The inaugural LinkedIn Opportunity Index seeks to gain insight into how people perceive opportunity and the barriers to getting to said opportunities. For LinkedIn’s first survey for the Asia Pacific region, they surveyed over 11,000 respondents in the Asia Pacific region, aged between 18 to 60 years old using online interviews across Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.
The index measures 7 variables:
- Availability of in-market opportunities
- Assessment on accessibility of opportunity
- Confidence in achieving success
- Outlook on economy over the next 12 months
- Outlook on respondents’ financial situation over the next 12 months
- Quality of life specifically happiness
- Quality of life compared to previous generation/parents
According to the LinkedIn Opportunity Index, Indonesia and India took the top two spots on the index in regards to confidence in gaining access and pursuing opportunities. Malaysia ranked fifth in the Asia Pacific region higher than Japan, Hong Kong and Australia. In Malaysia, where LinkedIn enjoys over over 4 million users actively using the business networking platform, the brand discovered several unique factors affecting respondents in the LinkedIn Opportunity Index.
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 amongst 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,” Managing Director, LinkedIn in Asia Pacific.