Besides the attraction of working in one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, many expatriates are also drawn to China because of a personal desire to experience a completely different culture. Be aware, however, that these cultural differences may also add a high level of stress to your work situation and not everyone can cope with working in a cross-cultural environment. The expat “failure rate” for China has been reported to be as high as 70 percent,
with many expatriates returning home before their contract expires.
That said, working in China is a huge positive regarding your CV. It demonstrates your willingness to work in a new culture and experience a different market. As China’s importance in the world economy increases, time spent there is a sound investment for the future – at least if you succeed.
Job opportunities for foreigners in China
Thanks to the economic growth, the opportunities for foreigners wanting to work in China have increased considerably in the last few years.
Teaching English is one of the main job areas for foreigners in China, but there is also a growing demand for expatriate workers with skills in sales, engineering and management amongst others. Most of these jobs are offered by foreign-invested enterprises, but there is also a growing number of Chinese companies hiring expatriates, even among the State-owned companies. Some of the most interesting job prospects are in the following fields: Engineering,IT, Accounting and finance, Sales and marketing jobs.
Qualifications for working China
Like everywhere else in the world, companies in China are especially looking for employees with a good mix of hard skills, soft skills and language skills. In a country where cheap labour is abundant, a college degree is a major advantage and most of the expatriates working in China have some form of higher education.
One of the best things you can do to get a head start in China is to learn Chinese. Many foreigners get by without speaking Chinese, but the more you can communicate, the better your chances of finding a job. Speaking Chinese certainly gives you greater options when looking for work, and the best-paying jobs require at least a conversational level of Mandarin.