China – The Land of Opportunity….providing you have the right experience

China – The Land of Opportunity….providing you have the right experience

China. 1.3 billion people. The world’s second largest economy. The world’s largest exporter of goods. A world full of opportunities.….

….for those with the right skills.

InternChina – Chinese Wonderland

In the current economic climate finding a job is not an easy task to say the least.
Across the globe whilst companies are struggling to keep growing, graduates are struggling to find employment. As unemployment sets in many young people look to China as a solution. If China is really as powerful and prosperous as the media makes out, there must be something for me over there. Jump on a plane and fly east towards wealth and riches.

As foreigners arrive in Beijing or Shanghai, they begin the search for their dream job, but find out they are horribly ill equipped for this task. With no knowledge of Chinese or Chinese business culture, working in a Chinese company is out of the question. Western companies based in China often require the same skills as those of the Chinese companies, so these foreigners are left without a job. Well, at least until they settle for an English teaching job…

The “teacher-trap”

The “teacher-trap” catches many of the foreigners who move to China. The Chinese, with their international mindset are determined to learn English. When they spot a young Westerner, the first thing they think of is the benefit their children would gain from having their own private English tutor. The salaries offered are also very reasonable, a nice starting point for a recent graduate in a foreign environment. I have been in China for 2 months now, and have been offered over 10 different English teaching jobs, with salaries ranging from 100RMB(£10)- 300RMB(£30) an hour! 100RMB also goes a very long way in China….

The problem with falling into this “teacher-trap” is it may be quite difficult to claw your way out of it. If your Chinese isn’t really improving what with teaching English every day, then it may be quite tough to find that dream job you were searching for when you moved out here in the first place! People find themselves teaching for years, not at all what they had intended when moving to China. Something they probably could have done in their own country, with a significantly larger salary.

InternChina – Teacher Trap

In order to make the most of the opportunities here and get that dream job, you need to have the experience of working in a Chinese company and know how business in China works. You need to be able to speak some Chinese so you can talk with your colleagues, be it work or play. The managing director from a Chinese recuitment agency said “If you don’t speak Mandarin and you don’t have any Chinese work experience, it will be very difficult”. Many Chinese companies also require years of previous experience or specialised technical skills.

It is for these reasons that I believe coming to China to do a work experience placement will be extremely beneficial for you in the future, much more so than a teaching job.

1) By working in China, you will get a chance to experience work in a Chinese business environement and build up some invaluable “guanxi” (see my last blog! “Guanxi – A two way street”).
2) You can get a feel for the language and aquire the necessary skills needed to get by on your own. If you work hard at it, after 6 months in China you could be very competent at speaking Chinese.
3) It will look great on your CV – working in a foreign environment; learning a foreign language; living abroad. It could lead you onto that dream job you’ve been searching for.

If you don’t agree with me then have a read of this article: N.Y. Times

If this still isn’t enough, then just think of the fun you could have! China is an incredible country and with InternChina you are sure to have a great time.

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