Asked by Anonymous

I'm in the army now, and they just had the whole "career talk" with us. I'm considering signing on, and they are offering a lump sum as well. Is there anything else I should consider?

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  • Gabriel Lee
    Gabriel Lee
    Level 6. Master
    Answered on 16 Nov 2018

    Are you truly passionate about serving the nation? No doubt that both the career progression and pay package is there, but if you have no passion, you'll suffer eventually especially in the long run as you'll be bound to the contract term.

    I find it pretty ironic when they give their career talk as they'll say "Don't sign on just for the money", but the content that they're sharing is mostly on the pay package and bonuses.

    Comments (2)
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    • Question Poster
      I mean I feel like I do like the whole army thing, but a lot of my older friends say that it's all just brainwashing
      16 Nov 2018
    • Gabriel Lee
      Yea sort of, I'm currently serving NS too and they only show you the perks (good side). I have a few friends who signed on due to their family's financial background, which I can understand. So if you feel that you're passionate about the army, then you should consider. But do consider really carefully as Andre has shared, there's no such thing as giving it a try. Once you sign the contract, you're bound to it (terms and conditions). Check out online forums for more insights, quite a few discussions on this topic.
      16 Nov 2018
  • Lee Jin Fei Andre
    Lee Jin Fei Andre
    Level 3. Wonderkid
    Answered on 16 Nov 2018

    Depends on what your goals are, and whether you'd be willing to sacrifice the few years of your life if you're going to pursue something else after the bond ends. Do you see yourself in this career, or is it just a stepping stone to get some higher than average moolah ?

    I did consider signing on as a pilot once, but the bond was long and if I didn't like it I would be stuck in a profession for 10 whole years without any chance of leaving early (I mean you could but the penalty really is out of this world).

    When signing on there's no such thing as "I wanna just try it out and see how" because you're stuck for that few years. Bear that in mind and if your heart is still telling you the pros are so much better than the cons I guess you'll have your answer then.

    Comments (2)
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    • Question Poster
      Hmm, but if I don't sign on now, and I wait till nearer into the army life to decide, then I'll lose out on the perks if I choose to sign on in the end right?
      16 Nov 2018
    • Lee Jin Fei Andre
      Then you're just looking at the money rather than a career. And I daresay you're going to have a hard time dragging yourself to work if you sign on with this mentality. Reply is a little late, but hope this helps.
      14 Feb 2019
  • Harris Tan
    Harris Tan
    Level 2. Rookie
    Answered on 21 Nov 2018

    I would if I could.

    Not everyone can fit into the system. Not everyone can tuck their ego in and listen to crap from an outdated doctrine.

    But there's more to in then just the uniform. If you enjoy it, you enjoy it.

    Comments (1)
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    • Gabriel Tham
      i also would sign on for the stable income and studies sponsorship...but then i always fail IPPT hahaha so cannot
      21 Nov 2018
  • Daniel Ling
    Daniel Ling
    Level 4. Prodigy
    Answered on 17 Nov 2018

    Think about the following:

    1) what is your plan after sign on? Stay on or leave after 6 years? What's your plan after leaving? Where do you see yourself if staying on?

    2) is it a good fit. Related to (1).

    3) what do you plan to do with the lump sum? Yolo? Think again.

    Personally I think it can be a good job. Same as all jobs, depends on company and bosses.

    I also do not feel it is a total waste of time. It is always people wasting their own time. Yes there is rush to wait and wait to rush culture, but you can always read a book.

    If you plan to leave. Have a good plan with what to do with lump sum and during the 6 years to prepare for leaving.

    If You plan to stay, still have a good plan for the lump sum. And consider where you see yourself at the end. It is just another career. Just with uniforms and way more red tapes.

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  • Yong Xiang
    Yong Xiang
    Level 2. Rookie
    Answered on 16 Nov 2018

    It really depends if you have a plan after NS. If you have no plan in mind. I feel that signing on is a good option. at least it povide you with a stable income and a chance to save up your lump sum/emergency funds. May not be as flexible but after all there is always pros and cons in most jobs. During your service, you are likely to given a chance to further your studies full time if you have a place with a local uni or selected part time studies in private uni.

    Just my two cents. Good Luck!

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  • Brandon Chew
    Brandon Chew, Solutions Consultant at Workato
    Level 2. Rookie
    Answered on 16 Nov 2018

    Agreed with Andre’s answer. The money might be very enticing because it comes off as ‘A GOOD DEAL NOT TO BE MISSED’. But there are certain intangibles that can’t be measured with money, one of which is called freedom.

    Bonds are tricky.

    1. Guarantees stability
    2. Freedom is out of the window

    Personally, freedom is super important to me. Freedom to have the choice of what I want to do whenever I want to (sounds like I’m a spoilt kid). I don’t mind forgoing stability so that I can enjoy what I do. If I’m stuck at something and I absolutely hate it, I’ll be very depressed and spend my days counting down the clock and calendar.

    As what Andre said it all depends on your goals. If you want a steady source of income and like what you do, then its a + for both 1 and 2. If you want a steady source of income but realise after awhile you don’t like it then it’s + for 1 and - for 2 (note the workarounds as mentioned by Jayden)

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  • Jayden Tan
    Jayden Tan, Logistics at University College Dublin
    Level 2. Rookie
    Answered on 16 Nov 2018

    I sign up for the joint poly scheme when I was a. 17year old. They pay for your diploma school fees and also give you a monthly allowance. My bond is 6 years inclusive of the 2 years compulsory NS liability. I left at the age of 27yo with a private degree I paid myself and some cpf money for my bto house. If you do not know what you plan to do for your career, I feel that it is not a bad choice to sign on. Even if you feel that it is a bad choice you can always start afresh at the end of the bond when you are still 25 or 26yo(Exactly same age as your peers who decide to study a 3year degree FT after serving NS 2years)Just remember to eat,drink, sleep and leech fully when in there and it is highly possible u can save at least 50% of your income monthly. Invest smartly and if you feel this is a long term career for you, you can work till 60yo at a stable iron rice bowl job.

    Comments (0)
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  • Koh Kok Hua
    Koh Kok Hua
    Level 2. Rookie
    Answered on 16 Nov 2018

    i signed on as a pilot cadet back in my NS days through the career talk. Best experience I ever had although i didn’t make it through the course, and contract was terminated after 6months. on the plus side, we do not need to pay back the regular allowance.

    Comments (4)
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    • Koh Kok Hua
      so the first two months in air force we are tasked to do admin duties and study theory and also “mental flying” - basically imagining we are flying with a mod made with cardboard. Stay out by the way, there’s no bunk. then subsequently I spend two months flying in australia, total there’s 15sessions. If you failed 2 sessions 3rd one will be a judgment call to kick you out. Learning curve is pretty high there plus the instructor will constantly pressure you and scold you. We have a hostel there and a common area, it’s really comfortable and the food is buffet style everyday. For those who failed earlier will be send back to SG first. I failed my 13-14th flight so i stayed through with the rest who passed. Then when i’m sent back, it’s another two months of admin duties and stay out before my contract was terminated and return back to my original vocation.
      16 Nov 2018
    • Question Poster
      Thanks for sharing! Unfortunately I'm not in the RSAF route, but the land one
      19 Nov 2018
  • Reichmann Tan
    Reichmann Tan
    Level 2. Rookie
    Answered on 16 Nov 2018

    Consider if you’re genuinely interested in the career or you‘re just in for the money. If it’s the latter, you might be disappointed or even regret after some years later.

    While monetary gains could be one of the motivating factor to sign-on, it should not be the only reason for you to pen down on the dotted line. Understand what you’ll be going through in this career, and the sacrifices you will need to make.

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  • Gabriel Tham
    Gabriel Tham, Kenichi Tag Team Member at Tag Team
    Top Contributor

    Top Contributor (Apr)

    Level 7. Grand Master
    Answered on 21 Nov 2018
    1. Stable Job

    2. Stable income

    3. if you excel at army stuff, IPPT, SOC etc, can get promotion easily.

    4. They can even sponsor you degree/masters
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