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Interview with Ignite Asia: How to recession-proof your career in the coronavirus downturn

Posted on April 2020

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The coronavirus has already led to rising unemployment rates in some markets and job security is a growing concern in the investment industry. But there are steps fund executives can take to shore up their future career prospects, experts say.

The coronavirus outbreak is disrupting asset management businesses in Asia and across the world like no other crisis before, impacting daily operations and sales, and adding uncertainty to firms’ future revenues amid widespread predictions of a looming global recession.

Jack Zhang, Hong Kong-based team head of fund management at financial recruiting agency Selby Jennings, says worries about job redundancies are rising in Asia’s asset management industry.

“People in the industry are kind of looking at job stability as a key concern, they are saying a sort of global recession is looming and are worried about [whether] they will have a job in the next six months or a year,” Zhang says. “That’s one of the key concerns that’s come up recently because of the global nature of how the virus has spread," he adds.

Selby Jennings’ Zhang recommends maintaining a proactive yet prudent approach when it comes to dealing with potential uncertainties over the job security and also when looking for opportunities elsewhere.

“It’s a very sensitive time, especially in Asia in cities like Singapore and Hong Kong,” Zhang says.

Everyone, including senior management, will have a lot on their plates trying to cope with the current situation, so those who emerge from the crisis in a better position maybe those who are best at dealing with other people, including their bosses, who are also inevitably stressed out as well. Zhang cautions against any drastic moves, such as jumping ship to look for a new job, especially for a relatively senior executive with five to 15 years of experience in the fund management industry.

However, he also recommends that people stay open-minded and continue talking to others to watch out for new opportunities. “The companies that can hire, and spend capital to expand in this market, are actually the most brilliant ones. You are better off looking at who else is hiring right now."

This is an excerpt from an article originally published by Ignite Asia. To read the full article, please visit Ignite Asia.

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