Most of us want to impress the boss and get ahead in our careers? But the question is how?

The answer is quite simple — enhance your skill-set. In today’s fast-evolving world, skills and knowledge can quickly become outdated. Therefore, it is necessary to constantly update your skills to continue to be an expert in your chosen field.

Meanwhile, with Singapore’s unemployment rate remaining low at 2.1 per cent, many companies are struggling to find the talent they need to drive their business forward.

Therefore, if you have the desire and the skills to take on more strategic and challenging tasks, you will surely create a great impression.

Looking for opportunities to develop and enhance your skill-set will not only make you a more capable employee, it shows your boss that you are enthusiastic and eager to grow with the business.

There are many options to enhance your skills. Here is some advice:


Existing opportunities

If your organisation has a good training and development programme, you should take advantage of it.

Talk to your HR department or manager to understand what training opportunities are available and which ones are most suitable in helping you to reach your career goals.

For example, some companies offer onsite training to help people enhance their project management skills.

So if you would like to take on the new responsibility of overseeing a larger project than you have experience in, a project management training course will give you the theoretical guidance and new skills needed.

This will help to minimise the risks when managing this new aspect of your role. 

Seek a mentor

A mentor is someone you would look up to and trust. He or she might be working in the position you aspire to in the future or have particular qualities that you admire. These mentors can offer targeted guidance and advice to help you progress in your career.

While it might seem intimidating to ask for help from a prospective mentor, look at it from their perspective.

They are being told that they are admired and valued for their achievement and experiences. As long as they can spare the time, they are more than likely to be happy to help.


External courses

There has never been a better time to consider signing up for an external course. To boost workplace productivity, the Singapore Government has introduced various schemes and initiatives to encourage companies to send their employees for training courses.

For example, the Productivity and Innovation Scheme provides tax rebates and cash payouts to companies that pay for their employees’ training.

In addition, the Productivity Initiatives in services and manufacturing are targeting managerial and supervisory-level staff to acquire productivity know-how via different tools and techniques.

Before you sign up with any course, find out whether it is covered under these schemes. If so, you can take advantage of a partial or full rebate.

If you are thinking about enhancing your skill-set, it is important to take the time to identify what your career goals are at the outset.

Seek guidance from experienced colleagues or speak to your manager about areas of the business that need more focus or support. With better skills to lead you to strategic roles, the promotion and pay rise you have been yearning for will not be far off.

Article by Michael Smith, country manager of Randstad Singapore, recruitment specialists across a wide range of industries and professions. For more information, visit