With Brexit came many permutations of ‘exits’ for the different EU members – Grexit, Departugal, Italeave, Czechout, Outstria and Finish were suggested as possible situations the European Union could face.
Jokes aside, the gravity of such a situation will only be realised when it comes to Asian-exit.
But Asia is not part of the EU, you’re thinking.
That’s true but our banking and finance industry is so interdependent, that whatever happens in the EU has an influence over here.
The Singapore Business Federation, in fact, explained: “The possibility of a weaker EU, given its importance as a trading and investment partner to Singapore, will have significant impact on our economy.”
Hold on to your banking jobs
As such, Singapore’s banking and finance industry will definitely be hit by this wave of uncertainty. At the very least, you know there will be a flood of bankers from Europe looking for jobs in your territory. How then, can bankers secure their rice bowls?
Understand your home ground
Asian banks differ from their strategies or areas of focus. Knowing the industry in the Asian context is important but nothing beats understanding your company’s stand. Do you know your bank’s comparative advantage? Do you know your role in your bank?
Play your own game of chess
With a clear understanding of the battlefield, it is now time to reflect inward. Build your own comparative advantage and ensure that your role will not become obsolete during financial downturns. Strategize your strengths according to this new set of needs that your bank has. Provide practical help especially in your area of expertise.
Polish your battle horses
Communicate, take initiatives and communicate again. Conventionality does not have any place in times of turbulence. It is time to discard hierarchies or adhere strictly to narrow job descriptions on your contract – unless, you want to experience the ‘termination’ part. Get out of your comfort zone and volunteer useful and original solutions.
Train your soldiers
Problem solvers are technically competent first. Gain mastery of your area of expertise, and keep up with the latest financial and technological trends.
Be ready to explore new grounds
Like any other thing, career is the two way street which operates on a demand-supply basis. It is only logical to make adjustments according to your circumstances. UBS, in China, for example, is on a hiring spree for their wealth management team. Spot opportunities as such, evaluate its risks and start running on your highway to success.
Hold on to your life buoys
Asia is known as a collectivistic nation. Make use of this and tap onto your network for referrals. Remember, a word of mouth is a more efficient route than a resume stuck in the midst of a hundred others.
Britain can choose to exit, banks can force you to exit but there is always a way to navigate both new and current opportunities – as long as you try intelligently.