Saturday, December 22, 2007

Job Hunting

I woke up alone since everybody is gone for work. It was Nov. 12 of 2007. By the way if any of you is looking for a job here in Singapore here are my tips (although it may not apply to everybody or may not apply to the time of your reading):

1. Make sure you have at least 3 years of working experience on the job that you're looking for

2. Months before your planned resignation make sure you assess if your current job has a market in Singapore and if they accept foreigners because some jobs they prefer to hire Singaporeans or Permanent Residents (PR)

3. Register, create alerts and update resumes in job hunting sites e.g. jobstreet, monster, jobsdb and make sure it points to Singapore

4. Join Singapore forums. Just do a search in yahoo groups since there are tons of them. Make sure you configure it to send via Daily Digest so that you will not be overwhelmed

5. Ideally you want to be offered while you're still in the Philippines so always be on the lookout for job fairs and job alerts. Agents flocks the forums so check it out also

6. One good thing to do is create a spreadsheet that contains company names, agent/agency names and their contacts i.e. email address, address, tel. no. You can get it in your job alerts and forums. The idea is storing all of them in a single spreadsheet (ideally csv format) so that when you arrive in Singapore create an email informing your credentials, resume and that you are currently looking for a job in Singapore and make sure to include your current address in Singapore and mobile no. Yes, once you arrive in Singapore you need to buy a Sim Card. If you have a close friend who can show you how and where to buy the better. They have a Sim Card specially for Filipinos which is the Kababayan Card (i think). It can be bought in Orchard Road, Lucky Plaza

7. Make sure you know someone in Singapore to make life easier for you or at least learn how to go around and the Laws. Simple mistakes can be costly. It's also good to know someone in Singapore with the same job description as you are to ask for tips and advice

8. Apply for EPEC. Go to
I'll create a separate post entirely for EPEC in the near future.

So far these are the things that i can remember. I'll just edit these post when something pops up again in my head.
Back to my story. As i said before after i woke up i started e-mailing all the contacts i accumulated since i know everybody checks their e-mails early in the morning. After a couple of minutes, to my amazement, calls started coming. I realized that they literally ignore you when you e-mail them and your not in Singapore. I could understand that since it's pretty hard scheduling for interviews if you cannot guarantee 100% that you will arrive. Anyways i got an interview scheduled on that day at about 6pm and another one tomorrow at about 3:30pm. The agent texted me the details and called my Wife for directions on how i am going to get there. Well hopefully i didn't get lost. I stayed at the leftmost side of the bus so that i can have a better view of the bus stop name. I brought my Wife's bus guide and i must tell you that it's a must. They also have the Streetdirectory boon with all the maps. The bus guide and Streetdirectory goes hand in hand in traversing singapore using public transportation (bus and mrt) but once you get the hang of it you can just bring the bus guide.
When i arrived at the building i went to the security booth first to get a pass. However the guard won't give me a visitor's pass. He's asking for some kind of an ID but i left my driver's license and SSS ID since i thought it would be pretty much useless in Singapore. What i brought with me is my passport but the guard won't accept it. It's a good thing i have the contact no. of my interview. I called and informed her that the guard won't accept my passport for the visitor's pass. So she went down and told the guard that i am scheduled for an interview.

The Interview*********
She asked me the basic stuff to be expected from an interview like my past job and responsibilities. Then she showed my some flowcharts and asked me if i would be comfortable creating test cases based on those flowcharts. To me it's much easier creating test cases with flowcharts so i said yes. I think the answer that made me won them is that how long can i create test cases for the entire flowcharts the she showed me. I answered some of the flowcharts are simple and some are complicated. I told her that i would need time to estimate and that i can't answer that question outright. Finally she admitted that if i answered with a month or some duration of week that she would not believe me. Whew! That was close. I mean i almost blurted out 1 month. If that question was directed to me a couple of years before i would have answered differently. Work experience really makes the difference. All those scheduling and estimating deadlines it's almost second nature to you. Anyways overall i felt good about that interview.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Road to Singapore

I arrived here in Singapore last Nov. 11, 2007. Thank God i haven't experience any problems in the immigration or in flight (not that i'm expecting it or anything). Maybe i'm just nervous since finally i got to see my Wife (naks!). However i did experience a minor problem in the NAIA.

TIP: Include in your planning to update yourself in the latest immigration law or airport law in both country of origin and destination ex: How much money you are allowed to bring, liquids, knife, etc. Most of this info can be found online.

Anyways in the Singapore Immigration i was asked where i was staying and of course the purpose of my visit. I forgot to get a candy since in the immigration they placed a jar with candies for free. My friends in Singapore asked me to buy a liquor in the Duty Free shop just a couple of steps after the immigration. Alcohols are pretty expensive once you buy it in Singapore. It's cheaper to buy in the Duty Free. However they only allow 1 alcoholic and 1 non-alcoholic purchase per passport. So if you want to buy more be on the lookout for friendly people to ask for a favor for them to purchase on your behalf using their passports.

However i need to exchange my PHP first to SGD. It's a good thing i spotted a fellow PINOY which looked like he's been in Singapore for quite sometime and asked him where i can find a money exchanger in the airport. He politely showed me the way. After that i went back to buy the alcohol.

After 30 mins. my Wife, along with my two friends arrived at the Changi Airport. By the way the airport is nice. Not crowded. We ate at the Burger King inside the airport. Its pretty much the same with what we have in the Philippines.

We took a cab to my new home. In Singapore most of the houses or units are called HDB flats. Ours is a condominium. While in the cab i got to see, for the first time, Singapore. Of course almost instantly I notice the cleanliness and the trees but i find it boring since i can't find anybody walking in the streets. It's very new to me since in the Philippines you can't find a street with no people or person in it or "tambay" (ok i know its exaggeration). I just thought maybe everybody is still in the office or we took the path less traveled or walked. The weather is just the same so that's nice. Actually you can tell that the air is much much cleaner. Cars doesn't emit jet black smoke, as a matter of fact i can't see any emissions. That's good since i have asthma.

Once we arrived at the house i was dumbfounded by the size of it. I was used to living in 30 - 40 sqm. of house and lot so this is new for me. The compound has an olympic size pool, gym, table tennis room and reading room. Veryyyy cool! At least i won't have to pay for going to the gym. After that i forgot what i did...hehe. What i remember is i slept early and left the job hunting for tomorrow morning.

My Chronicle

I decided to create a blog that will chronicle my life of pursuing my career and life here in Singapore for the following reasons:
1. So that i will not forget
2. So that others (FILIPINO) may benefit out of my experience e.g. mistakes i've made, different tips and advice regarding career, Singapore laws, housing, cost of living, etc.
3. To serve as an outlet

All posts in this blog are uniquely my own experience or others experience, opinions and personal outlook. I suggest that if you are looking for facts please do your own research. I am merely conveying my thoughts and experience in this blog like a personal journal. Quoting any words in this blog is ok so long as it refers back to the url of this blog. (Wow, as if someone will quote or bother read this blog anyways).