Works over­seas


I was stuck in a bit of a rut in Sin­ga­pore, and de­cided to take a chance liv­ing in the same coun­try as my part­ner. “One of the big­gest dif­fer­ences be­tween Sin­ga­pore and Stockholm is the work-life bal­ance.”

27, has been liv­ing in Stockholm, Swe­den since 2015. She’s cur­rently do­ing busi­ness-to-busi­ness sales in the travel in­dus­try.

It was chal­leng­ing to look for a job be­cause of the lan­guage bar­rier, and it was hard to com­pete with lo­cal grad­u­ates who speak Swedish, have done in­tern­ships lo­cally and are Master’s de­gree holders (it’s very com­mon, since ed­u­ca­tion is free in Swe­den). In ad­di­tion, be­cause of the strict labour laws, com­pa­nies don’t usu­ally fire peo­ple. Hence, many com­pa­nies are very wary when hir­ing.

I reg­is­tered my­self for Swedish classes to show po­ten­tial em­ploy­ers, and also tried to net­work for jobs. I didn’t get called for many in­ter­views in spite of the many ap­pli­ca­tions I sent out, but was lucky enough to have found favour with my cur­rent em­ployer, who ap­pre­ci­ated my for­eign back­ground and Man­darin-speak­ing abil­i­ties.

One of the big­gest dif­fer­ences be­tween Sin­ga­pore and Stockholm is the work-life bal­ance. We’re al­lowed flex­i­ble work hours so we can sched­ule our work around our per­sonal ap­point­ments. Work­ing over­time is quite rare and, for the most part, I’ve been able to get off work on time to go to the gym or meet up with friends.

There’s a lot of trust be­tween em­ploy­ers and em­ploy­ees, and we don’t have to get an MC when ill. I’ve ac­tu­ally only been sick once in the last two years, so it must say some­thing about the work­life bal­ance! The leave sys­tem is also very gen­er­ous, and it’s com­mon prac­tice to take two to three weeks off dur­ing the sum­mer and win­ter hol­i­days.

Work­ing over­seas has taught me how to mar­ket my­self bet­ter. In Sin­ga­pore, it’s easy to fall back on things like your ed­u­ca­tion back­ground to im­press oth­ers. I’ve also learnt that work is just a part of my life and that it shouldn’t con­sume me.

I do plan on mov­ing back even­tu­ally, just be­cause it’s home and fam­ily is ir­re­place­able. If there’s an op­por­tu­nity, I’d def­i­nitely con­sider stay­ing in the travel in­dus­try or do­ing some­thing re­lated to tourism.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Singapore

© PressReader. All rights reserved.