How to Stand Out in the Chinese Workplace

Whatever you do as a foreigner in China, you'll likely stand out. Why do you stand out? Consider yourself a blank canvas when beginning a career in China. Your interactions with others, communication skills, job excitement, and contributions will determine how your supervisor and peers see your artwork. Here are some pro-tips to help you optimize your China career possibilities.

Use downtime

Ask yourself whether you ever think, "I'm so bored, I have nothing to do" to determine if you experience "downtime" at work. You have downtime. Using this less-busy time properly may improve the present and the future. Never seem idle in China. Your bosses will notice if you slow down.

Foreigners in China should learn Chinese during leisure. We all pledge we'll do more but never do. Your manager will certainly overlook you cramming characters during office hours. Foreigners working in China need strong language abilities. Start studying Chinese online with these resources.

Take free online courses or watch video tutorials to learn job-related skills. Mastering Photoshop is more valuable than surfing Reddit.


Never rest in China. Always more to accomplish, always better methods. Create documentation and processes that help you and your firm. Premade spreadsheets, letters, emails, flowcharts, etc. Plan current initiatives in advance and analyze completed ones. When your employer calls an unexpected meeting, you'll thank yourself afterwards.

Propose (carefully)

When starting a new work, you frequently go with the flow, whether you believe things might be done better or not. This is the appropriate mindset, since you can only move the ropes after you've mastered them. From my experience, you'll be forced to give ideas to your new boss. Consumer input is crucial, but staff feedback, particularly from new hires, is equally important. To offer a constructive proposal without disrespecting the company or standing on anyone's toes, strike the proper balance.

First, know who you're talking to. If you want to show the boss a new method to accomplish something, provide proof. Your opinion is limited. Give your manager examples of other organizations doing similar things and succeeding. Managers don't appreciate being chastised, in my experience. Start with something nice before mentioning the flaw.

Develop'soft power'

As a foreigner in China, it's easy to feel alienated, but changing that isn't hard. Even if your language abilities are weak, making an attempt to communicate and interact with coworkers will be recognized. If you give support or teach them something new, your coworkers (and supervisor) will perceive your importance to the organization. A friendship with coworkers outside of work might also help in work. "Guanxi" is huge in China. Guanxi people are simpler to speak with, more receptive to ideas, and more eager to assist.


Flexibility is key in a culturally and linguistically diverse workplace. You may have ideas about how to work and what should be done, but you're on someone else's land. Open your mind and try new things. You may find the Chinese approach better.

To conclude, working in China will leave a lasting mark on you. By using the advice above, you may leave a favorable impression.

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