Singapore Expats Forum

Thinking of moving to Singapore

Discuss about the latest news & interesting topics, real life experience or other out of topic discussions with locals & expatriates in Singapore.

widza32
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon, 16 Jun 2014

Thinking of moving to Singapore

Postby widza32 » Mon, 16 Jun 2014 6:31 pm

Hello all,

I'm thinking of making a move to SG to work, but before I do, I think it would be helpful to get a bit of info.

What is the work culture like? Does Singapore really have a culture of long work hours, with not much of a work/life balance? And there have been rumours of people taking work home and workking on weekends - not sure how true that is? Obviously this would be dependant on what sector / company you're working in, but as a general rule of thumb?

What is the social life like in terms of: things to do in your free time, meeting other expats and locals, dating and so on?

Thanks

User avatar
ecureilx
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 9288
Joined: Fri, 20 Aug 2010

Re: Thinking of moving to SG...

Postby ecureilx » Mon, 16 Jun 2014 6:48 pm

widza32 wrote:Hello all,

I'm thinking of making a move to SG to work, but before I do, I think it would be helpful to get a bit of info.

What is the work culture like? Does Singapore really have a culture of long work hours, with not much of a work/life balance? And there have been rumours of people taking work home and workking on weekends - not sure how true that is? Obviously this would be dependant on what sector / company you're working in, but as a general rule of thumb?

What is the social life like in terms of: things to do in your free time, meeting other expats and locals, dating and so on?

Thanks


a concise reply

work depends on company, industry .... some lines expect after office work, some frown upon after office work

rest, like free time, dating etc depends on You, and where you are from, and what it means to say 'date' and 'spending free time'

of late some Expats have started a new past time of stealing Bobcats and crashing into taxis, I am told :evil: :evil:

widza32
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon, 16 Jun 2014

Re: Thinking of moving to SG...

Postby widza32 » Mon, 16 Jun 2014 7:17 pm

Thanks for the reply.

Regarding the work, are there any sectors / industries that are notorious for long working hours and taking work after hours? Is a 12 hour work day considered 'normal' in the gist of normal Singapore working life??

As for me - I'm of indian ethnicity, but culturally I'm nowhere near Indian. Lived in the UK for the past 12 years, so, if anything, I'd consider myself more of a Brit than anything else. However, I'm partially aware of social attitudes by some locals and expats who could stereotype me as the 'typical indian' - I wouldn't feel so comfortable if that happened prolongingly.

In terms of "spending free time" I' probably say I'm more of an outdoor person than an indoor person. So anything from beach walking and watching live sports matches does it for me. Of course, having spent 12 years in the UK, going to the pub after work to quench your thirst is a very welcome pastime on my part. Sampling fine cuisine is another.

By 'date' I mean (without sounding too naive and quasi-misogynistic) meeting girls, getting to know them and spend quality time with them. Not into all the bling-bling materialistic sort of stuff...

LOL'd @ the 'stealing bobcats' and crashing into taxis :lol: :lol:

whiplash00
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon, 16 Jun 2014

Re: Thinking of moving to Singapore

Postby whiplash00 » Mon, 16 Jun 2014 9:13 pm

widza32 wrote:Hello all,

I'm thinking of making a move to SG to work, but before I do, I think it would be helpful to get a bit of info.

What is the work culture like? Does Singapore really have a culture of long work hours, with not much of a work/life balance? And there have been rumours of people taking work home and workking on weekends - not sure how true that is? Obviously this would be dependant on what sector / company you're working in, but as a general rule of thumb?

What is the social life like in terms of: things to do in your free time, meeting other expats and locals, dating and so on?

Thanks


Depends on who you work for.

western companies: as long as you deliver on time, they generally dont bother what you do

Asian companies: be prepared to work your a55 off

Social life is boring. ppl here go outside of singapore whenever they could.

movingtospore
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 699
Joined: Thu, 23 Jul 2009

Postby movingtospore » Mon, 16 Jun 2014 9:49 pm

Well. I'm a bit down on Singers these days...so take this with a grain of salt. But:

- Disagree with the previous posters a bit. Asian companies are daft but easily manipulated I think - punch the clock and you're done (though it is a long clock here). The MNCs..they will work you to the bone. You do the day shift and then come home and do the night shift with calls to London, Amsterdam, New York, etc etc. They do not understand or care about time zones. If you're lucky, you have an employer that will give you some flexibility in your time (or insist on this). If you're unlucky you will work for a rule-bound local who thinks you need to put in the face time hours and do the night shift. At the office. Still...I'd take a MNC over a local company any day...much more likely that you'll report to head office that way. You couldn't pay me enough money to work for local company.

- Live sports etc - not much to be had unless you play your own, recreationally, which can be good. Or if you have kids who compete - children's stuff is OK.

- Live music, etc. Forget about it if real, club style music is your thing. The odd "big name" act comes through. But there is no club scene to speak of.

All that said it's all right. When people ask me about life here my usual answer is " I don't love it. Most of the time I don't hate it. It's an OK place to live and work for a few years."

Good luck. Sorry to be grim, hitting my five year mark here and am wanting out.

- :-|

movingtospore
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 699
Joined: Thu, 23 Jul 2009

Postby movingtospore » Mon, 16 Jun 2014 10:01 pm

Also...if you are of Indian ethnicity be prepared for a shocking amount of racism in Singapore. There is a pecking order in the local mentality and if you are of Indian descent, well... Apologies in advance for what you'll experience.

User avatar
the lynx
Governor
Governor
Posts: 5239
Joined: Thu, 09 Dec 2010
Location: Midgar

Re: Thinking of moving to Singapore

Postby the lynx » Tue, 17 Jun 2014 9:22 am

widza32 wrote:Hello all,

I'm thinking of making a move to SG to work, but before I do, I think it would be helpful to get a bit of info.

What is the work culture like? Does Singapore really have a culture of long work hours, with not much of a work/life balance? And there have been rumours of people taking work home and workking on weekends - not sure how true that is? Obviously this would be dependant on what sector / company you're working in, but as a general rule of thumb?

I agree on bits from movingtospore and ecureilx.

It all depends on the industry and specific company. But both MNCs and SMEs work your ass off if they want that. But if you're in manufacturing (say chemical), the factories are strictly 9 to 5, or 8 to 4, etc and staff move by the sound of bell. In banking and finance, you have the issues with various time zones and you have to put up with funny hours for tele-conference etc. Whether you get flexi time or not for this, that depends on each company.

I know of people who bring work home, or come back to work at night after dinner or on weekends. On the other hand, I am one of the fortunate ones who work strictly 9 to 5.

It all depends.


What is the social life like in terms of: things to do in your free time, meeting other expats and locals, dating and so on?

Singapore is a transient country. You have lots of people from different parts of the world congregating here for work and play. Social life is fun if you like meeting lots of different people. Note that I'm saying this with optimism, because half of the people here may not be as outgoing or adventurous as you would imagine.

Having said that, dating is fun too. If you like cross-cultural kind of stuff.

Watch out for gold diggers. We have a thing here called SPG. The kind that hunts with stilettos, thick makeup and tight short dresses, armed with Prada clutch and equipped with sharp eyes for rich foreigners as potential sugar daddies. Of course you have gold diggers of various species all over the world, but watching this National Geographic - Singapore episode here is educating because this hunting game here has interesting set of parameters. Even better with David Attenborough's voice as narrator.

Finding a keeper is a totally different game, having said that.

You will run out of fun and inexpensive things to do after your honeymoon period of 1 or 2 years. But if you have a hobby that you're serious with (triathlons, diving, etc), it will keep you preoccupied and also find you new friends who really stay and bond.

Have fun!


Thanks

User avatar
Brah
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1956
Joined: Sat, 18 Dec 2010

Postby Brah » Tue, 17 Jun 2014 4:54 pm

It's getting to where a sticky for this subject might come in handy.

Is anyone actually a buyer of this place anymore?

widza32
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon, 16 Jun 2014

Postby widza32 » Wed, 18 Jun 2014 3:52 pm

Thank you for the responses guys - very much appreciated.

@movingtospore - you mentioned a "shocking amount of racism" if I'm of Indian ethnicity. In your opinion, does this differ whether you're "local Indian" or "Indian from India"?? Furthermore, does the racism stem from the locals or the expats? I'd be really surprised if it was directed at former. In my experience (I was in the UK for 12 odd years), there wasn't much directed at the latter, although I could say there were subtle instances towards them, and I'd definitely say that local Brit caucasians were definitely sceptical of them because they "behaved like creeps and stalkers, visualised white women as objects rather than people and had weird body odour" (quote from a friend of mine! :D ). I would like to think I'm thick-skinned enough to endure that sort of prejudice; I think the effects of it could be reduced if you're in the correct social circle.

@the lynx - thanks for your response too. I'm actually in the financial services sector and can relate to late hours to get onto conference calls etc. In your opinion, would local companies or MNCs pay you more?

User avatar
the lynx
Governor
Governor
Posts: 5239
Joined: Thu, 09 Dec 2010
Location: Midgar

Postby the lynx » Wed, 18 Jun 2014 4:40 pm

widza32 wrote:Thank you for the responses guys - very much appreciated.

@movingtospore - you mentioned a "shocking amount of racism" if I'm of Indian ethnicity. In your opinion, does this differ whether you're "local Indian" or "Indian from India"?? Furthermore, does the racism stem from the locals or the expats? I'd be really surprised if it was directed at former. In my experience (I was in the UK for 12 odd years), there wasn't much directed at the latter, although I could say there were subtle instances towards them, and I'd definitely say that local Brit caucasians were definitely sceptical of them because they "behaved like creeps and stalkers, visualised white women as objects rather than people and had weird body odour" (quote from a friend of mine! :D ). I would like to think I'm thick-skinned enough to endure that sort of prejudice; I think the effects of it could be reduced if you're in the correct social circle.

@the lynx - thanks for your response too. I'm actually in the financial services sector and can relate to late hours to get onto conference calls etc. In your opinion, would local companies or MNCs pay you more?


Financial services? Did you mean IT?

General rule of the thumb, MNCs pay much better than SMEs, with better package but we are seeing less of those coming now, due to the tightening of EP and general transition of jobs to citizen job bank.

movingtospore
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 699
Joined: Thu, 23 Jul 2009

Postby movingtospore » Thu, 19 Jun 2014 9:19 am

There are others who can probably comment better than I regarding direct experiences of racism. But, from my perspective, it is institutionalized here in a really bizarrre way. And as a result the Singapore Chinese feel it's perfectly acceptable to discriminate against other nationalities and cultures and/or engage in really hateful vitriol, particularly online. There is no legal framework , at this point, to stop hate speech etc. Hopefully they will grow up a bit as a society someday and address that. Do some googling on race issues in Singapore...It is a very inmature society in many ways - and hasn't adapted well to tremendous change the last few years. A lot of this is bubbling up now and there is a lot of tension.


Anecdotally, I know several English Indians who have not been rented apartments because they are "Indian" - as an example. This practice is not illegal here and they think nothing of it. I have worked with really outstanding "Indian" Indians, in regional leadership positions, who regularly get addressed as if they were the coffee boy in meetings by Singapore Chinese clients. Indian Singaporean friends of mine who have been here for four generations are making plans to emigrate because they feel this is no longer a place they want to raise their family.

But maybe others have a more positive view.

Local Talent
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed, 29 May 2013
Location: singapore

Postby Local Talent » Tue, 24 Jun 2014 1:47 pm

movingtospore wrote:There are others who can probably comment better than I regarding direct experiences of racism. But, from my perspective, it is institutionalized here in a really bizarrre way. And as a result the Singapore Chinese feel it's perfectly acceptable to discriminate against other nationalities and cultures and/or engage in really hateful vitriol, particularly online. There is no legal framework , at this point, to stop hate speech etc. Hopefully they will grow up a bit as a society someday and address that. Do some googling on race issues in Singapore...It is a very inmature society in many ways - and hasn't adapted well to tremendous change the last few years. A lot of this is bubbling up now and there is a lot of tension.


Anecdotally, I know several English Indians who have not been rented apartments because they are "Indian" - as an example. This practice is not illegal here and they think nothing of it. I have worked with really outstanding "Indian" Indians, in regional leadership positions, who regularly get addressed as if they were the coffee boy in meetings by Singapore Chinese clients. Indian Singaporean friends of mine who have been here for four generations are making plans to emigrate because they feel this is no longer a place they want to raise their family.

But maybe others have a more positive view.


There is racism in every country , and it's very ungrateful of you to make a sweeping statement about the Singaporean chinese. Especially when this Govt. chosen by the people have given you the opportunity to live and work here, that itself speaks alot about you as a foreign worker from India, so called "foriegn talent".
There are also lots of Singaporean Chinese migrating to other country ,what would you make out of this , maybe you like to think it's race related too.

AngMoG
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 609
Joined: Wed, 17 Apr 2013

Postby AngMoG » Tue, 24 Jun 2014 2:23 pm

Local Talent wrote:
There is racism in every country , and it's very ungrateful of you to make a sweeping statement about the Singaporean chinese. Especially when this Govt. chosen by the people have given you the opportunity to live and work here, that itself speaks alot about you as a foreign worker from India, so called "foriegn talent".
There are also lots of Singaporean Chinese migrating to other country ,what would you make out of this , maybe you like to think it's race related too.


So.... telling the truth is "ungrateful" now? Just because one lives/lived SG, means there can be no criticism?!

I lived in SG 7+ years until recently, and the amount of both open and underground racism is shocking. It is quite visible that management positions in gahmen and large companies are unequally distributed among the ethnic groups, to the favor of the people of Chinese origin. For admin staff, the favor is for people of Malay heritage it seems.

I'll leave the following without comment: "Chosen by the people" ... ;)

ohmz52
Regular
Regular
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon, 16 Dec 2013
Location: England

Postby ohmz52 » Tue, 24 Jun 2014 9:50 pm

12 hours a day is normal for me even tho contractually it's 9, but true it depends on industry.

Generally, most of the people I have met I find are quite materialistic and depend so much on status, always trying to keep up appearances and be somebody they're not.

It's a small island so I often find myself running out of things to do despite residing here for only a few months.

Don't bring up the racism card and victimise yourself, that's so last decade.

All in all, apart from being small and boring, it could be worse.
The grass is greener on the other side.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34270
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 24 Jun 2014 10:17 pm

ohmz52 wrote:
Don't bring up the racism card and victimise yourself, that's so last decade.



They really don't have to worry. Any more, and we know the average local is so last decade anyway, somebody else will bring up the racism card for them. Right in their face. Or as they would say here, right ON your face. :roll:


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “General Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests