How to Find Work in China
Your How to guide to finding employment in China
For those of you are considering living and working in China for the very first time, it is unavoidable that you will be facing many intimidating issues you may or may not have thought of before. This article will discuss the most important issues affecting your finding work in China process and the current job market in China, assisting jobseekers to make the best possible choice and have a happy and rewarding experience as an expat.
Common Issues and questions
The first issue you are going to encounter is probably the language barrier. In some cases, especially in second or third tier cities (That's usually cities smaller than 3 million in population) in China, you will usually have to speak at least a basic level Mandarin in order to communicate well with the locals as many in the smaller cities are unable to speak fluent English, but don't let this stop you! Many westerners regularly choose smaller cities and like to fully emerse in an adventure far from home. You'll find your colleagues and teachers in your school will all speak some english; communicating with locals however would highly benefit knowing some Chinese words or many simply install an English to Chinese dictionary App in your smart phone – which can nearly always speak the words for you too! Locals are generally so helpful and welcoming even if you speak just a few words in Chinese. We say, “Get on with it! - You'll have a great time”
In addition there is likely to be a difference in the working style between you and your employers. For example, a majority of Chinese believe that success comes from diligence and hard work, while westerners generally prefer to have an enjoyable and relaxing working environment. Therefore, you may dislike things such as working on weekends, fines for lateness and sometimes unnecessary office hours if you are an ESL teacher (Although depending on your contract you may not have any office hours, this unfortunately is an issue some foreign teachers get up set with because their Chinese colleagues have to put up with sometimes pointless management requirements when foreign teachers generally get away without them).
Also, due to different thinking and social environment, the way you get along with your colleagues is different from back home. For instance, to know more about your colleagues, you may have to get popular Chinese social Apps on your phone such as Wechat and QQ. Some political topics are taboo issues to talk about in China, namely the three T's (Tibet, Taiwan and Tiananmen square) It's okay to have your own opinion and feel free to discuss the topics with close local friends – Just don't announce your views to strangers or in public places, many locals will have the same opinions as you too so don't feel like you cannot express these views. Plus, for avoiding misunderstanding, expats are suggested to understand some Chinese etiquette, in particular, the “face” culture in China, Making your friends and higher ranking collegues “Look good” is an excellent way to build your relationship with them and makes life in China really fun and enjoyable. Last but not least, you should be familiar with the city you are moving to (Do some research online) in order to better deal with your every-day life there, such as transportation (some cities do not have metros), weather (southern China has longer hot season than northern China), living cost (living cost is higher in first tier cities), policy (the policy againstforeigners may vary) and so on.
Types of work in current job market
At present, by far the highest-demand positions for foreigners in China are ESL teaching (requirements of being an ESL teacher in China) and this is also the job most foreigners go for during their first year in China (teaching English in China). The salary for ESL teachers averages from 10000 to 13000 RMB per month (1000-1300GBP / month after tax), and can vary based on working hours, work location, type of school and teacher’s qualification. As an ESL teacher, you will be required to work 15 to 30 teaching hours per week (depend on your employer), plus obligatory office hours in which you are required to stay in the office (though not all the schools have office hours). The class may last from 40 minutes to one hour according to the type of student (teaching jobs in China). If you are not interested in teaching English, there are alternative options as well. Currently, other openings in need of foreign employees are managers, designers, engineers, international sales and app developers etc(non-teaching jobs in China). However, before applying for the position, note if you have extensive experience (2-5+ years experience in the field and have a previous employer who would write a reference letter) and relevant degree and broader knowledge to take on the tasks. These alternative jobs typically give you more salary than a similar position back home with much less living cost, meaning you could easily have a huge disposable income monthly and save much money.
Apply for jobs in China
To apply for the jobs, first please register your account on the Find Work Abroad, uploading your CV and relevant documents, including a recent photo of you, passport, degrees and certificates (if you are applying for an English teaching position, you should have TEFL certificate. No TEFL? Click here). Then use the top left drop-down menu to choose “China” and click the job section below. Remember to wisely use the filters (type, city and salary) to quickly reach the job you want. After successfully submitting your application, you will receive a call from us promptly and you can discuss with our consultant to select the best job for you. Once you confirm the interview time with us, you should be preparing for the interview and show the best of you to the interviewer. If the interview is successful (occasionally there is a second round interview or more), you will receive the contract after a few days and when the contract is signed, that means the position is secured by you. Meanwhile, don’t forget to communicate with your employer about your application of working visa.
After the first year, if you are thinking about changing your position, you can try to opt for a job with better salary as high salary jobs require employees having working experience in China (better with 2 years experience). Or if you want to relocate to other Asian countries (South Korea or Thailand), you can try better jobs during the job seeking since they prefer experienced teachers. Even if you want to go home, with real local working and living experience in China, you would be more likely to be hired by international companies than those without experience working in China as right now China is a salient market globally.