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Shubhangi Faujdar Sahijani, Strategist & Trainer of JobS-ME

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Re-inventing job search to help individuals get results.

What’s your story?
JobS-ME – Job Search Made Easy. True to its name. I launched JobS-ME in August 2015 to help ambitious mid to senior professionals get their next ideal job fast.

With over 11 years of experience in the Singapore recruitment market (from student internships to executive level) and talking to job seekers on a daily basis, I realized that the majority of professionals put their careers on auto-pilot until an external event shakes them up. Throughout my recruitment experience, I came across professionals who are great at their work but don’t know about the changing recruitment landscape or managing their careers. I bring the expertise to re-invent job search, to help individuals get the desired results much faster.

What excites you most about your industry?
Honestly, I see myself at the cusp of a few industries – recruitment, coaching and training. With the changes happening in the economy and businesses, people are slowly but finally realising the importance of investing in themselves to reach their full potential. Being able to create impact and shifts in people’s lives, along with the privilege of witnessing the manifestation of these shifts is the most exciting aspect of my work. For example, when people progress to the next level in their career and get a role in which they feel fulfilled or get employed after taking a career break, that excites me the most.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born in the city of Taj Mahal, Agra, in India and moved to Singapore at the age of 18 to study at NUS. So, I am an Asian through and through. My business is registered in Singapore and I have served clients across Asia. With one of my partners, I help companies do cultural induction training for expats to ensure that they understand the cultures across Asia – which gave me an opportunity to understand our cultures at an even greater depth.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore. Can you believe that it took me a few hundred dollars and less than 3 hours to get my company set up in 2015? Where in the world can we get an efficiency like that?

There are so many other factors that make Singapore one of best cities in the world for business – meritocracy, accessibility, government support for businesses, opportunities, availability of high caliber talent, being a regional hub, infrastructure, safety and convenience. The list goes on.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
To take genuine interest in people’s lives and in helping them. It may sound counter-intuitive to running a profitable business, however, if you focus on creating impact and a massive impact, that’s when the business does well too.

Who inspires you?
My mum and my husband. They have always encouraged me to do better in all aspects of life. They are my biggest critics and also my number one fans.

My clients. My work gives me the opportunity to know fantastic people across various walks of life and become a part of their lives. I am always inspired to be more, so I can support them better.

If you are looking at business icons – Gary Vaynerchuk. He just talks sense and comes with a truckload of energy. I listen to at least 1 video of him every morning to get the frame of mind correct.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
“Extreme self-care is the most selfless act.”

You may want to read it again as it may come across as a contradictory statement. One of my coaches asked me to practice it for 2 weeks and that totally shifted my perspective. I am able to ‘be’ and ‘give’ so much more when I take care of myself including my health, mental well-being, finances, emotions, everything. Even for clients, only when they take care of their careers and in which direction they are going, that’s when they produce the best results at work. However, I would like to differentiate self-interest and self-care. Self-interest would be just focusing on the salary hikes whereas self-care would be gaining new skills, and the salary hike would be a by-product

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Learning to say ‘No’. Something I still struggle with from time to time. There are always signs when I meet clients initially but I tended to ignore them when I started the business. Now, I am upfront and tell the prospective clients that I would not like to ‘take their money and not create any impact.’ When people expect miracles, or have very strong notions of what they can or can’t do, or only blame others without taking responsibility, I know that we may not be a good fit. This is something with which I help my clients too. Not saying ‘yes’ to the first opportunity that comes up for them however, deliberating on their direction and making an informed choice especially when they have been in the market for a while.

How do you unwind?
Music. Cooking. Creating movement – biking, swimming, jogging and dancing. And, taking regular travel breaks.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Japan – love love love the food. Amazing culture. So much to offer.
For quick getaways, Bangkok. It has everything on offer – great culture, food, shopping, nightlife, massages.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The 4 hour work week by Tim Ferris. I started my business after reading this book. In fact any professional can benefit from various aspects of this book.

Shameless plug for your business:
JobS-ME is a training, coaching and consulting company helping professionals in Singapore get their next ideal job fast. We provide one-to-one programmes for mid to senior level professionals with a promise to take them from career anxiety to career certainty, from seeking jobs to being sought after and from job frustration to satisfaction.

Apart from our individual programmes, we also train and coach at Workforce Singapore (formerly WDA), SMU, NetExpat, some polytechnics. Being passionate about all things related to career, I enjoy speaking at conferences and writing articles on this topic

How can people connect with you?
Website – www.jobs-me.com.sg
email – [email protected]
Facebook – @jobsme.sg
LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/in/shubhangifaujdar

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

Callum Connects

Denise Mossis Kipnis, Founder & Principal of ChangeFlow Consulting

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Denise Mossis Kipnis’ curiosity in people and the world, lead her to set up ChangeFlow Consulting.

What’s your story?
I’m driven by curiosity. Having been the only one in a room who looks like me for most of my life, I developed a curiosity about who stays, who leaves and who thrives in minority/majority situations including when and how connection and collaboration happen. I was a systems thinker long before I knew what that was, always asking why and so what; and seeing the pieces, the whole, and the places in between. So helping people and organisations move through the complexity of transformation feels natural to me.

What excites you most about your industry?
I see change and inclusion as two sides of the same thing; I don’t practice one without the other. Some people see change as death, as loss, as exhausting. And it can be. But I see in the work I do as an opportunity for something new or hidden to emerge. When an organisation understands that it is first a group of people, who themselves represent and belong to groups of people, and it begins to tackle what it would mean to understand and learn from all that talent, all that diversity, to have them all working for and not against the organisation, to truly unleash all that their people have to offer; that’s magic.

What’s your connection to Asia?
Change and inclusion are personal values as well as professional strengths. For me, living and working outside of the States was a bold experiment to see whether any of the stuff I’d learned about change and inclusion would work outside of the US. My husband and I targeted Asia specifically: it would be the greatest contrast, culturally speaking, for me; and a unique career springboard for him.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Although I’ve practiced in other cities, I am biased towards Singapore. In some ways it’s what Los Angeles is to the rest of the United States, a microcosm of sorts. The regional/global nature of it means that so many different nationalities and cultures are represented. As a result of this mix, you never know what you might get. In some situations, cultural dynamics are obvious, sometimes subdued. The variability is compelling.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Never ask anyone to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself.” Michael Rouan.

Who inspires you?
Often it’s a “what” not a “who.” I can get inspiration from a passage in a book or a situation in a movie, as well as a turn of a phrase or watching people interact. I often make the biggest connections between the various threads I’m working on when I’m sitting in someone else’s event.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I’m honestly not blown away by much. Instead, I’m struck how circular things can be: ideas often come back around with a slightly different twist and I watch the way it shakes things loose for people. I recently sat through a workshop on Self as Instrument, and despite being thoroughly versed already, I learned something. In preparing for a panel on design thinking, I unearthed a new language to describe things.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
You’ve caught me at a good time. I’m sitting in appreciation and gratitude for all my experiences, because I wouldn’t be who I was today if all that has happened, didn’t. And yet one thing comes to mind: It wasn’t until I redesigned my website two years ago (shout out to Brew Creative!) that I realised I hadn’t made explicit agreements with my past clients as to what I could share publicly about our engagement, or whether I could use their logos in my promotional materials. In my business, confidentiality is so important, and yet I need to be able to talk about the work as reputation and experience leads to the next success, and so on. It turned out a lot of the contacts I had known had left the organisations where the work was done, so they couldn’t help at that point. So the practice I’m carrying forward is to get those agreements up front, and to make sure my relationships in client systems are broad as well as deep.

How do you unwind?
Science fiction, puzzles, wine.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Home. I don’t travel to relax, I travel to learn and explore.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Built to Change, by Ed Lawler and Chris Worley. To my knowledge, it’s the first pivot from advising organisations away from stability and toward dynamism, from strategic planning to strategizing as an action verb; to blow up the traditions and rigidity that impede organisations from developing change capability.

Shameless plug for your business:
We’re taught that there are two kinds of people: those who see forests, and those who see trees. There is a third type, my type, and we see the ecosystem. Worms, climate, birds, the spaces in between. This is the perspective organisations need to be successful in solving complex problems and thriving in change.
ChangeFlow uniquely blends four disciplines (two of which are multi-disciplinary in themselves): organisation development, culture and inclusion, change management and project management.

How can people connect with you?
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChangeFlowConsulting/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dmorriskipnis/
LinkedIn Company page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/4862954/
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.changeflowconsulting.com

Twitter handle?
@ChangeFlow

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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Callum Connects

Agnes Yee, Legal & Compliance Recruiter of Space Executive

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Agnes Yee started Space Executive in Singapore, which is a hub for businesses in some of the world’s fastest growing economies.

What’s your story?
After graduation, I joined a design media company as a Business Development Executive, during the era when ‘reading a magazine online’ was unheard of. I believe that laid the foundation for being unfazed by rejections.

I fell into recruitment pre-GFC and rode the highs and lows in the early years. A decade later, I decided to set up my own recruitment company, partly because I could. I’m acutely aware of the face that being an Asian female in Singapore is sometimes a privilege, and that many women in the world are living a very different existence.
Thereafter, we joined Space Executive as part of a merger. I am currently the Partner of Space Executive, a recruitment company focused specialist disciplines, including Legal, Finance, Digital, Sales and Marketing and Change. We also run Space Ventures, a venture capital business, which invests in seed and pre-series A businesses.

What excites you most about your industry?
On a daily basis, we’re influencing how one spends a third of their day. It is interesting how the Internet has transformed the industry, and I’m excited to see how we can harness technology to bring us to the next phase of this business.

The VC is an extension of applying our skills and experience in reading people. We very much invest in the people as much as the idea. Being a native Singaporean, it’s been exhilarating watching Southeast Asia becoming a hotbed of ideas; and young entrepreneurs simply daring to dream.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m a born and bred Singaporean. I love that I speak both English and Mandarin, grew up playing with Indian friends and eating Malay food.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore for the low barriers of entry to set up a business, but has to be China (and Hong Kong) for their hunger and constant innovation.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
青春不要留白 which translates to ‘Don’t waste your youth.’

Who inspires you?
Anyone who has gone against the grain.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
It wasn’t recent but reading the article on https://waitbutwhy.com/2015/12/the-tail-end.html never fails to blow my mind how little time we have left. Charting our lives in weeks, and realising I only have enough time left to enjoy 60 Christmas turkeys, read 300 books (all if I’m lucky); and mostly, I’m left with the last 5% of the time that I spend in-person with my parents.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I’m cognisant that every decision I made in life has brought me to where I am today, and I wouldn’t change one thing. But I’d really like to have had more time to travel.

How do you unwind?
Exercise and wine.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Trekking any mountain in Asia. It brings us back to the most basic. To overcome elements of nature and our own mind.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Start with Why, Simon Sinek

Shameless plug for your business:
Space Executive started in Singapore, a hub for businesses in some of the world’s fastest growing economies. We assist organisations in accessing a targeted and specialised, and often times transient talent pool.

Out of Singapore, we have recruited across 14 countries; and have embarked on our global expansion plans with offices in Hong Kong and London this year, and US, Japan and Europe in the following years.

Space Ventures provides funding, management and financial guidance to young businesses with original ideas. We have invested in peer to peer lending platforms, credit scoring, social media education, and other start-ups spanning diverse industries. We are always interested in hearing more about new ideas.

How can people connect with you?
https://www.linkedin.com/in/agnesyee/

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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