Whether you’re looking for a part-time job in teaching or a full-time job in finance, our certified careers coach offers some tips and tricks to help you on your job search.
Are you a fresh grad looking for your first full-time job or perhaps you’re making a career change and are looking for part-time options? Whether you’re hoping to land a job as a data analyst, operations manager or designer or accountant, the job search can be a dreaded time for those eager to get out in the field.
For many people, approaching a recruitment agency and checking online job boards are the first starting point. But panic can quickly start setting in when you realise a majority of jobs require proficiency in Cantonese and/or Mandarin. Not surprisingly, 95 percent of Hong Kong’s population is fluent in one or both of these languages, and those who fall outside of that number don’t tend to be the primary target of agencies. At first glance, the odds may seem stacked against non-Chinese speakers but many still and will secure employment here.
Here are a few tips and tricks for finding work I’ve pulled together from conversations with recruiters, HR professionals and others who have successfully secured jobs here.
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Let’s start with the usual suspects. Non-Chinese speakers should be aware of organisations that specifically target the expat market such as AsiaXPAT Careers. Let’s assume, however, that 70 percent of jobs are not advertised. Simply relying on agencies and job boards will severely narrow the scope of your job search and your access to different opportunities. Therefore, here are some of the other things you should do if you are serious about finding work:
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Use And Expand Your Network
More than any other place I have lived in, Hong Kong offers so many different ways to build and expand a network such as:
- Meetups, that range from storytelling groups to “funky salsa parties”, and offer great opportunities to socialise with expats and locals alike.
- Various national Chambers of Commerce organise public events which are open to all.
- Come across many events that are of interest to you on Eventbrite.
- And, of course, keeping an eye on our monthly events roundup.
At the same time, do not underestimate the value of your existing networks. These can be friends, or even the people stretching next to you in a yoga class!
Read More: How To Make Friends In Hong Kong – 10 Ways To Meet New People
Show Off Your Skills
It is one thing to expand your network but people need to see what you are made of. Explore freelancing opportunities, for example on JobDoh. Alternatively, consider “skills-based volunteering” if your job search is taking longer than you hope or even if you have chosen to postpone getting a paid job for a few years.
In this way, you spend time using your skills to support a charity or other organisation. This will also, allow you to expand your network, show people what you can do, keep your skills fresh and updated and give you motivation in your job search knowing that you are adding value to something you care about.
Local Motion is a Hong Kong-based organisation which explicitly works to connect people with such opportunities, but also do not be shy about approaching local charities and NGOs directly.
Read More: Where To Volunteer In Hong Kong – Nonprofits, Charities & Social Enterprises
LinkedIn really does work. It allows you to expand your network and gives people quick and easy insight into who you are and what you can do for them. Given that so many jobs are not advertised, a lot of employers are proactive in directly seeking out people with the skills that they need. Keeping your LinkedIn profile up-to-date and professional — and backed up with a strong CV — is a must.
Read More: How To Write A CV That Will Get You Hired
Consider Working With A Coach
Finally, all of the advice above rests on the assumption that you are clear about your career goals and aspirations. Knowing these can help give you direction and motivation in your job search. However, if you have moved countries, or taken a break from work, all of this might not be so clear. A certified coach — such as myself — can work with you to enable you to define your goals and design a workable strategy for you to get there.
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Editor’s Note: “Your Guide To Getting A Job In Hong Kong” was most recently updated by Team Sassy in December 2022.
Main image courtesy of Ekaterina Bolovtsova via Pexels, image 1 courtesy of Antoni Shkraba via Pexels, image 2 courtesy of Dayvison de Oliveira Silva via Pexels, image 3 courtesy of Ekaterina Bolovtsova via Pexels, image 4 courtesy of fauxels via Pexels.