Reset to a Digital Singapore: Work-life in Singapore vs Indonesia.

I worked in Indonesia since 2013 and last year, I officially moved to Singapore.

However, while I was not new to Singapore, it took me a year to find my ideal company to work for- I am now proud to be a part of JOLT Digital since the last 6 months. I am happy to be here and to work with an amazing team.

My professional journey was not always a glorious one and I had to face many setbacks and of course with these came the most important lessons I learned which helped me become who I am today. After many trials and errors, I realised my best career choice and interest still is working in Digital advertising.

So, I got this role as a Senior Digital Executive at JOLT Digital. I began to take note of the differences between work in Indonesia vs work in Singapore within this industry. I would like to share some of them and how I had to reset my ways:

A FRIENDLY GESTURE: Indonesians are famous for being friendly or “over friendly” towards others, and it happens in the work environment as well. In Singapore, I met a lot of friendly colleagues! but they are more ‘straight-to-the-point’ than my Indonesian peers! I found this useful, as they never sugar-coated anything! If your work is not up to the mark, they say so and give you critical feedback and a scope to improve. In my case, I found a mentor and guide at JOLT in Jonathan Ng who noticed my hardworking efforts and appreciated the new context I was adapting to and made it a smooth sailing journey for me, for which I am grateful.

REACTING TO A SUDDEN CLIENT REQUEST: Working in digital agency, it is understandable that sometimes clients want sudden changes on the outcomes. In Indonesia, I used to always say yes whenever the client said, something needs to be changed suddenly and I learned how to accommodate such requests in short deadlines. It surely made me work faster and always be ready for a change. Meanwhile in Singapore, my team at JOLT always takes a pause whenever the client requests something even if it is at a short notice and we discuss the outcomes internally. Is this change necessary? How can we make it better? How much time we need to make this change? Everything is discussed in a timely manner. This made me learn to give the best response to the client and not just react!

WORK AND PERSONAL LIFE: In Indonesia, our friendliness towards our colleagues/peers sometimes is beyond just work life but also personal. I know a lot of people who found their house, shop in the same market, took an exact same holiday trip, or even got married to each other, because of the strong friendship at work. I haven’t found anything like that here in Singapore, but I much prefer to separate these 2 areas together as I grow older!

Work hard and play hard have always been my motto and I am thankful that I can do both ever since I joined JOLT Digital, because here, we encourage each other to also have ‘a life’ outside of work!

I learned a lot of valuable lessons working in these 2 extraordinary countries and I am forever grateful to be able to do so.

Aretha Budiastuti
Senior Digital Executive at JOLT Digital

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