Singapore Expats Forum

Mid Career Shift- CAN?

Discuss about getting a well paid job or career advancement. Ask about salaries, expat packages, CPF & taxes for expatriate.

robleo
Member
Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat, 29 May 2010
Contact:

Mid Career Shift- CAN?

Postby robleo » Sat, 29 May 2010 2:55 pm

Dear all,

I've been in SG for 1 1/2 yr. I just realized that while enjoying the good income, it comes with the stress and even the risk of losing it if you make one single mistake or you fail and lose your job soon. Typical managerial expat experience- you make it or break it. Nevertheless, among the many other issues, I was yearning for some career shift- to teaching- a field where I feel I will enjoy more and will have greater fulfillment.

Anyone here who's made this shift- specificially to teaching in polytechnics or elsewhere? I am experienced in business consultancy and marketing. This is a subject I am positive I can teach about. Do you think it is a wise move and will it ever keep my salary range same or at least close (70k plus annually)?

I have a wife and baby and we recently got our PR approval. You think we will survive?

Would appreciate all your advise.

irvine
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 312
Joined: Mon, 15 Dec 2008

Postby irvine » Sat, 29 May 2010 3:37 pm

If you have a Phd too you may get 70k annual. Nevertheless, don't let that stop you from pursuing your passion. :)

I guess even if you don't get 70k, life can still go on happily with a few adjustments.

raden888
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 258
Joined: Mon, 08 Feb 2010

Postby raden888 » Sat, 29 May 2010 6:48 pm

Teaching is not 'easy' as it sounds. If you're teaching in an ambitious faculty, you will be set ambitious targets. This often means having to complete x number of research per semester/year as the quantity of grants the institution gets depends on this.

Singapore being Singapore, I bet the academics are very competitive with each other and there will be a constant paper chase . Office politics can also translate to a sticky situation plus you also get lots of admin duties which you might hate.

Higher education is no longer about the students but the number of research projects you've completed, seminars you've given etc. It can be as stressful as your current job!

revhappy
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1067
Joined: Wed, 10 Jun 2009

Re: Mid Career Shift- CAN?

Postby revhappy » Sun, 30 May 2010 2:39 pm

robleo wrote:Dear all,

I've been in SG for 1 1/2 yr. I just realized that while enjoying the good income, it comes with the stress and even the risk of losing it if you make one single mistake or you fail and lose your job soon. Typical managerial expat experience- you make it or break it. Nevertheless, among the many other issues, I was yearning for some career shift- to teaching- a field where I feel I will enjoy more and will have greater fulfillment.

Anyone here who's made this shift- specificially to teaching in polytechnics or elsewhere? I am experienced in business consultancy and marketing. This is a subject I am positive I can teach about. Do you think it is a wise move and will it ever keep my salary range same or at least close (70k plus annually)?

I have a wife and baby and we recently got our PR approval. You think we will survive?

Would appreciate all your advise.


I think in today's world there is no such thing as a secure job. Any job you do there is always risk of doing a mistake and getting fired.

You need to analyse your situation with a pen a paper and jot down what exactly is bothering you.
1. Is it the stress?
2. Is it the risk of failure?
3. Or is it the fact that you are good at something else and you dont want to want to waste your life doing something that you dont like.

Also analyse your risk profile. What kind of person are you? Is your job your identity? I mean say you got fired tomorrow. How would you react? Would you be totally devastated or would you give a damn and just look for another job?

Once you have answers to these questions you will be able to decide.

I have gone through 2 recessions in my working lifetime. I graduated in 2001. So you can imagine being an IT grad and passing out during after the dotcom bust.

What I have learnt is make hay while the sun shines. There are no guarantees about job. Just make sure that you save enough such that you dont need to work for a living after a certain point of time.

Although I am not particularly passionate about my IT job, it pays! and my risk profile doesnt allow me to venture into something that I "think" interests me, but for all I might know I may be terrible at it. I believe in "A bird in hand is better than 2 in bush", "known devil is better than unknown angel". But thats just me. Just my 2 cents!

Cheers!

robleo
Member
Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat, 29 May 2010
Contact:

Postby robleo » Sun, 30 May 2010 3:36 pm

Thanks for all the replies.

@revhappy: what did you mean by risk profile? I'm the type who tries to rebound when failure or trial sets in. It's just that this will perhaps be my 2nd challenge in the leadership role. I guess for one- I've lost some self-confidence. I'm not saying "teaching" is a scapegoat or is an easy job but I'm just exploring and seeking alternatives. But honestly, teaching is something I like doing after all.

Right now, the feedback was not good and I'm being transferred to a different role without any demotion or anything. It's just that there was some mismatch. I'm somehow feeling a bit "depressed" with the situation that I'd like to leave the company without any job. Any advice? Is it better to stick it out in my present company and try to fight it out with the new role? Or I'd rather leave with dignity and risk not finding a job elsewhere?

so there are two issues here- how am I gonna deal with my current situation? the other is, should I stick into the same career and just ry to find a job elsewhere? As of now, it looks like the prospect is not so good that's why I'm seeking an alternative.

Thanks in advance to all.

revhappy
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1067
Joined: Wed, 10 Jun 2009

Postby revhappy » Sun, 30 May 2010 5:22 pm

@robleo: If I was in your position I would actively look for an another job in the same field(same field, because it is tried and tested compared to something new and completely unknown) and wouldn't quit my current job until I get another. I would do my best in my new role in my current company and try to prove myself.

So by risk profile I mean if you were the conservative types, you wouldn't care about losing dignity, but wouldn't want to risk being out of job for the a certain duration until you find your new job.

If you were the aggressive and confident types, you would quit the job immediately fearing that you might lose dignity if you were asked to leave. So you would rather remain jobless for a short period until you find a new job than to lose face in the organization.

Having a good bank balance and a family support can go a long way in determining whether you will take the convervative approach or the aggressive approach. But sometimes, its the environment in which we grow up that makes us conservative or aggressive, and we are just one way or the other and its hard to change.

I wish you good luck. Be confident and take your new role in your existing company as a challenge and try to do your best and prove yourself. Keep looking for jobs in parallel, but dont lose focus in your current job. I know its tough, but its worth every bit of effort.

All the best once again!!

robleo
Member
Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat, 29 May 2010
Contact:

Postby robleo » Sat, 05 Jun 2010 10:53 am

Hi revhappy- thanks for the encouragement!

I guess I would have left the company given the situation. However, as an expat (but a PR) with a family, I would rather stay put and continue looking for a new job before leaving my current job.

Coming from a less developed country, staying in Singapore is a an opprtunity.

Have you been in a situation where you have to gulp pride and just moe on with your job? I'm trying to make myself feel better that a new assignment is like a make and beak thing- and it's not the end of the world for me! I'm trying to catch up and do not want to lose my belief in myself. I've gone through a lot to get this job- getting into this situation makes me feel I'm the dumberst person in the world. But reading through transition storeis- it's really either you succeed or fail- but it's something that happens even to the brightest indivividuals. Its' about knowing yourself and the environment, and working it out or making it work...

Thanks for the time :)

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34785
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 05 Jun 2010 11:30 am

Your age will have a lot to do with it.

Frankly, I made a total career switch when I reached my 29th birthday, literally! I was very good at what I did, I rose to the top in short order and after being there for 3 years, I got bored and restless.

While I was good, and was remunerated reasonably well, I was not happy. On my 29th birthday I sat in my wood paneled office on Upper Connecticut Avenue in NW Washington DC and started looking around me and doing a self assessment. (I was recently married but had no family but I don't think having family is a concern, personally). I called my wife and explained what was going on in my head and, whether age had anything to do with it, she said find out what you want to do and "Just do it" (way before Nike came up with it as a slogan - this was 1976).

By the end of a long day of contemplation, I had typed up and sent my letter of resignation as the District Director of Washington DC of the largest Tax Preparation Firm in the world. I gave up a profession to take up a trade of all things! But I didn't have a job to go to. Instead I went to a commercial school for the next 6 months.

For the next 18 years I got paid to travel all over the world doing what I'd always paid people to let me do previously! It's how I came to be in Singapore as well. I no longer do that type of work, but for 18 years I didn't get up and go to work. I got up and went diving! And got paid rather handsomely for it as well. Was it worth it? I think so. And today, as I'm no longer able to compete with the young bucks in the water, I've come full circle now as the HR & Finance Mgr of a 200+ staff SME here.

So, if you are young, JUST DO IT! Otherwise, you will spend the rest of your life saying "What if......."

Asian mindset is directly contrary to this, I'll admit. But I think that is slowly changing as well. Instant worldwide media gratification is showing Asian youths what they can do once they unshackle themselves from their parents and their parents personal wishes, which rarely dovetail with the individual's wishes.

Remember. You only go around once in this life. So grab all the gusto you can.

cyn83
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat, 27 Mar 2010

Postby cyn83 » Sat, 05 Jun 2010 4:44 pm

Hi,

Just wanted to say, im grateful to have come across this post. Knowing that Im not the only one experiencing an urge of having mid-carrer switch.

@robleo, all the best. Look forward to hear the 'happy ending'
@sundaymorningstaple, wow thats inspiring..... :)

robleo
Member
Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat, 29 May 2010
Contact:

Postby robleo » Sun, 06 Jun 2010 3:41 pm

@cyn83: hi, I saw your post at another similar topic. Yeah, nice to hear someone else is in this situation. But I think you are young and still have this chance to do this. Brand consultancy is not limited to it as such- it can be brand management on client side; it can be marketing research partly; etc. If you are young... this is your chance to do it.

Actually, my first line of work after graduation from college was Banking. I worked in a bank for 4 years before shifting to marketing consultancy. I just found myself in that interesting field and thought this is the chance. I'm now at it- for more than 10 yrs and here I am thinking again to shift. i guess the advice of some people to stick to it because of the bucks- fit me. For one, I am the primary breadwinner, and it's ahrd to downgrade. Besides, our circumstances is different as well.

I'm considering sticking to my present job or find another job in the same industry (thanks to the enlightenment and advise from the others in the board). 2nd option is go somewhere related to current industry- teaching- but teaching my subject expertise; or some other marketing related work.

Think about it thoroughly. You can only do a "shift" once- I guess- I mean a major shift.

robleo
Member
Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat, 29 May 2010
Contact:

Postby robleo » Sun, 06 Jun 2010 3:49 pm

@sundaymorningstaple: you liked diving and enjoyed it... how come now you're into staffing? Can you share why? I'm just curious. I just turned 40 and thinking about this shift.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34785
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 06 Jun 2010 5:03 pm

robleo wrote:@sundaymorningstaple: you liked diving and enjoyed it... how come now you're into staffing? Can you share why? I'm just curious. I just turned 40 and thinking about this shift.


I competed with young bucks doing oilfield exploration diving (deep sea diving) up till I was in my mid 40's - Today I have literally '000's of hours of bottom time and I'm still racking up bottom time occasionally. I have over 45 years of diving experience of which 18 years were commercial diving without a serious accident (myself or any of my diving crew that I supervised). in 1988, I worked for what was then the largest diving company in the world, (who by the way is doing all the submersible ROV work on the BP GOM Blowout). Due to corporate insurance problems for diving companies with US personnel operating overseas, I had to either go back to the US to continue to dive OR find a job in Singapore so that I could raise my kids in relative safety and have an excellent education and environment which may or may not have been the case had we gone back. I made the decision to stay here. So, I had to finally come out of my retirement for the previous 18 years and find a job and go to work to every day! :(

As my Tax Accounting background was still there, albeit rusty, it seemed the logical route to take, so I ended up in a role the GM of a recruitment agency that specialized in the Offshore Oil Industry. As time went on, I was offered the position as an HR & Finance Manager of my current employer (will be there 5 years next week!). So, I've come full circle - the initial job in the recruitment industry was to get my foot in the door, get me established & get my PR, but like everything else, you get out of it what you put into it. I was hired at the Operations Manager and was confirmed as the General Manager. I was also offered a directorship - which I turned down. And I did all of this while raising two young children who were born here (different wife - this one local). That's why I don't think having children is a hindrance. The biggest hindrance is fear. Fear of failure. Fail once is good, fail twice is better. Failure makes you learn how to survive better.

I've actually change my career 4 times. But the first finished when I came back from Vietnam and took my military discharge in '68. Figured I'd done all the chopper piloting I cared to do. :o

shailu
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat, 12 Jun 2010

Postby shailu » Sat, 12 Jun 2010 3:12 pm

@robleo / @cyn83 - I was going thru a similar situation and finally decided to quit ... so one more addition to the gang .. :)
@sundaymorningstaple - I fully agree with you, one has to overcome the "Fear of Failure"

robleo
Member
Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat, 29 May 2010
Contact:

Postby robleo » Wed, 16 Jun 2010 8:16 am

@shailu- and so what's your plan then?

I am staying put. I might actually enjoy my new post even if it looks like I was ripped off of my leadership role. Im aiming for a bouncing back strategy- for my good...

shailu
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat, 12 Jun 2010

Postby shailu » Wed, 16 Jun 2010 2:10 pm

@robleo - Hv been applying for some openings in Sales & Marketing, Biz Development ..


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Careers & Jobs in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest