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Future Women Leaders Forum 2023: Thriving Together in a Constantly Changing World

Navigating transitions between life seasons can be challenging, but having the guidance of someone wiser and more experienced can make all the difference.

The event showcased an impressive ensemble of speakers, including the esteemed Guest-of-Honour Nadia Ahmad Samdin, Grassroots Advisor and Member of Parliament for Ang Mo Kio GRC. Our keynote speakers Samantha Ng, Founder of Becoming Irreplaceable; Cheryl Tan, Founder of The Breathe Movement; and Shirley Crystal Chua, Founder and Group CEO of Golden Equator, captivated the audience with their insightful talks.

The panelists, comprising Charmain Tan, Founder and CEO of QuickDesk; Goki Muthusamy, Senior Vice President, Head of People, Asia Pacific at Visa; Serene Gay, Group Country Manager, Regional Southeast Asia at Visa; and Ying Ling Tan, User Researcher at GovTech, added to the richness and diversity of the discussions.

Through candid and personal sharing, the speakers delivered invaluable insights about setting ourselves up for success in today’s Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous (VUCA) world.

Possessing clarity

Living in a world that's in a constant state of flux demands that we possess a deep understanding of our values and priorities, as this is pivotal in attaining our personal version of success. Nevertheless, it's easier said than done, especially in the early stages of our careers, when everything is new, thrilling, and sometimes daunting.

The speakers delivered actionable advice to guide us in figuring out what we desire. This includes exploring both paid and unpaid opportunities that facilitate learning and growth, as well as carving out time for an annual career review. Such reviews enable us to take stock of the previous year and chart new goals for the next one.

Since our circumstances are prone to alteration, our priorities may shift accordingly. For example, Nadia shared that her knowledge of her ageing parents needing more financial support inspired her to return to practising law. By having clarity about our priorities, we can make informed decisions as we navigate the different seasons of life. There will always be trade-offs, but being cognisant of our ultimate goals empowers us to discern which ones are worthwhile.

Harnessing bravery

Transitioning into a new career path can be daunting, especially when we've been taught to follow a conventional, linear trajectory. However, if we're willing to embrace the discomfort, it can also be an opportunity for growth and self-discovery.

It's not always easy to identify what we want from the outset, which is why the speakers shared their personal experiences of navigating career transitions. For instance, Goki accomplished a long-held aspiration of working in a quasi-governmental organisation, only to realise it wasn't her cup of tea. She made a pivot towards HR in a financial institution, which eventually led her to Visa.

Undoubtedly, having a support system - whether at work or in our personal lives - is crucial. The speakers recounted how supervisors encouraged them to explore novel areas by offering resources and opportunities, and how supportive friends and family played a vital role.

Applying adaptability

Lastly, the speakers emphasised that in today's ever-evolving world, possessing a high adaptability quotient is crucial to remain at the forefront of industry trends. This entails embracing all learning opportunities, including setbacks and challenges, and being open to putting ourselves in uncomfortable situations to continue advancing towards our ultimate goals.

In summary, the FWLF speakers delved into a wide array of subjects, ranging from valuable insights to steer our mindsets and attitudes towards our careers, to practical advice on discovering prospects and managing our finances. YWLC would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our esteemed speakers and participants for making this event a resounding success, and we wish each participant the very best in embarking on your professional journey.


Author: Allison Lee Editor: Rachel Tan

Sponsor: Visa

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