$5,000 to $7000 to $10,000 – Do You Have What It Takes?
$5,000 to $7000 to $10,000 – Do You Have What It Takes?

Posted on 15 January 2020

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Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing gave Singaporeans food for thought with his example during Parliament, on the subject of foreign investment. In his example, a foreign investor may bring in two jobs, one paying $10,000 and the other $7000. And that if we refuse the foreign investment, both jobs will disappear in Singapore.

While it is natural for us to compare ourselves to others, and question how some have more, it is also important to examine our own capabilities. CareerBuilder searched through the JobsCentral portal to find out exactly what a $7,000 job entails. If you have the calibre to excel in similar roles, you’ll definitely land that $10,000 job after garnering some experience and upgrading your skills, as suggested by Minister Chan.

A Large Portfolio of Work

Firstly, it should come as no surprise that a large salary package is accompanied by just as large a portfolio. Almost every posting with the salary indicated was for senior management or higher.

Even if the word “manager” did not appear, the position included management-level responsibility. The jobs on offer involved not only developing new initiatives and portfolios, but also coordinating with different teams and stakeholders both internally and externally. A substantial number also involved internal audit work, to ensure company compliance with different standards of operation.

A posting for a Senior /Manager, Risk & Compliance Management, for example, listed the following as part of the job description:
  • Lead in conducting audit to identity, analyse and assess gaps on financial and operation risk including business continuity impact.
  • Develop and implement strategies and action to minimize non-compliance, mitigate risk and drive improvement.
  • Advise business units on procedures and practices pertaining to business risk and compliance.
  • Collaborate with authorities and professionals to analyse, develop compliance standards and address issues pertaining to compliance and legal affairs.
  • Explains corporate governance and conduct periodic review of rules, regulations, company policies and procedures and adhered to meets the company Business Conduct.
  • Define, track and publish corporate risk and compliance health report

The job requires not only the initiative to spearhead directives for the company’s progress, but also extensive collaboration and project management skills. Other postings reflected a similar spectrum of responsibilities, and required a candidate to perform multiple tasks and roles on a daily basis.

High Entry Requirements

Secondly, jobs at that level required a bachelor’s degree in a related field and at least 10 years of related experience at minimum, and most specify that they would like further than that. A posting for a Head / Senior Operation Manager, Facility M&E (Commercial / Shopping Retail Mall), for example, required an applicant to have a Bachelor / Master in Engineering or Facility or Property Management or relevant, and a minimum of eight to ten years of experience leading an entire operation team to carry out daily operation work. Many of these job postings also emphasised that they would be looking for a proven track record of success, and familiarity with industry tools and software.

However, educational qualifications alone were insufficient. Recruitment advertisements specified that “soft skills” such as communication skills, leadership ability and empathy were also non-negotiable must-haves.

Industry-specific Knowledge

Finally, jobs that commanded larger earnings required a great deal of technical, industry specific knowledge. Such knowledge is gained only through a thorough education combined with many years in an industry, learning its ways inside and out.

This advertisement for an External Manufacturing Senior Manager, for example, is full of industry-specific jargon and terminology. Job details and requirements include:
  • Facilitates the transition of new product transferred from OSAT & CM
  • Conducts manufacturing readiness audit to ensure OSAT supplier & CM’s quality and manufacturing system meeting production ramp plan for new product introduction.
  • Manage and supervise the OSAT suppliers & CMs in areas such as performing packaging & Module assembly and testing operations of the products. Also provide technical advice and solutions on manufacturing issues encountered while processing the products.
  • Coordinate with supplier on submission of PCCB horizon report quarterly.
  • Familiar with Jedec & Telecordia standards and quality management system such as ISO/TS16949, ISO14001.

The description in itself serves as a good filter. Those who do not understand the terms are plainly not suitable to apply.

Are you ready?

In conclusion, while a large salary and generous benefits are certainly attractive, the work involved is challenging and involves a great deal of responsibility. Also, to be in a position to reach for it, one might need many years of intensive education and experience.

Ask yourself – do I have what it takes?
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