Singapore is currently experiencing a surge in international legal recruitment as law firms expand into this bustling Asian metropolis, and if you are seeking global relocation, chances are you have identified the city as a possible destination. Outsiders unfamiliar with Singapore’s customs might find themselves in an awkward situation, but our attorney headhunters at Kinney Recruiting have spent years helping lawyers make the jump into the market.
If you are moving to Singapore, consider some of the following advice.
Learn Mandarin Chinese
While a large percentage of residents speak English, it is still never a bad idea to learn the second-most prevalent language. In this case, the standard form of Mandarin Chinese is spoken by many citizens, so even a limited background in this language could help you.
In the United States, it is customary to shake hands with a business associate when being introduced or at the close of a mutual expenditure like an interview. However, under no circumstances should you do this in Singapore, because physical contact could be misconstrued as inappropriate. A proper salutation involves a nod of the head and a simple smile, especially between members of the opposite sex. In a male-only encounter, a gentle touch on the shoulder is about all that is allowed.
You should also make sure to never use your index finger to point something out. In Singapore, pointing is considered to be rude, especially if it is at a person.
Singapore is known for its calm and collected residents, and this atmosphere is certainly helpful to international business. You should never visibly show your agitation through a raised voice or rigid body language. Instead, try to maintain an air of neutrality, and if you are successful, your colleagues may be very impressed.
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