At the end of 2001 I decided to move to Singapore and see if I could find a job. This was rather a high risk strategy as I didn’t have any experience or any special skills. However, I was aware that Singapore was the one country in Asia that might give me a visa – if only I could find someone who wanted to employ me (it’s much more difficult to get a Singaporean visa nowadays).
I told myself that I had three months to find a job or I would have to go home. I applied for every job opening that I could find. I sent off at least 300 CVs and I got almost nothing back. Then in the last two weeks I was interviewed for and got offered two completely different jobs. One was as a writer for an interior design magazine and the other as a psychologist for the Dyslexia Association of Singapore. You can probably guess which option I chose.
The Dyslexia Association of Singapore had just started an ‘assessment’ arm of its services. So I was employed alongside two Singaporean psychologists. We were later joined by 4 more local Singaporean psychologists. Our job was to determine which children studying in the Singaporean school system had dyslexia. The children were referred to us by their parents or teachers. We would assess them using neuro-psychological assessment tools such as the Wechsler Intelligence Scales or British Ability Scales. I still conduct these assessments for school children in Malaysia. You can find out more here.
In the UK the role I had at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore would probably have been titled ‘Assistant Psychologist’. I was closely supervised by a qualified Educational Psychologist. At first my supervisor was an Singaporean trained in America. Later I was supervised by a British Educational Psychologist.
After three years in Singapore I decided I needed to move on to advance my career. I wanted to try out working in business so I applied for a job as a Management Consultant. Unfortunately, although I had applied in Singapore they decided I should work in London. So I found myself back in the UK.
You can read about my time in the UK here.