After rising to a position of prominence within your company, you are being rewarded with the task of opening and managing a branch in Singapore. You may have never had the experience of working and living in this multicultural sovereign city-state. To do so, you will want to know right from the start what is expected of the business professional here. The following of these four tips should help you ease comfortably into professional life in Singapore.

Find Suitable Housing to Fit Your Status

Your company will take care of the premises from which you will operate. It would be wise also to begin seeking a suitable residence. As in most cultures, where and how you live is a vital sign of your status. As a result, you may wish to look at listings for a penthouse, many of which are worthy of architectural awards. You will be amazed at the many designs to choose from, with breathtaking views of the city. Just check out some of the more than 8,000 listings on a site like Property Guru. You can find penthouse listings on this comparison site. But you can also find mortgage lenders to choose between. Just remember that status is essential in this culturally diverse part of Asia. So residing in a penthouse is something you should seriously consider.

Become Quickly Familiar with Cultural Norms

Sometimes it can be not easy entering a new cultural way of life, but one thing you will find is that many of their customs are similar to what you would expect throughout Asia. A majority of the residents of Singapore are Chinese, but there are also Malaysians and Indians living there as well. With that in mind, don’t be afraid to shake someone’s hand because a firm handshake is appreciated as a sign of business strength and insight. However, one slight cultural element of the Singaporean handshake is the same as in most places in Asia, and that is to give a slight bow of respect upon shaking the other person’s hand.

Upon introduction, you will learn that punctuality is expected in Singapore, as are business cards. You may also wish to understand how people are named in this multicultural Asian city, such as the Chinese custom of giving the family name first with the first name after that. As is the tradition in India, you will get the first name and then the “son of” father’s name. These business professionals may be familiar with how names are given in the West, but it’s a sign of respect to learn how they are called.

Build a Network of Peers

No matter what industry you will be working within, you should become familiar with a network of peers. Whether through business seminars or simply B2B business proceedings, take the time to build a strong network of peers. This will help you succeed in business. Also, you will find that the advice and tips your peers offer will help you become assimilated into life in Singapore. No matter how much you’ve read and observed, there are bound to be things that aren’t mentioned in any of the readings you have done.

Learn the Singaporean Art of Negotiating

One last tip that could make or break your business dealings in Singapore is their way of negotiating business deals. While they will seriously consider negotiations, that is the takeaway you should observe. Singaporeans will negotiate seriously, but they will take the time they need to come back with a thoughtful counteroffer. They think long and hard before the next step in negotiations, which often amazes Westerners. Also, just as Westerners can get quite excited and rather loud when presenting an offer during negotiations, Singaporeans are quiet and thoughtful, so don’t take that as a sign of refusal. It’s their way to be slower, more thoughtful and much more peaceful than you are probably used to.

At this point, you are probably both confused and excited, which is only natural. After all, you are being transferred to a place thousands of miles from where you reside. You will face a new culture and Asian foods that will delight the senses day after day. Also, remember that English is widely spoken in Singapore, so you shouldn’t have any problems communicating with most business professionals. Some people at shops and open markets may not have a firm grasp of the language. However, they are willing to give it their best shot. With a bit of time and patience, you will find that this is one city with something to do at all hours of the day and night.

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As an experienced business and finance writer I understand the corporate landscape and the driving forces behind it. Over the years I’ve shared my insight and knowledge with key industry publications and dedicated my time to showing how business leaders can make their organisations more effective.