My move from Dublin to Singapore

Leanne Nettleship

In 2008, Leanne Nettleship joined Robert Walters in Dublin and after three years was ready for a new challenge. After expressing her interest in working abroad, she was given the opportunity to move to our office in Singapore.

Four years later she is still there, and is now manager of the financial services contract division.


Why did you decide to move internationally?

"In 2011, Ireland was in the midst of a recession, so I started to think about what my next move could be. I had just got married so it seemed like a good time to move abroad. Also as Robert Walters has a great international mobility programme, I thought it would be a good opportunity to take advantage of that, and move to one of our global offices.

What interested you in Singapore?

Singapore interested me for a number of reasons. For starters I already had friends living there who had told me it was a great place to live and work. It was also a strong marketplace and I liked the fact that it was well positioned within Asia.

How did the company support your move?

Once I decided on making the move to Singapore, I spoke to my director Louise Campbell and she immediately suggested that I work for the company there. She put me in touch with MD in Singapore, who spoke to me about the potential opportunities in the office there and quickly managed to secure a position for me. I was also able to take some time off before starting my new role and took the opportunity to do some travelling around South East Asia.

The business was really supportive during the move. They organised accommodation for us during the first few weeks and helped with all of the logistical aspects of the move, such as organising flights, shipping, and finding a permanent place to live. The office manager in Singapore was also constantly available whenever I had any questions, which was great

What’s the best thing about living in Singapore?

I really like the location - it’s a great place for travelling around the region. You can genuinely very easily have a long weekend in Thailand, Cambodia or even Bali. As a city it’s efficient, the infrastructure is great and it’s extremely safe. It’s a truly cosmopolitan place with a large expat community - there are people here from all corners of the world. I also like the fact that the lifestyle is very outdoorsy and there are fantastic bars and restaurants - it’s a fun place to be.

What’s it like working there?

When I first came to Singapore, the contract function was still very much in its infancy so it was all about educating people, both clients and candidates, and really trying to expand that function. In the last three years we’ve experienced huge growth in our division, so it’s been great to be part of that.

What is the Singapore office like? Describe the culture.

Like all of our offices globally, we’re based in a fantastic location. As is typical of any sales environment it is upbeat, busy and energetic. The staff here are incredibly supportive and there’s a real culture of encouraging each other. There’s a good mix between locals and expats and there’s plenty of fun and social activities to get involved in.

What would you say to someone considering a move overseas?

Why not? At Robert Walters, we’re a global business where you have the opportunity to work abroad, so take advantage of it. In terms of more general advice, I would suggest getting involved with the expat community as much as you can as it’s important to make connections. Moving abroad really is a great thing to do - I couldn’t have guessed I’d be away this long but four years later, here I am still!"

At Robert Walters, we’re a global business where you have the opportunity to work abroad, so take advantage of it.

Inspired by Leanne's story? Find out how Nick Louca made the move from Australia to New York

If you're interested in a career with opportunities to work internationally, please send your CV through to or call +65 6228 5364.

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