For some people, especially the younger generation, staying at one company for more than five years sounds like a very long time. For Mi Mi, who spent over 20 years of her professional life at Intel Malaysia in Penang, having the opportunity to move across the straits to Singapore was the right next step for her personal and professional development.
“It was really time to move on and try on a new challenge,” she said.
Mi Mi now works with Micron Technology in Singapore as a Senior Director, Global Executive HR Business Partner for Global Operations, where she supports the Executive Vice President in driving and directing the organisation’s talent strategies and initiatives for 30,000 employees around the world.
According to Mi Mi, it was not a drastic difference when it came to work.
“Both Intel and Micron are big US corporations, so the work culture and environment are pretty similar. This made it easier to transition, especially after spending over two decades in the same organisation!”
Not all is sunshine and rainbows
When one is considering a move abroad to a new country, we often look at the pros of the opportunity, for example, for better salary, better weather, new challenges, and even just because it is a new place. People often jump at the first opportunity to move abroad due to the promises of a new start.
However, the reality can be quite different. Couple that with making the transition during the COVID-19 pandemic, when lockdowns were in place and cross-border movements were limited, the move abroad was not as easy as it sounded. The experience of going through the transition as a family is fulfilling. This rewarding adventure (the goods and the challenges) has given Mi Mi and her family a new level of exposure and appreciation of differences.
“There are always pros and cons in every decision you make. You and your family must always be aware of it so you can be better prepared for the changes in your life.”
For instance, Mi Mi and her family had to move out of their landed property in Penang and into a smaller condominium in Singapore. She has one comment on food in Singapore, “I still can’t find a good enough nasi lemak here – the sambal is never spicy enough for me!”
Exploring the hidden gems
Singapore has plenty to offer, from the bustling city life to the peaceful nature and parks.
“People think that Singapore is a crowded and fast-paced country, but I think it is still reasonably OK. Everything is well-planned across the country, where the malls and schools are well-distributed. So, you won’t see a lot of people crowding the same place all the time.”
Mi Mi also likes to spend her Sundays exploring new places in Singapore with her family, which includes hiking or exploring the scenic parks and bridges.
“People always tend to compare Malaysia to Singapore, and how Singapore is better than Malaysia. I find this to be true to some extent, but not always.”
For instance, Mi Mi finds that the services industry in Malaysia is more customer-oriented and flexible. The Malaysian Hospitality, according to her, feels closer to heart and friendly.
“But in terms of public transportation, yes, Singapore wins!”
Challenging yourself for your future growth.
There will always be ups and downs in every decision, but one has to learn to step out of one’s comfort zone and try something new.
“Sure, it can be a bit uncomfortable and strange at the beginning, but you’ll learn a lot from the experience.”
Mi Mi and her family moved abroad to gain new experiences through her career progression. While it may not be a perfect decision, they are making the most out of the challenge and reaping as much benefits as they can get.
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