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Job Opportunities In China For Expats
China is a vibrant job market and there are clear advantages in senior level positions if you are ambitious as well as experienced. With Chinese learning English at a rate that far outpaces the number of new Mandarin learners, it's no longer easy to get a job just because you can speak English. Having a good command of Chinese or at least demonstrating a willingness to learn is essential to show recruiters that you are invested in the country and intend to stay. Also, if you want to take advantage of this period of transition in China's economic development, you have to learn Chinese. Getting a good job in China usually requires you to be able to apply your language and cross-cultural communication skills to a specific profession.
Best Job Opportunities In China For Expats
Marketing And Advertising
Marketing specialists are in high demand in many different fields, with the IT industry offering some of the most enticing opportunities. Fast-growing Internet companies want creative talent to be involved in global marketing campaigns and help them target brand language.
Foreigners working for large Chinese multinationals such as Lenovo may have more responsibility for managing cross-cultural communication between different stakeholders within the company than hands-on experience in direct-to-consumer marketing. While startups don't have the resources of China's tech giants, they are also in high demand for international talent, as they benefit most by getting their first foreigners on board. The key skills for working in Chinese startups are SEO, SEM, design and interpersonal skills (consider large Internet conferences and introducing yourself in Chinese).
Cross-cultural communication skills are also needed to succeed in this job, as the real challenge is how to bridge the gap between the Chinese and Western marketing approaches, which make them very different.
The local advertising and PR industry is also a very important business in China's major cities, and there are many advertising agencies in China that specialize in event planning such as offline event planning, which is much less common in Western countries.
Since China is often seen as the engine of future global economic growth, it is a good place for the financial sector. Although Hong Kong is a mature world financial centre, the relatively new financial system in mainland China makes the job market for foreign professionals less competitive. After starting their careers elsewhere, many finance professionals choose China because of the opportunity to network and socialize with the Chinese financial community. While working in China's financial industry seems to be fraught with innate difficulties in such a complex, culturally diverse environment, the industry is generally popular with those with a Western education and an international financial community. When learning Chinese, which is unique to the financial industry, the focus needs to be on communicating the differences in the financial system, selling yourself to acquaintances at social events, and of course, listening very, very well and speaking numbers quickly. Shanghai and Hong Kong are more traditional financial centers, but Beijing and Shenzhen may be better suited for those who are bullish on China's vibrant tech industry.
Sales& Imports And Exports
If you have a talent in sales, China can be ideal. As the largest untapped market in human history, China has understandably placed a premium on salesmanship. Selling to the expatriate community in finance and real estate is reliable work. If you're more adventurous and looking for trade manager opportunities in the import/export business, you can point the way for your own entrepreneurial path. Chinese manufacturers are watching and looking for a foreigner with strong sales skills to contact, it's easy to make friends if you're making gains in import and export sales. However, it takes a certain amount of creativity and a certain amount of sales knowledge to solidify a relationship. Successful foreigners in the import/export business rely on cross-cultural communication skills to build relationships with Chinese business people. Brush up on your Chinese conversation, learn the basics of Chinese wine culture, and learn digital gestures so you're on top of the Chinese wine game.
For many foreigners, teaching English is the means by which they eventually want to enter another field, and education is one of the fastest growing and most profitable industries in China. The rate of English language progression in China is staggering, and you may have heard that there is a seemingly endless demand for English teachers in preschools. However, the education industry is just as great an opportunity for professionals with education degrees as it is for young English teachers without degrees. Universities need scholarly English teachers, as do world-class private international high schools, English immersion schools, elite private tutors or educational consulting firms. There are also businesses that need instructors to teach business English to their employees. Although China attaches similar importance to education, the education system varies greatly, resulting in a diverse range of career opportunities and a good environment for cultural exchange.