2 key factors to map out your career path

Building a steady root before planning your career path

1. Finding your passion and setting goals 

Passion is like a charger that helps you to stay happy and productive. If you feel unclear about your future and don’t know how to start looking for a dream job, just take a step back and ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you usually love to do? 

The more you are passionate about your work, the stronger motivation you possess to overcome obstacles. If it’s not your favorite field, you will easily get bored and give up early. That’s why working in an area you are interested in is more effective than “just do it for the money”.

  • Where do you see yourself in the future and who do you want to be?

Coming up with both short-term and long-term goals will keep you busy and focused on improving relevant skills. It is important to identify yourself in the future, setting goals and listing out what you need to do to achieve them. This not only saves time but also helps you to clearly see your career roadmap and specific steps to progression. Also, it’s useful to try looking for inspiring people and see what they are doing achieve success. Below is our suggestion with the SMART framework which is the most popular “recipe” to set goals base on five elements (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based). 

NashTech Career path

Source: Indeed 2020

2. Sharpening skills and gaining experiences 

Once you have found your passion and sketched out some goals, it’s timto start your career journey by gaining an understanding of  the your suitability for the job, with three suggestions below: 

  • Do some research to explore the skill requirements for the industrythen identify your pros and cons 
  • Read at least ten job descriptions (JD) on recruitment platforms related to your favorite position to identify the skills desired by employers 
  • Start networking by having conversations with alumni, joining group/communities, finding mentors or anyone who can advise and inspire you  

Now use it rather than lose it! You may gradually lose skills if you don’t put them into practice. Keep learning and do not hesitate to throw yourself into challenges to gain experience. Check out these tips: 

  • Take training courses and workshops to get fundamental knowledge and industry expertise. There is some information that you may never learn from books. In order to motivate freshers who are passionate about IT, NashTech is hosting “The Rookies” – an intensive training program led by industry experts 
  • Actively participate in various projects and be willing to receive feedback so you can understand your strengths and weaknesses. Learning from mistakes is the best way to improvement 
  • Try internships to apply knowledge into practice and learn from experts. This is a great opportunity for you to interact, communicate and raise questions to clarify your doubts 

 

How NashTech builds up the ideal workplace to nurture our people 

Working in a people-oriented company, where you can grow by working and learning with experts, will influence your inspiration and motivation. At NashTech, we facilitate employees to self-develop with free training courses and sharing sessions from industry experts. As a global technology company, we encourage our people to expand their expertise by taking IT specialised courses and gaining certificates with sponsored examination fees.  

NashTech also organises a wide range of activities, notably sport clubs, team bonding and social responsibility events, to facilitate our people to improve work-life balancerelease stress and get to know each other. Visit here for more detailed information and see how we enjoy these interesting activities. 

As one of the best employers in 2020, we are proud to be a happy workplace and a source of inspiration for other talents. We hope the sharing of our inspiring Nashers, who are valued and supported to achieve success, will give you the motivation to transform your own career path.

 

Demystifying self-training and how to utilise it to your advantage

The discussion about employee training and development has commonly attributed this responsibility to corporations, those that seek to upskill their workforce. Nonetheless, the learning options presented to employees have broadened over the years since employers realised that each person has their own leaning pace and needs.  

Employees adopting self- training as a development method has gained momentum recently due to its flexibility in time and space. This method can provide employees with a sense of ownership over their learning and career development.  

Self-training can be powerful and convenient to some people. However, there are numerous possible challenges that can be posed by this learning approach. Grasping how self-training works and how to use it to your advantage is essential to one’s learning and development plan.  

Understanding self-training

Self-training or commonly known in the workplace context as self-directed learning are terms used to denote the process of shifting the responsibility of learning away from the organisation and to the individual – or in this case, the employee.  

By adopting this practice, employees are given the autonomy to shape and organise their learning plan as they see fit. This method of learning requires learners to determine their learning needs, conceive learning goals, prepare human and material resources for learning, apply appropriate learning strategies and evaluate learning outcomes.  

Thriving in today’s fast changing world requires a breadth of both specialised and soft skills. Since the demand for a certain skillset today can become outdated the next day, a company’s learning & development department might not be able to adapt and deploy an up-to-date training scheme on time for their organisation’s needs.  

This is where self-training comes into play.  

Self-structured learning comes across as an individually designed learning method that allows learners to easily incorporate new knowledge into their existing plan.   

Benefits and challenges of self-training 

In the article on “Building capacity: Organizational competence and critical theory”  back in 2000, Jay D Jurie stated that “Organizations which hamper or stunt the free development of their members or constituents … limit their own effectiveness”. This statement points out the correlation between an employee’s liberal development opportunity and a company’s performanceand how the former can reinforce the latter.  

However, the process of integrating self-training culture into a company’s operations is proven to be an arduous task since it requires a great level of independence and commitmentLet’s break down the benefits as well the challenges posed by this learning method on both employees and employers: 

Benefits

  1. Learners can set their own pace: Aemployee can spend roughly 8 hours at the office per day, so time is one of the most important factors behind their decision. Picking up on self-training allows them to learn on their own terms where they are not pressured to stick to a fixed schedule.
  2. Learners can adjust the learning plan to fit their needs: Having a clear understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses, employees are more capable than any learning & development officer at assessing which skills they need and establishing a comprehensive plan on how to hone those skills. 
  3. Avoid wasting time on redundant lessons: In order to avoid wasting time on lessons or courses that employees might have taken previously, self-training helps employees avoid the rigidity of “one-size-fits-all” approaches when it comes to employee training  

Challenges   

  1. Some learners can’t learn without assistanceSome people are not as familiar with the notion of planning and implementing their own learning trail. As such, self-instructed learning can backfire if employees cannot effectively manage their learning progress 
  2. Learners might get sidetracked easily: Without the supervision from their organisation, some employees might get distracted easily and might not be able to monitor their own learning without the help of others. This can result in undesirable effects on one’s productivity and his/her organisation performance 
  3. It may offer too much freedom: Being granted with too much freedom can come with a few side effects, for instances, being unable to decide and stifled by a myriad of options, uncertainty and anxiety  

Learning culture at NashTech

At NashTech, we believe that our workforce’s development is vital and integral to our growth. 

Aside from offering intensive and in-depth training programs for our employees from all levels, we also assist with their self-training process through mentorship. On top of that, we encourage our employees to take initiative in their own development through providing materials and sponsorship in terms of IT certification exam fees. 

Explore more about our talent development initiative here  

IT certifications – the key to advancing your career skills

The IT industry is shifting towards a more sustainable and innovation-driven model in which professional credibility and the ability to keep up with emerging technologies are crucial. Earning specialised IT certifications is how you can demonstrate both your qualifications and your willingness to stay on top of new technology products. 

An accredited IT certification gives you an edge against individuals who do not have similar credentials since the rigorous exam and additional prerequisites indicate both knowledge and experience.  

As an outsourcing company with clients from all over the globe, NashTech acknowledges the need to build trust and credibility for our clients. We do this by facilitating the process of attaining professional IT certifications, to ensure that our IT specialists can cultivate their mastery of a particular technology or practice. 

How IT certifications can help you set yourself apart from competition

Being certified in a certain set of information technology skills can be beneficial to both employees and employers. Let’s explore some of the most notable perks of gaining IT certifications:  

1. Expanding expertise

Through the process of training and getting prepared for a certification exam, you are given a chance to fully immerse yourself in the materials and practices regarding a particular technology. Aside from being tested on your knowledge, you also have to engage in performance-based questions which require a comprehensive understanding of the technology.  

By the time you earn a complete certification, you have significantly expanded your knowledge and understanding of the field.  

2. Networking opportunities

Gaining IT certifications can help you open the door to communities of certified IT professionals where you can find like-minded and motivated individuals,  giving you the opportunity to broaden your network in the technology sector.  

Each of these networks can hold value for those looking for new employment opportunities or support on certain projects 

3. Increasing job proficiency 

Preparing for and earning certifications will enable you to ramp up your skills and perform better when it comes to a specific area, as you have gained significant knowledge and experience on how to effectively implement a service or program through thorough preparation. 

4. Staying up-to-date with latest technologies 

The world of technology never stands still, it is constantly evolving. As such, IT certifications commonly have an expiration date. This ensures certified professionals continue their education in order to keep their credentials active.  

This calls for renewal of certifications as well as keeping up with the current technologies so that professionals do not fall behind or lack real-time updates in their specialised field. 

5. Meeting professional or corporate requirements 

Certifications on specialised competencies are of great importance for technology enterprisebecause these credentials determine their credibilityAdditionallytechnology companies need to validate their capability to clients by showing that their staff are certified and eligible to take on complex projects. 

How NashTech assist our employees

At NashTech, we offer our employees a well-established career roadmap and advancement opportunities so that they can develop at their own pace. We also encourage our employees to take IT specialised courses and facilitate their process of attaining certifications by sponsoring their examination fee. This applies to:

  • Developers: Microsoft Azure certification, AWS certification
  • Quality controllers: ISTQB foundation and advance level certification, BSM I & II certification
  • Business analysts: Professional Scrum Product Owner I & II certification, IIBA CBAP, IIBA CCBA
  • Project managers: Project Management Process certification, PgMP certification, PMI Agile Certified Practitioner

Explore more of our talent development initiatives here 

Adversity quotient – the power of resilience which drives productivity

Studying how our brain works, why we perceive things the way we do and how to improve one’s brain functionality has always been a challenging work since the human brain possesses a highly complex mechanism. Intelligence quotient (IQ) and emotional quotient (EQ) are the two most widely known evaluations of human brain capacity in which people invest a lot of effort building.

A fairly new concept compared to IQ and EQ called adversity quotient (AQ) which was introduced by Paul Stoltz in his book “Adversity Quotient: Turning obstacles into opportunities” has recently gained significant attention due to its proposed correlation with one’s productivity and success at work.

What is adversity quotient?

Adversity quotient measures one’s ability to cope and deal with adverse circumstances. It is also commonly referred to as resilience which demonstrates how a person responds when faced with life’s difficulties, from small hassles that come your way on a daily basis to more serious stress or pressure at work.

AQ is also frequently associated by employers with grit, stability, power, and creativity, these are highly sought-after traits of a person in many industries. Following 2020, a year full of turbulence and unprecedented challenges, AQ has proven to be more pertinent and imperative than ever since it determines one’s capability to reflect on the adversities at hand to withstand and triumph it.

AQ as one of the probable contributors of success

Understanding how a person responds to adversities is considerably useful in terms of predicting their endurance, mental capacity, perseverance, attitudes and how quickly they can adapt to changes in environment. These factors are strong indicators of the ability to succeed in many aspects of life, especially in workplace.

Possessing high AQ is analogous to being able to courageously learn and bounce back from setbacks. Whenever adversities strike, high-AQ people incline toward analysing the situation with the desire to exert a certain level of influence and control over stressful circumstances. Plus, people with higher AQ view hardships as temporary situations which will soon pass, as a result, they are more likely to soldier on and their recovery process happens relatively faster compared to those with lower AQ level.

These characteristics help high-AQ individuals gain the upper hand in most situations since they do not dwell on the negative aspects, instead, they spend more efforts on figuring out how to improve the circumstances. In the context of workplace, people with good AQ are believed to bring longer term stability and loyalty since they do not quit easily when obscurities come in way, these traits entrench their position as troubleshooters and reliable team players in any organisation.

Resilience also fuels work productivity as it is the key determinant of one’s ability to follow through and attain set goals. Unlike people with lower AQ, resilient individuals apparently overcome adversities and setbacks with relative ease, this reduce the possibility of them opting out once things derail or do not go as planned.

In addition, AQ is closely linked with mental resilience which is pivotal in sustaining one’s emotional well-being in the face of sudden issues and changes. Resilience can be of great importance in dealing with ongoing mental health issues as well as alleviating the severity of existing mental health problems.

How to develop your AQ?

More often than not, people who can navigate through the thick of adversities are the ones who survive the crest and trough of their careers. One inevitably has to face multiple hardships and setbacks along the way on their pursuit of success, the ability to surmount these challenges determines whether their attempt will come to fruition. The good news is AQ can be cultivated and improved through implementing some changes regarding one’s practice as well as perception.

  1. Take a minute to analyse the situation

Panic attacks stemming from sudden adversity can cause one to react rashly and irrationally. Instead of responding immediately, spend some time to look deep into the root cause of the problem in search for the most optimal respond.

  1. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

Don’t let the fear of failing get the best of you. See making mistakes as a form of approaching a problem comprehensively and adopt a learner mindset which will enable you to bounce back from mistakes and learn from them.

  1. Reach out for feedback

Don’t isolate yourself and struggle in silence once a crisis emerges. Ask others for advice and get feedback about how you can better your adversity coping methods. This process will help improve one’s self-awareness and break passive patterns of responses to problems.

  1. Have faith

Believing that every hardship has its own reason for happening is crucial in terms of dealing with them mentally and emotionally. Stress and anxiety, from a lack of faith, can severely impair our judgment as well as the ability to respond constructively. Reinforcing faith in ourselves helps mitigate the level of pressure in which difficult circumstances put us in order to implement apt solutions.

Find out more tips on how to excel at work with us here.

Growth and comfort do not coexist – Explore the stories of our Support Analyst of the Year

People are the greatest asset of any organisation. It is with the determination and dedication of our people that enables our business growth, creates long-term value and contributes to society.

At NashTech, we believe in the limitless potential of our talents and their capabilities to bring success. In celebration of the outstanding achievement and significant contribution of our Nashers, we proudly organise the annual employee of the year award.

This week will be featuring Ms. Chau Phan – the spectacular individual who has earned herself the title “support analyst of the year”  in 2019.

Chau Phan and her “growth mindset”

Chau developed her passion for becoming a support analyst through an internship at her first company where she worked on a service operations project. It has been eight years since Chau decided to focus on this career path, and two years since she joined the NashTech family as a young, ambitious support analyst.

As a competent support analyst, Chau spends a good amount of time improving her skills. From her perspective, a great support analyst needs to have a passion for growth.

The technology world is constantly changing and clients demand up-to-date solutions for their business. In order to satisfy their needs and support them all the way to success, you must be eager to learn and willing to acquire new knowledge – Chau shared.

A “growth mindset” is about learning from mistakes, turning stress into productivity and turning obstacles into opportunities. Instead of hiding in her comfort zone, Chau faces every challenge with confidence, knowing that she will learn something valuable from these experiences and move on to even greater accomplishments. For Chau, the path of a “growth mindset” is never easy but it motivates her to step forward and become a better version of herself.

A meaningful time at NashTech

Before becoming a Nasher, Chau learned through her friends and colleagues that NashTech is one of the leading companies in the information technology field. Chau was impressed by the enthusiastic working spirit and the motivational culture at NashTech, which inspires people to challenge themselves and go extra mile to bring  value. She also said that the flexible working time is the most unique element of NashTech as it helps her balance between her professional and personal life.

We asked Chau to share her most remarkable achievement of working at NashTech, and she humbly shared that it is bringing satisfaction to clients from her past and present projects. With a proud smile on her face, Chau shared that she received so many compliments and praise from clients in every project that she worked on. 

Talking about the future, Chau shares with us her plan for her personal development:

I am looking forward to advancing myself and bringing more value to the company. I will also spend time gaining new technical knowledge and catch up with the latest IT trends to bring more practical solutions for clients – said Chau.

The world of information technology is changing day by day and it is increasingly important to be familiar with the global pace while being adaptive to changes and adversities. With a forward-thinking mindset and superb expertise, Chau is ready to take on new challenges and to further advance in her career.

How to embrace cultural diversity in the workplace?

The trend of cultural difference management

Business are becoming increasingly global, and cultural difference has become an issue that people face daily. While diversity may lead to fantastic outcomes, misunderstandings and conflicts still exist everyday around the world as people may lack awareness of cultural differences. But instead of running away from this problem, it must be viewed as a challenge and opportunity for the company. Learning to manage cultural differences helps us understand various perspectives within the world we are living in and encourages the elimination of negative stereotypes and biases.

According to the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion journal¹, diverse teams are normally up to 20% more productive than non-diverse ones; and companies with diverse teams have 10-12% more market value than those who do not. Today’s successful companies are critically realized by their mindset of diversity. From a recruitment perspective, an organisation that embraces cultural differences can attract many applicants for job vacancies; hence, increasing the chances of finding an exceptional candidate. In addition, it helps with employee retention as people want to work in an open and equally promoted environment.

For any companies that plan to do business on a global level, cultural difference management is undoubtedly pivotal to the bottom line. Culture is complex, it lives in words, actions and thoughts and workplace culture is something that needs to be continuously nurtured, shaped and managed throughout the organisation.

How to successfully implement cultural difference management

Despite the importance, cultural difference management can be difficult to implement as it is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and each company has their own unique circumstances. Below are three of the most effective approaches to successfully managing cultural difference, according to some of the most seasoned managers at NashTech:

The “intuition”

At NashTech, we see ourselves in a situation where simply speaking the same languages is not enough to manage the cultural-diverse gap between people. Instead, you need “good intuition”. The trickiest part of cultural difference management is that there are no clear guidelines to follow. For instance, according to the The Palgrave Handbook of Linguistic (Im)politeness, the British are relatively indirect communicators, they may act politely and strongly avoid any conflict while the Americans prefer clear and direct communication. Using your senses to read the room, identify the signal and clues and react accordingly to each working style are considered an effective way to manage the impact of cultural difference in the workplace.

Be observant

One of the techniques that NashTech managers use to deal with cultural differences is observation. Being observant is more than just looking, it means you are aware of yourself and your surroundings. When you take time to observe people and changes in the environment, you are one step ahead to detect any misunderstandings or conflicts, and also find ways to help others out. For instance, you may realise when someone feels uncomfortable by observing their attitudes, actions and provide them comfort. Observation enables you to analyse how people react, what types of behaviour get results and what does not in different cultural context, which creates valuable lessons to embrace and put into action. Many managers admitted that being a good observer translates into being an empathetic person, someone who can adapt quickly to differences and show respect to other people’s culture.

Common goals

Many of the managers we spoke to at NashTech agreed that one of the pillars of effective culture difference management is aligning culture and success. When people share a common set of values and goals, it helps transcend the cultural borders and allows them to overcome any cultural barriers, whether with colleagues or clients.

At the end of the day, our ultimate goal is to succeed in our professional lives and find meaningful working relationships with others. Learning, managing and embracing cultural differences is considered invaluable experience leading to personal growth, lifelong collaborations and even friendships, both inside and outside of the organisation.

Reference:
  1. Bernstein, R.S., Crary, C. and Billimoria, D. (2015) “Working effectively across differences – diversity and inclusion at the individual, team and organisational levels”, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol.34 No.5. https://doi.org/10.1108/EDI-04-2015-0030
  2. Culpeper, J., Haugh, M. and Kádár, D., n.d. (2017) The Palgrave Handbook Of Linguistic (Im)Politeness. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-37508-7