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Asia: Need some Direction.
Question :

Dear Career Doctor,

Need some advice about entering the employment market in Asia.. and also where to focus my efforts.

I've just recently graduated in a postgraduate honors degree in Business Studies. I originally signed up for the course as a way to find a new direction for work, but have since realized that its done little to provide 
new skills.

I originally started working in Ireland about 11 years ago for a start up company a friend created in University. He had a need for someone to handle the Accounts/Admin side of things, and I had previous experience. In any case I stayed there for almost 7 years where I covered AR/AP, General operations, Customer service, and Tech support. The usual when it comes to start ups. We each had a finger in many areas of the business. I eventually left because of a desire to travel and experience something more than this single company. In the following two years, I worked in Australia as a contractor specializing in bad debt recovery. And lastly, I spent almost a year in China teaching English.

Everything changed while I was in China, and I realized that I wanted most of all to live in Asia. I can't quite put it into words, but the difference in cultures interests me the most, and the understanding of the cultures 
involved. I guess I'm one of those people who find themselves understanding Asian culture more than their own.

The crux of the problem is how to go about this. I know I can teach again. Thats not an issue. However, I'd like something more interesting than that. I don't mind starting from the bottom again since TBH I don't see my Debt Recovery experience being transferable, and my previous experience to that is too generalized.

My level of English is high compared to most native speakers. Unfortunately, I don't have other languages. My Mandarin is still quite basic, learned both from my time in China, and through personal study.

So I'm looking for options. I know I will return to Asia, but I need to know that getting work is realistic. After searching for jobs, I guess I'm getting a bit run down without receiving much attention from recruiters.

Thanks for any info.

Posted by Core on Thursday, 24 Jun 2010

Comments :


Posted Thursday 31st March 2011 12:08:41 AM


Funny, I would have thought there might be a lot of demand for debt collectors in China. If that doesn't work out, you could always try for a sales role. Not sure about whether you could easily get a visa for such a position, though.

Career Doctor

Posted Monday 12th July 2010 11:27:00 PM


While I don't agree that your debt recovery experience is not transferable, to certain extend it might not be applicable in the China market. I've see quite a few foreigners so fascinated by Asian/Chinese cultures that they decided to spend the rest of their lives there rather than going back home. Perhaps you can stick to your English Teacher role in the meantime as a start, at the least to generate some income and build your local network. It's essential to build relationships (Guan xi), you know? Your Mandarin will improve in time, I'm not the least worried, best to start learning how to read and write Chinese too, it'll sure increase your employability and possibility in finding a better job. Companies all over the world are running operations and/or doing business in China, you can also target at those MNCs who may find your language capabilities and experience useful. Also, the other way round, try target those local corps looking for opportunities to go international. It's never easy, though opportunities and job supplies are plentiful, but if you persist and keep trying, you'll be able to build your new life in China. All the best!