Platform to air your views

Danial Norjidi

Young Professionals Network Brunei (YPN BN) is a network set up as a platform to nurture growth of young professionals in Brunei Darussalam through key initiatives such as networking, dialogue, mentorship, advocacy and development programmes.

Founded and led by a group of passionate young professionals from diverse backgrounds who aspire to keep the network inclusive, engaging, meaningful and impactful, YPN BN aims to promote and empower employability and champion young professionals’ capacity for leadership at various levels.

One of their initiatives is the Impact Dialogue Series, which aims to create a space for open, honest and constructive dialogues on matters relating to employability, leadership and contribution to support the personal and professional development of young people to succeed.

The initiative aspires to convene breakthrough dialogues aimed at cultivating a positive mindset as well as a resilient attitude to ultimately inspire actions that contribute to development.

Following the first Impact Dialogue in September 2019, the second and most recent dialogue was held on March 7 at the Progresif Headquarters.

The second Impact Dialogue in session at Progresif Headquarters on March 7. PHOTO: DANIAL NORJIDI

This second Impact Dialogue was a discussion on the job market titled ‘Should young people settle for less?’ which was moderated by Co-Founder of YPN BN and President of the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Brunei (YEAB) Fatin binti Arifin. It featured a panel of mentors from YPN BN.

“The goal of this session is to provide a platform for everyone to actually release your issues in a constructive manner, because we always believe in the power of dialogue,” said Fatin. “The topic that we chose is something we all believe is very close to our young people’s hearts.”

The first mentor to speak at the session was Nisa binti Masir, who shared that at the first stage, especially during one’s early years of employment, it is okay to settle for something which is within your passion or capacity “because I believe it is also important for you to narrow down in terms of what you are able to do and what skills you are able to give to the employer”.

She added, “From an employer’s perspective, to me, once we are able to see your value, any employer wouldn’t mind paying more.”

As she explained, “It doesn’t mean personal brand in terms of fame, but it’s also when you work for something or volunteer for any kind of community or anything, you actually shine as a particular person with specific competencies that are able to contribute to any kind of organisation that you are in.”

She concluded, “So to me, it’s okay to settle for less, but also at the same time work towards contributing more.”

Next mentor Florence Han believed that young people first need to identify what is “less” for them.

“Basically, people would usually base it on monetary terms. That’s the first thing that comes to mind. But you see, your ‘less’ may be different from other people. For certain people, it could be industry-based, but for others it’s about a one-year contract or a long-term position,” she said.

She added, “In my personal opinion, especially in today’s job market, it’s very saturated. Supply is more than the demand. We have so many graduates from local and overseas universities who are seeking for jobs.

“So I would agree to a point to what Nisa suggested just now where, when you first start your career, go with what they offer you. Again, identify what is your ‘less’ first. From there, show your employer what you are capable of and your employer will definitely pay for what they see in you. You need to be able to show them what you can do.”

Third mentor Muhd Muizz bin Haji Md Jaini said, “You have to be humble and know your level and where you are, but keep your standards. As you go along the way, you can expand and move forward.”

Mims Sidi was the next mentor to speak, and he advised, “It’s always better to want to do better, to want to do more. If you feel like you’re already at the top, you’re not there yet.”