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Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

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MariaT
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Re: Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby MariaT » Wed, 18 May 2016 10:04 am

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.

You said:
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.


Hello, Brah,

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)

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Re: Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby MariaT » Wed, 18 May 2016 10:10 am

BBCWatcher wrote:Fair enough, but "Asia" is a big place, and Tokyo is very well situated to explore it. North Korea, South Korea, Russia, much/most of China, Mongolia, and a bunch of Western Pacific islands are all closer to Tokyo (in time and distance) than they are to Singapore.

Leave that aside, though. Yes, I know people often talk about all the wonderful travel they could be doing from New Point X on the globe. But it's an incredibly weak argument when you've got a much higher income to support travel and, right now, you're seldom venturing out of your neighborhood. A 120 minute shorter plane ride (let's suppose) just isn't going to help...as you stare at the walls (or the TV) almost every weekend. If you haven't gotten out of the house and beyond your neighborhood often enough in Tokyo, that just ain't going to change in Singapore with half the income. If you're bored based in Tokyo, you're most probably going to be bored soon enough based in Singapore.

So, get on a plane (or boat, or train, or bus, or some combination) and get the (bleep) out of the house if that's what you want to do. What's stopping you?


Thank you very much for your positive message but let's agree that parts of Asia I'm talking about is not quite the same with yours?) [-X

The second argument of yours coming, perhaps, from the fact that you haven't read other responses of mine. I guarantee you, there is such a limited amount of people like me who travel A LOT within Japan. Believe me, in past 7 years I have seen a lot and traveled it from North to South (I bet you understand know about my movements within Tokyo). So let's put aside your wonderful argument of me being stuck at home since it is just simply your assumption.

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Re: Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby PNGMK » Wed, 18 May 2016 10:29 am

I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.

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Re: Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby Brah » Wed, 18 May 2016 11:27 am

Crap, my long post didn't get posted and it's lost, not gonna write it again...
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Re: Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 18 May 2016 11:30 am

PNGMK, you bad! :-"

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Re: Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby Brah » Wed, 18 May 2016 11:38 am

My lost post was along the lines of that at least 3 of us in thread, including BBCW (who is not English therefore no DA accent), have extensive experience living in both places and the focus is on the feasibility of life in Singapore to suit the OP's intentions.

Travel to/from here and racism are secondary, it is more about the life style and cost of living.

If Asian adventure factors highly then perhaps Singapore has some merit, in practice few of us, including those at higher income levels, travel that much. Thought I would, but I travel about as much as when I lived in Japan.

To me, Singapore is less an Asian country than a partially-Westernized location situation in Asia, I get little Asian-ness from it, then again, I may be jaded from decades overseas. It's kinda like going to Miami for a US cultural experience, which some may claim is an oxymoron.
Last edited by Brah on Wed, 18 May 2016 12:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby Brah » Wed, 18 May 2016 11:39 am

Guys stop with the tit-for-tat and stay on topic, everyone has something different to contribute
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Re: Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby Brah » Wed, 18 May 2016 11:58 am

MariaT wrote: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 ......Considering this, my main concern was whether 7.5k offer in Singapore makes sense at all.

You have to factor in the fact that we had year-end within that time, when hiring and opportunities come to a virtual standstill, and therefore this is not a long time to be looking for a life-change role.

So 7 months is not necessarily a long time, even if you were already in Singapore, as WD40 and I can attest. You are faced with outflow and the resulting flooded talent pool already here and in an ever-shrinking market.

What about Australia?


Or, maybe not this time and its not worth it considering all the details like age, current salary in Japan and many other factors.

Yes, as BBCW, JR8 and I have said, plus Naka's points.

So what's the rush? This offer? It's not really compelling enough, and if you stick at it you will likely find other, better, offers. Come here with that one and you might be having a similar conversation 9-12 months down the road. It ain't paradise here for most.....

I am hearing (just spoke with a headhunter there this morning) that roles in Japan are starting to warm (not quite heat) up about now, maybe you can get something more lucrative there that would make your living conditions better in the interim.

Do you have clubs you can join, like the equivalent for your respective countries of the British or American Clubs? There seem to be many South Americans in Japan, especially in Ibaragi and Chiba, a lot of Brazilians live there, and as for Eastern Bloc persons, I believe many still live there.

Also have you considered volunteering? I did this for the tsunami and other things and through that you meet a more welcoming set of people and good mix of foreigners and locals. New friendships could develop from this.
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Re: Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby PNGMK » Wed, 18 May 2016 12:53 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:PNGMK, you bad! :-"


The voice is just ludicrously perfect for my mental image of BBCW.... (who of course will turn out to be something entirely different in the flesh...).
I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.

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Re: Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby Brah » Wed, 18 May 2016 12:58 pm

And still you insist to persist
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Re: Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby MariaT » Wed, 18 May 2016 1:56 pm

Brah wrote:
MariaT wrote: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 ......Considering this, my main concern was whether 7.5k offer in Singapore makes sense at all.

You have to factor in the fact that we had year-end within that time, when hiring and opportunities come to a virtual standstill, and therefore this is not a long time to be looking for a life-change role.

So 7 months is not necessarily a long time, even if you were already in Singapore, as WD40 and I can attest. You are faced with outflow and the resulting flooded talent pool already here and in an ever-shrinking market.

What about Australia?


Or, maybe not this time and its not worth it considering all the details like age, current salary in Japan and many other factors.

Yes, as BBCW, JR8 and I have said, plus Naka's points.

So what's the rush? This offer? It's not really compelling enough, and if you stick at it you will likely find other, better, offers. Come here with that one and you might be having a similar conversation 9-12 months down the road. It ain't paradise here for most.....

I am hearing (just spoke with a headhunter there this morning) that roles in Japan are starting to warm (not quite heat) up about now, maybe you can get something more lucrative there that would make your living conditions better in the interim.

Do you have clubs you can join, like the equivalent for your respective countries of the British or American Clubs? There seem to be many South Americans in Japan, especially in Ibaragi and Chiba, a lot of Brazilians live there, and as for Eastern Bloc persons, I believe many still live there.

Also have you considered volunteering? I did this for the tsunami and other things and through that you meet a more welcoming set of people and good mix of foreigners and locals. New friendships could develop from this.


I have my work, some friends etc. Believe me, I have tried to make it my home for a long time. But as you said if someone feels unhappy at one place for so long, then he should probably move.

I see that Singapore market is not what it used to be, and, perhaps, to find something good will require much longer time... Guess we have to take another offer in Tokyo offering salary increase etc. They are also clear on the 2 year requirement being in Japan. So maybe Singapore is not that time....

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Re: Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby BBCWatcher » Wed, 18 May 2016 2:28 pm

MariaT wrote:Thank you very much for your positive message but let's agree that parts of Asia I'm talking about is not quite the same with yours?

Yes, and that's the joy of it.

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Re: Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby MariaT » Wed, 18 May 2016 2:46 pm

BBCWatcher wrote:
MariaT wrote:Thank you very much for your positive message but let's agree that parts of Asia I'm talking about is not quite the same with yours?

Yes, and that's the joy of it.


So how is it supposed to help me?

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Re: Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 18 May 2016 10:18 pm

MariaT wrote:
BBCWatcher wrote:
MariaT wrote:Thank you very much for your positive message but let's agree that parts of Asia I'm talking about is not quite the same with yours?

Yes, and that's the joy of it.


So how is it supposed to help me?


Don't worry about it. It's BBCWatcher... he's never wrong. Just move along and take advantage of the content that is useful to you.

Cheers.

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Re: Job consideration in Singapore from Tokyo - please advise

Postby Brah » Wed, 18 May 2016 10:37 pm

The acerbic bit aside, BBCW's posts have been helpful for me on this forum and others
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