Brah wrote:Am late to this thread and will read the posts retrospectively.
Having lived in both places for a number of years each, and having left Japan not because I wanted to but the market in Japan was shrinking then and the market in Singapore was exploding. It is a decision that I stand by based on the facts I had at the time, but have for the most part but not entirely often regretted.
Some of those facts were based on Singapore's cost of living, which was cheaper than Japan's at the time, or Tokyo's anyway. With that I'd be making less, I thought, I'd make more net, but in hindsight I would have been financially better off in Japan. And that was when Singapore was much more cost effective, it's not now. Re the posts here about the nenkin and healthcare in Japan.
Japan as you know by now is a love it or hate it place, and can be difficult for foreigners, especially for many women, to fit in, or in dealing with the language constraints, and that you will always be a foreigner. The comments about xenophobia are warranted, though there are varying degrees of that in Singapore as well.
Before committing to your decision, I recommend that you read every post in this thread, among others on this forum: viewtopic.php?t=110387
And for the record, I not only struggled with the decision to move here, but also to take an offer back in Japan a few years back, as badly as I wanted to leave here and go back there, it was not the sensible move so I stayed. Both were among the hardest decisions I had to make as well, for many reasons which I will not go into on this forum.
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".
You will feel “foreign” here as well though in different ways. It is more international in some ways and not in others. X9200's post covers that well.
I need more time to read this thread, your details, the responses, etc. but from what I glanced, the pay is not worth the move, again, as supported in the thread I linked. Sorry to say but I strongly feel that the salary you mentioned is too low, you will struggle, and with no relo even more difficult. My opinion.
In that industry it will be hard to find relo, but it could happen (it did for me but that was during much better days). It is hard to compare salaries side by side as there has been so much flux in the FX rates over the years, and as with Japan over that past 10+ years, salaries seem to be coming down here.
It sounds to me that you might want to consider other locations, or follow JR8's suggestion to stay put and wait a couple years to see how things play out, you can always get a better deal than the one you have.
You haven't mentioned where you and your husband are from, perhaps a move back to your country but in a new location? Or even within Japan, a new location - where are you now?
Having said that, you seem to be done with the place, and no sense in being miserable there - the negative side of Japan can be pretty dehumanizing, believe me I know, I was there longer than your husband. Love the place as I did / do, that is what got to me, and I felt my character had diminished by fitting it into the norms there. But that is another story...
Like BBCW warned you about, once I left I did not have a way back and that impacted my chances for jobs there. Now the market there is so tight they won't look at someone overseas very easily - I know, I've tried.
IMNSHO the quality of life is higher in Japan, the quality of living is higher in Singapore. Depends which is more important to you. Japan is much more rich and diverse, Singapore is much simpler.
Will write more later. In the meantime, excerpt from a chat with a friend who lived there longer than me who got reloed back to the US:
do you miss Asia? isn't it weird being back and amongst people with little clue of outside of America? (at least that's how it is when I'm back home)
Don't miss it. One year this Saturday and loving it. No earthquakes, clean air (my kid's asthma has disappeared!), better career advancement opportunities, better working hours, family learning a second language, etc., etc......
In my opinion, Asia is over. It will never be like the old times.
It's very nice that you passed by this thread since I have heard that you have an experience in both Japan and Singapore.
So, I spent time yesterday reading the thread you suggested as well as other, and general point is taken.
One of the most important points you make that Japan - yes, it is usually love and hate. And for foreign woman it is extremely tough society to be in for a variety of reason. The point is to live by not fitting in. Now, I would like to put aside topics of silent racism in Japan, features of xenophobia in Singapore this is present in every country you go. It's still quite a different feeling being part of 2% of foreigners among 98% Japanese, either more or less melting in the country that consists of a variety of ethnic groups.
My husband is a holder of the Japanese passport but not born and raised in Japan. So let's say, in some way we are home. Our native countries (South America vs post-Soviet biggest country in the world) don't seem to be very exciting in terms of economic perspectives, they are not an option.
Yes, I have been wanting to leave Japan in past three years. After looking for jobs in Singapore for past 7 months (which is extremely tough especially because you are not in Singapore) we finally got an offer of 7.5k per month with limited bonuses included for sales (they were included into base salary since the initial offer is 5k) with a requirement in a contract to complete 2 years, otherwise paying penalty (compensation of the remaining months salary). Now when all these details come up, the offer seems to be quite bad as it seemed past Friday.
For comparison, salary for HB in past year in Japan is 12 mln yen per year that is 150.000 SGD (together with bonuses). Base per year will be 100.000 SGD. Plus, I also earn quite well and plus, we have own apartment here for what we pay a good sum of money every month.
Considering this, my main concern was whether 7.5k offer in Singapore makes sense at all. Or, maybe not this time and its not worth it considering all the details like age, current salary in Japan and many other factors.
Regarding the country differences, I have been to many in Asia incl. Singapore and to me its a great standard of living, it is close to other Southeast Asian countries where we love to travel, it is safe and bla bla bla. And yes, while Singapore may feel like not that "foreign" you still don't feel like alien while stepping out of your house)