Career advancement, entrepreneurship, learning opportunities matter most in APAC
By Digital News Asia December 3, 2018
- Malaysian respondents believe diligence is the currency to get ahead in life
- Work-life balance an aspiration of how APAC respondents embark on opportunity
LINKEDIN, the world’s largest professional network has just revealed its inaugural LinkedIn Opportunity Index in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region where it has more than 153 million members.
The Index is a composite measure that seeks to understand how people perceive opportunity and more importantly, barriers that may prevent them from getting to those opportunities.
The research surveyed over 11,000 respondents in nine markets in the Asia Pacific region - Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore.
Two rapidly developing markets in the region, Indonesia and India take the top two spots on LinkedIn Opportunity Index - driven by the people’s confidence in their economic growth potential as well as their confidence in gaining access to and pursuing opportunities they identified as important.
Malaysia ranked fifth in APAC - higher than more developed markets such as Japan, Hong Kong and Australia - indicating confidence among professionals about chances of accessing and achieving success with opportunities that are relevant to them.
LinkedIn in Asia Pacific managing director Olivier Legrand (pic), said, “We believe that access to opportunity should be universal and for everyone. With the inaugural LinkedIn Opportunity Index, our aim is to gain an insight into the aspirations of people across the Asia Pacific region, how they feel about the opportunities they want to pursue, as well as the barriers that may stand in their way.
“The growing workforce in the region 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.”
Key highlights on Malaysia:
Career advancement, growing their business and looking for business opportunities matter to Malaysian respondents, but less optimal finances and networks stand in the way
There is a strong desire among Malaysian respondents to get ahead in life through advancing one’s career (18%), building one’s own business (16%) and looking for the next business opportunity (13%). Overall, more than half (54%) expressed confidence in achieving those opportunities in the near future.
The top barriers people felt they needed to overcome in order to access and realise opportunities are extrinsic in nature. Financial status is the most common perceived barrier by Malaysian respondents (42%).
This is followed by lack of a strong network and connections (25%). Other roadblocks include a difficult job market (20%), lack of direction and guidance (19%), and lack of required professional skills (18%).
Malaysian respondents believe diligence is the currency to get ahead in life
While 92% of Malaysian respondents believe in working hard to get ahead in life, an almost equal number feel that willingness to embrace change (90%) and being ambitious about their career (89%) are as important.
Close on the heels of these factors are knowing the right people or having the right connections (87%) and level of education (86%).
Eighty-five percent of respondents in Malaysia feel that equal access to opportunities also play a part in getting them ahead in life. Interestingly, gender (28%) does not appear to be as important a factor to Malaysian respondents.
Work-life balance is an aspiration of how APAC respondents embark on opportunity
A significant 40% of the respondents in APAC indicated that having good work-life balance as their ultimate aspiration of how they would embark on opportunity.
This is strongly echoed by respondents in Singapore (48%), Australia (46%), Malaysia and the Philippines (both at 44%).
Thirty-three percent of Malaysian respondents consider “starting their own business” as one of the top opportunities, behind only Philippines (52.5%) and Indonesia (50%).
In contrast, respondents in Australia (13%), Hong Kong (13%) and Japan (7%) are least likely to embark on entrepreneurial ventures. In Singapore, only 24%of respondents want to start their own ventures.
This demonstrates the thriving entrepreneurial culture and spirit amongst developing economies.
Key highlights on Indonesia
Starting own business is the top opportunity for Indonesians; Opportunity also goes beyond work in Indonesia
Half of the respondents (50%) in Indonesia indicate “starting my own business” as ultimate aspiration of how they would embark on opportunity. This is similar to respondents in the Philippines (53%) who are interested in entrepreneurial pursuits.
A significant 38% of the respondents also see their ability to utilise their skills as an their aspiration.
However, unlike the respondents in APAC, only 34% of the respondents in Indonesia hope to achieve or maintain work-life balance, compared to 40% across APAC.
The definition of opportunity goes beyond work in Indonesia as 82% have said that they have previously helped other people to connect to better job opportunities.
Among them, more than half (56%) stated that they had introduced their relative to the right contacts, while 47% of Indonesians stated that they had provided official job referrals for their relatives.
These findings strongly reflect the local cultural “Gotong Royong” spirit that emphasises the importance of community's role in helping Indonesians to grasp future opportunities.
Respondents in Indonesia cite financial status as top barrier to opportunity
Similar to the rest of APAC, 35% of respondents in Indonesia believe that their lack of financial security is the top obstacle to their access to opportunity. Respondents in Indonesia also cite lack of a strong network and connections (29%) as a major hurdle, coupled with a fear of failure (22%).
Indonesia believes diligence is the currency to get ahead in life
Similar to more than 90% of APAC respondents, 94% of respondents in Indonesia believe in working hard to get ahead in life.
Other attributes respondents in the country consider as important to advance in life include the willingness to embrace change (93%), knowing the right people or having the right connections (89%) and level of education (84%).
“The barriers to realising opportunities in life are very real, and despite the diversity of the Asia Pacific region, there are more similarities than differences when it comes to our hopes and aspirations. The good news is that no matter what opportunities mean for each one of us, we can count on our community for help. Whether it is learning a new skill, networking or sharing guidance, we can all help one another to unlock and create opportunities,” said Legrand.