Make it easier for foreigners to work and live in China
Help Chinese enterprises to recruit global talents
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Jobs In Shanghai
Finding a job in Shanghai is not easy for foreigners. Unless you are hired before you come to China, you must deal with the Z visa. But it's hard to find a job without first arriving in China, but it's not realistic to try to move permanently with an L visa.
So, where are the jobs in Shanghai?
The jobs I've recounted may not be the best choice for your long-term career, but they're at least a good start and pay quite well!
WORK AS THE “TOKEN FOREIGNER”
In a third-tier city with fewer foreigners, a company might take advantage of foreigners. This kind of "work" is not as common in Shanghai as it used to be, but we still see the occasional company that hires foreigners to literally decorate the windows.
Basically, if you are a foreigner, you will serve as the public face of the company. You can sit in a retail store by the window. You can attend regional meetings with other companies, where you can impress local executives with your "foreign expertise". You can even teach English to the members of the company where you work. If you find yourself doing more than one of these things on a regular basis, then there is a good chance that you are a token alien.
This phenomenon is more extreme in smaller cities, where it is known that companies hire foreigners as CEOs of companies and even foreign dignitaries.
Become an actor, voice actor, model, and even pretend to be Santa Claus
Shanghai is a reinvented city for some, and many foreigners have completely transformed themselves here. Whether you've thought about being a serious actor or not, it's worth it to be in at least one more movie. Why not? It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will make your friends back home laugh a lot.
You can even get paid to dress up as Santa during the holiday season.
Some suggestions for foreigners working in Shanghai
If you are a recent graduate, look for a company that has hired past interns when you come to China. Look forward to a 3-6 month internship and plan your cash flow accordingly. Maybe teach English part-time (although if you don't have a Z visa, it's not legal). It would be great if you could be hired directly into an entry-level job. However, don't think that this will happen in Shanghai. In general, it is wise to prepare for the "worst-case" (or in this case, "most likely") scenario.
Avoid the Personnel Department
HR isn't going to hire you, your future manager is. Get in touch with him/her, HR will only act as a gatekeeper and your goal should be to avoid contact with them altogether. What you should really do is try to contact the owner of the company or the senior manager of the department you want to work in, rather than going to HR.
Basically, think of the HR department as a mostly indiscriminate filter. This filter may be the person or people who screen your resume, but these days, there's a good chance that your resume will be filtered out by software that searches for keywords. On a side note, make sure you do have relevant keywords in your resume so that the probability of passing HR software is higher.
The advantage of living in China is that the social structure of expats is more "flat". Although China is a hierarchical society, at least among expats, you'll find that you can have conversations with almost anyone. The stranger you buy beer from at the bar could turn out to be the vice president of a major telecommunications company.
Adjust your expectations
This is not your home town and expectations are different. In China, there is a saying called 'chiku' (to eat bitterness), loosely translated to mean 'to eat suffering'. To have long-term success in China, be prepared to suffer in the short term.
Too many young people come to China expecting immediate results and good pay. I know, because I was one of them. The reality is that if you are a recent graduate, you still have a lot to prove to the real world. And if you can be successful in China, you can be successful anywhere. Building a career here is always fun, but it's not easy. Having said that, it was definitely worth it for the life lessons and practical experience gained.