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Realistic goals are essential

Question :

Cody Szeto, our newest Career Doctor, believes that building a personal brand is one of the keys to career advancement and fulfilment.

Posted by Cody Szeto on Saturday, 29 Nov 2014

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Cody Szeto is consulting manager of Kelly Services' IT&T, engineering, supply chain and procurement divisions in Hong Kong. C ody Szeto, our newest Career Doctor, believes that building a personal brand is one of the keys to career advancement and fulfilment.

"Life is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to get." This line, extracted from my favourite film, Forrest Gump, has been my work motto for the past 20 years. Career life is an adventure; we are never in total control of our career paths. Yet everything that happens shapes us as professionals.

Seeing my candidates through the twists and turns of their careers brings me great joy. This is part of the reason why I switched from being an IT team head at a renowned global consulting firm to being a consultant in the recruitment and talent management business some 10 years ago.

In those years, I've witnessed change in the recruitment business in Hong Kong. Ten to 20 years ago, employees knew they could rely on working hard and being committed to their jobs to improve their living standard. Yet I was not surprised when the latest "Kelly Global Workforce Index" revealed that only 18 per cent of Hong Kong employees felt "totally committed" to their employers - the lowest in Asia-Pacific.

From my observation, 70 per cent of candidates now seek jobs based on trend predictions and pragmatic factors; 15 to 20 per cent are the happy-go-lucky ones who are passive career builders and will only think about the next step when opportunity knocks; while only 10 to 15 per cent have realistic career goals.

It is disheartening to see overly contented talent miss opportunities to increase their market worth, while those who are too calculating hop on career opportunities that lead them away from their career goals.

I believe talents who are in touch with the market, have realistic career goals and good personal brands are more likely to succeed.

I look forward to sharing what I have learnt and observed about dynamic and fulfilling career lives with the readers of the Classified Post in the year to come.

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