“In mid-2021, my family found their dream home, and the subject arose as to whether I’d move in with them or find my own place. I’d always dreamt of working abroad, so I thought, why not rent overseas? Curious about what working and living in New York, San Francisco and London might be like, I applied for jobs in those cities.

To my surprise, I received a response from a London agency almost right away. Three weeks later, I accepted the job offer.

I’d been working at an integrated communications agency in Singapore for four years. I had no plans to leave, but when this opportunity in London came up, I knew I had to resign. Though we were in the middle of a pandemic, and I loved my company and bosses, the time felt right to realise my dream.

The next three months were stressful as I prepared to move. I left with no regrets, and arrived in London on New Year’s Eve.

My job as a senior account manager is almost the same as my previous one, except that I deal with the European market. The learning curve has been steep, but I have no complaints: I have amazing colleagues and the work culture is similar to Singapore’s.

Living in London has been good so far. I’m getting used to the Thursday-night ritual of drinking at the pub with my colleagues and, of course, I’ve been doing a lot of sightseeing.

In the months before leaving Singapore, I did a lot of self-reflection. I rethought my relationship with my career, and asked myself if I wanted to live to work or work to live. My goal was to get rid of the emotional baggage I’d been carrying, so that I could start afresh in London.

Unlike in Singapore, where everyone tends to work super-hard, people in the UK are more laid-back. Sure, there are ambitious folks around, but for the most part, everyone believes in maintaining work-life balance. They leave the office on time, and would never ask or expect employees to stay late. It’s a refreshing change – one that’s helped reframe my approach to work.”

Text: Sasha Gonzales/HerWorld