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How do professionals in Singapore view success?

Zafar Anjum | March 5, 2013
A new Accenture study finds most professionals here believe they can “Have it All” and they see technology both as a help as well as hindrance to achieving work-life balance

There never has been so much emphasis on the need to achieve work-life balance than now when professionalism demands deep work engagement to the detriment of one's private time.

This seems to be a global trend and Singapore is not an exception. According to a new global research from Accenture, titled "Defining Success," a majority (60 percent) of surveyed professionals in Singapore say they can "have it all".

In fact, having both a successful career and a full life outside work is so important that many choose a job based on its potential impact on work-life balance, Accenture said in a statement on Monday (4 March).

The study found that female respondents in Singapore are more concerned with a healthy work-life balance with 74 percent (versus 50 percent of men) saying they have turned down a job due to concerns about its impact on work-life balance. 

What is the definition of career success?

According to the study, the definition of career success differs between men and women in Singapore. What matters more-money or recognition? For female respondents, recognition (66 percent) tops the list of definitions of career success while male professionals perceive money (64 percent) as the defining factor for success. Globally, work-life balance tops respondents' definitions of career success, ahead of money, recognition and autonomy (cited by 56 percent, 46 percent, 42 percent and 42 percent, respectively).

"Over the course of their careers, professionals will continue to define and re-define what success looks like," said Teo Lay Lim, Accenture's senior managing director - ASEAN and Singapore. "For many, career goals and personal priorities will take precedence at different times.  As today's professionals strive to find the right balance, leading companies will find innovative ways to help them develop, grow and thrive."

The role of technology

The research also found that technology plays a role in achieving work-life balance, although respondents express mixed feelings about its impact on their personal lives because it cuts both ways. For example, 83 percent of Singapore respondents agree technology gives them more flexibility with their schedules, which is deemed extremely or very important to work-life balance. Yet 88 percent say technology brings work into their personal lives, which is higher than the global rate of 70 percent.

"The fact that work-life balance continues to be critically important to employees holds tremendous significance for employers," said Teo. "Companies that can help their employees navigate both their professional and personal lives are likely to see strong employee engagement and enjoy an advantage as they recruit and retain high performers."

Should you ask for a pay raise?

The Accenture research also found that as far as job satisfaction goes, over half of the surveyed Singaporeans (61 percent) are dissatisfied with their current job due to the lack of advancement opportunity, long working hours and heavy workload. Sixty-nine percent of them feel that their work and the rest of their lives are integrated. Interestingly, 53 percent consider themselves workaholics, which is higher than the 40 percent globally.


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