LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network has just revealed its inaugural LinkedIn Opportunity Index in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region where it has more than 153 million members, including four million in Malaysia.
The Index is a composite measure that seeks to understand how people perceive opportunity and more importantly, barriers that may prevent them from getting to those opportunities.
The research surveyed over 11,000 respondents in nine markets in the Asia Pacific region – Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore.
Two rapidly developing markets in the region, Indonesia and India take the top two spots on LinkedIn Opportunity Index – driven by the people’s confidence in their economic growth potential as well as their confidence in gaining access to and pursuing opportunities they identified as important.
Malaysia ranked fifth in APAC – higher than more developed markets such as Japan, Hong Kong and Australia – indicating confidence among professionals about chances of accessing and achieving success with opportunities that are relevant to them.
Olivier Legrand, Managing Director, LinkedIn in Asia Pacific, said, “We believe that access to opportunity should be universal and for everyone. With the inaugural LinkedIn Opportunity Index, our aim is to gain an insight into the aspirations of people across the Asia Pacific region, how they feel about the opportunities they want to pursue, as well as the barriers that may stand in their way.
“The growing workforce in the region is a key asset that, if harnessed effectively, is going to continue to drive the economies. Over time, by tracking people’s perception of opportunity and the barriers they face, we hope we can continue to facilitate more of a balance between demand and supply in the opportunity marketplace.”
Key Highlights of LinkedIn Opportunity Index 2018 on Malaysia:
- Career advancement, growing their business and looking for business opportunities matter to Malaysian respondents, but less optimal finances and networks stand in the way
There is a strong desire among Malaysian respondents to get ahead in life through advancing one’s career (18%), building one’s own business (16%) and looking for the next business opportunity (13%).
Overall, more than half (54%) expressed confidence in achieving those opportunities in the near future.
The top barriers people felt they needed to overcome in order to access and realise opportunities are extrinsic in nature. Financial status is the most common perceived barrier by Malaysian respondents (42%).
This is followed by lack of a strong network and connections (25%). Other roadblocks include a difficult job market (20%), lack of direction and guidance (19%), and lack of required professional skills (18%).
Malaysian respondents believe diligence is the currency to get ahead in life
While 92 percent of Malaysian respondents believe in working hard to get ahead in life, an almost equal number feel that willingness to embrace change (90%) and being ambitious about their career (89%) are as important.
Close on the heels of these factors are knowing the right people or having the right connections (87%) and level of education (86%).
85 percent of respondents in Malaysia feel that equal access to opportunities also play a part in getting them ahead in life. Interestingly, gender (28%) does not appear to be as important a factor to Malaysian respondents.
Work-life balance is an aspiration of how APAC respondents embark on opportunity
A significant 40 percent of the respondents in APAC indicated that having good work-life balance as their ultimate aspiration of how they would embark on opportunity.
This is strongly echoed by respondents in Singapore (48 percent), Australia (46 percent), Malaysia and the Philippines (both at 44 percent).
33 percent of Malaysian respondents consider “starting their own business” as one of the top opportunities, behind only Philippines (52.5%) and Indonesia (50%).
In contrast, respondents in Australia (13 percent), Hong Kong (13 percent) and Japan (7 percent) are least likely to embark on entrepreneurial ventures. In Singapore, only 24 percent of respondents want to start their own ventures. This demonstrates the thriving entrepreneurial culture and spirit among developing economies.
“The barriers to realising opportunities in life are very real, and despite the diversity of the Asia Pacific region, there are more similarities than differences when it comes to our hopes and aspirations.
“The good news is that no matter what opportunities mean for each one of us, we can count on our community for help. Whether it is learning a new skill, networking or sharing guidance, we can all help one another to unlock and create opportunities,” said Legrand.