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Enabling a Digital Workforce

Posted on 2021-08-09 07:00:00

Recently appointed Chief Human Capital Officer at Telekom Malaysia, Sarinah Abu Bakar has a monumental task ahead of her: Shaping the workforce that will lead the organisation’s main objective, Enabling Digital Malaysia.

“I am a strong believer in people’s capabilities,” Telekom Malaysia’s (TM) newly appointed Chief Human Capital Officer, Sarinah Abu Bakar said in a recent interview with GRADUAN®. “I believe through challenging, stretching and developing your people in the right way, you will get to see the best of them,” she continued as she spoke about her aspirations to deliver a future-proof organisation to realise new TM aspirations.

Sarinah joined TM in June 2021, prior to joining TM, she was the Vice President of Human Resources for the Asia Pacific as well as Global High Growth Regions at Honeywell International, a digital technology organization. Carrying with her decades of experience working with various tech companies before that, Sarinah has the grit and vision to guide TM to achieve its mission of enabling a Digital Malaysia starting with shaping a Digital Workforce.

But what is Digital Malaysia? Sarinah explained that “Digital Malaysia is about moving towards a digital society, digital business and digital government, to ensure that all Malaysians are able to enjoy the benefits of connectivity everywhere.”

Being a digital nation starts with the people, and TM has taken up the responsibility of helping the country in that respect. Moreover, being a people-oriented organisation that is no stranger to serving the nation, TM has taken it upon itself to provide the best for future talents. This is reflected in its young talent development programmes, TM Protégé and TM ELIT.

Its commitment to developing future-ready talent has made it one of Malaysia’s Most Preferred Employers in previous years at the GRADUAN Brand Awards. You can also vote for TM as Malaysia’s Most Preferred Employer 2021 here!

The TM Community or Warga TM can find comfort knowing that they are in safe hands. In fact, in her short time at the organisation, Sarinah has applauded the people she works with, saying, “There’s great energy and passion within the organization that you can feel! And that’s the perfect platform needed to achieve the goals we have set out.” To create a Digital Workforce, Warga TM has been put through vigorous training as the management looks to reshape its workforce, equipping them with the right skills to tackle the challenges the future brings, and of course to make them future proof.

“We are focusing on very specific skills of the digital era. We aim to become more agile, with strong bias in speed of execution. The transformation has started; many of Warga TM is being trained to acquire skills such as 5G, Software Defined Networking (SDN), Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), Internet of Things (IoT), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Smart Services, Data Analytics and many more,” Sarinah said about TM’s efforts in developing the future workforce.

Your certificates and degrees provide you with a strong foundation, and your leadership, participation, and collaboration on extra-curricula activities, sports achievements will help you to compete vigorously to secure that first job after graduating. Make the most of this stay-at-home season by boosting your resume and learning new skills such as commercial awareness, communication, problem-solving, teamwork, confidence, etc. A lot of these skills can be learned online and will give you the edge against other jobseekers,” she explained.

Technical skills aside, Sarinah pointed out the evergreen criteria she looks for when hiring new talent that will always be relevant no matter the time and age:

  • The ability to learn – Something essential in the ever-evolving job market. As the working world changes, so do the demands for skills, and if talents are unwilling to learn new skills to adapt, they could be left behind.
  • Persistence and resilience – “If you want something, be determined in pursuing it” Sarinah urged our readers to be persistent in their job hunt. “Take every job interview not just as an opportunity to land on a role but also as a form of training, but if it doesn’t turn out the way you envisioned, you can still take some good learning from it” she continued.
  • Curiosity – Sarinah urges talent always to take that extra step and go beyond what you already have. If you’ve acquired one skill, you should be curious to learn more about it and reach the next level of proficiency.
  • Courage – Willing to try on new opportunities, be bold and dream of possibilities instead of limitations.
  • Having the right attitude – The right attitude will tie all of the above together. Sarinah looks for talents who are self-motivated, eager to get started, has lots of energy, works well with others, and of course, hardworking because “You just can’t beat hard work”.

Seeing the organization's vision has to bring Digital Malaysia to life and the determination and grit the company shows in achieving it along with the initiatives in place, GRADUAN is confident that Digital Malaysia isn't too far away from being a reality.

By Ahmed Wafi

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