Workplace equality have always been the front-of-mind for businesses, governments, regulators, society, and – most important of all – employees who drive the success of the company. SThree place a strong focus on Diversity and Inclusivity, and consistently develops an evolving people-plan to ensure there is a balance of representation whether across cultures, genders, race or nationality.
In line with this, we encourage and help unleash the potential of our employees through training and development programmes to allow them to attain their goals – both personal and professional. This allows them to go above and beyond their potential and Manjit Kaur from our Singapore office is a true testament to that.
Having been a significant role model over the last few years to many within the SThree family, the true dedication she has exemplified alongside the belief she had in herself have taken her career to hit one milestone after another – inspiring many others across all walks of life. From Rookie to Associate Business Manager in an amazing record of less than 6 years, SThree is extremely proud to share Manjit’s story. We held a short session with the team in Japan to inspire other women in the business to step up and pursue their leadership goals.
Her humble beginnings
Manjit’s major milestone in life came when she graduated from University of Edinburgh. With three siblings, it was challenging for her parents to support her studies financially post-secondary education. As such, she’s been working since 16 years of age, testing her hands at various short-term stints.
Finally at the age of 28, she joined SThree in 2012 as a rookie recruitment consultant. Her journey might be different to many on the team, but she has shined through with the support of many at SThree, including her direct manager who still works alongside her now in the Singapore office.
Our first hire of Real Staffing, part of the larger SThree Group
Manjit was the first employee of Real Staffing Singapore in April 2012. Back then, SThree was considered a start-up in Singapore albeit with a strong global presence.
“All we had was a phone and a desktop!” shared Manjit, who looked back on the early beginnings of Real Staffing Singapore.
Despite the challenges of a start-up, it did not stop her from dreaming big. Joining the company with no recruitment experience, she worked incredibly hard from Day 1. This was in addition to her passion for Medical Affairs.
“Before SThree, I had various stints within medical affairs. From promoting life sciences education in schools to prescribing diet plans and healthy eating, and even carried out diagnostic testing for diseases like HIV, it was always about medical affairs.”
She may have joined recruitment at a later stage in life than everyone else at that point but she has since achieve many “personal best”. Her advice is to first start off by knowing what you want to be known for and work towards that.
Building her own brand by focussing on growth
She highlighted that for anyone who aspires to be a leader, you need to first build trust and credibility.
“You need to be a role model not just internally with your colleagues but externally with your customers. Be inspired, but also inspire others. That way, you can work towards establishing an authentic leadership. You need to be inclusive. Leaders are meant to be people whom you can look up to, aspire to be, and talk to. It is important to also be open to feedback to understand how I can better engage with the team. COVID-19 has thought us that performances need to be based on outcomes. Honesty and transparency are key, and be sure to communicate at all times.”
Through her journey, she also received multiple accolades which cemented her strengths and capabilities in the industry. In 2016, she was Asia Pacific and Middle East (APAC MENA) Biller Record for Permanent Sales. In her fourth year, she also made it to the top 20 globe scoreboard. Adding onto her portfolio, she earned 4 external industry awards for Best Recruitment Consultant.
Aside from her career achievements, she also loved the idea of having a family of her own. Through the years, she has learnt to balance work and responsibilities at home.
Striking the right work-life balance
Manjit got married in 2017 – and it was definitely life-changing for her when she had her first daughter, and now her second child is due in September 2020.
She shared, “Having a family and building a solid career is challenging but also rewarding. Never once have I felt that I was alone. In the Singapore office, we have many alike myself with children and I don’t feel like I’m alone in this battle. SThree has given us a good support system, and I have a supportive manager, Mark, who has been there throughout my journey right from the start.”
Having experienced what it’s like to return to work from maternity, she said, “being motivated was never a problem”. In fact, she started to maximise her time better and focused on being more productive because time now seems even more precious. She made sure she covered her tasks efficiently at work, and made it a habit to get home in time to tend to her family.
“I set clear objectives and made sure to prioritise my time. As a leader, you’ll understand that you can’t always do everything by yourself. You have a team and everyone can lend their support as long as we stay accountable. Constant communication is thus, crucial.”
Are you looking to pursue a leadership role but not sure how? Inspired by what you read and want to make a change for yourself? You may read more about our Female Leadership Programme, IdentiFy here. Do also connect with us for regular updates from our LinkedIn Page or visit our blog for more inspiring stories, tips and insights!