Monday, January 07, 2008

07/08 crossover in Singapore

I have been in Singapore for about 3 weeks now, and have done a lot of catching up with friends and relatives. These are my observations:

1. Peers who are doing very well (financially) in Singapore now are in banking/finance/mgt consulting (apparently the US subprime mortgage crisis is still a non-issue), core civil service (earmarked for senior, superscale positions), and law. One has been made partner in one of the big local law firms, while another is slated to become CO in an infantry battalion sometime later this year.

2. IT and engineering sectors seem to suffer from wage stagnation and depression. Many of my friends in these two areas have quit to go into teaching.

3. The property market is crazy, and woe to those who got married last year (and those tying the knot this year) and want to buy their love nest. That said, two friends with their SOs bought condos in prime neighborhoods in the east without any loans.

4. H is a relationship manager in a local bank, and appears very sweet. But there is something *weird* with her actions. (No details will be provided, so don't ask.)

5. The friend's friend (TFF) comes across as very domineering and career-focused. My friend's information is outdated - she has left the ministry, and is now with one of the foreign investment banks - her portfolio covering the Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) region. We have met twice; it is unfortunate I do not have enough time in Singapore to schedule more dates.

6. In the ~half decade since graduation, the income gap is evident. Considering that we all come from a very similar top-5-JC science background, the differences now are big.

7. If you want to be wealthy in Singapore, it is very important to choose the right course in the university. If you are/will want to be stuck to this island, I recommend you stick to the traditional fields in Medicine, Management and Law. Engineers and scientists here are quite badly compensated in comparison.

8. Working hours in Singapore are insane, regardless of industry sector. And I thought America's is bad enough.

9. My cousin will be a VP. Not this one; She gave up the opportunity in order to have more time for her kids. There is actually a course in NIE for those on the principal-track. Just like the SAF (Command and Staff College, Warrant Officer School etc).


Although I am still on holiday, work emails have started to pour in. 2008 will be a busy and exciting year - I am referring to the career front of course. It will start with a 21-hour flight, and I am all geared up.


tong said...


See Bey Keow alias Boh Lui said...

on point #7... recommendation came too late. :(

am stuck in the engineering field.

kin said...

Hi, I stumbled across your blog yesterday and spent quite a long time reading it. Your entries are interesting. A tad arrogant and sarcastic, but injected with enough dry humour to make them funny. :)

Btw, DHS has moved and Mr Kiw has finally retired...