THERE is an infinite variety of career options for Mr Joshua Soh, the country manager for integrated technology services in IBM Singapore.
“There are no boundaries in IBM,” he says of the highly reputed global information technology (IT) company.
Mr Soh, 40, who joined IBM Singapore in 1999 as an engagement manager for e-business solutions sales, is currently responsible for the company’s services sales.
IBM operates like an extended family not limited by geographical boundaries. So, Mr Soh can move into a regional role for the services business or even switch to another business unit or function.
He says: “We have access to an overwhelming breadth of global opportunities and very diverse career options.”
He also has the support of a vast system of colleagues and business partners with the talent and expertise in their particular fields.
“Our strong feeling of unity and constant collaboration to face challenges together empowers me to overcome obstacles,” Mr Soh says.
He adds that the IBM culture allows employees to exercise personal leadership in a wide range of decisions with minimal interference from seniors, thus helping to develop leadership and problem-solving abilities.
“IBM has a strong values-based culture, especially the value of trust and personal responsibility in all relationships which guide our decisions and actions,” he says.
In addition, learning resources are available to IBM staff, which include sales leadership training, annual summits for various divisions and business units and online self-paced courses.
New leaders go through special courses on leadership and the application of problem-solving approaches to enable them to tackle challenges.
It is a priority for the leaders to coach and mentor their teams, Mr Soh says.
The company’s performance mechanisms include the personal business commitment and individual development plan.
“IBMers are empowered with a high degree of flexibility and work-life integration through a very wide range of flexible work options allowing us to effectively manage our work and personal commitments,” he says.
Guided by their managers, the staff set their own business and development goals for the year and are evaluated by comparing the results achieved to their targets.
The results are rewarded and recognised through commendations and performance incentives with wide opportunities for personal and career development.
IBM, Mr Soh notes, also has a high performance culture that fosters collaboration between employees and business partners.
“There is a strong partnering for client success and also a solid foundation of values,” he says, adding that IBM’s dynamic services business provided many opportunities for him to push the boundaries of learning.
“Also, ‘selling the intangible’, which is IBM’s services capabilities, talent and thought leadership, is highly exciting for me.
“In the future, I would like to attain a position where I am able to contribute more towards the business outcomes of the company, as well as the personal and professional development of the people I lead.”
Mr Soh says he can achieve his goals by delivering on his commitments and leading others on the path of success.
He also notes: “It is not just about progressing and developing individually, but developing as a team, to help each IBMer find his or her own motivation and create an environment in which our employees feel a sense of purpose and engagement to succeed.”
Mr Soh initially joined IBM because of its reputation as a global IT company. He says: “After I joined and got a sense of IBM’s achievements and culture, I grew passionate about the company.
“It is no longer just a job for me, but an entire career.”