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EPE-EP-PR-there must be a way

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nabs1004
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EPE-EP-PR-there must be a way

Postby nabs1004 » Fri, 14 Apr 2006 4:40 am

First, allow me to rant for a minute or two. I have spent the past few days reading posts in this forum related to obtaining EP and/or PR in Singapore, although I am grateful to read everyone's insight, I have yet to find any real resolution besides securing a job or paying the govt SGD $3,ooo. My frustration with the latter is that I don’t have that kind of money to ‘donate’ after pretending to build my own company (pls correct me if I don’t have my info straight). With securing a job in Singapore FROM Maryland, USA ...it's close to IMPOSSIBLE. I’ve been searching, applying, following up (near harassment) since January of this year, but still nothing, zip, nada, rien, upsuh, zilch. Not even a call back. Don’t get me wrong, I am sooooo thankful for this website b/c I’ve finally discovered that there are others like me, a foreigner, with a bachelors, with work experience, having no chance of finding a job b/c employers are looking for Singaporeans or PRs. I’m even trying to network via friends and family, which is the first for me, but anything’s game at this point.

With that said, hello, allow me to introduce myself. I’m an American citizen (of Korean ethnicity), graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Logistics from a university in the states in 2002 and have 3 yrs managerial experience in logistics/supply chain/inventory department. My first language is English, second Korean, and studied French throughout school. My boyfriend is Singaporean and he went back home this year and we’ve decided that I should move there, in the condition that I find a job first. However, finding a job in Singapore when you’re not there to interview is not practical, so we modified the condition to getting a few interviews. As I mentioned above I’ve been doing my due diligence since January, I must have applied to at least 40 different positions by now. Can you believe that I only got ONE response back? ONE! It wasn’t even for an interview; he just wanted clarification on my availability and skill sets…ofcourse, never to be heard from again once he found that I was relying on the employer for a work permit. ARGH.. anyway. So I’m at a loss here, as much as I love my boyfriend, I can’t keep looking for a job until indefinitely. If I move there with an EPE, I can’t stay with him (lives with old-fashioned parents) so I’ll be on my own which means.. I don’t have the luxury of 6 months to look for a job, maybe only 2. Is it feasible to secure a job in 2 months knowing my overall background? Has this happened for you? Do you know of any success stories? My main source of job applications are via monster, jobstreet, and directly to the companies. Is there another site that’s worthwhile? or do i just need to wake up from this dream?

Thanks for your time and patience reading this… and for the advice to come. I need all/any help I can get.


Desperately seeking an EP,


Sara
nabs1004@yahoo.com

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Plavt
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Postby Plavt » Fri, 14 Apr 2006 5:58 am

I suggest you contact Sunday Morning Staple or Strong Eagle (both are moderators on this website). They are well familiar with how to go about things as they have lived in Singapore some time. Sms used to head hunting and has some experience so do ask him (both mentioned are American.)

Hope this helps.

Plavt.

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Postby stuboy200 » Fri, 14 Apr 2006 10:33 am

Hi,

I work in logistics and would suggest you look at www.robertwalters.com
They have an office here in Singapore with a logistics/supply chain section.

Like it or not your chances of success would be higher if you were here. If your CV drops on someones desk it needs to have a local phone number and address on it (maybe use your boyfriends) and you need to be available for interview at short notice.

I also know of a good head hunter but he always meets potential candidates first before introducing them to employers.

Keep your chin up and don't lose sight of your goal!!

Hope this helps.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 14 Apr 2006 3:35 pm

Hi nabs1004,

I can understand your frustration and you have, infact, more or less gotten the facts correct.

SE would be in a better position re: starting your own company under the Entrepass setup. However, Under the situation where capital is non-existant or very little, you have a very limited number of choices.

Actually, from reading your post, due to cultural concerns, you have only one choice as far as I can see. You either have to get married and then come in on a dependents pass and then gain your PR under the "Family ties" method of PR issue. OR, again, get married, obtain a dependents pass and then look for a job it's easier to get an employer as well as the government to issue and EP or "S" pass to a Dependent Pass holder.

If you didn't have the culture thing as a block, if you were living as a common-law relationship in the US in a state that recognized the same then an official letter stating same I believe will be recognized by the local government regarding a dependent pass.

Otherwise, I would have to say you are out of luck. Short of continuing with the endless trying from Maryland (I would assume Baltimore or the outskirts of Washington DC). Finding people with your skill sets is easy here in Singapore as the whole country depends on external supply of goods to keep the country running. With your junior level of experince it will be very hard as you are competing with "regional" expertise with the same degree of experience or more and asking a lot less generally.

I wish I could be more positive but that is the crux of the problem. (Oh, as an aside, I am from the Eastern Shore and still have a farm there).

sms

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Strong Eagle
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Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 14 Apr 2006 4:05 pm

Sorry you are feeling frustrated. It is useful to remember that the whole purpose of an EP is not to let a person come work in Singapore, it is to enable Singapore to attract the kinds of experienced, professional help it believes it needs to be successful. So, you cannot get an EP unless the government determines you do not compete with the loca workforce. The $3000 is nothing more than a bond to guarantee repatriation in case you are a bad girl.

I must say that I evaluate your chances of getting an EP at pretty close to zero, given the experience level you have, and the fact that you are not already working for an MNC willing to bring you out here. The main problem is that companies have to justify hiring foreign talent, on the basis of needed skills that cannot be hired here. Your degree and line of work is a popular one locally and thus the locals will take precedence.

You could start a company and obtain an Entrepass. The bond will still cost you $3000 unless you start a private limited that has other directors willing to sign the Entrepass... all rather strange, actually. You'll need a business plan that addresses market, taxes you will pay, people you will hire, etc. Investment capital isn't everything... but for someone of lesser experience it would help a lot.

Rather than trying to find a job in Singapore, I might try to hook up with an MNC that will eventually get you moved over here. By developing experience within the company, they can claim that you have special internal skills and knoweldge about the company that others don't. Obviously this is not an overnight process.

Another thing would be to change your line of work to emphasize skills that are a rarity, namely that you are tri-lingual. This may put you in a customer service or a "face" type job but it could also be the ticket to getting in. Also, if you can sell, you might be attractive to companies that want an Asian to sell to Asians.

Here's a reality. Virtually all MNC business is carried on in English, no matter what APAC country you are in. There are places where bi-lingualism can help, but it is usually the locals who learn English and not the other way around.

As others noted figuring out your "cultural" problem solves your problems but if you can't/won't do that then I see:

a) start a business that is relatively rarifed and doesn't require much capital. For example, if your Korean is really good, offer a busniess translation service. There are lots of technical docs that need to be translated. Or start a Korean language training center.

b) find an MNC that will hire you on your end and move you here... or more likely, will be delighted to let you move if you pick up most of your expenses.

Good luck.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 14 Apr 2006 4:11 pm

Let me just add a couple of things. You probably won't get a company approved if you are building a 'pretend' company. You really need to have a viable plan and act on it, or the next time your EP is up for renewal (one or two years, first time) you will be sent home when it becomes obvious that your company is pretend.

There are people who have come over on a social visit pass and started pounding the pavement. They catch a quick trip to KL or a ferry to Indonesia to get their social pass extended. Your problem is still networking however... getting into the offices in the first place.

If you want, send me your CV via email. I'll see if there is anyone who could use you given that you are paying your own frieght over. The job may not be at the professional level you expect but could solve your problem.

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Postby dot dot dot » Fri, 14 Apr 2006 4:55 pm

As SMS said, getting married and apply for the PR is an option, but then again income history and education will be the parameters.

I know of a fellow Dutchman who registered his pte ltd here and applied for a S-pass and got it for 1 year, in which he had to show the business is growing and he had to hire locals for his company.

Eric

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Postby nabs1004 » Sat, 15 Apr 2006 5:37 am

I really appreciate all of your advice, suggestions, references, insight, etc. Thank you all for responding so quickly as well! My bf and I were thrilled to get so many replies so soon, but so depressing at the same time, if you know what I mean.

Plavt: Thanks for the references, but I guess they found me first! I was hoping they would.

stuboy200: I added your link with the others that I check on a daily basis. Thanks! I have my bf's local number and address on my resume along with my American contact info-that was the one call from a recruiter. And thanks for the encouragement!

SMS: That one choice you brought up seems so desperate; I don't think we're quite at that stage in our relationship yet. But your reply definitely initiated this topic in discussion. Thanks, I think? I see your point on my competition with "regional" expertise with the same degree and experience-why would an employer go out of their way to hire a foreigner. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge; it was very insightful, even if it isn't good news. ps. East where?

SE: I must say your reply really hit home, a bit depressing, but thank you for your honest suggestions, I think B is the only option that seems practical, but ofcourse, how long before they send me abroad, and if they ever do... still yet another grey area. But thanks for the advice and I will definitely take you up on sending my CV to you, I really appreciate you offering.

Eric: Thanks for the example, but unfortunately, I can't see myself doing either, but then again, beggars can't be choosers, eh?


In conclusion, this is what I've gathered.
1. The chances of me finding a job in Singapore are slim to none, and if I do, I must be blessed.
2. My other options are to get married, start my own business, or find a job with an MNC in the States in hopes to be transferred to Singapore down the road

It's a lot to absorb....
I think my bf and I have much to talk about.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Sat, 15 Apr 2006 7:29 am

Don't give up all hope. Consider: it is much more difficult for a Singaporean to get into the US than it is for you to come here.

The key to your success in doing so is creating unique value for yourself. This may requiring rethinking just what it is that makes you valuable. For example, if you have experience in supply chain management, what could you do for the RFID firms that are headquartered in Singapore and are tyring to scoop up the market (mostly Chinese) created by Walmart's decision that all of its suppliers must have RFID tagged products?

Or, Singapore has created several long term initiatives in supply logistics, water desalination projects, and more. You could investigate these projects and build yourself as a value add to companies that are on the ground floor of these long term initiatives.

You may also wish to consider non traditional avenues. Have you taken a look at NGO's or development banks working in the region? Trade organizations? Relief agencies? None of them pay very much, then again, they could provide the ticket to get over here... and I understand that the work is quite interesting.

As you can see, I am suggesting that you find the "angle" that separates you from the herd. You are a young person with specific skills, and my experience is that 90 percent of young people always view business from their particular skill view. For example, I manage IT projects. The technical staff always provides solutions for the business that provide the technical solution but fails to look at the overall business case and business needs. Often enough my job is to modify the techical solution to meet business needs. It would be great to find technical thinkers who also understand how to interface with the decision makers. They really don't care about about the implementation details, they care about risk, return, assumptions and constraints built into everything they spend money on. To take on a different mindset creates value and permits you to seek employment at a higher level.

While I am rambling: If you are presenting yourself as a worker bee, then you are part of a cost center, that which reduces profit, certainly a necessary part of a company but controlling costs is what increases profit. On the other hand, if you have ideas and can implement them that generate revenue, produce sales, or cut costs, you are now a value add... particularly if you can sell.

In closing, I suggest that if you have not already done so, you develop a one page marketing plan to market yourself. One plan of course, is to simply put yourself on the shelf with all the other "products" and hope the consumer selects you. The other is to clearly assess all the skills you have, develop those skills into marketable strategies, and then identify the target markets that could use your skills. This takes creative thinking and risk taking because you will no doubt have to toss many assumptions about what you do and what value you add.

I always ask the interview question, "What is it that you really want to do?" This supplies several answers for me. First, if the answer is slow in coming or ill defined, I know the person is a follower, not a leader. If the answer is forthright, I know I have someone who knows where they want to go, and on the basis of their answer I can determine if there is a fit.

Cheers.


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