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Saturday, January 8, 2011

How much Salary to Negotiate?

How much you ask for your salary is a quite a big debate here in Singapore.  This is the question especially from a majority of all job hunters.

The job hunters/seekers have a little idea on how much they need to negotiate for there acceptance salary.

What is my Goal for my required salary?
I was working in the Philippines with a salary grade of P20,000++, with a company car.  For me, this is not enough for a family man with mortgage and utilities to pay.

I went here in Singapore, looking for a job, asking myself how much will I negotiate with my employer?  After 4 days from my arrival, someone called me for an interview...yes, an INTERVIEW! This is big and fast, job seekers can relate this timeline with me.

I computed all my expenses and soon-to-be payables in a month:

House mortgage
Tuition Fee for my kid / 12 months
Bedspace Rent in Singapore
My food in Singapore
Transportation allowance

Add them all up and got a total of my expenses.  I then add a percent of savings, about 20%, of the soon to be salary. So this will make my expenses as 80%.

How I did my computation?
For Example: 
My total Expenses are = P50,000 a month (80%)
Savings = 20% of my soon-to-be salary

So, my savings should be P12,500 and the salary that I must negotiate should be P62,500 (S$1,800) minimum.

How to Negotiate?
OK, I have done my homework, setting my salary grade, and have practiced my interview answers.  I went to my my interview location 10 minutes before the time.  Complete with long sleeves, slacks and black formal shoes. I brought along all my documents and my speaking skills.

The interview went well and the last question was...What is your expected salary?  Without any hesitation, I answered S$2,200 (P72,600).

How did I come up with this salary grade of S$2,200 far from my computation?
Just what I said, my computation is minimum and this is also the MOM (Ministry of Manpower) minimum salary for my occupation.

This is negotiation time and besides, the word "Expected" is not a period.

By the way, the trick is...I told them "My expected salary is S$2,200, but still depends on your Company's budget!"

How much did I signed?
I came back the next day for the contract signing. I was excited to have a job in Singapore and so happy that my Tourist Visa will be converted to a work permit.

So, I looked and read the contract. To my SURPRISE, I saw the figure for my salary as.....S$2,000.

Other Related Posts:
How to Activate EPEC to Long Term Visit Pass
How to Claim Your Employment Pass (EP) Card


  1. wow you got a job in less than a week!

  2. This is what I said to myself...when a door closes, the whole roof opens!

  3. hi ben! your story is really inspiring!

    i'm just curious whether your computed budget met your actual expenses.. is SGD2000 enough?

    by the way, how did you apply for the job? online?

  4. Thank you so much...You can see my blog about How to Save Money in Singapore here.

    I found my job at JobCentral website.

  5. thanks for that! been reading your blogs for the past few days.. I am also the one who commented on your SG ITINERARY blog. hehe!

    found this through PEx.

  6. hi. i just would like to know if you applied online while in the philippines or while in SG. a friend said that you have a higher chance of landing an interview if you put a singapore address (relative or friend) in your resume even while in the philippines and just go there if you are notified for an interview. is this true?

  7. It's not right to indicate an address where you're not physically there. Next thing is, when HR calls you, they will find out that you are actually in the Philippines. This must be tricky...anyway, i applied here in SG, you can read my story here...

  8. i noticed that in your calculation of "soon to be payables" it doesn't involve monthly expenses of your family in the Philippines like food, clothing etc..does SG also have the same benefits like us e.g. 13th month pay, christmas bonus, performance bonuses?

  9. Food, clothing, etc...are handled by my wife. Sharing keeps the relationship healthy.:)

    My contract has no 13th month pay but my employer gave me a christmas bonus (one month salary) I considered it as a 13th-month. Some companies give 6-month bonus especially those in ship building.


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