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Engineering Jobs in Singapore?

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Stoven
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Engineering Jobs in Singapore?

Postby Stoven » Mon, 05 Jun 2006 10:01 am

I am currently working in the U.S. but my wife is Singaporean. I was thinking of moving to Singapore to work so she can be closer to her family and friends.

Right now I work as a Design Engineer for a consumer products company in the U.S. and realize that there aren't many engineering positions in Singapore. Since I do have experience working with factories in China and Taiwan the ideal job would be a position based in Singapore with travel to China.

I have looked at some job postings and they tend to be more than 50% less than what I am currently making. I am willing to take somewhat of a pay cut for the work experience and my Wife's happiness.

Would I have any issues with getting PR? I looked at some of the applications and they all said "wife" instead of "spouse" which makes it sound like only wives of citizens can get PR and not husbands. Is it best to get PR before applying for jobs?

Also, how would I go about finding a job? I'm told there is a strong stereotype that westerners are lazy. Would that make it more difficult? I am relatively new in my career and have only been working for a few years. Would this also be an issue? I do have both a Masters and Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering, basic understanding of Mandarin(taken classes in college), and am half Japanese/half Caucasian(possibly adjust quickly to the culture/environment).

Any information would be helpful. I've been to Singapore three times and have never been able to handle the heat and humidity. Is it that difficult to adjust?

Thanks,

Steve

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Re: Engineering Jobs in Singapore?

Postby ProvenPracticaFlexible » Mon, 05 Jun 2006 5:41 pm

Stoven wrote:I have looked at some job postings and they tend to be more than 50% less than what I am currently making. I am willing to take somewhat of a pay cut for the work experience and my Wife's happiness.


Don't know about the tax rate in Oregon, but compared to most of the Western Europe Singaporean lower income tax balances the situation a little bit.

Stoven wrote:Would I have any issues with getting PR? I looked at some of the applications and they all said "wife" instead of "spouse" which makes it sound like only wives of citizens can get PR and not husbands. Is it best to get PR before applying for jobs?


It sure would make things easier,if you got a PR before applying for jobs. You can do it from Singapore embassy in US and even if it says in the forms wife, also a husband can apply,but there is no guarantee that you would get it. Note still that eventhough it is possible to get a spouse sponsored PR still locating overseas, I do not think it is very common way of getting your PR, normally you are in the country and apply for it after working for some time. So remember still that you can apply for jobs without a PR, like most people do, and then get a work permit sponsored by the employer.

The key is to provide enough proof that you two have the skills (experience and education) to contribute to Singapore society (= pay taxes). In your application provide payslips of both of you for last 6 months, copies of you diplomas from university also for both of you (Masters degree in engineering is definetely a bonus). A nice reference letter from you current empoyer would not do any harm either. It is all about providing evidence that you will give something that that they need to boom business in Singapore. So make sure that your experience with Taiwan and China is visible from you application.

Stoven wrote: I've been to Singapore three times and have never been able to handle the heat and humidity. Is it that difficult to adjust?


It depends how long you stayed,I only had problems on my first 2 week visit, after that it's felt quite nice. Of course hot and awful in case of a hangover,but still ok.

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Postby Guest » Tue, 06 Jun 2006 10:07 am

Is there a good website to find jobs in Singapore for foreigners? I know Monster.com has some but they always say for Singaporeans and PRs only.

Steve

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Postby kk_lass » Mon, 12 Jun 2006 8:38 pm

Hi Steve, there are some companies who do not require you to be a PR or Singaporean citizen when you apply.
As long as your resume fit their requirement.. :)
LEVERAGE ~ The ability to do MORE and MORE with less and less

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 12 Jun 2006 9:59 pm

Steve,

You could also check out JobsDB.com.sg and Jobstreet.com.sg two of the more established online players here in Singapore. (moreso than Monster.com) Other than that, there are a number of headhunters here (that is all I'll say on that) just do a google and start submitting now and giving them a timeline of sorts as well.

sms

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Postby Stoven » Tue, 20 Jun 2006 11:40 am

I've checked out the job websites with no luck. Are head hunters really that bad?? Does anyone know of any good head hunters for finding engineering jobs? It takes a lot of time to constantly search. It would be easier if I could just submit my information to a head hunter.

Thanks,

Steve

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 20 Jun 2006 3:26 pm

Stoven wrote:I've checked out the job websites with no luck. Are head hunters really that bad?? Does anyone know of any good head hunters for finding engineering jobs? It takes a lot of time to constantly search. It would be easier if I could just submit my information to a head hunter.

Thanks,

Steve


Guess it's time to give you a heads up.

No, it has nothing to do with headhunters being that bad (although here they aren't that good, I've got to admit) I am an engineering headhunter (see my profile). That said, you must understand how headhunters work. Most job seekers don't have a clue and just diss them without looking at the facts. We are paid by our Clients (meaning the Company) to find a person to fit a job description. We need to be sure of the corporate cultural fit and well as the knowledge required for our clients' postion. I am not going to try to find an employer for every engineering CV that I receive by email. We have to be realistic here.

As we are NOT paid by the Job Seeker, CV's are honestly, not much different than fresh vegetables or fruits. They have a limited shelf life. The term headhunter stems from the fact that they generally poach from other companies their personnel that our clients covet. Sending a CV to a headhunter will generally garner a quick glance-over and possibly a placement in their database against future needs (usually only if it fits the type of industry that the headhunter persues or has expertise in. The only other way is in direct response to an advertisement run by the headhunting firm. Unless they are advertising something that is right up your ally, you are looking at an unsolicited submission. If a headhunter 'reads' every CV he/she receives, allowing 10 minutes each for an average of 15 to 20 CVs received via email daily, they have virtually wasted half a day without picking up a phone. Also, why would they call you unless they have something suitable. Assuming they have 5 or 6 thousand engineers worldwide, they are going to call each of them periodically to tell them that the do not have anything suitable? Then there is the administrative work.

Nothing beats the personal effort along with the tailored Cover Letter. Not a stock cover letter for a one size fits all type of application (they are only good for the above mentioned spec submissions). You need to do some research into the firms here in the region, and target your employers.

Good Luck.

sms

Edited to included an afterthought: Part of the bad image here is that most do not know the difference between a headhunter and a normal recruitment agency. Recruitment agencies here have a tendency to advertise position that they do not actually have on their order books in order to keep a fresh flow of new CV's to their shelves. Headhunters generally do not have to advertise as they have research departments (at least that's how is supposed to work). A lot of Headhunters here operate little differently than normal recruiters, just look at the saturday appointments page for an example of what I mean. Just the ads are bigger in line with the larger fees and fatter packages.

sms

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Postby antpink » Wed, 21 Jun 2006 12:13 am

Depending on what type of engineering job you could turn your hand to, and your experience, there are a lot of engineering positions in Singapore (and KL and Jakarta) with companies currently engaged in the flood of oil and gas, petrochemical industries. You might check with various engineering firms in the US (as well as Europe and Japan) who are established over here (McDermott, KBR, Modec, Fosters, many others) and see of they are currently advertising for people to relocate to this part of the world. Otherwise, come for a holiday and see if your wife's family and friends can put you in touch with anyone while you are here.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 21 Jun 2006 1:10 am

The OP seems to be a design engineer (mechanical or electronic?) in the FMCG arena which is a far cry from the O&G, Petrochem industry. That is why I didn't bother to ask him to send his CV to me. I want at least 5 to 7 years in the field just to put someone in my database against future possibilities/considerations.

sms

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Postby michaeldistel » Wed, 21 Jun 2006 1:23 am

Hey Stoven,

I'm also an Engineer who just found a job after spending a while looking for one.

When I first got here I had the same feeling about there not being many Engineering jobs but after a while I worked out there a lot you just need to know the right people and know where to look.

In Singapore there is a lot of personal contact and a lot of things are done by meeting people face to face (normally over some good food :D). This is very true for job hunting in Singapore, networking is the difference between find a good job or not. I'm sure with your working experience in China and Taiwan you know what I mean. Of course this is a problem if you trying to find a job while overseas.

Head hunters are not going to be much help because if they wanted you they would have already contacted you. Like what sundaymorningstaple said really target your employers and try to get a friend on the 'inside'. If you do this it should be easy for you to get a good job. Oh skip the HR personal and go to the people who count. The bad news is that this face to face mind set in Singapore takes up a lot of time, so I would put in the time if you want a good job.

When it comes to pay remember that taxes are very low here, I had a 25% cut in pay and I still have more money at the end of the day. The only problem is when you get your PR you start paying CPF (forced saving) which increases over three years until its at 20% of your income can be a shock if your not ready for it but CPF can be used to buy a house so its not that bad if you plan right.

Also there are strong stereotype about everyone in Singapore and for Caucasian I found the problem is the companies won’t trust you to stay for long. They think you will leave after 6 months, so make sure they known you’re here to stay. Talk about wanting to be closer to your wife’s family and that you want a PR. I learnt very fast that this is very important and was normally the first thing I talked about in my interviews.

As for the heat and humidity I found it very easy to adjust. The thing I found hardest was ‘aunties’ buying enough food for a small army and then trying to force me to eat it all. I really mean it I ate so much food after I landed in Singapore and before I learnt how to say no in a nice way that I was sick. :D

Cheers
Michael


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