Time, or the lack thereof, should not be the reason that holds you back from learning or training.
Take Edmund Wee, 54, for example. The senior financial consultant with over 30 years of working experience with NTUC Income was recently awarded the Public Service Medal for his contributions to the community of Bishan-Toa Payoh in 2021.
Beyond that, he is also a board member at the Asia Pacific Financial Services Association (APFinSA) and an advisory board member with the Insurance and Financial Practitioners Association of Singapore (IFPAS).
Yet Edmund still manages to slip in time to ready himself for the future by attending courses. All while balancing his professional and community work.
Understanding the Need to Upgrade
Like many other sectors, COVID-19 impacted the financial and insurance sector when it hit our shores in 2020. The Government had to resort to strict social distancing and safe management measures to curb the spread of the virus.
As a result, Edmund was unable to physically meet existing and potential clients. But knew he had to evolve if he wanted to survive in the new normal.
“When I first joined the workforce, I only had my ‘O’ Levels, so I know the importance of upgrading,” he said.
Even though he was steadily employed in a family business after his secondary education, he decided to pursue an insurance certification. It was a decision that would later pay off when his uncle decided to retire, which led Edmund to join Income in 1987.
Getting in touch with NTUC LearningHub
By chance, Edmund came upon an advert in the papers by NTUC LearningHub (LHUB) about their professional courses for self-employed persons (SEPs) in the middle of 2020.
“What stood out was that the advertisement stated that union members would be given additional funding to attend the selected courses,” he recalled.
Edmund contacted LHUB without much hesitation. LHUN then assisted him to choose suitable courses based on his line of work.
“They even helped me with the registration and simply informed me when to attend the courses,” he added.
Going for Training
The training was daunting as Edmund was not familiar with virtual meeting applications such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom.
He started to appreciated the convenience the applications had to offer once he got the hang of them. Since then, he has adopted their use to liaise with his clients virtually.
“It may be a very small thing, but it is a very important skill that I have picked up,” he said.
The courses he attended included the Application of Emotional Competence to Manage Self and Team at the Workplace, Communicating and Relating Effectively at the Workplace, and Projecting a Professional and Positive Image.
While it was hard for him to absorb everything, Edmund adopts a very simple goal when it comes to training.
He said: “You don’t have to learn everything. If you just learn one new thing for your work or personal life, I think that is good enough.
“Lifelong learning is a journey. It is my personal belief that we have to upgrade along the way. No matter if it’s with courses related or unrelated to what we do.”