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Old Oct 13th 2016, 3:51 pm   #1
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Default Work opportunities for spouses (wives)

I am very excited to be moving to Singapore at the end of October, via hubby's new job. I have looked through many threads but can't seem to get much idea on the prospects of me being able to findwork locally. I am eligible to work via his employment pass (if that's the right term?).

My background is corporate comms/PR, with private and public sector experience (mainly the latter) across several industries (tourism, infrastructure, government) but not finance/banking or technology.

1. Is it possible/difficult to secure a job/new career? I would be grateful for any feedback. I have over 10yrs experience at mid-senior and have recently completed a Leadership Masters at a reputable London Business School. I am happy to lower my expectations/start again if needs be, though not sure that would work?

2. There is a plethora of job websites and agencies. Any idea for the more respected/widely used? I am looking at those I'm already familiar with (ie. offices in London etc) but I don't want to plaster my CV everywhere.

3. Some advice regarding CVs please. Are they much different from the UK style? I note photos are required, should this be within the CV?

Aside from MOM, I would be grateful if anyone could flag any good websites on where to find information.

Many thanks in advance
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Old Dec 16th 2016, 1:02 am   #2
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Default Re: Work opportunities for spouses (wives)

Hi! I am in a similar position (just arrived) and it would be great to get some tips on this stuff
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Old May 18th 2017, 9:41 pm   #3
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Default Re: Work opportunities for spouses (wives)

Hi There. I have just joined this forum as I've been made an offer to relocate from the UK later this year and my wife has the questions as you.

As we're a few months on from your initial post, can you advise how you got on with the job hunt?
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Old May 22nd 2017, 7:24 am   #4
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Default Re: Work opportunities for spouses (wives)

I haven't actually started job-hunting as yet as I have instead taken the time to meet people and hone my interests, as recommended by quite a few people I met. Like many locals and expat women, I'm looking to start my own business venture - the support is strong for this out here. I will answer my own Q's with my understanding so far.

1. It all depends on your line of work and how niche vs general your skills are, that it couldn't be filled locally. Eg. Some spouses don't find work/aren't permitted on certain occupations, particularly if they have an administrative/secretarial background as supply/demand. The scattergun online job application method isn't such a thing here as networking. Though not in the 'old boys network' British sense, more community-base of meeting people and helping, sharing information etc.

So I have joined one of Singapore's many societies and women's groups, PrimeTime.org.sg to volunteer and lead a group and network. The Singaporean government is highly keen on start-ups and entrepreneurship so there are several Women entrepreneur groups, as well as volunteer groups. I think these and meeting people are the best starting point to get an understanding of opportunities.

2. LinkedIn which is why the above is helpful. Specific recruitment agencies may also be helpful depending on the industry.

3. I get the impression they are not overly different but only starting to review mine now. As above, getting to know people will help, I haven't come across any template as such but not yet spoken to recruiters either.

Many people say it takes them about a year to find a job. To bear in mind, Singapore is incredibly transitory because many expats are on 2yr contracts. So I guess people may want to know if you are going to stick around longterm before they consider you, hence networking. Though unlike London, because transport and eating out is so cheap, getting out and going to events and networking is not prohibitive (you can expect a bit more than a few crisps at any event). Even if not working, there is plenty to volunteer and do in Singapore, ie. meet-ups are very popular across writing, crafts, meeting people for biking holidays etc. Meet-ups are also great for kids and baby clubs, as are condo facebook groups and the malls (all have 'enrichment' areas where you can find kids painting, music, drama clubs etc).

I'm pointing this all out as I've heard expat spouses say they are bored and there is a weird peer pressure to go and burn the husband's credit card down ION Orchard on Dior handbags. Hence, the inconclusive answers and online moaning about how expensive it is. If you get your maid to surrogate-parent your kids, lunch at Raffles or The British Club every week, and spend the rest of your days perousing around designer shops and markets, then yes your life will be boring and expensive!

On the other hand, plenty of women I have met through the likes of PrimeTime are working or setting start-ups and leading normal lives. There are plenty of opportunities and work doesn't have to define you if you are a woman, particularly with some sensibility you will not 'need' to work or may not want to. It's a great place for reinvention, career change or doing the stuff you/your wife may not have had the time to do back home.

The work life is demanding here, partners are often working late/midnight etc. Though my husband says he doesn't mind working the weekends if he is sitting in his shorts, by the pool with a beer! It is a work hard/play hard social culture and the travel opps alone will make the experience rewarding however long you spend here.

Hope that helps.....
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Old May 22nd 2017, 1:14 pm   #5
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Default Re: Work opportunities for spouses (wives)

Thanks again GreenwichCat. It's great to have your perspective and real life take.

My wife is actually a teacher (English & Music) by qualification and hoping to investigate the opportunities within some Primary Schools and Nurseries.

In the UK she worked in Document Control/Information Management for an Oil & Gas Operator, but has been away from the work environment since our son was born.

She's excited at everything the family could gain by this experience and hopes that she can develop some relationships with other mums where there are regular play dates and coffee/cake catch ups.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond. We're getting less worried by the day now.
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Old Sep 29th 2017, 7:32 am   #6
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orchid_in_bloom is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Work opportunities for spouses (wives)

I arrived in Singapore beginning of September on a Dependent's Pass.

Like GreenwichCat, I joined PrimeTime. I attended their Resume Writing Workshop two days ago and found it very useful. Formally joined yesterday and attended the Networking for New Members. To GreenwichCat, if you were at Harry's last night, I was the girl blinding people with my camera.

In terms of how the CVs look:
- we were advised during the workshop that as 99% of Singapore CVs have photos, to add a photo as well.
- Maximum of 3 pages.
- Write what type of pass you're (Dependent Pass or LTVP) at the top where you have your bio (Name, Mobile, Email Address, LinkedIn link).
- No need to add your highschool, your highest educational qualification and certifications would suffice

One tip I received from one of the ladies last night (not sure how true):
Polish your CV before you send it out. Once a recruiter takes a hold of that CV, all the recruiters will have access to it, as well because of how small Singapore is.

I've been told job-hunting here is hard as some companies prefer Permanent Residents or Singaporean citizens but it is doable.

I'm currently revamping my CV and will be sending it out as soon as I can.

In the meantime, I have signed up in different social groups (MeetUp, Toastmasters) and have been updating my blog to keep me busy and motivated.
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