One in three Singaporeans quit their first jobs within a year

Why are fresh graduates in Singapore jumping ship so quickly?

Fresh graduates in Singapore expect swift professional development and the opportunity to earn higher wages within the first 12 months of their first jobs – or else they’ll jump ship faster than you can count to 3.

Employers, however, have found that young local talent are too focused on money as a motivator, with 50% calling fresh graduates “unprofessional” by making the mistake of bringing up salary and compensation in the first job interview, rather than focusing on the job role and fit.

This is just one of many expectation mismatches between talent and employers uncovered in a new research by

The survey of over 500 graduate talent and employers across Singapore, revealed that 30% of fresh graduates choose to leave their first job after less than year, citing a lack of professional development (67%) and a desire to earn more money (42%) as the main reasons – despite it taking 47% of them up to three months to get hired in the first place.

Across the region, 80% of employers believe their company provides sufficient support for fresh graduates to excel and grow – even though 37% admit most fresh graduates stay with them for no longer than two years.

However, young talent said some of their biggest challenges in their first jobs were around a lack of leadership and support transitioning into working life. While the majority said their biggest challenge was a lack of industry knowledge (61%), a lack of mentorship (34%) also played a big role in their decision to leave.

Some 27% said they didn’t think they “were fully prepared for work life”, while 25% struggled with long work hours, and 23% said they lacked enough feedback and support from direct managers to succeed.

“There are two interesting aspects to consider here. Clearly young talent expect to move quickly in their first jobs – they want promotions and pay rises, and they crave the leadership and support necessary to get there,” said Sanjay Modi, Managing Director, – APAC and Middle East.

“While this could be a call for employers to take note and act quickly to retain young high potential talent, it’s also a wake up call to fresh graduates to give themselves time to fully grow into a role and figure out where their strengths lie.”

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