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Salary Culture in Singapore

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

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Salary Culture in Singapore

Postby maspats » Fri, 18 Feb 2011 2:06 am

Just wondering, is it OK to ask someone directly/face-to-face how much he/she earns in the Singapore culture? I know in the US this is pretty sensitive. :lol:

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Salary Culture in Singapore

Postby PED » Fri, 18 Feb 2011 6:58 am

Walking up to complete strangers at Jurong interchange may produce hilarious results! As in any culture question s on salary and conditions are pretty sensitive. It may be wiser to use the web to look at comparative salary ranges for jobs in SG rather than risk a social faux pas

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Postby Nath21 » Fri, 18 Feb 2011 10:13 am

Its not usual for someone to ask your salary here but it is normal to ask how much your condo costs and therefore they estimate your salary off that. Taxi drivers in particular are most interested to know. My theory is they must moonlight as unregistered property agents.

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Postby carlsum1986 » Fri, 18 Feb 2011 11:48 am

Nath21 wrote:Its not usual for someone to ask your salary here but it is normal to ask how much your condo costs and therefore they estimate your salary off that. Taxi drivers in particular are most interested to know. My theory is they must moonlight as unregistered property agents.


I was actually asked how much my condo rent costs last nite in a cab

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Postby ecureilx » Fri, 18 Feb 2011 12:14 pm

carlsum1986 wrote:I was actually asked how much my condo rent costs last nite in a cab


So that the taxi guy can work out a salary for you and then go on his ranitng about foreigners making more money etc etc. :D :D (that was tongue in cheek)

When I arrived, I used to get pissed off, and especially when you find locals are tight lipped when it comes to salary ..

My standard way of dealing with this - "Apartment is company paid" and then if the guy insist I am earning 100K a month, I go on to say I am on training and there are two dozen people in the apartment ..

Not that I like to lie, but ... hey, it helps ..

And I stopped getting mad at taxi guys - when they drive for 12 hours a day, and I can bet that atleast half the taxi guys take an annual vacation to Europe / Australia and they earn enough to send their kids overseas to study - though they moan about this and that .. .. I only could surmise that 10 hours plus of driving does drive them mad and need some chit-chat to keep them from falling asleep :D I just act busy or give vague answers, and if pressed, I skip the question and go back to acting like I am a visitor here ..

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aster
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Postby aster » Fri, 18 Feb 2011 12:21 pm

Is it Sweden or Finland where salaries and who one votes for are available for all to see in a public database?

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Postby carlsum1986 » Fri, 18 Feb 2011 12:44 pm

ecureilx wrote:
carlsum1986 wrote:I was actually asked how much my condo rent costs last nite in a cab


So that the taxi guy can work out a salary for you and then go on his ranitng about foreigners making more money etc etc. :D :D (that was tongue in cheek)

When I arrived, I used to get pissed off, and especially when you find locals are tight lipped when it comes to salary ..

My standard way of dealing with this - "Apartment is company paid" and then if the guy insist I am earning 100K a month, I go on to say I am on training and there are two dozen people in the apartment ..

Not that I like to lie, but ... hey, it helps ..

And I stopped getting mad at taxi guys - when they drive for 12 hours a day, and I can bet that atleast half the taxi guys take an annual vacation to Europe / Australia and they earn enough to send their kids overseas to study - though they moan about this and that .. .. I only could surmise that 10 hours plus of driving does drive them mad and need some chit-chat to keep them from falling asleep :D I just act busy or give vague answers, and if pressed, I skip the question and go back to acting like I am a visitor here ..


that really explains why he didnt probe me anymore when I said my place was paid off by the company.....nosy bunch of ppl

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Postby ecureilx » Fri, 18 Feb 2011 12:51 pm

carlsum1986 wrote:that really explains why he didnt probe me anymore when I said my place was paid off by the company.....nosy bunch of ppl


Well, as I said, I don't blame them .. if you too had to spend 12 hours in a driver's seat .. you will need to find things to do to keep yourself from falling asleep ..

Now, on the other hand, when anybody else asks, I normally say politely that my salary is only 2,000 $ and if they persist saying "are you sure" my instant reply is "how much do you earn ???? " :D

And I avoid getting into the 'us vs them' arguments ..

In one of the bars, I got into this situation, where a group of locals were out to pick some drama, and when they started to befriend me my answer was a quick "well, you are drinking Chivas, I am drinking beer - does that mean anything for a start ?? " and then moved out ..

I guess every country which attracts foreigners have the natives a bit pissed: seen it in Malaysia too, and also in Indonesia ..

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Postby carlsum1986 » Fri, 18 Feb 2011 4:50 pm

ecureilx wrote:
carlsum1986 wrote:that really explains why he didnt probe me anymore when I said my place was paid off by the company.....nosy bunch of ppl


Well, as I said, I don't blame them .. if you too had to spend 12 hours in a driver's seat .. you will need to find things to do to keep yourself from falling asleep ..

Now, on the other hand, when anybody else asks, I normally say politely that my salary is only 2,000 $ and if they persist saying "are you sure" my instant reply is "how much do you earn ???? " :D

And I avoid getting into the 'us vs them' arguments ..

In one of the bars, I got into this situation, where a group of locals were out to pick some drama, and when they started to befriend me my answer was a quick "well, you are drinking Chivas, I am drinking beer - does that mean anything for a start ?? " and then moved out ..

I guess every country which attracts foreigners have the natives a bit pissed: seen it in Malaysia too, and also in Indonesia ..


The thing I really noticed especially from my trip back to Malaysia about a month back. The majority of the locals that are pissed off with the foreigners are those that have lived their whole life inside their own country and never gone out to see or experience other cultures.

I think this causes them to be over protective in their own country hence the hatred.....

There are alot of nice locals I know from my days abroad who are pretty nice especially when they have gone abroad or have interacted with foreigners on a regular basis

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Postby ecureilx » Fri, 18 Feb 2011 6:05 pm

carlsum1986 wrote:The thing I really noticed especially from my trip back to Malaysia about a month back. The majority of the locals that are pissed off with the foreigners are those that have lived their whole life inside their own country and never gone out to see or experience other cultures.


Well, the Philippines was a contradiction - those in the metropolis areas look at Foreigners as rich and loaded and deserve be overcharged and ripped off and even bluntly ask for 'money' ... and few openly declared foreigners are rich and they must pay for locals (I am talking for strangers - not friends - friends were making sure I never had to fork out even a peso .. )

Step out to the countryside - and it was a world apart - and people were all out to make sure the foreigners are looked after .. and in some far away islands, I was even given free rides in some tricycles, when I didn't have loose change, and in another island, when my arriving flight was delayed and my hotel driver was not there, some stranger called the hotel and told that they will drop me, drove me to the hotel and refused any payment and even refused to let me pay for coffee which I ordered for them in the hotel, when we reached the place .. .. the distance was about 11 kilometers and the people who drove me were totally heading in the opposite direction .. no kidding ..

Hmmmm ... well .. I hope that's not a thread drift :D

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Postby nakatago » Fri, 18 Feb 2011 7:52 pm

ecureilx wrote:
carlsum1986 wrote:The thing I really noticed especially from my trip back to Malaysia about a month back. The majority of the locals that are pissed off with the foreigners are those that have lived their whole life inside their own country and never gone out to see or experience other cultures.


Well, the Philippines was a contradiction - those in the metropolis areas look at Foreigners as rich and loaded and deserve be overcharged and ripped off and even bluntly ask for 'money' ... and few openly declared foreigners are rich and they must pay for locals (I am talking for strangers - not friends - friends were making sure I never had to fork out even a peso .. )


I think that's the case for most third-world cities and more...

"Look! Clueless tourist!" mentality.

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Postby maspats » Fri, 18 Feb 2011 10:27 pm

Nath21 wrote:it is normal to ask how much your condo costs and therefore they estimate your salary off that.


I'm curious as to how do they estimate based on condo cost?

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Postby ksl » Fri, 18 Feb 2011 11:20 pm

The lowest paid Singaporeans are on 6k a month :P (Kiasuism) 90% of expats are on less :P and those that have slipped through the net, will not have their EP's renewed. In the budget today :lol: Actually employers tend to play the don't tell game, I'm giving you a raise, but don't tell the others, it's top secret, reminds me of UK in the 60's and in some cases the same today.

Maybe its always better to quote a low salary and hope someone wants to be generous, help boost their charitable image :shock: :o 8-) Not that I'm begging, but I don't get paid :oops: That reminds me, must check my Tote, lottery or whatever I have!

Off topic, But the hardest thing i have had to endure is to sit in Harry's bar at Boat Quay on a Thursday and drink Coke while a mate was on whisky and beer :cry: But I'll be back when those enzymes are under control :lol:

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Postby nakatago » Fri, 18 Feb 2011 11:49 pm

isn't the TOTO draw tonight?

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Postby ksl » Sat, 19 Feb 2011 1:12 am

nakatago wrote:isn't the TOTO draw tonight?
It sure was, though i still haven't checked online, I'll wait for the surprise when i hand the tickets in! :lol:


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