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Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

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MariaT
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Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby MariaT » Mon, 16 May 2016 9:52 am

Hi all,

I and my husband are currently working in Tokyo on local contracts. My HB has been here for past 13 years, and I – for past 7. We managed to buy apartment, earn well (although workload is crazy). However, I have been living with a thought of relocating to Singapore for past 1.5 years since I’m not happy here mentally. Although we both speak Japanese, there are very few chances to make friends with locals, most of our foreign friends are gone and, overall, being a Caucasian women here is very tough. Based on this, we started to look for a job in Singapore and we have been doing it for past 7 months. Looking for a job from outside turned out to be very hard but after 7 months of searching/applying we finally received an offer from one company (relocation internally has been raised within his company but they are reluctant since he is very valuable in his current position in Japan).
The company in Singapore is not really “famous”. They offer 7500SGD per month (with bonuses in future) without apartment or relocation being covered. So we will have to pay for this from our pocket. What I have learned so far, that this is not a bad salary, rather above average. And considering the fact that I will also work once I find a job it seems like not a bad option.
Now, at the same time with this offer, we received another one from a very famous company in Tokyo with a significant pay increase of 30%. I know that rationally we should take it but me wanting move out of Japan very bad makes me to consider an offer in Singapore. Do you think is worth it? Would you go to Singapore with a monthly salary of 7500 SGD with your partner? (Just as a side info: I’m in my late twenties, husband is early thirties).
I feel like moving to Singapore will bring us to a more international environment where you won’t have a feeling of being “foreign” and since we are still young I have this feeling "now or never".

Any thoughts of you guys will be very much appreciated since it's the hardest decision I have had in my entire life.
Last edited by MariaT on Mon, 16 May 2016 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Job opportunity in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby MariaT » Mon, 16 May 2016 10:50 am

Just as a side note, in past year his salary including bonuses at current job is 150.000SGD per year

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Re: Job opportunity in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby PNGMK » Mon, 16 May 2016 11:33 am

I would. I don't think Japan has a long future for either of you and he should chase opportunities to broaden his experience. $7500 is a bit tight here taking rental into account though. If you can sell your japanese apt and buy in Singapore that would help.
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Re: Job opportunity in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby MariaT » Mon, 16 May 2016 11:52 am

PNGMK wrote:I would. I don't think Japan has a long future for either of you and he should chase opportunities to broaden his experience. $7500 is a bit tight here taking rental into account though. If you can sell your japanese apt and buy in Singapore that would help.


Unfortunately, selling apartment is not an option, just renting it. We still have a loan from the bank for next years to come... :?
The initial offer was 2500SGD less so I guess we negotiated well. Its very hard to get something higher for this price from the outside country/company(

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Re: Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby JR8 » Mon, 16 May 2016 6:30 pm

You could use Numbeo and compare your current package vs how the offer you mention would work out in SG.
Money isn't everything; but after relo costs and rent the SGn offer might net down to less than is acceptable to you.
Might taking the new offer in Tokyo and sticking with it for a year or two open up materially better chances to then move to a place like SG, either via internal transfer or to another company? Don't know... just a thought.
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Re: Job opportunity in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby JR8 » Mon, 16 May 2016 6:38 pm

MariaT wrote:Unfortunately, selling apartment is not an option, just renting it. We still have a loan from the bank for next years to come... :?
The initial offer was 2500SGD less so I guess we negotiated well. Its very hard to get something higher for this price from the outside country/company(


So the job was originally offering $5k? After your number of years as an expat that might be considered somewhat low*. ... And they hiked the original offer about 50%... that seems a lot to me, to have that latitude with their budget. Perhaps others with employer/HR experience here might have thoughts on that.

re: mortgage. Are you saying that there is no [reasonable] means to redeem the mortgage, even on selling it? Are you sure? On the face of it that would be a bizarre and incredibly onerous kind of lock-in.

*Hard to judge since we know nothing about industry, job position etc.
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Re: Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby MariaT » Mon, 16 May 2016 6:59 pm

JR8 wrote:You could use Numbeo and compare your current package vs how the offer you mention would work out in SG.
Money isn't everything; but after relo costs and rent the SGn offer might net down to less than is acceptable to you.
Might taking the new offer in Tokyo and sticking with it for a year or two open up materially better chances to then move to a place like SG, either via internal transfer or to another company? Don't know... just a thought.


Thanks for your reply. It looked like not a bad offer but I'm quite afraid about rental costs. I have heard that rental costs are going down but you can never be sure.
Yes, taking a position in Tokyo sounds like an option although they require two year commitment before any sort of internal relocation. Meaning that I have to mentally survive additional two years...

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Re: Job opportunity in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby MariaT » Mon, 16 May 2016 7:04 pm

JR8 wrote:
MariaT wrote:Unfortunately, selling apartment is not an option, just renting it. We still have a loan from the bank for next years to come... :?
The initial offer was 2500SGD less so I guess we negotiated well. Its very hard to get something higher for this price from the outside country/company(


So the job was originally offering $5k? After your number of years as an expat that might be considered somewhat low*. ... And they hiked the original offer about 50%... that seems a lot to me, to have that latitude with their budget. Perhaps others with employer/HR experience here might have thoughts on that.

re: mortgage. Are you saying that there is no [reasonable] means to redeem the mortgage, even on selling it? Are you sure? On the face of it that would be a bizarre and incredibly onerous kind of lock-in.

The first offer was $5k. We were about to say "no" but decided trying to negotiate with the hiring manager. Told him that we wouldn't consider anything but at least $8k. The next day the offer was $7.5. So it's final. Industry is IT sales. Also, the target they give is quite low so can't count much on bonuses. We have never been on any expat package. Local contracts in Japan.

Yes, we can sell it but we bought with a thought of having our own property somewhere in this world.

*Hard to judge since we know nothing about industry, job position etc.

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Re: Job opportunity in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby MariaT » Mon, 16 May 2016 7:05 pm

MariaT wrote:
JR8 wrote:
MariaT wrote:Unfortunately, selling apartment is not an option, just renting it. We still have a loan from the bank for next years to come... :?
The initial offer was 2500SGD less so I guess we negotiated well. Its very hard to get something higher for this price from the outside country/company(


So the job was originally offering $5k? After your number of years as an expat that might be considered somewhat low*. ... And they hiked the original offer about 50%... that seems a lot to me, to have that latitude with their budget. Perhaps others with employer/HR experience here might have thoughts on that.

re: mortgage. Are you saying that there is no [reasonable] means to redeem the mortgage, even on selling it? Are you sure? On the face of it that would be a bizarre and incredibly onerous kind

*Hard to judge since we know nothing about industry, job position etc.


The first offer was $5k. We were about to say "no" but decided trying to negotiate with the hiring manager. Told him that we wouldn't consider anything but at least $8k. The next day the offer was $7.5. So it's final. Industry is IT sales. Also, the target they give is quite low so can't count much on bonuses. We have never been on any expat package. Local contracts in Japan.

Yes, we can sell it but we bought with a thought of having our own property somewhere in this world.

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Re: Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby JR8 » Mon, 16 May 2016 7:24 pm

MariaT wrote:Thanks for your reply. It looked like not a bad offer but I'm quite afraid about rental costs. I have heard that rental costs are going down but you can never be sure.


You could try and narrow down an idea of what housing here might cost you by using this FAQ/template...
Since rent would likely be your largest outgoing, it might help provide even some outline reassurance.

viewtopic.php?t=101985
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Re: Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby MariaT » Mon, 16 May 2016 7:38 pm

JR8 wrote:
MariaT wrote:Thanks for your reply. It looked like not a bad offer but I'm quite afraid about rental costs. I have heard that rental costs are going down but you can never be sure.


You could try and narrow down an idea of what housing here might cost you by using this FAQ/template...
Since rent would likely be your largest outgoing, it might help provide even some outline reassurance.

viewtopic.php?t=101985
'Where I I/we consider living?'


Thank you for your advice. I have already looked on quite a lot of threads and pages with property to get more or less an idea.
I wonder how realistic my story sounds... A lot of threads indicate that $7500 is above the average and yet many people tell it's quite tight. It makes me think that this offer is not good at all.

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Re: Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 16 May 2016 9:05 pm

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. There are not any pre-qualifications to join this site other than a valid email address. Therefore we have locals who earn 2000/mo and expats who earn 750K/pa. and everything in between. What may not be good for you may be the most another has ever earned. And all are considered expats.

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Re: Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby JR8 » Mon, 16 May 2016 9:13 pm

MariaT wrote:Thank you for your advice. I have already looked on quite a lot of threads and pages with property to get more or less an idea.
I wonder how realistic my story sounds... A lot of threads indicate that $7500 is above the average and yet many people tell it's quite tight. It makes me think that this offer is not good at all.


So out of $7.5k/mo income, what have you budgeted for rent? This is a pretty reverse way to consider things [IMHO]... but might highlight anything egregiously out. And above the rent/$, the rough location, size/bedrooms, HDB or condo - just as a starting point.

And don't consider a 2nd job and income yet, you need at least initially to be comfortable surviving on just the one. Not least because the expats job market in SG is under heavy and increasing pressure.

p.s. Agree with ^SMS. That is precisely why you see people who say your offer is great, and others who are concerned it might limit your options. It's almost solely non-SGns here, but like SMS says from across the income spectrum. But if you ask/research on a forum with many local SGn posters they of course might well suggest $7.5k is like winning the lottery. But a locals housing needs and expectations are often very different to an expat, as might their $/lifestyle be.

- FWIW I cross-relo'd from Tokyo to SG, though long ago now. As did one other regular on this board. So hopefully we might be able to offer some direct experience-based perspective :)
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Re: Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby BBCWatcher » Mon, 16 May 2016 9:49 pm

Would you be putting your Japanese immigration status in jeopardy with a relocation to Singapore? Could you get back into Japan easily if you decide you don't like Singapore? Or would this be a one-way ticket out?

I disagree with the pessimism about Japan upthread. Japan has very little immigration and a shrinking working age population. That should add up to plenty of long-term opportunities for younger workers. It's also still the world's third largest economy, and size is helpful in terms of protecting against global economic shocks. Let's also keep in mind that Tokyo does not represent all of Japan any more than Manhattan represents all of the United States. Even Tokyo isn't like Tokyo when considering Tokyo's Ogasawara Islands (小笠原群島).

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Re: Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby JR8 » Mon, 16 May 2016 10:12 pm

BBCWatcher wrote:Would you be putting your Japanese immigration status in jeopardy with a relocation to Singapore? Could you get back into Japan easily if you decide you don't like Singapore? Or would this be a one-way ticket out?
I disagree with the pessimism about Japan upthread. Japan has very little immigration and a shrinking working age population. That should add up to plenty of long-term opportunities for younger workers. It's also still the world's third largest economy, and size is helpful in terms of protecting against global economic shocks. Let's also keep in mind that Tokyo does not represent all of Japan any more than Manhattan represents all of the United States. Even Tokyo isn't like Tokyo when considering Tokyo's Ogasawara Islands (小笠原群島).


Lol - you do come out with some, er... surprising stuff. Perhaps you missed her comment [my bold]? -
MariaT wrote:Yes, taking a position in Tokyo sounds like an option although they require two year commitment before any sort of internal relocation. Meaning that I have to mentally survive additional two years...


They want out, so Japan's economic future doesn't figure. And they haven't mentioned any immigration 'status' [like PR etc] beyond working there.
And no, of course, Tokyo isn't all of Japan, but it is where they live and work! And Japan IME is a really quite homogeneous country (esp for expats).

And your suggested solution, they move to a remote Pacific atoll - utterly brilliant, I'm sure no one else had thought of that, least of all the OP! :lol:

''''Tired of living in SG? My advice is to move to a remote and probably uninhabited atoll 600 miles away, which just happens to be SGn territory'''' :lol: :roll:
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