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Wednesday, February 1, 2023
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FOREIGN TALENT FRESH GRAD FEELS THAT HIS $8,000 SALARY IS TOO LOW IN S’PORE

I am a foreigner living overseas. I just interviewed with one of the IT companies in Singapore.

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Everything went well in the technical interviews and the final HR interview was scheduled to make an offer. The HR asked me for my expected salary and I got confused because I was unable to understand her Singlish accent properly (I am sorry, I am not judging her Singlish accent, I just don’t have much interaction with Singlish).

In my confusion, I said 8000 SGD and they accepted the offer happily. Now the contract is signed and I came to know from some connections that for fresh PhDs that the company offers 10,000 SGD for graduates with similar credentials. Since the contract has been signed and they have initiated the EP visa process. What could be good options for me to consider now?

In Singapore, do we have options for negotiation during probation period? Is 8000 SGD fair salary for fresh PhD graduated of Electronics Engineering? Thank you!

Here are what netizens think:

  • It’s bizarre to renegotiate without proper reasons. However, there’s a catch if your EP gets rejected. You can convince the HR that the reason for rejection is likely that your salary doesn’t match people with the same kind of credentials and age (yes it’s actually a factor; go read). But if your EP does get approved, then ethically you don’t have much wiggle room with the same employer.
  • You always have options if you know how to justify your contributions to the company you’ve joined.
  • You don’t have many options if you aren’t able to articulate yourself.
  • Your current inability to communicate with the HR department to sell yourself adequately or communicate your desired salary is already a sign that asking for $10k will be a huge challenge for you. There is no “official” recourse if that’s what you’re asking because the terms of employment were already signed by you and there was no mistake in that aspect from the employers end.
  • The $2k monthly is a form of school fees you’re paying as a lesson on the importance of self promotion and negotiation.
  • I have been in a similar situations where my colleagues earned more than me for a similar role. That said, while it’s easy to be bitter about HR shortchanging you, it’s better to focus that energy into noticing and learning from that colleague. This is how I made my “school fees” worth it. By observing my colleagues who are able to advocate for themselves and testing out on my own.
  • A phD recognises your depth of knowledge in a certain area of life. It isn’t a guarantee that you will get a certain amount of salary.
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