Singaporean employees have the bad reputation of being job hoppers who’ll jump ship as soon as someone offers them $100 more to to do the same job.
But is that a reputation that’s really deserved? Are we really such mercenaries?
Most of the time, people only leave for a salary hike if it’s a good one. The rest of the time, they switch jobs for a variety of reasons, the following being the most common.
A better boss
Bad bosses are a regular source of angst in Singapore, and the reason why despite the high alcohol prices here, the bars are always packed in the CBD after 7pm—gotta drink the frustration away.
No matter how good a role is, it’s not worth staying in for the long term if you’ve got a bad boss. A boss who throws his subordinates under the bus and who thinks of employees as digits rather than living, breathing people with careers will not only be a lousy mentor but can also stall your career progress, not to mention drive you insane.
On the other hand, a good boss can be a great reason to jump ship if you’re unhappy with the leadership at your current company. I would go so far as to say that the quality of leadership at a company is one of the biggest factors contributing to your success and happiness at work.
Better work-life balance
Each person has a different tolerance level when it comes to work-life balance. Some people value being able to leave the office at 6 on the dot every day, while others are willing to put in OT, within reason of course.
Work-life balance can swing to the extremes in Singapore. There are some people who can get away with doing almost nothing at work every day and still not get fired, while there are others who are stuck slogging away at the office till ungodly hours every night.
The work-life balance afforded by a particular role is thus a very valid consideration. Be realistic about how much free time you need to maintain your health and personal life. If you have a child to bring up or need 8 hours of sleep every night, choose a job that can accommodate that.
Those who are reaching the final leg of their careers and are ready to wind down and not hustle so hard don’t need to worry too much about career progression.
But if you’re in your twenties to forties, you’re likely to still have several decades of work ahead of you. Choosing a role and an employer that gives you room to grow is essential if you plan on staying there for more than two or three years.
Smaller SMEs tend to offer less room for growth than MNCs. If you realise the only way you can get promoted in the company is to replace your boss himself, except that your boss also happens to own the company, you will need to move on after you’ve reaped the benefits of the job experience.
More positive working environment
For most of us, it is very difficult to not be affected by the people we work with on a daily basis. A positive working environment can go a long way towards boosting your performance and motivation. Having colleagues who are there to help you rather than stab you in the back also enables you to do better work.
A hostile working environment and toxic workplace culture are valid reasons to leave a job for one that might be better. Vicious office politics or colleagues who refuse to cover for you when you’re on leave can indicate that this isn’t a job you want to stay in long-term.
Just make sure you’re not being overly sensitive—if your blood boils each time a colleague makes the slightest mistake, you’re probably the one who’s encouraging others to quit.
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