction is in response to what just happened. For example – a client is angry because the proposal is not delivered at a particular time. In order to handle this situation, one needs to understand the problem first. Is the real problem that proposal was not delivered on time or is the problem that client is having an internal pressure due to which he is upset and the agency is only facing the frustrated client? In this situation, the prime responsibility is to take the shit and be calm in the high-pressure situation. Deliver the proposal as soon as possible. I am very confident that the same client is going to appreciate the efforts and patience. And in return treat you as a partner.

Curiosity

This is one of the most important tools. If it can be used successfully than half the battle is won. This tool is most effective during briefing sessions. When a client is talking to you about resolving a problem, be curious and ask questions. Probe to know the real objective of the proposal. Be careful when asking questions because your objective should be to find out the real reason. The client shouldn’t feel that you are stupid and asking unnecessary questions. Because at times, client themselves don’t know what they are not telling you. Media agencies have tried to use a template to flesh out a media brief. But it failed. No one likes to fill in templates. It is easy to talk through the brief. Also, the template may not help you find out some crucial information that is unique to each brief. Therefore, templates fail.

This was one of the most difficult tools for me to learn. Because it’s not the questions but asking right questions is difficult. This is something that would come with practice and experience. But once you have conquered the “Art of asking right questions” then there is no stopping for you. Account servicing would be a cake walk.

These were some of the “Client Servicing” tools that have really helped me. And now I am passing on to you to benefit from them. If you have any queries regarding any of the above tools, drop me a note.

Career Series : 5. What I do in office? What is Media Planning?

It has always been a challenge to explain –  what do I do in office? Until I joined my job, I didn’t even know many people from the same field. Probably it’s also because of my lack of knowledge about advertising world as a young graduate. The irony was that I had a bachelor’s degree in advertising and one of the  key subjects was Media Planning. I had never paid attention to the subject which was destined to transform my life in future. I got campus recruitment even before the results were out. But usually first job may not be your dream job. So, I had joined the company but I was not enjoying the place and work. It was a big organisation with typical hierarchy and structure. I always felt lost. There were endless people working and I was one of them. I didn’t see much future there for myself. Also, the knowledge gained in grad school was in vain because I was not applying in any shape or form.

One day I got a call from a friend cum foe in college. Her company was looking for a ‘media planner’. I told her upfront that I had no knowledge about the job but since she was my ex-classmate and best friends (in the past) she knew my calibre. She agreed to help me as she was in a similar position doing the same job. Initially I was hesitant because the pay offered was 30% lower than what I was getting. But I just said “yes” without thinking much. You know when people say “You should listen to your inner voice”. I could literally hear my inner voice and even after joining with a pay cut I felt good. To everyone, monies is poor for beginners in advertising. You start seeing money only after 5 years of experience. Probably one of the reasons, not many people join the industry. This industry is not about money but passion and fame.

I did this little interview with myself on all the questions that I am generally asked related to my job-

1)      What is Media Planning & buying?

Media planning & buying is about booking advertising space with media companies (For example- Starplus) for the clients (Ex. Maggi). Media planning decisions are based on data analysis, insights’ tool etc. These tools help in understanding client’s target audience and target audience’s media habits. And based on the findings, media publishers are engaged in discussion on advertising space. For example: TV channels sell their ad space to media agencies (where I work) and based on the relevancy of the channel program and client’s target audience, media planner will decide on the channel program to place the ads.

2)      What are the different types of media that you deal with?

Broadly media can generally be split into three forms :

Offline media : TV, Print, Magazine

Online media : Display banners (ads you see on the website), Paid Search (the red box you see on top of searches in google), Social media (facebook, LinkedIn etc.

Outdoor media: Bus shelters, Billboards, hoardings etc.

3)      What exactly you do?

Out of the three media – I am part of the Online media. It is also known as Digital marketing. So, in online media, there is something called Paid Search advertising. And what I do is manage Paid search ads for my client. For example: A computer company wants to show ads when someone is searching for “computers” in Google. Google has a tool called “AdWords”. This tool provides a platform to small businesses where a campaign can be set up. The campaign set up would include ‘deciding on the list of keywords to advertise, writing ad copies (ads) that show up when a keyword is searched and setting up budget and timeline for the campaign.

The campaign starts on the due date and performance is reviewed on the daily and weekly basis. I manage the AdWords tool and campaign for a certain client.No, it’s not related to IT but yes it is technical.

Paid Search ads look something like below –

4)      What does one need to get into this profession?

To enter this profession, you don’t need any special qualifications. This is a specialised skill that you gain on the job. This is one of the reasons why people from all kinds of background get into media. But to all the beginners, having an advertising degree will surely help in grasping the technical media terms  – reach, frequency, GRPs, TRP etc. But yes, most of the people that I know of, have grown within media agency from the scratch (starting the career with media like myself). Because getting into this field, mid-way could be tough because if you are joining at the manager level, you would be expected to come in and start working without much training on basics.

5)      What is the future for Media planners?

After few years of experience, the door really opens up for media planners. They can move to the client side or the publisher side because people are looking for digital talent at agencies. Agency folks have diverse exposure on categories, clients, teams etc. So, generally media planners are in very high demand. Also, there is a healthy growth within agencies too. Infact, most of the times, there is a talent crunch in the industry. So, it is easy to find a job for media planners.

6)      What is the remuneration for media planners?

As I mentioned earlier, it is not a very rewarding career in terms of finance in the beginning. You become a valuable resource only after few years of experience and when you start adding value to the agency business and to the clients. Also things are changing at many places and bigger companies are offering a much better starting salary than in the past. Similar salary as any marketing executive gets in a bigger firm.

7)      Which are the bigger companies in the world of media agencies?

Omnicom Group (OMD, PHD), WPP’s GroupM (Mindshare, Mediacom, MEC), Publicis group (Starcom, Zenith Optimedia) are the three major companies but ofcourse there are tonnes of other agencies coming up in various markets.

This was a very brief and simple explanation of what I do. So, now people shouldn’t confuse ‘Mediacom’ with ‘Mediacorp.”. They are media companies but Mediacom is a media agency and more like a media consultant. Mediacorp is a media group that owns the channel and sells advertising space whereas “Mediacom” buy that advertising space from them.

I really enjoy what I do. Its lots of fun when it comes to media parties, gathering, conferences and meeting interesting people. Also having fun work-stations, food stuffed pantry and other perks. It is a small world and generally people know each other .

I thought I would share with you so that it gives you an understanding of what I do and you can also ask your friends or acquaintance to find out more about this profession so that they can consider this as their career option.

If you have any question related to this, feel free to reach out.

This is my last post on career series. From next post onwards, I am again a free bird to post my newer experiences beyond career. I will continue to add posts in career series as and when I have something worthwhile.

Career Series : 1. Do the benefits of studying abroad justify the difficulties?

Career Series : 2. 6 Tips to find a job in foreign land

Career Series : 3. Why women tend to miss out top positions in companies?

Career Series : 4. Work – Life – Balance!!!

Please LIKE, SHARE on FB & COMMENT if you have enjoyed the series.

Career Series : 4. Work – Life – Balance!

It is amazing to know that people are enjoying my posts. This post is in continuance to my last post – Why women don’t get to the top? To be honest, this topic is suggested by two of my dear friends who strongly feels that something should change in the professional world that benefits working mothers. They are the victims of crazy work hours at office and penalized for being pregnant.

“Work-Life Balance” is not THE thing for women only but it is also important for men. Though there are talks in companies to promote Work life balance, there is hardly anything done at the ground level. Policies are there but there is no implementation. The reason why I feel, these policies fail is because of the appraisal system that is currently being practiced. Let’s be honest, all of us work to move ahead in our career. Whether it’s money or position, all of us wants to see ourselves in significant positions at some point in time. That leads to impressing bosses by giving 150%, working after office hours, being available 24-7, compromising on family life and spending weekends in office etc. In few cultures, people sit in office late hours just to show their dedication to the boss. In such competitive environment, where do you see a working mother?  She would want to maximize her time in office, to get the work done and get out on time so that she can spend time with her young babies.

Such efficient women would be considered as “Not so focused” or “Distracted”, “not giving 100%” etc. Even though work may be finished on time, but what about boss’s “perception” of her leaving early. You may be hired to do a certain task but you are expected to take on another person’s job in order to show you want to progress in your career and you have full attention on work. Why the appraisal system in companies are designed such that a lot depends on how bosses feel about the subordinate rather than judge them based on work? Someone somewhere has to come up with a brilliant idea to showcase people that the woman has been working well, quality of work is better and therefore, she qualifies for next level. Some companies are doing a great work -but the majority of them fall back on managers.

The worse is that when a women get pregnant or break the news of pregnancy in office, the entire world changes. The attitude of bosses or co-workers (especially men) changes. The ones who hated you all this while will take every opportunity to show you down. And the fact that you will be away on paid maternity leave upsets bosses. I still remember clearly – My first pregnancy when I told the news to my boss, I could see the unhappiness on his face. Since my company had strict policies on protecting the working mothers, he had no choice to make things smooth for me. But of course, there was no promotion for next two years. And for my second pregnancy, when I told the news, it was bonus time. And to my shock, my name was stricken off from bonus list. I still remember the ill feeling because the bonus is based on last year’s performance when I was NOT pregnant and I had worked my arse off. And I know few people who lost their jobs after they broke pregnancy news. These horrifying stories deter women from becoming pregnant. Because they clearly know that they will have to compromise on professional life just to have a personal one. Many of my colleagues have progressed while I was producing babies. Being career women it irks but I would want to forget because I have two lovely princesses for which I will trade the world.

So, in this scenario how can working hours of a man and women are same? The way our society is designed, in all communities, men generally don’t take the household responsibility. They may be willing to help but not accountable for that. In such scenario, women have to come forward to manage everything. The greatest strength women have is MULTI-TASKING. They can manage home and work with equal efficiency and within 24 hours. Men also realise this when they are at home, but when they are managers at work, their expectations are entirely different.

So when it comes to the debate on “gender equality” at the workplace, I find it a gag. Men and women can’t be equal and they cannot be treated equally. At least till the time when people’s mindset has changed and men shoulder equal responsibility at home. At this point in time, if we really want our women employees to succeed then they should be given more support – in terms of work responsibilities, work-life balance, medical leaves, childcare leaves, flexible hours, support for children etc.

We have only 24 hours in a day and in this age, work is NOT equally divided between a man and a woman. Man will spend 14 hours at work, come home, eat and sleep. Whereas Woman will come home, have to take download of what happened at home all day, get a routine for kids for next morning, make sure everything is in order for next day, spend time with the kids, household chores and ensuring that the house is in order even if she is not at home.

So, yes as a woman we need more support at work than men. So chuck the gender equality discussions and support more. And why so much for a woman employees? Every company will have that answer.

PLEASE LIKE, SHARE & COMMENT IF THIS TOPIC INVOKES ANY DESIRE FOR CHANGE

Career Series : 3. Why women tend to miss out top positions in companies?

For the last few days, a lot of our friends are moving out of Singapore looking for greener pastures in other countries.  Singapore is a great place for women and kids but yes there could be limitations in terms of job opportunities. So, more ambitious people, looking for explosive growth, generally tend to move to bigger countries/back to their country.

During such conversations, I realised that there are many developed countries that don’t have a system for working women. Countries like Japan, Australia, US, Canada, UK etc. don’t have enough support for them. In all of these countries, it is tough for women to continue working once they become mothers. There is a system of childcare but it is not enough. There are many issues with childcare – 1) Not enough seats 2) Backup plan if kids are sick 3) Super expensive etc. In a market like Australia, where taxes are about 30% -40%, where do you have money to pay for childcare, rent and food?

Let’s consider a day in working mother’s life. So, she gets up at 5am. Get the kid ready for school and get herself ready for work, drop kid to school at 7:30am. Works for the whole day in office, picks up the child at 6:30pm and then bring him home to give him dinner, play with him with any balance energy (left after day’s work and household chores) and then only after putting him to bed, she can finish up her dinner, other household chores, prepare for next day and then spend some time with the husband. Even if the husband can or willing to help, we all know that “his help” is better than “no help” most of the times. So, if a woman has to lead this life every day, she got to be a super-woman with special powers. And I am excluding those days when kids are sick, cranky and just want to be with mum and not go to school. It’s tough!!

I really thank Singapore for creating a system where a working mother of a young child can afford to have a helper. A helper who can stay with the employer in the same house.Singapore govt. exempts certain amount from working mother’s salary for taxes (if the mother has a help at home). She can look after the baby or at least there for the baby and other household chores when mum is at work. It really helps a lot. It is a different story that people starts expecting way more from a helper who may be working like a daily wage worker in their own country. They are trained to be a good domestic help but cmon she can’t replace you. I had written a separate article on Maids.

Recently I was trying to connect with my friends in AU, NZ, US, CANADA and few other markets to check how are they managing their little ones. And to my surprise, none of the women (among friends we know) are working. So, a girl who has passed out an engg. Worked as a software eng in a reputed company decided to quit the job after being a mother because she didn’t have a viable option. That means, many women like my friend would be quitting jobs after 8-9 years of work experience because they chose to be mothers.

I don’t have a clear statistics on how many drop out of workforce every year because of becoming a mother but this clearly is a major reason of why we don’t see many successful women in good positions in companies? Now companies are trying to develop training programmes (TATA is considered to be a pioneer) to push their female employees for higher positions but again I am very sure, most of those women benefitted out of this, would be Single. And the ones who have focussed on career all their life. They don’t have any family ties or kids to look after. This kind of programmes doesn’t solve the problem. If a company truly wants to retain their women employees then they must have in-house facilities of childcare or facilities like flexi-work hours etc. Companies shouldn’t undermine the fact that generally women like to stick around with the company more than men. (Again no proven stats but it’s purely from observation). That ways, they can save millions of dollars from the recruitment process.

Women employees are hard working, loyal, honest and resilient.