International marketing talents recruitment: special session
Marketing Talents - China Opportunities
Helping Chinese companies locate international talents
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How are expats treated in China?
For foreigners, China is a great place to get a job. Now is a perfect moment to start a career in China, since the economy is flourishing and new jobs are being created every day. Despite the abundance of employment options, foreigners in China must be on the lookout for a number of potential stumbling blocks in their professional lives.
Being unable to communicate in Chinese.
In order to succeed in China's business world, particularly at the top levels, you must first decide whether or not you are willing to learn the language. No, I don't simply mean basic Chinese communication. To be clear, I'm referring to a level of Chinese that allows you to confidently converse about topics that are likely to be very technical and detailed. It's time to reevaluate your expectations of working in China, if the answer is no.
There's a limit to how far you can go with a rudimentary knowledge of Chinese. That may be enough for some people, and that's just OK. But if you want to rise through the ranks of business in China, you'll need to study frequently with a professional instructor, practice every day at work and at home, and master those HSK examinations as quickly as possible.
Big decisions in Chinese enterprises are made and discussed in Chinese, not English. Unless you're fluent in Putonghua, you won't even obtain a seat at the table.
Being unwilling to put in extra hours.
Generally speaking, foreigners have a better time dealing with overtime in China. While it may be necessary for us to do so, and it may still be more than we would ever do (particularly unpaid) in our home countries, most of our local colleagues work greater hours than we do on a typical day.
This isn't a problem in many of the roles that foreigners often occupy. You may not be at danger of losing your job in the short term if you don't put in the additional hours, since Chinese executives are aware that they cannot push foreigners to the same amount. The problem is that managers are expected to work around the clock, practically until the task is done. In order to succeed in these high-level roles, you must be able to or willing to accomplish this.
The question to ask yourself is how much you really desire the job. What's the monetary value of that profession to you? You'll have to start working as hard as your Chinese colleagues if you want to have a chance.
It doesn't matter how well you speak Chinese or how many hours a week you put in. Nepotism is still pervasive in China's private sector, just like everywhere else in the globe. Employees from the same province or university, as well as family members, may be hired and promoted by certain firms.
This is a difficult problem to solve. There are two options, but it may be wiser to choose neither. Identifying the cliques and social groupings is one way to become involved. As a foreigner, this may not be achievable despite your best efforts. The second step is to bring up the matter with the appropriate individuals in the company's hierarchy. Unfortunately, if you use this approach, it might have the opposite effect and further isolate you from your peers.
When dealing with nepotism, it may be helpful if you focus more of your efforts on conquering the hurdles that you can control.