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Job In China
So you got a Job In China. It's a brand new opportunity and is undoubtedly quite scary and quite exciting.
No matter how qualified you are or how hard you try, there are some important things you need to know. Here is what you need to be aware of when working in China:
Speak good Chinese
Whether you don't know Chinese at all or have been learning it for years, always make an effort to speak a little Chinese in your first job in China.
Maybe you can't use it directly for work, but even if you just use it here or there for a little conversation, pleasantries and greetings, your local colleagues will appreciate your efforts.
Also, try to avoid using your co-workers as a crutch for your inability to understand Chinese.
While they will undoubtedly be happy to help out once in a while, they are not there to order you food, call you DiDi, or talk to your landlord every day.
Eat and drink like the locals
In most jobs in China, you'll have plenty of opportunities to meet your colleagues for lunch, dinner, and even an evening of karaoke, and chances are you'll get some local food.
Again, as with language, your co-workers will appreciate it if you at least try their dishes.
Respect nap time
Perhaps surprisingly, one of the biggest cultural differences you'll find in your first job in China is that almost everyone takes a lunchtime nap.
While you are under no obligation to sleep as well, you should respect the rights of others.
If you're in the same room with people who are sleeping, avoid talking and talking on the phone, and use headphones if listening to music or watching videos.
The Chinese are known for working long hours, so your co-workers may need all the extra sleep they can get.
Participation in team building activities
Chinese companies, in general, are very team building oriented.
These activities can be anything from a workout day at a nearby gym to a visit to a local landmark to a full-blown vacation abroad (if you're lucky).Some events definitely sound more appealing than others, but by all means, try to attend them.
Even if you want to do something else with your free time, not participating sends all kinds of wrong messages to your boss and colleagues.
In fact, most jobs in China will involve some form of overtime.
It could be coming to school once a semester on a Saturday morning to work overtime, or it could be working regular nights at Tech.
As a foreigner, you can sometimes avoid bearing the brunt of overtime, as it's not uncommon for Chinese bosses to squeeze extra unpaid hours out of foreigners just as they do locals.
However, if you're the only one who gets home on time every day, it's bad for the morale of the team.
That's not to say you should work overtime all the time, but every once in a while, when work is busy or there's a deadline to meet, staying a little extra time will be appreciated by the team.
Still, that's good advice for life in general, but being unconventional has its own special role in your first Chinese job.The Chinese workplace tends to be much more candid than the Western workplace.
Rarely do you criticize or contradict a colleague in front of him or her, and antagonizing a manager or boss is never allowed, especially in public.