cultural differences – the job search

I came to Singapore without a job.  I came to Singapore with two weeks in which to complete the final edits and revisions on my dissertation.  I came to Singapore knowing that task #1 was going to be finding us a place to live, task #1.2 would be finish the dissertation edits and depositing the dissertation, and task #3 would be finding a job.  Somehow all of those have become muddled into one knotty, out-of-order mess because job searches seem to work differently in Singapore than they do in the U.S.

Even before we left the U.S. I started looking at jobs.  I don’t do well when I am not working.  Plus, it is time to put this degree to work!!!  And well, Singapore is insanely expensive – I can’t stress that fact enough – and the sooner we are a two income household in this country the better.

So, in between viewing apartments (still no news on that front) and the final edits on the dissertation I started applying for jobs in Singapore.  The speed with which people have gotten back to me is astounding.  I applied for one position Sunday night and got a rejection email Tuesday night.  I applied for a second position on Monday and received a phone call on Tuesday asking to set up an on-campus interview with me for Wednesday!!!  Holy-WTF-fast!  I managed to explain to the gentlemen who called me that an interview on Wednesday would not be possible and asked if we could set something up for Friday or Monday.  He hung up and then called me back five minutes to set up an interview for Thursday.  Okay.  Thursday it is.

Here’s the thing: the foreknowledge that I would be applying for jobs and interviewing did not translate into the best packing of my luggage for an overseas move.  I did manage to cram both of my interview suits into my suitcase, and I did manage to pack a decent assortment of trousers, casual jackets, and blouses that are all work appropriate.  However, I totally flaked on shoes.  I have no heels, no oxfords, nothing office appropriate.

I have a pair of dressy-ish sandals, but they aren’t what I would ever consider right for an interview.  Furthermore, last week, these sandals destroyed my feet.  Back in the U.S. I was able to walk in these for miles with no issue.  Here, where I turn into a puddle of sweat and ick the moment I step foot out of my door, these sandals left deep gashes in the sides of my feet – hence the purchase of the $6 bottle of hydrogen peroxide last week to clean out the wounds.

This morning while trying to figure out what to wear to the interview, I tried the sandals on again to see if wearing them might be bearable, might be possible.  My feel have mostly healed, so I think I might be able to get away with wearing the sandals so long as I stay close to public transit.  If the interviewers try to take me on a walking tour of the campus, however, I might cry during my interview tomorrow.  Also, I fear that bleeding from my feet during an interview might get me thrown in the automatic reject pile.

Today I applied for two other jobs.  I know, I know – the dissertation needs to be the priority right now. But the two jobs for which I applied today I am really quite keen on, and I had been working on the application for one of the two for a few days now.  Given how quickly the first two got back to me, I felt as though I needed to send the second two applications out so that maybe, hopefully I will have options if this first interview goes well and the other companies are as diligent about getting back to me as the first two were.  We shall see.


About OneGoneTwo

bioethicist, cultural studies, literature, and visual cultural scholar, writer, and lover of design
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