We continued our second part of the series on Singaporeans migrating overseas either for work or personal reasons.
In this online interview, we featured Jenny - a successful human resource specialist who is now living in Adelaide Australia on her own and loving the experience…
I graduated from University of Tasmania in Business Administration with a major in Human Resource Management in 2001. I returned to Singapore and found work in the HR field. I really enjoyed my 2 years as a contractor working in a HR environment although I spent almost 10 hours daily at the workplace. Though I liked the work, I could not stand the long working hours and decided to make a move abroad in search of a more balanced lifestyle.
Where are you living now and why do you choose that location?
I am now living in South Australia – Adelaide. I love the peaceful and quiet life here which is very different from bustling Singapore. There is hardly anyone walking on the streets after dark and you have more time on your own. You can literally smell the roses here!
Did you face any adjustment problem initially when you make the move? Any regrets so far?
I was lost when I first arrived alone in Adelaide a few years ago. I was confused and worried. I arrived during the winter period and was trying to adapt to the cold winter. I had a sleepless night because it was freezing cold without any heater on my first night here. I was also worried that I could not find work readily available as I am a foreigner here.
Things are extremely expensive and life would be miserable if I could not get a job soon. I believe that this is part and parcel of the experience faced by any migrant moving to a foreign land all on your own. I also do not know of anyone who could help me around then.
I took it as one of life’s major challenge and have never regretted my decision to move abroad on my own.
How is the family coping currently? Are they happy or do they want to move back to Singapore?
Not applicable as I am still single but there is some resistance from my mum who always asked me to visit her more or even move back to Singapore permanently! I guess she missed me much when I moved overseas.
What precious lessons did you learn from living abroad? Will you do it again if given the choice?
Independent, learn to take challenges, making your own decision, solving problem creatively and trying to survive cheerfully! All problems that I have encountered, while living abroad, are in fact challenges in life whereby I learned how to be to be more adaptive and resilient. I also need to think out of the box to solve problems on my own.
Was it difficult to get jobs while staying abroad? Describe your job search experience and how different is it from Singapore?
When I first started my job hunt, it was a nightmare. Thinking my relevant experience in HR would give me the advantage that led me to the same kind of job – I was wrong. The culture and the way things work here are somewhat different from back home.
I applied job online daily and registered myself with many recruitment agencies I was so desperate that I wouldn’t mind working as a cleaner back then!
Eventually, I landed myself a temporary position in the public sector after 4.5 months of job search through a recruitment agency. Once I have the relevant local work experience, looking for the next job was much easier.
Job hunting here is very much different from Singapore - employers here don’t really look at your educational certificate and everything is based on trust and honestly. Of course, you must have the relevant work experience.
Do you want to return to Singapore eventually or prefer to settle down in your new place permanently?
After I have gone through all these years to set up and establish myself here, I would consider Australia i my home. I would want to live in Australia permanently if I have a choice.
What are your main reasons for moving overseas?
- To lead a relaxed and peaceful life with lots of freedom and time on my own.
- To achieve a balanced lifestyle involving my work and social life.
- To gain independence and most importantly, to have self confidence to overcome any obstacle in life.
What is your advice for Singaporean migrants who have newly move abroad?
I would encourage them not to be afraid and always think positively in life. Take life as a challenge rather than as a problem. There is a will, there is always a way and nothing is impossible.
Lots of patience are also needed and my motto is: “Never give up and fight on till you have done your best.”
End of interview and thank you.
Editor’s Note: Singaporeans who have migrated and want to be featured here can email me at email@example.com. Thank you.