China is by all standards, the world’s largest economy, and it doesn’t look this is stopping soon because it is still growing.
With extensive markets, the demand for labor is continually on the rise; this has made China one of the most sought-after places to work.
Interested in working in China?
Read on to find out all you need to know.
What’s it Like to Work in China
While many people want to seek greener pastures in China, they often worry about the cultural and language differences and the challenges of transitioning.
Admittedly, China has one of the most dynamic work culture and ethics. Nonetheless, you can still land your dream job if you know what to expect.
The first thing you need to know about working in China is the different workplace culture. You need to manage your expectations because what you meet might be different than what you’re used to.
China has a five-day work policy, which means working from Monday-Friday. However, some jobs also insist on extra days, so make sure you go through your contract before signing them.
Working hours are longer in China, and you may be required to stay late into the evening, with only a 90 minutes lunch break.
You shouldn’t be surprised if your work colleagues seem to have little or no regard for personal time.
Most workplaces in china use WeChat to make employees reachable 24/7. Hence, you may get work messages at times that is probably considered private in other working environment/culture.
Working in China also means learning to work within strict and sometimes inflexible hierarchies.
Most Chinese work environment still value traditional work ethics that places high respect for senior members of the company/team.
Besides, compared to the western world, China has stricter work-leave and holiday policies.
Asides from the 10-days annual national holiday, there are hardly other holidays recognized in China, Christmas, and Easter inclusive.
Moreover, most companies only offer a 5-days yearly leave to their workers. It is not impossible to see higher annual leaves, especially if you are a foreign staff.
For people looking for entry jobs or jobs at remote locations, it’s advisable to learn mandarin before applying for jobs.
This will help you overcome language barriers and encourage socialization in the workplace.
Nonetheless, you can still work in China without learning mandarin, especially if you’re working in a foreign firm or big cities like Shanghai and Beijing.
Despite the different work cultures, working in China can be a fun and eye-opening experience. China is the ‘new land of opportunities’; there are limitless options to explore and more career challenges to take-on.
Irrespective of the language barrier, you’ll find a welcoming and friendly working environment in China.
Learning the language and culture definitely helps, and you’ll most likely find enough people ready to learn more about you, even in the most challenging environments.
Best Ways To Find A Job In China
Some of the best ways to find a job in china include leveraging on networking and using the internet.
- Networking: landing a job in China is highly dependent on networking and personal contacts. This is why knowing someone, where you are applying, can be a huge advantage. It is the fastest way to penetrate the labor market and land jobs.
If you don’t have any personal contacts, you can start networking by joining sites like LinkedIn and reaching out to people who already work on China.
You can also try networking in person if you’re already in China.
Handing out business cards to people you meet can get you faster to the job you’re looking for than you can imagine.
- Finding Jobs online: If you can’t find any prospects with networking, online sites are the next best thing to try. With the rate of globalization, more and more companies in China are beginning to place open positions online.
Although most of these websites are in Chinese, you’ll also find a few in English, like this one here, that you can use to search for jobs in China.
- Internships: It’s also possible to get jobs in China through internships. They are the best way to experience the work culture, gather experience, make valuable contacts that can help you land more permanent and well-paying jobs in China.
With an internship, you don’t need to worry about several things like work Visa, etc. There are several ways to get into an internship program in China.
For instance, the Intern Group is one of the foremost internship recruiters in Shanghai. You can also try others like AIESEC UK and ‘Go Abroad China’.
Pitfalls to Avoid When Signing A Job Contract With A Chinese Company
- Falling to scams: it’s easy to fall into scams when doing something new. Many people have fallen into different work scams, and are currently stranded in China, lost a lot of money, or even both. One way of avoiding China’s job scams is to only apply via reputable organizations.
You should also avoid accepting contracts that come through social media, especially one with bogus email and office addresses, incorrect spellings, and sentences, and generally sound too good to be true.
- Not Reading Through the Contract: the euphoria of getting a new job can easily overwhelm, and you forget to read through a job contract before accepting the offer carefully. This is a common pitfall you want to avoid. You should carefully read through any offer and ask for clarifications on sections you don’t fully understand.
Some of the things to watch out for in the contract include working hours and conditions, annual leaves and holidays, salary, taxes, insurance, and other benefits.
Carefully going through a contract can save you from committing yourself to a disadvantaged position.
- Paying ridiculous amounts to get a job: one of the tell-tale signs of job scams is your supposed recruiter asking you to pay a substantial amount to get a job. A legit employer should be able to provide a legal Z work visa, without springing other extra costs out of the blue. The only thing you’d have to pay for is usually the Visa fee. Even if there are additional costs, this should be well explained and justified in the contract.
- Vague contract: receiving a job contract with vague terms and conditions is another thing you want to avoid. Always go through the agreement and ensure the terms and conditions are precise and detailed. Don’t forget to ask questions if you notice anything suspicious, and failure to fully answer your questions is another sign that the job offer might be a scam.
There are many job opportunities in China, and with the right information, you can successfully land your dream job and start working in China.
Apart from building connections and searching for jobs online, it would also help if you did your research.
This will help you familiarize yourself with the working conditions, things to consider, and other important information necessary for your transition.