Sze Meng Soon
MD, Corporate Development,
There are three reasons for mid-career switches: career prospects, salary growth, and job fulfilment. The tech industry offers precisely that, alongside fantastic opportunities for real-world impact.
While starting over in a specialised field like tech can be daunting for professionals who've reached senior positions in another industry, others like Mr Soon Sze Meng, Managing Director at Temus, find it their best career move.
Initially a strategic consultant for Monitor Deloitte and McKinsey, Sze Meng's transition into tech began after joining Visa and PayPal, where he was involved in strategy and marketing. "I was immersed in the fact-driven, agile and customer-centric culture of the fintech space," Sze Meng shares. "Then I leveraged my experiences and skills acquired to join Singtel Group, where we built tech-enabled businesses in payment and gaming."
Since then, Sze Meng's portfolio has grown exponentially, such as leading JD.com (Southeast Asia) and accelerating growth for tech companies like GoJek and Tiki in e-commerce and logistics. "I seized every opportunity," he reveals. "These days, aspiring digital professionals from non-tech backgrounds have upskilling programmes like Step IT Up x Temus, which hires, places and trains successful graduates into tech roles in a matter of months."
So how can tech hopefuls get their foot in the door and set themselves up for success in tech? Sze Meng shares his experiences, career tips and industry insights.
As Managing Director, my role is to develop capabilities for Temus through inorganic growth. These include integrating Temus' strategic acquisitions, building the Step IT Up x Temus programme and enabling clients to drive their digital transformations. There are often trade-offs and decisions regarding ensuring we stay true to our mission of creating societal and economic impact.
My main takeaway is that customer-focused products require clarity of use cases and adopting the customer's perspective – a mindset of using technology to enable better experiences. After all, financial metrics are just outcomes from customer-centric metrics like usage and experience.
The tech industry will continuously evolve as we focus on changing customers' and clients' needs – and providing capabilities, capacities and, more importantly, ideas that can come from anywhere.
Given that tech requirements are constantly evolving, one of the essential qualities is the willingness to learn and adapt. Whether technical or programming capabilities, individuals must be committed and motivated enough to pick up skills as software advances.
Of course! I've observed that the willingness to adapt, work hard and adopt a customer-focused mindset allows those without a tech background to be successful. Tech hopefuls can carry over this mentality regardless of working experience.
Agile teams in the tech world require individuals to work intensely with each other while adapting to different styles and approaches for successful outcomes. No matter the field of work, professionals with years of experience have acquired personal mastery and interpersonal- and team-based skills that are also applicable in the tech world. Think managing emotions at work (which impact job performance and decisions), or even communicating and understanding expectations – which is critical for aligning on shared objectives.
Switching careers is a significant decision that requires support and guidance for success. Step IT Up x Temus provides technical instruction and coaching support for people embarking on their tech careers. We equip candidates with in-demand digital capabilities through comprehensive software development training and launch their careers in months.
The programme focuses on identifying intrinsic analytical and cognitive capabilities through customised assessment tests where we focus on the candidate's motivations and work style preferences for software development. Our assessment process differs from traditional approaches, which focus heavily on educational qualifications and work experience.
Therefore, the Step IT Up x Temus selection process and training allow our candidates to succeed in the programme and join the tech industry at any point in their careers without being constrained by past job decisions.
We enable inclusivity by providing anyone (especially folks from non-tech backgrounds) with an accelerated pathway into tech. Step IT Up x Temus will get you there if you're willing to keep learning and adapting.
Join Step IT Up x Temus to kickstart your digital career! Apply to transform our digital future – and yours.
80 Pasir Panjang Road, #22-81,
Mapletree Business City, Singapore 117372