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Changing Jobs in China
So you're contemplating shifting employment in China. It's stressful, emotional, and it interrupts your routine, particularly if you're changing industries, roles, or cities. Before shifting employment in China, consider the following. Some may appear more evident or crucial than others, but all must be considered.
Is your visa expiring?
To legally work in China, you need a work visa. Your company sponsors this visa, therefore if you change jobs, you must also change visas. Transferring your visa to a new employer is not as simple as filing for your first China work visa.
A visa renewal takes time, but changing your visa to a new firm takes considerably longer. If your current visa is valid for three months or longer, you should have enough time to complete this procedure. However, if your existing visa is about to expire, you may not have enough time to organize everything. If so, the bureau may extend your existing visa or provide you a temporary visa while the new visa procedure is underway. But the more freedom you offer yourself, the better.
Do you have your work permit?
Foreign workers in China need a work permission card as well as a working visa. Many firms want to preserve these cards, so some expats never see or know they exist. The causes aren't always evil. The work permit is required for many HR activities, thus keeping it is handy for the office.
But the work permit is vital, particularly if you want to change employment. It may save you time and trouble if you have your permit when you decide to transfer. If you have a sour relationship with your workplace, don't let them take your paperwork hostage.
Asking for the card shouldn't be hostile. It's required to establish a bank account or register with the police, so use one of these as a reason to acquire your card.
Are you about to miss out on an annual bonus?
If you work in a Chinese firm, you may get an annual bonus around Chinese New Year. For some, this is a month's pay. Others need six months or more. In any case, it's no little feat. If you're thinking about moving jobs near the festival, maybe wait. Of course, Chinese firms know this tactic better than anybody, so the yearly bonus payout is generally divided up and spaced throughout the year to deter freeloaders like you.
Alternatively, use the fact that you'll lose your former job's yearly bonus as leverage while negotiating your new contract. You may be able to earn a signing bonus to replace your yearly bonus.
Do you currently have commercial health insurance?
Some Chinese enterprises provide commercial health insurance to international employees. That peace of mind, plus not having to spend up to 20,000 RMB of your own money, is invaluable.
If you work for a firm that provides this coverage and want to move on, ensure sure the new employment offers something comparable. The new work may pay more, but if it doesn't provide commercial health insurance, you may be worse off. If that's the case, attempt to have insurance included in your new package or at least ask for a raise to offset the expense.
Also, before changing employment, make the most of your present health insurance plan. Most insurance plans have spending restrictions, so if you need any tests or treatment, use them up before moving employment.
Avons-vous d'autres jours de
Chinese enterprises value annual leave highly. Before changing employment, utilize all your vacation days.
Technically, if you provide notice, you may take any remaining annual leave, thereby ending your employment sooner. There's always the danger that your employer may urge you to quit immediately, costing you a last payment and paid leave.
To be safe, take those vacation days before giving notice. It's not the most ethical method, but it's the most certain. Because China workers get so little vacation, you have to make the most of it.
Do you need to relocate to China? Tell us in the comments.