Over the past few months, Tatsuo Kajikawa and Keisuke Tahara have shaped the developments of an online mentoring platform in the support of DBIC Singapore andNomura Research Institute (NRI).
Through the provision of a platform for individuals to connect across a corporation, NRIaims to alleviate issues of high turnover with the relief of career anxiety through mentorship programs. How would this help? Through an online mentoring platform, stressed individuals receive advice and guidance from experienced mentors who have been through similar phases. This allows them to understand their dilemmas from a different perspective, make informed decisions and thereby gain a better foothold in managing career anxiety.
A Father’s Dream
Kajikawa-san took up the project in NRI to widen his horizons; to look beyond the environment that he grew to be comfortable with and experience something different. He saw the DBIC program as a platform for him to engage with individuals outside of the company, an experience unlike that of usual businesses in Japan. A technical engineer in cloud development today, he shares that his biggest anxieties stem from his academic days in the Biological Sciences, where establishing a career choice was a woe that constantly kept his mind busy.
When asked about his remedy, Kajikawa-san shared that he maintained good communications with his friends, learning about the varying perspectives of those in his age group and developing deeper insights. He came to find that “everyone has a different path” and that there was one waiting for him out there as well. Over time, he grew to be more directed, less anxious and more determined. Regardless of the results, he says that he “likes to try to do something anyways”. Keep trying.
Having benefited from the diverse perspectives of his peers when he was young, Kajikawa-san shares of his hope for his daughters to connect to a diverse range of individuals. He wishes for his daughters to engage in unconventional experiences and opportunities, extending their perspectives beyond that of the traditional system.
In Japan, corporations are undergoing a dynamic change. With more foreigners coming into the country and the gradual openness of companies, women will have a greater role in society in time to come. In the next 15 to 20 years, there will be a radical shift in the social structure as the issue of population decline becomes increasingly noticeable. As a father of 2 little girls, he hopes for a future where they will take on a key role in society. His experiences in the Singapore ecosystem, where many women from numerous countries play a role in the workforce, is an inspiration that he would like to share with his daughters when he returns to his home country.
Kajikawa-san’s views towards the need for diverse communications does not just stop within his family. He sees the benefits of establishing a mechanism for connecting members across society and companies, contributing his experiences and values to develop the online mentoring platform that we see today.
Hunger for Learning
Keisuke Tahara’s hunger for learning drives him to constantly keep up with his personal growth and in turn share such a developmental mindset to those around him. Over the years, his admiration for leaders with strong visions have fuelled his passion for learning. Inspired by conversations with these individuals, Tahara-san wants to do something great like them. Through their eyes he envisions a different perspective of the world and society, realising things he had never seen before.
He adds that the DBIC program in Singapore has opened him to a team that sees the people, country and environment as key elements of their personal growth and development. Additionally, the close-knit supportive work culture, where organisations and groups are interconnected despite differing focuses at work, has motivated for him to continue albeit the uncertainties ahead. He recalls the time where his fellow DBIC members called him a ‘Diver’, one that was into new or adventurous explorations. He had never seen himself in such an endeavour. However, the enlightenment that he was such a person in the eyes of others reminded him of his own potential and egged him on.
When asked about his personal encounters with anxiety, he shares that even a driven youth like him has his moments of dejection and lack of self-confidence. Tahara-sanfeels the lack of growth as his potential contributions at the workplace seems to plateau whilst peers of similar age shine in their roles. As a representative of his generation, he translates these feelings of anxiety to constructive improvements that advance the online mentoring project in helping youths like himself.
A project close to their hearts, both Kajikawa-san and Tahara-san have brought NRI’s online mentoring platform to life with the infusion of their personal experiences and aspirations. Anxiety is something that every individual will face at some point or another in their lives. It is with the support of others in our community that we will stand stronger in adversity and that is exactly what NRI aims to achieve, to increase accessibility to mentors key to our personal developments.
This post was written by Narcissa Koh, Content Strategist of DBIC.