8 Reasons to Look for Work in China

8 Reasons to Look for Work in China
Oct 29, 2019 By Cian Dineen , eChinacities.com

There are many reasons to consider China for your next career move. Whether you’re looking to save some money, kickstart your career, or just have the experience of a lifetime, the Middle Kingdom ticks a lot of boxes. Need more convincing? Here are eight reasons to look for work in China.

Job hunt in China

1. Competitive salaries

It’s well documented that many forward-thinking global entrepreneurs and companies have come to China and made a fortune over the years. What is perhaps lesser-known is that normal salaried jobs for foreigners can also pay really well.

The average salary of a public school teacher in some states in the US is the equivalent of 25,000 RMB a month. Young graduates with nothing more than an undergraduate degree and a TEFL can earn a similar amount teaching English in China, while those with teaching degrees, many years’ experience, or expertise in specialist subjects can enjoy much more lucrative packages. In the US, some copywriters earn as little as the equivalent of 20,000 RMB a month, compared to 30,000 RMB a month or more for those doing similar jobs in China.

Not only are salaries often very competitive, but a lot of Chinese companies also pay out massive annual bonuses, ranging from one to several months’ salary.

2. Lower cost of living

While you’re busy making all that money, you can also be saving more as an expat working in China. You’re unlikely to squirrel much away if you live the lifestyle of a carefree expat 24/7, but if you reign it in and live like the locals most of the time you can save yourself a sizable nest egg. Local food and public transport are super cheap in China, and while rent can be comparable to back home, especially in first-tier cities, other bills tend to be much more affordable. 

3. More career opportunities

Those looking for work in China will quickly find that many industries that are highly competitive back home are suddenly much more open. There are countless cases of English teachers making the leap into marketing, sales, or editorial roles without the right qualifications or experience. In China, a good attitude, good timing, and a little bit of guanxi can get your foot in the door.

Furthermore, some of China's biggest tech companies are easier to get into than you might suspect, especially when compared to their Western counterparts such as Facebook, Apple, or Google. If you look for work China, you might just find yourself in a job you never thought possible.

4. Greater chance of promotion

Once you’ve landed your dream China job, you might be surprised at the opportunities to rise up the ranks. For one, a lot of Chinese companies are relatively young, meaning positions and whole departments can appear as the company grows. These young companies are also more likely to promote from within, so if you’re already in-house, you stand a good chance of promotion. 

Secondly, there’s naturally a high turnover of foreign staff in most companies. That means senior positions for foreigners are going to open up more often than normal and you can quickly go from the newest expat on the team to one of the most experienced. If you get into a Chinese startup early and stick around, you might be amazed where you end up.

5. A great launchpad for travel

While China is a more enticing tourist destination than many people realize, it’s fair to say that there are those that don't consider it a dream holiday destination. But even if you aren't interested in traveling a country with so much scenic, culinary, and cultural variety, traveling to other exciting Asian destinations from China is a breeze.

Back in the West, a holiday to Thailand, Japan, the Philippines and the like would cost you an arm and a leg. When you’re based in China, however, flights to these exotic destinations are short and pretty cheap. Working in China allows you to see the countries you could only dream about before.

6. Makes learning Mandarin easier

It's often said that Mandarin Chinese is one of the hardest languages in the world for Westerners to learn. While there are plenty of other languages that can also lay such claims, Mandarin’s subtle tones, intricate characters, and complete lack of an alphabet certainly don’t make life easy for learners.

Living in China, where Chinese is written and spoken all around you, gives you one hell of an advantage. It's impossible to ignore it completely, and if you have the right attitude and approach you can probably learn practical Chinese a lot faster than a student in a Western university. And once you have that skill, you basically have a trump card on your CV for wherever you go next.

7. You could end up doing some crazy but fun jobs

If you come to China with an open mind and a sense of adventure, you can end up doing some very weird and wonderful jobs. From being an extra in a blockbuster movie to being the face of a national advertising campaign, there are always some exciting opportunities in modeling and acting in China. Other gigs you might come across include doing voiceovers for educational videos, writing scripts for computer games, or even just being a foreign face at a trade show.

While obviously some of these jobs may be less legit than others, they are all likely to give you the kind of unbelievable stories you’ll be telling for the rest of your life. The only problem is that people might not believe you.

8. Get a global perspective

On a more fundamental level, living in a country like China will give you a much more global outlook on life. Things are very different here, and a few years in China will certainly change your perspective on the way the world works.

But it's not just about getting to know China and Chinese culture. When you’re living and working in China, you’ll also learn more about different cultures and societies from all over the world thanks to the wide range of expats who live here. Don't limit yourself to just one lifestyle or one point of view. Go out there and explore them all. Once you get that global perspective, the world is your oyster and home will never look quite the same again.

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Keywords: look for work in China

1 Comments

All comments are subject to moderation by eChinacities.com staff. Because we wish to encourage healthy and productive dialogue we ask that all comments remain polite, free of profanity or name calling, and relevant to the original post and subsequent discussion. Comments will not be deleted because of the viewpoints they express, only if the mode of expression itself is inappropriate.

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Guest2216036
comment|76472|246226

strangely enough, it was my time working in China that landed me my current job, that i have been in for over 3 years now. My first manager here said it was my low tolerance for accepting BS, a skill that i acquired in China, and the fact that i can stick to a point despite being given evasive answers or dealing with passive aggressive behaviour. So thanks China! Your unprofessional work environment now means i thrive and progress in a professional work-place!!

Oct 31, 2019 14:19 Report Abuse