International professionals seeking a job in China face a different, very competitive recruiting environment compared to even just a few years ago.
Peter Hill, Director of Career Services at HULT Business School in Shanghai, offers 3 tips for Westerners looking to get hired in the vast Chinese market.
1. Know Yourself
Do a thorough assessment of yourself to understand what you’re good at, what you enjoy doing, what kind of work values you have, and how a potential career in China fits into your long-term vision.
Knowing that about yourself will then allow you to differentiate yourself from other people in the market.
Consider that last year, roughly 7 million undergraduates graduated from college in China. That number is overwhelming and gives a sense for how ultra competitive the job market is.
As an expatriate, you should know going in how you’re different; what unique value you bring to an employer; and then effectively communicate that value to them.
2. Don’t Job Search From Your Home Country
If you really want to work in China, it's essential you get on an airplane, come over and start establishing yourself. It will take time to network and understand how the local market, but trying to do it from outside of China is even tougher.
3. Find An Employer In Your Home Country Who Is Doing Business In China And May Send You
A great way to 'dip your feet' in China and start to get experience is if your company can first send you there on regular business trips, and maybe even on a permanent assignment for a year or two.
Seeking a job in China is challenging and not as easy as it used to be. It used to be that as an expat with a good level of Western expertise, you could qualify for a range of local jobs. That ‘shine’ of attractiveness has dulled these days, so developing your network and China knowledge based on business trips is a solid place to start.
Watch Peter comment on The Importance of Active Networking in China