Melissa Lim first moved to Frankfurt to work as a consultant. In the years she was there, she had advanced into a leadership position at a global asset management firm. Despite her hectic schedule, she even completed an MBA along the way. Her role kept her busy leading and collaborating with global teams to manage IT programmes and strategic platform transformation projects. Five years on, she began contemplating whether the moment had come for another move – only this time, the destination was home.
“There were several reasons for moving back, and a big one was wanting to be closer to family due to the uncertainties brought about by the COVID-19 situation,” Melissa shares. Always one to keep herself challenged, Melissa also felt that the time was ripe for new adventures. She was keen to switch up her scope of work after acquiring considerable experience in her last role and having renewed perspectives from her recent MBA degree. So, she started her search for opportunities back home.
A few things were clear. First, Melissa wanted a role which encompasses innovation, strategy and transformation. She also sought to stay in the financial industry.
Then there were other things that were less clear, like the growth opportunities in the Singapore market. “Many MNCs and global banks have their main offices in Europe or the US, so I was concerned about the work culture, job scope and matching of responsibilities from my last role to the next,” Melissa explains. Remuneration was also another point of consideration, as standards of living in Singapore are different and slightly higher than in Germany.
That’s when she remembered Ivy, International Candidate Manager for Robert Walters’ Balik Kampung campaign. They had stayed in touch since Ivy first reached out a few years ago on LinkedIn.
Melissa reached out to Ivy and got connected to a specialist recruitment consultant at Robert Walters Singapore’s technology desk. “Having met with the consultant in person, we talked about my career aspirations, but also discussed my concerns. They were extremely approachable and supportive throughout the entire recruitment process.”
Both Ivy and the consultant shared more about the Singapore job market and trends, which gave me a better idea of what I could look forward to.
Although Melissa applied for a few roles on LinkedIn, the overall recruitment experience and role matching felt less efficient and desirable. Through the consultant, she quickly secured a role she liked at a global bank, alongside a competitive remuneration package and exciting new scope. Overall, she found the experience with Robert Walters to be interactive and seamless.
To any Singaporeans thinking to “Balik Kampung”, Melissa’s advice is to speak to fellow Singaporeans who have returned home after an extended period working and living abroad. With many large corporations setting up innovation hubs and some even situating their main offices in Singapore, there are plenty of compelling opportunities in the local market.
“Definitely be open-minded,” Melissa advises. “It’s highly likely that the career opportunities here can be just as good or better for you even when compared to other larger, developed economies.”
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