90% APAC Workers Believe This Is the Key to Getting Ahead In Life
Despite a growing number of reports predicting the rise of robots and loss of jobs, workers in the Asia-Pacific region are confident in achieving career advancement. There’s a strong desire among them to build their own business, acquire new skills and stay relevant, says LinkedIn’s inaugural Opportunity Index, which was released late last month.
The index, which was based on a survey of over 11,000 respondents in nine markets (Australia, the Chinese Mainland, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore), aimed to understand the aspirations of people across the region, with emphasis on what opportunities are important to them, and the hurdles that may stand in their way. Nine in 10 workers across the region believe that “diligence is the key to getting ahead in life, followed by having the right connections or knowing the right people, and having equal access to opportunities”, says the report.
Let the numbers talk
It found that workers in the two rapidly growing markets, Indonesia and India, are the most optimistic about their career opportunities, while those in the more developed markets of Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, and Japan are less hopeful about their prospects. The real GDP growth of Indonesia and India, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), are 5.1 and 7.3, respectively.
The report argues that people in the developed markets are not so confident because they have concerns about the economic outlook of the markets, and “generally felt more cautious about their chances of accessing and achieving success with opportunities that are relevant to them”.
In India, the world’s third largest start-up economy, 74 per cent workers believe their skills are much in demand in today’s job market, while those in Indonesia (at 34 per cent) and the Philippines (at 29 per cent) also expressed a strong desire for entrepreneurship.
What's more, the survey found that nine in 10 respondents in India believe that digital and social media provide the required resources to get the job opportunity they seek. While eight in 10 Indian respondents feel that social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram help them learn news skills besides honing them.
While most respondents believe that hard work is the key to moving ahead in life, they also shared several other barriers to access and realize opportunities. One’s financial status emerged as the most prominent concern, with 30 per cent of respondents citing it. This was followed by a lack of networks and connections (22 percent), a difficult jobs market (19 percent), lack of required professional skills (18 percent), and limited direction and guidance (18 percent).
Olivier Legrand, the managing director (Asia Pacific) at LinkedIn, said in a statement: “The growing workforce in the region (APAC) is a key asset that, if harnessed effectively, is going to continue to drive the economies. Over time, by tracking people’s perception of opportunity and the barriers they face, we hope we can continue to facilitate more of a balance between demand and supply in the opportunity marketplace.”