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chaser47
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Need an advice

Postby chaser47 » Wed, 30 Apr 2014 10:46 am

Hi everyone,

I am now stuck in a dilemma and would like to ask for your advice

A brief background: I am single, in late 20s. I was born and raised in a 3rd world country. I then obtained a scholarship to study overseas. After my graduation I moved to Singapore and started my career here. I changed jobs a couple of times here. Singapore is a good place to live in and I can fly home quite frequently (~6-7 times a year). It is also easy to travel around. I have some good friends in town. I was not happy with my jobs but to me they were not miserable either. Also, I applied for PR for 3 times but got rejected. I did not lose hope but it made me feel insecure, to a certain extent (Working for international firm, I had choices to relocate to other countries, esp Europe. I did turn down an offer to move to London because I wanted to stay in Asia - it would be easier to visit my country)

However, one year ago, I wanted a change in my life. I had been thinking about moving back home for ... a change and I did. I managed to find a decent job in my home country before I moved back. Of course, when I made that move, I calculated the risk (career, savings, living standards, etc.). It made sense at that point of time.
Unfortunately, I was in misery during my tenure of the job back home, mostly because of an "interesting" boss I had. It was my first experience of working with a bad boss. At the same time, I found it really hard to adjust myself back the culture that I was from. I think this is normal for anyone who has lived overseas. Understanding that I would never find a similar job in my country, I still decided to quit as it was not worth my mental and physical health. So I quit without another job lined up.

Since then, it has been extremely hard to maintain a clear and strong mind during my job search. It would take me a long time to find a good job there. I can go to Singapore under visit pass, find a job and relocate back but I also want to give another try in my hometown. Now I reach to the point where I am looking for roles in both countries.

My dilemma is that I was not happy in Singapore (and insecure about my PR status) and now I am not happy in my home country either (not only about jobs). I understand every decision has its downside. It is about the downside that I am willing to take. I feel stupid because at this point of time, I still can NOT figure out what I really want. That's why I hesitated to ask people because at the end of the day, I have to probably follow my instinct and decide for myself. But, my head can be cloudy so, let's see: What would you do if you were in my position?
Last edited by chaser47 on Wed, 30 Apr 2014 11:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

AngMoG
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Re: Need an advice

Postby AngMoG » Wed, 30 Apr 2014 11:57 am

chaser47 wrote:Hi everyone,

I am now stuck in a dilemma and would like to ask for your advice

A brief background: I am single, in late 20s. I was born and raised in a 3rd world country. I then obtained a scholarship to study overseas. After my graduation I moved to Singapore and started my career here. I changed jobs a couple of times here. Singapore is a good place to live in and I can fly home quite frequently (~6-7 times a year). It is also easy to travel around. I have some good friends in town. I was not happy with my jobs but to me they were not miserable either. Also, I applied for PR for 3 times but got rejected. I did not lose hope but it made me feel insecure, to a certain extent (Working for international firm, I had choices to relocate to other countries, esp Europe. I did turn down an offer to move to London because I wanted to stay in Asia - it would be easier to visit my country)

However, one year ago, I wanted a change in my life. I had been thinking about moving back home for ... a change and I did. I managed to find a decent job in my home country before I moved back. Of course, when I made that move, I calculated the risk (career, savings, living standards, etc.). It made sense at that point of time.
Unfortunately, I was in misery during my tenure of the job back home. At the same time, I found it really hard to adjust myself back the culture that I was from. I think this is normal for anyone who has lived overseas. Understanding that I would never find a similar job in my country, I still decided to quit as it was not worth my mental and physical health. So I quit without another job lined up.

Since then, it has been extremely hard to maintain a clear and strong mind during my job search. It would take me a long time to find a good job there. I can go to Singapore under visit pass, find a job and relocate back but I also want to give another try in my hometown. Now I reach to the point where I am looking for roles in both countries.

My dilemma is that I was not happy in Singapore (and insecure about my PR status) and now I am not happy in my home country either (not only about jobs). I understand every decision has its downside. It is about the downside that I am willing to take. I feel stupid because at this point of time, I still can NOT figure out what I really want. That's why I hesitated to ask people because at the end of the day, I have to probably follow my instinct and decide for myself. But, my head can be cloudy so, let's see: What would you do if you were in my position?


Being happy/content is an attitude thing, to some extent. It sounds to me that the jobs you have had, both in SG and in your home country, have never made you happy. You had a bad choice with your first company "back home"; I have had bad experiences with companies as well, it happens. You cannot always win.

I think you need to become clearer in your mind as to what job is it that you want to do, and in what kind of company. It looks like you have not figured that out yet. And as such, moving back to SG would probably not make you happy either.

I see no dilemma here at all. SG is cutting back on foreigners; it would probably not be easy for you to find a job there, and even if you do find one, to get the EP. Nevermind the new job bank think that is coming up in August.

Once you become clear in your mind what it is that you want to do, tailor your resume accordingly, and look for the right position with a decent company. Do networking, and LinkedIn contacting, not just blasting out your resume. IF you need to, accept a position somewhere that is not 100% fit, and keep looking in the meantime. But above all, try to be content with what you have.

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Postby Beeroclock » Wed, 30 Apr 2014 12:28 pm

Agree with angmog comment, and I'd add to reflect more broadly across all aspects of your life, not just work/career. Think about friends, family, sports, hobbies, spirituality. Put your work life in perspective and maybe this will give a clearer perspective of who you are and what you want to do now. Attitude is very important, try to accept and be grateful for what you have, and don't dwell too much on past decisions/mistakes. Good luck

chaser47
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Postby chaser47 » Wed, 30 Apr 2014 12:39 pm

Thanks for your reply AngMoG, much appreciated.

You are right, I need to keep a clear mind during this time. I've done exactly what you advised. I decided what kind of company I want to work for. That is why I rejected the offer to move to another role in the company "back home". The culture is toxic, or maybe, I am not suitable for it ...yet (as it is a local company). Plus, albeit the seniority, that role pays a much lower salary (but it is in line with the market there). I am not driven by money but the responsibilities of that role, the pay and my ongoing struggle to adapt to life there do not match my equation right now. I would not mind that pay in a different working environment (e.g. a foreign owned ones).

After some job changes, my MBA and this bad experience in my country, I kinda have an idea of the area that I want to move into. I am searching and applying for roles that at least match those two criteria (organization type, area of expertise) in both countries. I totally understand the difficulty of securing a job in Singapore now. That is why I do not keep my expectations too high.

Hm, I think I am going through a quarter life crisis (well, it has been like that for the last couple of years, damn). A bad incident happened and made it worse. I just hope there will be an answer soon..

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Re: Need an advice

Postby JR8 » Wed, 30 Apr 2014 12:41 pm

chaser47 wrote: That's why I hesitated to ask people because at the end of the day, I have to probably follow my instinct and decide for myself. But, my head can be cloudy so, let's see: What would you do if you were in my position?


Hi, and welcome to the forum!

This is quite a deep question. What you are facing, and describing is something that many or most expats will face at some time; and seek to work through.

When you're younger it's great to go and grab opportunities. It might not necessarily tick every box, but it's exciting, and in retrospect your life is usually enriched by it. Later you are burdened with expectations, and obligations, so the path is to some extent pre-defined for you.

Getting the 'back home blues' is absolutely par for the course, and I've certainly had them, AND expect to have them again (yep, even on the 4th time leaving this country). Remind yourself, that there is always another opportunity, a venture to be had - if you want it and seek it.

What do you think would make you happy? Perhaps you need to define that first of all :)

I think there is a generational nuance there. When we're younger, we tend to do what we have to; but when we're a bit older, a bit more established, we have more choices, and we tend to err towards doing what we wish to, and what we think will 'make us happy'.

chaser47
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Postby chaser47 » Wed, 30 Apr 2014 12:43 pm

Beeroclock wrote:Agree with angmog comment, and I'd add to reflect more broadly across all aspects of your life, not just work/career. Think about friends, family, sports, hobbies, spirituality. Put your work life in perspective and maybe this will give a clearer perspective of who you are and what you want to do now. Attitude is very important, try to accept and be grateful for what you have, and don't dwell too much on past decisions/mistakes. Good luck


Thanks for your post. I need to remind myself this everyday :)

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Postby beppi » Wed, 30 Apr 2014 4:07 pm

Re-entry shock (when returning home after a long time abroad) can be as bad as culture shock (when moving to a foreign place), but happiness generally depends more on your attitude than on the environment. If you focus on what is worse here than where you were before, you'll be miserable. If you focus on what is better, you'll be fine. Your choice!


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