Looking for work - but why Singapore?

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emasonhome
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Looking for work - but why Singapore?

Post by emasonhome » Thu, 20 Sep 2018 11:13 pm

Hi,

My husband and I are looking for professional work opportunities and are considering a number of different countries as options (Australia, Singapore, Cayman Islands, Taiwan, Philippines, Hong Kong, Mexico, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, Indonesia, China, Vietnam).

We both have significant Project Management Experience in the UK Automotive industry.

Having read through a number of previous posts and guides, I'm interested to hear from anyone working in this sector, or that has migrated to Singapore. Would love to chat about your experience, opportunities and visas to help narrow down the options (we hold UK Passports).

Thanks!

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Re: Looking for work - but why Singapore?

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 21 Sep 2018 4:16 pm

Ford, the only motor company here closed up their door in the late 1970's. Not much reason to migrate here with that kind of background unless you are a dab hand with a wrench and work for VERY cheap wages.
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Re: Looking for work - but why Singapore?

Post by emasonhome » Fri, 21 Sep 2018 4:22 pm

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Project Management is typically considered a very transferable skill. In your opinion would there be any opportunities in any other sector in Singapore?

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Re: Looking for work - but why Singapore?

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 21 Sep 2018 4:43 pm

Sure. IF you can convince the MOM that your skills are transferable into an absolutely different environment as opposed to hiring a local with the right industry skillsets assuming both have some years of experience. The problem here is that there has been a pogrom against foreign talent here taking away jobs that can be filled by locals. So unless you are a shoe-in match in the industry, you may well have a problem getting an Employment Pass from the Ministry of Manpower. Getting an offer from an Employer is easier than getting the Employment Pass from the MOM. Getting an offer from the former isn't an assurance of getting approval from the latter which is necessary. Additionally, all Employment contracts, even if signed, are not valid instruments until the MOM grants or rejects the Employment Pass application. Good Luck. I am assuming here that you have a PMI-PMP in hand. Singapore is certification happy.
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Re: Looking for work - but why Singapore?

Post by emasonhome » Fri, 21 Sep 2018 4:53 pm

Yes, indeed I have PMP and we both have Prince2 Project Management also.

I have indeed seen that the hiring guidelines in Singapore had been tightened recently to consider locals fairly (which I completely agree with) and that there had been a huge drop in the number of people being granted visas.

I understand it's not going to be easy and there are many hoops to jump through before being approved. However, is your opinion that it would be very unlikely to get an Employment Pass and we would therefore better spend our time reviewing other countries?

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Re: Looking for work - but why Singapore?

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 21 Sep 2018 5:48 pm

I'd give it a try, yes. Provided I had other reasons for wanting it as well. But I would definitely not come here without a Plan B or having feelers out in other countries as a backup. At your level, it could well take a while and waiting here is expensive. The other problem is that unless you actually get a leg up with a MNC from the UK and are transferred here, it does get a lot more difficult trying to land a position here.

As an aside, positions here can take as long as six months to fill as there is this penchant to put out job applications for positions that will only be available if a contract is signed. A lot of EPC contractors in this part of the world. But most won't tell the agencies that it's for a tender only at that point because the agencies won't waste time on a tender. Most tenders want the project management teams listed by name and with CV's attached. This is not really a fair way to conduct, but it is what it is. Welcome to Asia. (I'm originally from the Oil Industry (offshore), retired at 48 and a year later became an engineering headhunter here for the O&G industry for around a decade, before taking up a position as an HR & Finance Mgr of a local SME with around a staff of 150. Will be retiring again in 4 years (@ 75). Oh, I still carry a blue passport with an eagle on the front! ;-)

Make sure you have something in hand or at least a Plan B & a C if possible. - Again, good luck.
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Re: Looking for work - but why Singapore?

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 21 Sep 2018 5:52 pm

Maybe Strong Eagle will see this thread when he gets out of bed. He ran his own project management business here for around 8 years in the IT industry (region-wide) so will be able to give you even more insight (he's been back in the US for around 3 or 4 years but still moderates here as well (he's close to my age).
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Re: Looking for work - but why Singapore?

Post by babyballer » Fri, 21 Sep 2018 8:32 pm

I cannot speak for other industries but as for IT industry, there are too many project managers here with IT experience. I don't think they would choose you over them since you have practically zero experience in the industry. It is simply supply and demand issue, unless you are willing to work for low salary.

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Re: Looking for work - but why Singapore?

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 21 Sep 2018 9:28 pm

He didn't actually say he was looking for a position in the IT industry. It would pay you to actually read the thread rather than scanning the last post or two. You wouldn't look quite so blur that way and maybe even taken seriously at some point. Based on your posts up to this point, you are certainly not impressing anybody except maybe yourself.
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Re: Looking for work - but why Singapore?

Post by Strong Eagle » Fri, 21 Sep 2018 9:32 pm

emasonhome wrote:Project Management is typically considered a very transferable skill.
I'm going to take you to task here on this statement since I've heard it parroted time and time again by Prince and PMI practitioners. As a PMP myself with a strong ITIL background, I'll agree that there are similarities in process but nothing else that makes you a candidate for for a PM job in the IT industry. Many others have a lot of the "something" that you don't have.

What do you know of managing implementation teams under contract in Malaysia or Indonesia or Korea or Thailand or Australia, for that matter? What do you know of the Asian work culture and ethic? What do you know about the ins and outs of an SOW for managed services... of for the installation of VOIP telephony... how can you tell if the contract is bad or good? Or the intricacies of a server room build out? What do you know of global process for break fix and IMAC's? You may know the PM process but if you can't solve the technical problems you aren't going to succeed, and you can't solve the problems if you don't have strong technical insight into the project you are managing. Although I am a highly skilled and competent IT project manager, there is no way that I would walk into a construction office and tell the owner that I could build his 50 story building. My specialty was rescuing broken projects... where the "experts" had screwed up the specifics and the project manager didn't know any better. I'm talking big projects, too... implementation of managed services for 17,000 PC's in 17 countries. Ready for that?

A story. I knew a British couple, both highly experienced PM's in the IT arena who came to Singapore on the promise of a local recruiter/business development manager. After more than a year searching for jobs, they were about to go back to England when my firm met them at a bar and hired them (my business partner was the former MD of a large managed services company in Asia and had a very large Rolodex of contacts... that's how we survived and prospered). And this was in 2004-2008 when the place was booming in the IT world.

It's a lot different than that now. The 2008 recession redefined the IT landscape in Asia. It drove globalization of IT and made my business model obsolete. It drove out call centers from Singapore and into Manila, KL, and India. It drove software firms into low cost programming countries. It drove PMO's and regional management into global PMO's located in Europe and the United States. What was, is no more.

You won't find a job with a client company who uses IT services. You may find a job with IT suppliers like Datacraft and Dell and Getronics and Toshiba and a handful of others. But, you don't need to come to Singapore to find out if you can. They are all global. You can start with their websites. Dell has a bunch of postings in Singapore. Anything you can do?

Apologies if I come across too hard. The realities are hard and your expectations are unrealistic if you think project management experience alone is going to get you the job. I'll close with one anecdote. After coming back to the USA, I had a chance to bid on a job. I lost out to a Chinese "project manager". He had the credential but no experience. His big saving grace? He worked REAL cheap compared to me. How will you fight that?

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Re: Looking for work - but why Singapore?

Post by x9200 » Sat, 22 Sep 2018 7:50 am

emasonhome wrote:We both have significant Project Management Experience in the UK Automotive industry.
Not really any significant car manufacturing in Singapore but I believe some industry for the parts supply (i.e. automotive electronic components) is still around. I would check out some names like for example Delphi and other of similar profile.

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Re: Looking for work - but why Singapore?

Post by emasonhome » Mon, 24 Sep 2018 11:31 pm

Many thanks for all the replies. It’s always useful to get other perspectives.

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Re: Looking for work - but why Singapore?

Post by bgd » Tue, 25 Sep 2018 12:20 pm

Thailand has automotive manufacturing. I see it's on your list so that might be a good place to start. Once you're established in the region you will find it easier to investigate other opportunities.

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Re: Looking for work - but why Singapore?

Post by PNGMK » Tue, 25 Sep 2018 9:59 pm

Oh lord and I bet you guys voted for brexit as well.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
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Re: Looking for work - but why Singapore?

Post by Strong Eagle » Tue, 25 Sep 2018 10:26 pm

bgd wrote:Thailand has automotive manufacturing. I see it's on your list so that might be a good place to start. Once you're established in the region you will find it easier to investigate other opportunities.
Why not the Proton?

And on a related note, a guy walks into an auto parts store and asks, "Do you have a gas cap for a Proton?" The parts guy thinks for a moment, and says, "Yeh, I guess that would be a fair trade."

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