Shruti Gupta and her husband moved to the United States over a decade ago to take their master’s in business administration (MBA). Post-graduation, they found good jobs and stayed on in the United States. Even though they had a close network of friends and built a good life for themselves in the United States, they knew deep down that they wanted to move back home to Singapore eventually.
“When we moved to the States, the initial plan was to get our MBAs, perhaps stay for a few years to get some international exposure if we could find jobs here, and then eventually move back home to Singapore. We didn’t expect ourselves to stay over ten years, but we were lucky to have found jobs we both loved,” shared Shruti. “However, we knew we wouldn’t stay forever. Late last year, we decided to stop postponing our move home, and take concrete steps towards returning back to Singapore.”
The first thing Shruti and her husband did was to research and reach out to their personal networks of family and friends.
“Our research involved a whole range of things, including visas, apartments, schools for our children and more. However, getting a job was at the top of our priority list,” Shruti said. “We both had good jobs in the United States, and we wanted to ensure we were able to get similar roles back in Singapore.”
One of the people in Shruti’s networks introduced her to the Balik Kampung program, and Shruti quickly got in touch with Ivy, International Candidate Manager, Robert Walters Singapore, who was in charge of the program.
“The conversation with Ivy was really important in our journey. She gave us the sense that Singapore was very welcoming to its citizens and that made us miss home even more."
"We also appreciated her candour about the fact that it could be hard for job seekers like us based overseas as many companies may not immediately consider these CVs,” Shruti explained. “The conversation we had with her really helped us understand the landscape in Singapore and plan our job search better.”
However, Shruti didn’t have long to wait before an opportunity came knocking. Within a few days, Ivy had passed her profile on to LingXiang Lee, Principal Consultant for Sales & Marketing, and LingXiang had the perfect role at a multinational technology company for Shruti.
“When I saw the role, I immediately knew it was perfect for me. I didn’t even have to tailor my CV much for the role – that’s how well my professional experience matched with the job requirements. It was similar to what I did in the US and that really excited me,” Shruti shared.
“I knew I really wanted the role, so I dedicated all my spare time towards preparing for the role. I called up friends who worked at the company to ask them about the interview processes, did my own research and rehearsed multiple times,” Shruti said. “I also had a lot of help from LingXiang, who did a great job representing me to the company. She provided me a lot of information about the role and the team itself so that definitely helped.”
In a matter of weeks, Shruti had an offer in hand – but the timing of the offer coincided with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
“Thankfully for us, Singapore never closed its borders to its citizens and so we returned back home despite the outbreak. We understood it would be difficult but we were ready to take on the challenges if it meant we could return,” Shruti revealed. “The first obstacle we faced was my husband’s job offer being put on hold because of the outbreak. However, looking back at it, it was ultimately for the best as it meant that one of us could settle family issues such as finding an apartment and schools for the children, while I start my new job and get adjusted to the work and culture.”
Shruti encourages overseas-Singaporeans who are seriously considering returning home to not let challenges – such as a global pandemic – disrupt their plans. “If you want to do it, just start. Don’t wait, or you’d just keep delaying. Start early, and when the right opportunity comes along, give it your all.”
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