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Australian work experience, a liability??

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Splatted
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Australian work experience, a liability??

Postby Splatted » Wed, 06 Oct 2010 5:36 pm

My wife, a Singaporean, had a taste of working in Australia for almost a year.

To her surprise, when applying for a job again in Singapore, the interviewer put her on as a temp first, as the interviewer wasn't sure she would 'cope' with work life in Singapore after working in Australia.

The common misconception seems to be that everyone that had worked in OZ is slack and they all manage to leave on the dot.

Is putting down Australian experience on one's cv, doing oneself a disservice?

For the record, my wife had never before worked as hard, nor was under the pressure she endured, as what she did in Melbourne, even to the point of breaking down in tears when she would get dozens of calls every day by people chasing money.

By contrast, Singapore is quite relaxing.. everyone pays on time, as a rule, and she has heaps of time to go online.

Just wondering has anyone else faced this sort of 'discrimination' against Aussie experience?

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Postby nakatago » Wed, 06 Oct 2010 6:55 pm

some people lives' are easier when they resort to stereotypes instead of--you know--THINKING.

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Postby x9200 » Thu, 07 Oct 2010 8:17 am

Your wife is likely less obedient and tries to think while working. In some environments it is a serious disadvantage for both herself and the employer. Unless she applied for a CEO or similar position.
Last edited by x9200 on Thu, 07 Oct 2010 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby nakatago » Thu, 07 Oct 2010 8:29 am

or maybe they want her to cope that in asia, a lot of managers expect you to be able bend the laws of physics and reality because they tend to give outrageous if not outright ridiculous tasks. she may have acclimated so well to a reasonable work place that going back to the twilight zone will take a lot of adjustment.

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Postby carteki » Thu, 07 Oct 2010 9:36 am

Agree with all of the above. There is a perception that if you're at your desk you're working... which isn't the case. I've had to learn to "spread my day" so that I only leave after 6 30 - and I'm still usually the first to go. I experienced the same in Luxembourg too, so its not just asia.

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Postby nakatago » Thu, 07 Oct 2010 9:45 am

carteki wrote:if you're at your desk you're working..


This was previously brought up before by SMS and SE, I think. There's this problem with locals (and the rest of Southeast Asians) that they need to appear hardworking by always working overtime. So, they dawdle most of the time only to end up doing some work later so they could go home when it's dark already, only to impress the clueless boss so they could advance professionally so that they could earn more so that they could afford more creature comforts in an economy where prices are rapidly rising...which in turn discourages Singaporeans to raise families. Vicious cycle, really.

Reminds me of Wally from Dilbert.

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Postby Nath21 » Thu, 07 Oct 2010 10:05 am

I think if i rememner right OZ had 2nd highest working hours in OECD. My own staff had the misconception as well. At KPMG over here they complain if they work 55-60 I worked 80-90 in oz. Local kept saying to me oz leave early fridays which is true (usualy 5 on the dot because we have a drinking or get home to see the family culture as in Melbourne we have the highest percentage of peopkle with two homes so a lot of people head down the coast fridays). but generally they work 8-6 with 30 minutes max for lunch. Here ive noticed people get in at 9 work to 6.30 and have 1.5 hours for lunch and spend 4 hours per day on msn. everything here in working practices in my industry is 5-8 years behind oz so very ineffecient.

You have to remeber we have shortage of people in oz so employers make you work very hard. Over here you have the opposite. If there is a problem its hire more people without thinking through efficiencies or change of work practices.

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Postby x9200 » Thu, 07 Oct 2010 12:30 pm

Nath21 wrote:You have to remeber we have shortage of people in oz so employers make you work very hard.

Weird. I would say this should be then the marked of the employees as there would be more positions to fill than the employees and the employees typically do not like to work very hard.

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Postby Splatted » Thu, 07 Oct 2010 3:27 pm

x9200 wrote:
Nath21 wrote:You have to remeber we have shortage of people in oz so employers make you work very hard.

Weird. I would say this should be then the marked of the employees as there would be more positions to fill than the employees and the employees typically do not like to work very hard.


Actually, a very recent stat I heard was that 50% of the Australian work-force is under-employed, meaning they receive less than 38 hours per week of paid employment.

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Postby Nath21 » Fri, 08 Oct 2010 12:41 pm

From an article in 2006 - paper recently said this had increased with close to full employment in australia and the continued economic boom
Hours worked
Australia has long full-time working hours by international standards. In 2006 in Australia, full-time employed men worked an average of 45.9 hours per week, compared to many OECD countries with averages of less than 43 hours per week (for example, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden).

From wiki
The study found the average Australian worked 1855 hours per year at work. According to Clive Hamilton of The Australia Institute, this surpasses even Japan. The Australia Institute believes that Australians work the highest number of hours in the developed world.[14]

You can see the misconception are built on previous data. In Oz upto 1990's the average working hours went from 27 in 1970's to 36 in 1990's. Now its 46+

From an article in Business asia.
12 Jan 2010 ... Their average working hours a week for Singaporeans dropped below 40

and from asiaone
South Korean workers, who, like Singaporeans, are expected to work 44 hours a week, clocked up fewer than 40.

Five hours on average is a massive difference when you take into account he whole working population.

Add to that australians go home and actually clean, cook and look after their kids in comparison to singaporean parents with maids and you start to understand the misconception of working hours both in the home and office is much more than a singaporean (in general). I personally have found it a breeze working here in length of hours as much less than australia but with challenges related to process and culture. I worked in the uK for public service and that was really easy. Core hours 10-4 and add an hour either way depending on your prefernce. Mind you public service in oz is a bit of a joke as well. I would say public service over here probably work harder than public service in some other countries but not private enterprise.

As to recruiter they are a breed in themselves in every country. Add to that ignorance and pathetic service which seems to be standard here and you tend to get total morons.

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Postby robleo » Sat, 09 Oct 2010 8:08 am

I agree. There is a general perception that in OZ people are laid back and leave work on the dot. Based on my experience working with people in Au, you won't get them to reply after office hours. BUt maybe it's also true that in some cases, they are more efficient at work.

I do not think that in general, companies would take working experience in OZ as a disadvantage. Especially for more open and multi-cultural set-ups.

Our case in office is different- people have really a lot of work. Seemingly, locals who are workaholics tend to expect people to accept loads of work to the maximum... and there are not too many locals who want to work under stress and end up leaving the company...

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Postby nakatago » Sat, 09 Oct 2010 9:02 am

robleo wrote:Especially for more open...


Well, there's your problem. A lot of them aren't.

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Postby x9200 » Sat, 09 Oct 2010 11:43 am

robleo wrote:Based on my experience working with people in Au, you won't get them to reply after office hours. BUt maybe it's also true that in some cases, they are more efficient at work.

Pardon moi, but Singaporeans very frequently do not reply neither after or within office hours at least when it comes to e-mails.


I do not think that in general, companies would take working experience in OZ as a disadvantage. Especially for more open and multi-cultural set-ups.

Our case in office is different- people have really a lot of work. Seemingly, locals who are workaholics tend to expect people to accept loads of work to the maximum... and there are not too many locals who want to work under stress and end up leaving the company...


Not workaholics. Bossoholics.

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Postby Global Player » Sat, 09 Oct 2010 10:18 pm

Here is an interesting document about prices/wages/working hours worldwide: http://www.ubs.com/1/e/wealthmanagement/wealth_management_research/prices_earnings.html
(File: Prices and Earnings 2009)

According this statistic the average working hours per year are:

Sydney: 1747
Singapore: 2088
Paris: 1594 (lowest)
Hong Kong: 2295
Cairo: 2373 (highest)


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