It's not possible to talk about the economic picture of the Asia-Pacific region without citing its many successes, particularly in its fast-growing nations like Thailand, India and Indonesia, as well as more established economies such as Japan, India, China and Vietnam. According to the most recent edition of the Regional Economic Outlook compiled by the International Monetary Fund, APAC as a whole is expected to see economic growth of 5.5 per cent by the end of 2018, and the area's prominent role as a driver of various digital innovations has much to do with this robust prediction.
As such, the importance of social media and similar digital channels to a large share of this region's employees as a means of finding job opportunities makes perfect sense. Based on LinkedIn's inaugural Opportunity Index survey of 11,000 respondents from nine APAC markets - Australia, mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore - professionals in India and Indonesia feel especially strong about the potential of social media and other online outlets for helping them locate and obtain new jobs. These two economies are growing at a faster pace than their APAC counterparts, with the widespread embrace of technology playing a major role.
That said, 90 per cent of workers who answered the questionnaire across all APAC nations still have great faith in more traditional notions of what it takes to get ahead professionally: namely, diligent and consistent effort. Having well-placed connections was also viewed as critical to 85 per cent of the survey's respondents. The ability and willingness to embrace change - not historically a popular notion in more tradition-oriented segments of certain APAC populations, such as India and Japan - stood out as particularly important as well, cited by 81 per cent of those questioned.
Perhaps most relevant in the report's findings is the considerable belief in entrepreneurial efforts among workers in fast-growing APAC economies like the Philippines and Indonesia, where more than 50 per cent of respondents consider starting their own business to be the most important professional opportunity to pursue. The level of notable ambition this reflects can only bode well for the future economic prospects of these nations.