The experience you gain while living in China can be a real a benefit when looking for jobs in other countries. It demonstrates that you’ve worked in a multicultural environment, are open to new ideas and are willing to take on challenges outside of your comfort zone. However, along with your work experience, there are several other things you can do while living in Chinato make yourself stand out even more as a candidate for future jobs.
Photo: Patrick Breitenbach
It should go without saying that the first thing a prospective employer will ask after seeing you’ve lived in China is whether or not you can speak Chinese. We all know expats who’ve been in China for several years and still have crappy Mandarin, so don’t let yourself become one of them.
Learning Chinese will not only show that you have the determination and commitment to battle with one of the world’s most difficult languages, but also that you have an interest in and respect for the culture you lived and worked in. It will also improve your memory and make you all together smarter!
Start a podcast
Podcasts are all the rage these days. There are new ones constantly popping up while the most popular continue to grow, with some of the biggest garnering millions of listeners. I’m not saying you can expect to get the whole of China tuning in, but making a podcast is another good way to take advantage of your time in China. Plus, it offers you a non-creepy/less-annoying way of talking to complete strangers about nothing but yourself!
Making a podcast about living in China will increase your ‘guanxi’ and show future employers that you have solid communication skills, confidence, drive and are tech savvy. In truth, setting up a podcast is as easy as recording something on your phone, editing it and uploading it to a platform, but it sounds a lot more impressive than perhaps it actually is.
This one isn’t for everyone, but if you have an interesting job, work in a specialised field or are knowledgeable about a certain subject, giving speeches and guest lectures is a terrific way to further your career. It not only highlights your public speaking ability and confidence, but also solidifies your position as an expert in your field.
English-language lectures, workshops and seminars are held frequently on a number of subjects in China’s most cosmopolitan cities, so align yourself with the right people and put yourself forward.
Writing is one of the best ways to get your name out there, and these days most employers Google applicants before even considering giving them an interview. You can write for different websites and media organisations, a personal blog or even self-publish a book.
Perhaps a book is more of a commitment than you’re looking for, but writing anything, from articles and poems to short stories and novels about living in China offers other people an insight into your experience and personality. All of these things demonstrate that you’re actively working to engage an audience about something you’re interested in.
A blog might sound like something 14-year-olds on Tumblr have, but in reality many people rely on them for information, how-tos, travel inspiration and general entertainment. Starting a blog about your China experience is an easy way to allow your family and friends to keep up with your adventures without having to email them all individually. Furthermore, when applying for jobs, a blog will highlight your writing skills and your commitment to something that doesn’t necessarily provide financial gain.
Perhaps you don’t think your life in China is all that exciting, but to people back home you may as well be in Jumanji. Plus, when you do inevitably leave China you’ll have a wonderful record of your time here. And who knows, maybe you’ll find your niche and realise you were meant to be a writer all along!
No matter what industry you currently work in, there are always ways to further boost your professional potential when living in China. It all starts with the first step, so put some time aside for your personal development today.
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Keywords: living in China
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