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HeadSTart: Pay v seniority in a job | Should you take a sabbatical?

Welcome to the latest edition of ST HeadSTart, bringing you the best of The Straits Times’ career and personal finance coverage every Monday morning. Sign up here to get weekly tips right into your inbox.

Pay is obviously an important factor when we are deciding whether to accept a job offer. However, as I have learnt during the past few years in the workforce, there are other considerations as important as money, such as opportunities for career growth. My colleague Hong Yi in his latest askST Jobs column looks at how to choose between a job with higher pay or one with more seniority, which should – but doesn’t always – help you advance in your career. 

If salary is still the top priority, we could aim for those high-paying, in-demand jobs, such as those in tech. But what if we don’t have the right skills or degree – which would take years to acquire? Then it’s off to boot camp for you. These intensive and short-term courses are catching on among job seekers as a shortcut to a new career and a potential salary increase. But as Hong Yi points out in his article on boot camps, there are a few things you should consider before signing up. 

On the other hand, a break from working could be on your mind – a nice sabbatical to pursue further studies or just personal interests. Sabbaticals seem attractive but they also come with opportunity costs. Careful financial planning is required, and there is also the tricky question of whether you should mention these stints in your future job applications. Assistant business editor Joanna Seow tells us more, having just returned to work after a sabbatical year in the United States. 

Have you taken a sabbatical, and how did you spend the time away from work? Tell me more at headstart@sph.com.sg 

Have a good week ahead! 

The advantages and opportunity costs of sabbaticals

A sabbatical sounds like a nice career break but the reality is that there are various trade-offs to consider. Assistant business editor Joanna Seow draws lessons from her own year abroad.


Podcast: Where wealthy investors are putting their money

Are Asian investors channeling more funds into the region, and what’s happening with private equity and venture capital markets? Listen to the latest episode of Invest Talk for some answers. 


Which is more important in a job: pay or seniority?

Candidates who opt for higher pay at the expense of leadership opportunities may end up selling themselves short, warn experts.


Have you turned 30? It’s time to insure yourself against dementia

Dementia is more common among those over 65 but global data in recent years has shown a rising trend of young onset dementia. Here’s how you can prepare for the financial stress involved.


Mid-career workers take to tech boot camps to learn essential skills

The widespread demand for tech talent has paved the way for boot camps – intensive training courses that seek to rapidly gear up beginners for new careers. However, there are limitations to these programmes.


What work-life balance means for women

Work-life balance does not entail a clean split between work and other parts of life, says the writer. She adds that it is okay not to prioritise work and career at certain or even all stages of your life.


There are ghosts in my office

Spooky encounters are nerve-racking but they also make for exciting workplace banter. Senior correspondent Krist Boo gives a few examples in her lighthearted column.


Me & My Money: Entrepreneur tunes out what others might be saying

Mr Chris Lim, co-founder of water and air purifier brand Sterra, explains why he quit his banking job to start his own e-commerce business.


Inflation is falling – so now what?

Inflation and disinflation come in waves, one after the other, says associate editor Vikram Khanna. He notes that the latter tends to last far longer – high inflation never persists as long as a decade, but deflation can.


Thank you for reading this week’s round-up of ST’s career and personal finance coverage. Have a great work week ahead. 

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