From The Straits Times    |
Teresa Zhou Great Resignation

“In mid-2021, my family found their dream home, and the subject arose as to whether I’d move in with them or find my own place. I’d always dreamt of working abroad, so I thought, why not rent overseas? Curious about what working and living in New York, San Francisco and London might be like, I applied for jobs in those cities.

To my surprise, I received a response from a London agency. After three weeks of interviews and tests, I received a job offer and accepted it.

I’d been working at an integrated communications agency in Singapore for four years. I had no plans to leave, but when this opportunity in London came up, I knew I had to resign. Though we were in the middle of a pandemic, and I loved my company and bosses, the time felt right to realise my dream.

The next three months were stressful as I prepared to move. I left with no regrets, and arrived in London on New Year’s Day.

My job as a senior account manager is almost the same as my previous one, except that I deal with the European market. The learning curve has been steep, but I have no complaints: I have amazing colleagues and the office culture is similar to my Singapore agency where they take care of their people.

Living in London has been good so far. I’m getting used to the Thursday-night ritual of drinking at the pub with my colleagues and, of course, I’ve been doing a lot of sightseeing.

In the months before leaving Singapore, I did a lot of self-reflection. I rethought my relationship with my career, and asked myself if I wanted to live to work or work to live. My goal was to get rid of the emotional baggage I’d been carrying, so that I could start afresh in London.

In Singapore, it’s sometimes challenging to find a work-life balance in the industry that I’m in but that’s different in London. Here, people have a sharper distinction of their work and personal life so they make sure to leave the office on time, and would never ask or expect people to stay late. It’s a refreshing change – one that’s helped reframe my approach to work.”