Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Thursday June 21st 2018

Why our jobless PMETs are reluctant to work abroad?

Recently, we saw off two of our own talents venturing abroad for work as things are getting more difficult here due to the intense competition from foreign influx.

One is a professional 40-year-old PMET with a bachelor degree and MBA – jobless for about 6 months and he has recently relocated to Vietnam to work for a local set-up there. The pay is on par with his last drawn salary.

We chatted for over two hours less than a fortnight ago before he managed to secure a position abroad. Citing the distance away from his wife as the main deterrance, I told him not to let go the position as its increasingly getting more difficult to find work here. He can fly back regularly to spend the weekend with his spouse as it is not a very far-away country.

Spouses and families are the main considerations for many professionals keen to explore work opportunities abroad. Understandably, they fear that their husbands will stray abroad living like a bachelor as there is no one there to control his impulses. Moreover, the expat title given while working abroad may boost his ego so much so that he is like a sought-after item in a poor third-world country.

Moreover, a too-comfortable safe lifestyle here has cocooned us to stay in the shelf oblivious to any other better opportunities that are hail from overseas.

Personally, I have lived and worked abroad in China, Indonesia, Australia and the middle east and the experiences gained have made me a more cosmopolitan culturally-diverse person. I learnt to accept other people from different nationalities and it is by far a more wholesome experience than someone who only works locally.

As for our jobless PMET who managed to find work abroad in Vietnam, the overseas work experience can only strengthen his local-experience resume so far making him to be a multi-tiered international talent in years to come. His career can only blossom further with this add-on regional exposure.

Singaporeans have so far fail to make it abroad amass compared to other nationalities even though our brand name is quite stellar judging from the remarks I have received so far while abroad. Our educational system, solid infrastructure and economic growth have propelled us into the ultra-developed status kind of country so its puzzling why so few of us make it internationally.

The Indians, Filipinos, Europeans and Americans have all carry their own brand names in many top-brass MNCs and even back in our own back yard, not many locals have make it to the top echelon despite our solid educational achievements and famed work ethics.

Is there something wrong with our own talent pool that MNCs fail to recognise us and prefer foreign talents for those top-brass jobs?

For many years, our solid economy means many of us have managed to find enough well-paying jobs which enable us to stay at home but things have changed so much with globalisation that we can no longer rest on our laurels. The PMET has to chalk up enough experience working round the world before he can be considered a all-rounder professional now.

My fear is that if we don’t venture abroad for work in the near future, we may even be left further behind back home as companies nowadays cherish someone with regional experience and most of the top executives companies hire here have that unique expertise.

Some foreigners even purposefully look for work abroad and return home for holidays as jobs in Singapore, Europe or US definitely pay better than in India, Philippines or Thailand. The no-choice need factor probably gives them an edge over us as we only figure out how to land a job in our own back yard competing with hungrier more-competitive candidates hail from all over the world.

The second Singaporean who found work abroad is a young lady who manages to get a work contract in Dubai with a sizzling package of close to USD $9000/month. My jaw drops when she told me the good news and I couldn’t help wiping off tears of joy that rolled down my cheek. The pay check is not only astronomical but tax-free with free lodging thrown in!

It was a huge break for her as she was struggling with some personal problem and we assisted her with the payment of urgent utilities bills and grocery aid. She even has to work as a part-time janitor doing the midnight shift at her darkest moment of her life earning $50 per day.

When she told me the shocking news of her landing a lucrative job in Dubai, I told her to pack and quickly go as Singapore has no place for her right now. Before her world came crashing down, she was merely earning less than $3000 so the same company in Dubai which pays her USD$9000 for almost the same kind of work must be thinking she is worth much more than what she is drawing in Singapore.

Our wages have lag very far behind compared to many developed countries and if that is not a strong push factor for Singaporeans to venture abroad I can’t really think of another better reason.

Though more than 200,000 Singaporeans have already live and work abroad, those professionals who are unemployed now should consider the opportunity to venture abroad with whatever skills set we have.

Our jobless engineers can consider the Gulf countries as possible destinations as countries like Qatar, UAE, Bahrain and even Jordan are potential hirers and will in all likelihood respect candidates from our country.

Though the middle east is frayed with potential problems, the Gulf is considered safer in comparison and just a short 7 to 8 hours from us by air. If not, the South-east Asia region such as Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines should have potential opportunities for high-end work and local recruitors should explore work for our jobless PMETs with the potential for alot of spin-off

If jobless Singaporeans continue to compete with cheaper incoming foreigners who have nothing much to lose by working here, we may eventually dig our own graves soon.

Written by: Gilbert Goh

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2 Responses to “Why our jobless PMETs are reluctant to work abroad?”

  1. Concerned Singaporean says:

    I am Singaporean PMET and given an opportunity, I would go oversea leaving this county for good because it is being destroyed by party against people already … Singaporean will sufer unemployment or underemployment because party pro alien party will import more FTs … now HDA CEO said 10M because of HDB fake term living or livable density instead of World Bank definition population density.

  2. Matt says:

    Hi,
    This is something that I don’t understand-but then its also so many other factor to look into before you leap outside of SGP to work.
    We must also look ahead in the very near future where do we stand and whats our opportunity.
    This time I would think that SGP has lost it all,many articles I have read HERE and hearing from others from my social gatherings.
    I strongly urge Singaporeans who have the opportunity to work Overseas please go don’t consider too long-things are also changing overseas for Foreign Professionals-things will have to change, so please don’t wait too long.
    For me I was out of SGP for a long time and will be staying out no choice.
    I do hope someone in the SGP GOV is reading all these articles.

    I wish all in these Forum the very best of luck and hope you will find happiness.

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