July 31, 2021

8 thoughts on “My First Paycheck 11 Years ago compare to Fresh Graduate Salary Today

  1. Hi RS,

    I graduated about the same yr as you. I'm in civil engineering and the pay was about 1.7k per month. It's the doldrums in the construction industry and they are really not hiring. It was quite a different picture when I entered university because civil engineers are one of the more well paid engineering job around. Oh well…I didn't work in the sector at all. A lot of my friends went to take phD…I wanted too, but I thought I might be digging a deeper grave for myself.

    Still, I've no regrets taking engineering course. The training of the mind is something I can use for the rest of my life.

    1. Hi LP and SMOL,
      Thanks for the maiden comments on my blog. Heartfelt appreciation!

      Hi LP,

      Civil Eng is one of the “most siong” faculties to be in, long hours of lectures and tough subjects. Not easy! Once graduate, working hours are long and employee work output received NOT always proportional to the input contributed. I have many friends just like you who did not work in the sector after graduation. Perhaps that is the shortcoming in our education system that government is starting to correct now?

      Nevertheless, I must agree that engineering background is a good stepping stone for me. At least in work it assists me technically now. It also strengthens my math and science foundation for the tuition classes I provided many years after graduation to earn extra income.


  2. Rolf Suey,

    Reading the story on your first 3 job interviews, it reminded me of meritocracy at work 😉

    At least you were honest that you were not "prepared" for the first 2 interviews. Feels great on the 3rd interview when you have "beaten" a big stack of your "competitors" no?

    It's all about "getting in"!

    It's never about the starting pay; it's where we are now after 10 years of job experience 😉

    1. Hi SMOL,

      Indeed, the first two failures were results of insufficient preparation and also “too greenhorn” without interview experiences then. The 3rd success was great more because I got a job and not so much I beat a stack of interviewers, since I need the money badly to repay for school debts.

      I was probably lucky because my then-boss told me that he prefer a subordinate that does not have too good a results like myself – more obedient I think, and also someone that comes from a humble family background – more hardworking maybe in some cases?. End of the day, luck and “yuan feng” with the interviewer do play some part!

      Experiences not soley from work but also from life experiences are far more important later. I always think Integrity, Mindset to Improve Oneself and EQ matters most – definitely outweighs your graduation certificate!


  3. Hi Rolf

    I started my first job 7 years ago at a starting salary of $2400. I think the difference between yours and mine could be the timing presence value of money.

    One thing in common that you see is we get our starting pay fairly average but here we aredoing rather fine learning and picking up from every experience that bypass us.

    1. Hi B,

      Nice to see you here again. I think 7 years ago is a good time to graduate, thereby getting a job quickly. However the downside is, your good time is only short-lived dogged by the crisis a year or so later.

      Anyway, the timing and starting salary is probably not utmost important for fresh graduates. Maybe it is important to get into a sector that you at least do not hate! Some of friends get into IT and hate it!!! And then get a job that teaches and exposes you as much as possible when you are young and grow your knowledge/experiences thereafter.

      Suffer early and learn, then sow the seeds of success later. We probably go through that and still doing fine now.


  4. Wow, cool post. I’d like to write like this too – taking time and real hard work to make a great article… but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though. Paycheck advance

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