The dreaded R-word is something we will have to talk about as Singapore’s economy has slowed down considerably.
By Khalil Adis
You have probably heard it.
The ongoing trade war is impacting our economy.
Figures from the Ministry of Trade and Industry last week confirmed this showing that Singapore’s economy grew by 0.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2019.
This is much slower than the 1.1 per cent growth in the previous quarter.
It was also the city-state’s lowest growth in a decade.
Additionally, the latest data from Singapore’s trade agency Enterprise Singapore showed that Singapore’s exports fell 17.3 per cent in June in both electronic and non-electronic exports.
This marked the fourth straight month of year-on-year decline.
While we may bemoan about the state of the economy, we can also use it as an opportunity to improve ourselves.
Here are the three ways to recession-proof your job:
#1: Invest in yourself
We often speak about investing in stocks, shares, unit trusts and properties but rarely ever do we invest in ourselves.
When I talk about investing in yourself I am referring to constantly upgrading our skills to stay relevant with the changing market.
With the advent of technology and apps, our world has changed by leaps and bounds.
Disruption is the order of the day.
From Grab to Airbnb, they are disrupting traditional businesses and if we do not keep up, we risk becoming obsolete.
For example, I used to write 2,000-word articles but I realised that consumers do not have time to digest everything.
With social media, they want news in bite-sized nuggets that are easy to understand.
As such, I had to read up on what makes an article ‘clickable’ and constantly rewrite my headline to make it catchy.
One such ‘unicorn’ article was a story that I wrote for iProperty Malaysia. It turned out to be the number one story in Malaysia last year!
Likewise, in your chosen field, you will need to react to changing consumer trends.
For example, if you are in marketing, you might want to understand how to use social media like Facebook and Instagram to plug your products to consumers.
This could mean curating interesting content, videos and photos with a call-to-action button to get more leads.
The library is a good start as it offers a vast array of books to do some research.
Also, you can use your SkillsFuture credit to sign up for courses.
For a full list of course, click here
#2: Have multiple income streams
Let's face it - retrenchments are on the rise.
Instead of worrying and being unprepared if you will be axed, why not have a back-up plan just in case?
Don’t just depend on your salary for your income.
Instead, use it to develop other revenue streams.
For example, you could consider opening a bank account that offers attractive interest rates.
DBS has a Multiplier Account that pays your interest when you use it to bank in your salary, pay your mortgages and manage your expenses.
You might also consider investing in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) which you can buy direct from your local banks like DBS and OCBC.
Typically REITs invest in various properties such as shopping malls, industrial properties and so on.
REITs are paid every quarterly or every six months with an average return of around 6 per cent.
That’s better than putting your money in your bank account.
However, do read up on the various REITs in the market before you invest.
#3: Start an online business
Starting a business does not necessarily have to be capital intensive.
Online business is one such example.
Online shopping is the way to go as consumers now preferring to buy things online rather than in the store.
If you haven’t already noticed, some well-known retailers on Orchard Road have already rolled down their shutters due to high rental and operating costs.
This makes e-shopping a viable market provided you have the right products.
To set up an online store will require you to buy a domain where you can design the website on your own such as via Wix or Weebly.
This will set you back at around less than US$100 annually.
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An independent analysis from yours truly