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Mainland move may be a step in the right direction
Nicholas Olczak
update on Saturday, March 20, 2010

The huge number of developments taking place on the mainland means many tempting opportunities for people working in the property industry. But is moving to the mainland really the best step for your career?

Fiona Yung, executive director and head of executive resources at Tricor, a provider of integrated business, corporate and investor services which finds professionals for property developers, says the answer is usually yes.

She says the biggest advantage of being willing to move to the mainland is the range of opportunities it  opens up. "Most of the projects now are on the mainland," Yung says. "If a jobseeker says I only want to be based in Hong Kong, there will be limited opportunities. It may be difficult to find good positions."

In terms of career development, she says that choosing to work on mainland projects offers people the chance to pick up valuable experience and skills which they will not be able to get working on projects in  Hong Kong.

"There's a lot more to learn," she says. "The projects will be larger scale and mixed use and, working on larger projects like this, your experience will become much greater. You also get good experience building up a  project team."

Senior employees who work on the mainland are often offered a range of benefits not given to those working in Hong Kong. "The basic salary is more or less the same," Yung says. "But you'll get some extra benefits, usually accommodation allowance, children's education allowance and airfares so that you can fly home a few times  a year."

She says most companies also offer tax equalisation - paying the extra taxes which Hong Kong expatriates incur on the mainland.

But there are drawbacks of moving to the mainland. These include having to uproot your family and to go and live in locations that may be considered less attractive by some.

In addition, Yung says that the positions may be less secure in the long term, predicting that as mainland staff become more experienced, companies will hire them instead of Hong Kong expatriates for many of the positions.

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