Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore

www.mfa.gov.sg
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Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore Reviews

Updated June 13, 2015
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13 Employee Reviews

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  1. A chance to be exposed to some of the best strategic thinking and diplomatic practice

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore full-time

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    MFA is intellectually challenging work, and far from bureaucratic. The postings train you to think on your own two feet, to advocate strongly for your country's position, and to develop broad networks.

    Cons

    Work-life balance is poor, even by the standards of diplomatic services - seems particularly tough for working women with children.


  2. Pretty decent

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore

    Pros

    Good bosses who know their stuff
    Offers one of the more attractive pay packages within the Singapore Civil Service

    Cons

    Nature of the job may not suit everyone.
    May have long working hours, but this is portfolio dependent.
    IT help desk needs upgrading.


  3. Think hard before u join

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore

    Pros

    Face of Singapore, high pay, considered quite an elite job, exciting job duties that is different from corporate

    Cons

    long working hours, not like other government jobs which have work life balance, require a lot of writing skills

    Advice to Management

    Look beyond paper grades. Human can be trained. Attitude cannot be trained.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Good Exposure, Chance to work overseas

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Good overseas exposure and good allowance

    Cons

    Difficult bosses, too much policy writing.

    Advice to Management

    Have more EQ and leadership skills.


  6. Helpful (2)

    A good starting job for Diploma / Public Degree Holders / those interested in postings / career in Public Service.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Foreign Service Administrative Specialist in Singapore (Singapore)
    Former Employee - Foreign Service Administrative Specialist in Singapore (Singapore)

    I worked at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Competitive Salary for Public University Graduates / Scholars or Individuals with Diploma Holders etc.

    Chance to travel overseas, overseas postings (Usually after 3 years average).

    Opportunities to network / interact with Ambassadors etc.

    May appeal to those who are interested in Diplomatic relations between Singapore and other countries / career in Public Service / Overseas Postings.

    Remuneration for Overseas Postings is rather good esp countries that are considered Hardship Postings (third-world countries). There is also political / safety considerations on the Overseas Postings for employees (e.g. it is less likely to post females in Middle Eastern countries or countries with high rape cases).

    Cons

    Large remuneration gap between Public and Private Degree Holders, whether it is in terms of Positions (see * section under Advice) or Remuneration (i.e. Basic Salary, Language / Retention Bonuses, Bonuses etc), although responsibilities may be rather similar, depending on Directorate. Hence Private Degree Holders may feel it is unfair or like a "2nd class citizen".

    Job Rotations and Overseas Posting opportunities comes after 3 years or so (depending on Experience / Directors / Ambassadors recommendations etc) - so one has to be patient. Mature individuals that have proven themselves may have a faster track.

    Job Scope for Functional Overseas Postings may seem rather dull to some, but is challenging.

    Employees may also be posted to a country they might not like, and if they reject that posting, they might have to wait for a few more years for next posting offer.

    Work-life balance poor in Political Directorates and some Functional Tracks like HR and Protocol.

    Having to deal with Red Tape, a steep Learning Curve (although there are Orientation / Familiarisation Programmes for both FSAS and FSOs and a 1-month attachment to Overseas Missions), slow Promotions (due to the structured progression usually associated with Public Service careers) and an Elitist culture.

    Advice to Management

    To this day and age, understand that some Ministries, like MFA, still do not recognise some Private Degrees, whereas some Ministries / Statutory Boards do and that in MFA, there are two schemes: the Foreign Service Officer (FSO) scheme - which are mainly occupied by Public University graduates and the Foreign Service Admin Specialist (FSAS) scheme - which are mainly occuped by Diploma / Private University graduates.

    Following PM's Speech at the National Day Rally 2014 where he said "the Civil Service does offer fulfilling careers to non-graduates", I do hope that as a Public Service employer, MFA can sincerely re-look its Current Work Culture and Remuneration Policies - especially for the FSAS scheme.

    Otherwise, the turnover for FSAS will remain high as Diploma / Private Degree holders pursuing their Private Degrees may leave after getting their Degree due to non-recognition of their Degrees.


  7. Overall a great opportunty

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Exciting assignments to work on.
    Opportunities for career development

    Cons

    Work-Life balance
    Having to work long hours

    Advice to Management

    Increase training


  8. Intense but develops you as a person

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Foreign Service Officer in Singapore (Singapore)
    Current Employee - Foreign Service Officer in Singapore (Singapore)

    I have been working at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    High quality of work delivered and also expected of you. You get to work with brilliant people. Remuneration is great (at least for the entry level). A wide variety and broad scope of work - you'll never be bored.

    Cons

    Poor work-life balance. Everything will seem pressing and urgent, requiring your attention immediately.

    Advice to Management

    Train leaders and empower more. This will help get things done quickly and spread the work more effectively.


  9. A Unique and Meaningful Career

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Foreign Service Administrative Specialist
    Current Employee - Foreign Service Administrative Specialist

    I have been working at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    A unique career which provides opportunities to work overseas while staying firmly rooted to Singapore. A meaningful career that help advances Singapore's national interests and also be in a position to help fellow Singaporeans in distress overseas. With job rotations and overseas postings, there is always light at the end of the tunnel even if the going gets tough. Between every rotation comes a time when one is "out of job" by stay employed. Work is very challenging and highly engaging, especially on overseas postings.

    Cons

    Very long and irregular hours. While overseas postings may sound very attractive, they can be very disruptive to personal and family life.


  10. Desk officer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Desk Officer in Singapore (Singapore)
    Current Employee - Desk Officer in Singapore (Singapore)

    I have been working at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Can travel extensively as well as live overseas

    Cons

    Stressful, tight deadlines, competitive and low pay

    Advice to Management

    Nil


  11. Rewarding, but underpaid

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Singapore (Singapore)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Singapore (Singapore)

    I worked at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Depending on the directorate one is posted to, job scope can range from mundane to wildly exciting. I was in a functional one and while the learning curve was extremely steep in the initial months, the the peek into the inner workings of the tightly run mothership that is Singapore more than made up for it. Staying at top hotels in Singapore and overseas, wining and dining with the who's who of the country, what's not to like?

    Cons

    Any notion of work-life balance is shot working here. Red tape a little annoying sometimes. Blatant class system in place with regard to paper qualifications held. Diploma holders need not even dream of being fairly paid commensurate with work given.

    Advice to Management

    While MFA is undoubtedly civil service, more can be done to adequately compensate employees on a departmental level since some roles are obviously more demanding than others. Minimise favouritism and "queue-jumpers"



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