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Job seeking advice
posted on Wednesday, 21 December 2011 00:26

I am 35 years old, got my doctorate in Mechanical Engineering (Computational Fluid Dynamics - numerical methods and simulations) last year in US, did a summer internship several years ago.  I also have a MA in Economics and finished first 2 actuarial exams plus the 3 VEE requirements before I graduated. 

I have since tried hard to get a job in Hong Kong, first as an entry level actuary, then, anything that need a degree.  For the last 6 months, I was landed with only 1 interview and was then rejected.  Is it true that I am now too old to be hired in Hong Kong?  Are universities the only places that I could possibly land an offer if I want to return to Hong Kong?  I appreciate if anyone could provide some advice to me.

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Catherine Ng - Career Doctor's picture
Catherine Ng - Career Doctor  
Posted Tuesday, 14 February 2012 09:44 AM

Dear CWL6750084

Your academic qualification is impressive indeed. Based on the limited information available, it is hard to judge whether age is the key barrier to your choice of career. There are, however, a number of areas you can consider to help you find the right answers.

You stated that your doctorate degree was in Mechanical Engineering and your master degree was majoring in Economics. There is no reference as regard to the discipline of your degree. I believe you have planned your studying path towards building your career carefully, especially since you have studied all the way through to a doctorate degree non-stop.

Now may be the right moment for you to reflect on your career objectives: what is it you wish to achieve? This will help you to focus on the appropriate areas in your job search instead of a less targeted approach.

With your academic background, employers may hesitate to hire you, worrying that you may not stay on in your job. They may worry that they are not able to provide good enough opportunities for your career development as well. Salary expectation can be another issue to consider. You came back from US to work in Hong Kong. Without knowledge of the rationale behind this, employers may be concerned about your mobility and your stability in the job. If you could add a career objective statement in your resume that also states your commitment to working in Hong Kong, it can be helpful to ease employers’ mind.

From the information available, I would say that the academic field is ideal for someone with your profile. Unless you have specific concerns, I would definitely encourage you to give this a try.

Good luck in your job search.

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