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Old 01-10-2013, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by aspenx View Post
Looking for some opinions (and advice more than welcomed) on my career path. A little background info first:

28 year old male
NTU Electrical and Electronics Graduate (Pass only. Uninterested in first 3 years of study and hence the results)
Started work in Oct 2010.
Set my heart on project line since doing internship at Project M&E in LTA building the Circle Line. I wanted to see tangible results of my work and liked the mix of technical know-how, organization and people skills required.

First job...
@ Small main contractor construction company
Project Engineer title
2k salary during probation
2.7k after probation
2.75k when I left in April 2012
Up to $800 in OT pay
3 months total bonus

Work was satisfying but I didn't want to stay as I was working 6 days a week and getting home only at 11pm by taxi each night. Totally drained, no social life and was drinking too much too often.

Current job...
@ Local listed contract manufacturer
Program Management Engineer title
3.3k when I joined
3.5k+ now (1.5 years since joining)
No OT pay
Only 1 month bonus

I now have a life outside of work. Ran a few half-marathons and gained some healthy weight for a healthier self. Traveled to Switzerland for work once and twice to Japan (fluency in Japanese was a requirement for the job). Studying for the PMP (Project Management Professional) without company sponsorship and should be taking the exam in December.

Coming from a basic pass degree and being in a sun-set industry, is my current situation on the right track?

I will like to have the title of Project/Program Manager by age 35 and draw ~8k a month not including bonus. I am not too particular with sort of projects so long as its not too routine, I get the chance to be front line facing the customer and get manage a small team at least. I suppose this is not too lofty a dream?

Unfortunately there is no such position in my company (I report straight to the GM). The highest ranked in my department just have the word "Senior" in front of their titles. My colleagues in my department are at least 10 years older than me!

What can I do? Where can I go (the competitors don't look so attractive either)?

My "specialisations" so far are as follows and I don't mind pursuing them further:
1. NPI of medical device/equipment
2. Technical and business translation/interpretation (Japanese<>English)

Will a (lean) six sigma green belt be helpful for my path?
Prince2? Anything else?
After reading through this whole WOT I still dont understand what you are asking. You want to be a Manager? You want to have pay rise? You want to be in the medical device industry? You dont really care about any project / industry as long as you can get "promoted"? I am confused.

I interact extensively with the medical device major MNCs, what I can tell you is 8k salary is only like a PMO Associate in big companies like GE, Philips, Medtronics, J&J etc. and these companies not likely to take in someone with only local small company experience even for such junior roles.

I don't think even the smaller ones like Boston, Covidien, Edwards, HillRom etc will accept you, so if you want to break into the medical device industry, your best bet is to join a local or Asia based medical OEM manufacturer and try to spend 3-5 years building your connection in this industry.

If the manager title is all you want, just look for companies that are generous in their business designation, some of them offer external manager title for people as low as 5k+.

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