5 Supposedly Good (and Actually Awful) Career Moves in Singapore

Singapore’s job scape has changed more radically in the past decade then between the 70′s – 90′s. The influx of foreign companies, the rise and fall of dot coms, the impact of mass media; suffice it to say that, unless your college counsellor was more cutting edge than a TV media knife set, the career advice you got is outdated. What worked great for dad will leave you shining shoes for a dollar at the Interchange. Here are five old job myths, displaced by working reality:

 

Two men talking about a job

“And only two people have ever been arrested for working for us. It’s a great career decision.”

 

1. Just Keep Quiet and Work, Your Boss Will Notice You’re Good

This advice worked a long time ago, when it was common for bosses to run the same department till kingdom come. In those days, companies didn’t restructure at the drop of a hat. Bosses would work with the same people, who performed the same tasks, for years on end. Eventually, they’d come to know the slackers from the real deal.

But today’s companies move faster. Entire product lines are altered, canned, or started in the span of days. Sometimes hours. Bosses can change every two or three years, and employees hop between projects like fleas in an SPCA shelter. As a result, bosses often end up with superficial knowledge of their underlings.

 

Sneaky employee

“…and when I turn around, work gets done! I suspect I may actually have an employee lying around somewhere…”

 

To climb the corporate ladder, you need to make your achievements known. When you accomplish something, step up and say it. Don’t hesitate to flash a quick smile and say “Oh hey boss, I managed something great this week.”

 

2. Never Disagree With The Boss

Better advice would be “never argue with the boss.” Don’t get into a rant and start swearing like a sailor on shore leave. But if your boss has things wrong, make it a point to say so.

Today’s workforce is polarized: There’s a division between the people who make the product / service, and the managers who organize them. Very often, bosses don’t have the technical knowledge their underlings do. That’s why they have those underlings; to clue them in.

 

Guy standing on a ledge

“Let’s put it to a vote. Those who disagree, take a step forward.”

 

Case in point: I once worked for a language school, teaching TESOL to adults. My boss knew as much about English grammar as the French know about humility. I noticed some drastic errors in his notes, but because I’d been advised not to make waves, I kept my mouth shut.

When other people spotted the mistake, my boss wasn’t blamed. I was. Because I was the expert, and I chose not to point out the error. This led to everyone assuming I was incompetent, or deliberately trying to sabotage my boss.

 

3. Always Make Time For Every Colleague

This has the potential to be good advice; it just has to be less extreme. By all means, help your colleagues when you can. But if you start spending hours on someone else’s problem, you’re neglecting your own work.

In your performance review, your boss answers maybe three questions about your helpful nature. Every other question is an intense examination of your job. And when your boss is picking targets for a round of lay-offs, getting on your knees and wailing “But I’m helpful!” is like trying to extinguish a house fire by crying.

So get your priorities in order. Sometimes, you have to answer colleagues with a simple no.

 

Man slumped in chair

“Wake up. Since you were so efficient, we fired the rest of the department; you’re doing ALL their jobs.”

 

4. Only Worry About Take-Home Pay

Dental plan? Company health benefits? Hah! Don’t worry about those. Just care about your take-home pay. Because you’re young, you’re fit, and you’re barely even mortal, right?

It’s a tempting way to think. After all, health benefits or subsidised insurance are so…unattractive. It’s money you can’t touch. And every year, hundreds of job seekers forego such benefits, in order to feed an extra $200 – $300 into their bank account.

 

Box of band aids

“Of course we have a company health plan. It’s right in my drawer.”

 

But stop and think: What’s the medical cost if you faint one evening, and receive a crash course on “Why Diabetes Sucks”?

That extra $200 – $300 will only cover your expenses at best. At worst, it may not even cover your hospital stay. Even basic insurance coverage can pay for a $2000 hospital visit, with money left over. So think beyond your take-home pay. If you have no comprehensive insurance, find a company that has some sort of health plan.

If you want some insurance ideas, you can also follow us on Facebook. We occasionally annoy industry players about it.

 

5. Stay In The Same Company

Job hopping makes your resume look bad! It’s dangerous to change jobs! You’re giving up your entitlements! Except sometimes, staying in a bad job costs you more.

Maybe the employers don’t prize experience over education. Or maybe they have the business savvy of an attention deficit chimp, and project decisions are practically coin flips. Whatever the case, these companies jam your career worse than the PIE at rush hour.  Signs to look for:

 

cobwebs

“Just let me dust off the general manager; he’s been down here for some time.”

 

  • No pay increment after four or more years
  • The turnover rate is so high, you don’t know half the names
  • You learn nothing after more than three years
  • It makes no difference how much (or how little) work you do
  • Your bosses cannot describe a clear route of advancement (ROA)

If any of the above are true, start looking for another job. Or in 10 years, you might find you’re doing the same thing for the same pay.

Image Credits:
USAG-Humphreys, Sarah G…, epSos.de, cell105_rockinfree, Horasis

Have you ever received bad career advice? Comment and tell us about it!

Get more Personal Finance tips and tricks on www.MoneySmart.sg

Click to Compare Singapore Home Loans, Car Insurance and Credit Cards on our other sites.



More From MoneySmart
Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Biker Beauty: Honda and David's Salon Pampering Day
    Biker Beauty: Honda and David's Salon Pampering Day

    Honda Philippines Inc. (HPI), and David's Salon recently held the awarding ceremony for the Metro Manila winner of the David's Salon Scooter Raffle Promo at the 5th level of SM Megamall Building A. Loyal patron Maria Theresa Guevara took home a brand new Honda Click 125i. Present to grace the occasion were David's Salon Creative Director Laura Charlton and HPI Assistant Vice-President for Sales and Marketing Hideo Nishinaga.To the delight of all those in attendance, guests were treated to …

  • ‘Next leader must not be newbie’
    ‘Next leader must not be newbie’

    Vice President Jejomar Binay believes the next president of the Philippines must have vast experience and a long track record in governance and in dealing with crises. “I am very much convinced that the local government is the best training ground for those who want to run for national government positions,” he said. Binay said he is determined to run for president in 2016 on the strength of his competence and track record. …

  • Massacre suspect tests negative for poisoning
    Massacre suspect tests negative for poisoning

    A suspect in the Maguindanao massacre case who had been examined at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) tested negative for poisoning, medical records released yesterday showed. However, the Quezon City court handling the multiple murder case resolved to isolate Police Officer 1 Pia Kamidon from the rest of the accused detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig for his safety. In a two-page order, Regional Trial Court Branch 221 assisting Judge Genie Gapas-Agbada ordered jail officials to …

  • ‘Homework first before Facebook’
    ‘Homework first before Facebook’

    President Aquino elicited laughter from students here as he reminded them to open books first before Facebook. “Finish your assignments first before making a raid in the Clash of Clans,” Aquino said, referring to a popular online game. In a speech during the turnover yesterday of two new three-story buildings at the Tarlac National High School, he said the government could only provide opportunities for learning but the rest of the work would be up to the students. The new school buildings …

  • Espina resignation confirmed; Noy looks for replacement
    Espina resignation confirmed; Noy looks for replacement

    President Aquino ended speculations yesterday and confirmed that Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina had indeed resigned as officer-in-charge of the Philippine National Police. As of this time, we are conducting various interviews and checks on the various candidates,” Aquino told reporters at the Tarlac National High School in Tarlac City. Aquino had kind words for Espina, saying that he stood by and defended the 44 slain police Special Action Force (SAF) commandos in the operation in …

  • Palace welcomes G7 concern over sea reclamation
    Palace welcomes G7 concern over sea reclamation

    President Aquino welcomed yesterday the Group of Seven industrialized countries’ expression of concern over rising tension in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, calling it a clear indication of the global scope of the problem ramped up by China’s massive reclamation activities in disputed waters. In Tarlac City where he led the turnover of new classrooms, Aquino told reporters that goodwill and not tension must prevail in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, where territorial …

  • DepEd, TESDA tie up for K to 12
    DepEd, TESDA tie up for K to 12

    The Department of Education (DepEd) has partnered with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in the first two years of implementation of the K to 12 program. “We will use TESDA centers as technical-vocational laboratories for senior high school,” DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro said during the inauguration of 30 new classrooms at the Tarlac National High School yesterday. The classrooms were constructed in partnership with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. …

  • SE Asia Stocks-Philippine falls on foreign selling; others flat to weaker

    BANGKOK, April 17 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets ended flat to weaker on Friday as Philippine stocks slid on selling led by foreign funds and Singapore shares extended losses with investors ... …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options