Jobseekers need to be proactive in the "Next Normal"

BRUNEI: Chairman of Baiduri Bank Group Board of Directors Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Muda Dr Abdul Fattaah has advised that the best way for jobseekers to prepare for the "Next Normal" is for them to proactively search for opportunities.

“(These) come in many ways – from enhancing skills to diversifying their bread and butter, as well as improving relations with family members and others,” he said.

Chairman Yang together with other thought leaders from the Sultanate recently gathered in a virtual town hall forum to reflect on lessons learned in the past year and offer advice on how to best prepare businesses even if the country is in an endemic phase.

“I see a lot of problems as everyone is going through plenty of hardship with the economic miseries at this time, but as everyone says, if there are all these challenges, there will also be opportunities,” the chairman said.

“To me, what I see in the next normal is very much a time of uncertainty. This uncertainty promotes the need for us, in business and in our lives, to stay resilient, sane and safe. It is key for us to be agile and adaptable in these difficult times,” Yang said.

He added that the Brunei business community will face challenges particularly with the aspects of economic downturn, supply chain disruption, working from home, mental health and well-being, education as well as healthcare.

Fellow forum panellist Progresif Sdn Bhd CEO Hajah Nurul Haniah binti Haji Mohd Jaafar zoned in on how “the pandemic has taught us plenty, directly and indirectly forcing and accelerating behavioural changes in the way people work, live, learn and the likes.

“The nature of work has shifted from both an employee and employer’s perspective, and even in terms of the job demands perspective,” she said.

Hajah Nurul Haniah also believed that even in the endemic stage, the effects of the pandemic will continue to impact lives in many ways, with digital transformation playing a huge role in helping businesses to remain sustainable, relevant and competitive.

Meanwhile, Baiduri Bank CEO Ti Eng Hui said that the year 2022 is a time people are cautiously awaiting. He compared the impact of the first and second waves of Covid 19 that hit Brunei Darussalam, noting that the second wave made a more severe impact on the Sultanate.

“While the second impact has more long-lasting effects, we are fortunate that by and large, the businesses were able to adjust and respond to it well,” Ti said.

In preparation for the new year, Ti advised businesses to carefully consider the lessons of 2021 and push the envelope where necessary.

“Businesses will need to tailor customers’ experiences at the store and online levels to continue to improve, to be able to attract people to come out, enjoy themselves, travel, and go to the storefront, and so on. Those have become very important parts in terms of customer experience,” Ti said.

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