30.3 C
Singapore
Tuesday, November 29, 2022
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FT STARTS WORK IN S’PORE, CONFUSED ABOUT WORK CULTURE – SAY ONE THING, DO ANOTHER

For context, I just moved to Singapore and was accepted to work in an office-related role after months of searching. I have 10+ years experience in this role and it is also a supervisor position. During my interview, I was told that it’s a progressive and modern company, they treat employees like family, and will train me well to be effective in my role. That made me excited to work with them and my only request is that they give me proper feedback so I can do my job effectively.

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I’m not sure if it is a cultural thing or I’m just being blur, but the instructions I get don’t seem to match what they really expect me to do. For example, I was invited to come and observe the office and work culture a few days before I started, and I was only happy to do so. I came with the expectation that I’ll quietly look around, ask questions and chitchat a bit, then leave. A little bit later I was called into a meeting and was told that they didn’t seem impressed with me as I came off as someone who’s shy and quiet. I didn’t realise this is an “official” meeting and would have been more outgoing and chatty if I knew.

When I started working, they told me they need an independent worker which is great because I prefer doing things on my own and will ask questions only if I needed help. For my training, I was given a task list and was told to update once everything was finished. By the end of my shift, everything was submitted and properly reported to my trainer. My boss later told me that I seem lazy and should put in more hours so people will respect me. When I asked my trainer for feedback, I was only told everything is well. A few days later, I was apologising for asking too many questions about a certain task and was told that “it’s great you’re asking questions because that means you’re working”. Eh?

I’m grateful for the feedback but I can’t seem to get what they want. I prefer direct instructions and this roundabout way of saying things messes with me. Is this the usual work culture in SG? Pls give me insights on how new trainees are handled.

Help a lost foreigner pls

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