Planning your future

I remember spending a few sleepless nights in the lead up to my 30th birthday contemplating what I’d achieved in my first decade as an adult. There were a few boxes to tick. I had:

  • finished university
  • moved out of home
  • started my marketing career in professional services (and been promoted to manager)

But upon reflection, I felt I’d spent a fair bit of my twenties messing about.

I never gave too much thought to setting serious life goals like owning my own home, finding a partner or having kids. I’d always just assumed by the time I reached 30 I’d have it all together, that it would all fall into place naturally.

But in the weeks leading up to my 30th birthday, the realisation dawned on me that maybe, just maybe, these dreams would be just that, dreams. For the first time, I started wondering if I could leave it to chance. The truth was I was growing up fast and if I was to achieve my goals, it was up to me!

Introduce your career to your financial goals



My new adult state-of-mind forced me to re-assess. What could I achieve? What was my first priority?

By the time I reached 30 years old, London had provided a great kick-start to my career, as well as opportunities to progress quickly, but I was tired of living in shared housing. So, I made my first priority getting my own place. But before that could happen, I had to do the numbers. Could I maintain my online shopping habit, eat out four nights a week and save a deposit for a house? The truth was discomforting.

According to the Home Owners Alliance, 83 percent of Britons aspire to owning their own home. But the cost of home ownership, particularly in London, means saving a deposit is a hard slog.

Assume you’re a Business Development Manager (BDM) on £65,000 a year and you’re still paying off your student loan. After tax, you’ll take home around £41,500 per year. From that, you have to pay rent, travel and other living expenses. It doesn’t leave much to save.

But assume you had the same job in a country where the tax rate is much lower. For example, the tax rate in Hong Kong is a flat 15 percent for expats. A BDM in Hong Kong could expect to earn up to HKD$780,000, which translates to £76,000 per year. After paying 15 percent tax, your take home pay would be £64,600. This would be the equivalent to earning your UK salary tax-free.

Sure, you’ll still have that online shopping habit to pay for but because you take home £23,100 more per year than if you lived in the UK, you can afford it. Even if you only saved half of that extra money, after five years (and no pay increase) you would have £57,750 more to put towards your life goals.

This is more than just a concept, it has been proven by British marketing professionals. One marketing professional who moved to Singapore in 2017 says she has no regrets:

“I have to say the quality of life it provides – there is a massive difference between Singapore and London.  In particular, I no longer have a long commute and for me the work life balance is better.  On top of this there is the great tax rate, many travel opportunities and a very friendly expat community.  Settling in has been very easy and I have a happy personal life outside of work too!”

How do I get a professional services marketing job in Asia?



Totum Partners has partnered with Seldon Rosser, an Australian recruitment agency specialising in professional services marketing roles. Seldon Rosser’s clients are based around the Asia Pacific, and they place many UK-based candidates in Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. Seldon Rosser Director, Graham Seldon, says the alliance has created many career opportunities for British business development and marketing professionals.

“Our alliance means that UK based candidates can now speak with Totum on the ground and get up to date information on the Asia market and the career opportunities we are managing,” said Graham.

In fact, 50 percent of candidates placed for jobs in Singapore in 2017 relocated from another country, many from the UK. 


Roles Briefed in Singapore past 12 months

Where did candidates placed in Singapore come from?

I wish I had known about these opportunities when I decided it was time to grow up and set some serious life goals. I ended up buying that house but it took a long time to save the deposit. If I’d done my homework, I could have got there a lot quicker.

Is it time to re-assess your career and life goals? Talk to Totum Partners today and find out more about a world of career opportunities.

For more information about planning your career to meet your financial goals, read


Graham Seldon, Managing Director of Melbourne based recruitment firm Seldon Rosser, will be in London on October 1st. If you would be interested in meeting him to discuss opportunities in Asia and beyond, you can contact him at [email protected]


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