Lee Kok Leong, executive editor, interviews Olly Riches, President Director, Michael Page Indonesia and the Philippines on the current job markets.
What is your opinion of the current state of the economy and the general job market?
From conversation with key players in the maritime sector, both Indonesian and the majority of global economies are impacted by two factors.
- Real impact from the global pandemic where international trade has slowed due to a drop in consumer spending as well as new strategic projects, or investments put on hold as organizations try to ride out market uncertainties post pandemic and obtain clarity before major decision making.
- Perceived impact of the pandemic where companies have taken on a “wait and see” approach and are reluctant to make hiring activities. This is due to the general atmosphere of uncertainty the pandemic has brought on even if the actual economic fundamentals of the industry in question are actually healthy.
Specifically, how is the job market for the maritime industry doing?
The job market in the maritime industry is impacted by the same factors as mentioned above and there is a reluctance to move forward on recruitment.
However, exceptions are observed in the areas of implementing new technology and addressing sustainability agendas. Within the maritime industry, these have been earmarked as spaces to improve margins even if revenues do not meet expected growth rates.
Why do you think a career in the maritime industry is attractive?
It is in many ways a tradition-driven business with the advantage of several areas in which the industry can be refreshed.
Companies are looking at improving greater integration, new technologies and improved sustainability which are all expected to make the industry attractive.
Despite the global pandemic, the maritime industry will be able to sustain a significant business progress going forward.
What types of maritime jobs are in demand?
Professionals in demand will include those within integrated logistics who can bring together the end-to-end land/ocean service elements of the supply chain.
Technology jobs will also play a major role as companies look towards port automation, customer intimacy and integration.
Finally, with sustainability playing equal importance in the sector, professionals in demand will include those who can look at a reduced carbon footprint through efficiency gains as well as new fuel/energy sources.
What do you think are the top well-paid jobs in the maritime industry?
- Group CEO driven to bring strategic change in a company
- Sales/Business Development Head with a strong network and a high personal credibility among target customers
- Portfolio Investment Head with the ability to monetize the current portfolio and smart/strategic investments
- Technical Expert of Sustainability
Your top advice for jobseekers.
- Revise your professional resume to highlight where you can offer values in the areas which matter now – integration, technology, sustainability.
- Renew your industry network/knowledge. This is important as new players constantly enter the areas of integration, technology, and sustainability and you want to keep ahead of such changes.
- Keep an open mind with regards to different types of employment in these pandemic times. This could come in the form of exploring mobility, contracted time period or perhaps partly compensated on your value-add
- Try not to get too caught up as to how a new job decision will look on your resume – these are unusual times and future employers will understand. Take a chance now.