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What kind of jobs should I look for?
posted on Wednesday, 12 May 2010 01:29

Dear Ms. Alison Chang - Career Doctor,

Hi, I'm seeking for help with my job hunting, as I'm not getting any luck with that.

I have a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering with Business from the UK, and then I obtained a Master's degree in Business Administration. After that, I worked at a sizable bank as a Counter Service Officer (teller) for neary 2 years. But then I quit the job 4 months ago and started to look for another job.

I have tried a lot of Marketing positions asking for an entry level, Government openings, Business Analyst, Administrative Assistant, Personal Assistant, and even Graduate Engineer, Management Trainee, but I've only got replies from few companies. Do companies not want to hire MBA graduates because they are lack of experiences? Or would it be my CV not presentable enough?

I have 2 years of retail experience at the bank and I speak fluent English, Mandarin and Cantonese. What else can I try?

It would be very much appreciated if I can have your advise. Thank you so much!!



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Career Doctor's picture
Career Doctor  
Posted Thursday, 17 June 2010 01:01 PM

Sincere apologies for getting back to you so late as I’ve been very busy recently.

Back to your case, it seems you’re simply wasting too much time trying to figure out why this or that won't work. Instead, you can actually try and experiment with what does and doesn’t work instead of focusing on deducing the reason(s) why.

You have an MBA, but you're not the least proud of it, cause it's not from a top business school, what a waste! Whatever your qualifications, they can't guarantee nor will they increase your chances of getting a good job, after all it's YOU that matters!

Anonymous's picture
Posted Wednesday, 26 May 2010 05:24 PM

Dear Alison,

Thank you so much for your reply, it was much more than I have expected.

What you have described about my situation was 100% correct, as if you were reading my mind! I feel lost right now, and I was trying to grab what ever I can get at the moment. I picked Marketing simply because my MBA background matches the academic requirements. I had an interview (Marketing Executive) 2 weeks ago with a company that organizes exchange programs for youths, but not hearing anything from them since then.

The reason I chose to work for the bank is that I wanted a job asap at that time, since everybody said that experience is everything, so I thought I should take that opportunity and perhaps it could be a stepping stone to get me a decent job, and most importantly that bank was a MNC. But as I worked along, I realized that the financial industry wasn't what I had expected, I don't like doing sales activities and dealing with customers; and the worst part was, I felt more dissatisfied with the job day after day, also the environment, people...as if I was going to spend the next 5 years there like most of the colleagues did. I am 25, and I realised that if I want to do something else I have to do it now, not until I have a family.

Since the MBA is getting me no where in the business and financial industry, I decided to try the engineering side. I had an interview for Production Planning Assistant last week, it's also a MNC. During the interview, I asked the interviewer about the job duties, she said those were all simple tasks, and it wasn't a job that could make a career path.

So far I have attended 7 interviews including part-time jobs. Those were positions like Business Analyst, Management Trainee, Marketing Executive, Production Planning Assistant, Administration Assistant(part-time).

The truth is Hong Kong doesn't offer a wide range of jobs, especially I'm not a professional.

Here are the major problems I am facing: I got stuck in the middle..I have MBA but not from those top universities; I have a degree in Engineering from a reputable university but I don't have relevant experience; I am looking for whatever I can get but small-medium companies might not want me because I might leave for better opportunities.

I have sent my CV to plenty of head hunter companies, but all negative responses. All of them said they were actually looking for candidates with relevant experience.

I am thinking if I should go back to Finance and go for CFA. But again, forget about time and money, I am worried about the experience issue...my background was like a mess.

5 months have gone since I left the previous job, I'm getting very anxious..

Looking forward to hearing from you,



Career Doctor's picture
Career Doctor  
Posted Tuesday, 18 May 2010 04:48 PM

Dear Marjorie

I can sense your eagerness and sincerity asking for my advice, I'll try my best to answer, however I can't guarantee if you'll like what I'm going to say.

You won't get a job simply because you hold an MBA, that's the fact! Gone were the golden days that companies would hire anyone with the MBA qualification.

Though it's me who said whatever subject you studied has no relations to what you're going to do in the end, there must be a reason why you'd rather work for a bank then look for jobs as an engineering trainee two years ago when you first graduated.

Talking about graduate trainees, the word "graduate" states clearly what employers want, you know that too, don't you? No one can turn back the clock, and we can only learn by mistakes, we all do, so don't feel bad about it.

Don't lose hope. It's definitely not the end of the world. There’s still a long road ahead for you to walk and explore. Where to? What directions? You need to learn from this valuable experience and don’t fool yourself by grabbing just any old job – simply because it's handy or available. Don't make the same mistake twice!

You also need to know to learn how to strike a balance between your dreams & reality – especially when things don't turn out the way you thought and expected. Otherwise you wouldn't have quit your job before going in search of another job. Or was it simply because you couldn’t stand that job any more?

Your goal is to find a marketing job, right? When you can't and you're getting anxious and desperate you just go for any jobs, then of course you can't find any suitable job. It could be the way you write your cover letter, rather than your CV. Your CV should be pretty simple and straight forward. Your cover letter is the means to draw the recruiters' attention and for them to understand your thoughts, and why you're applying and how you can contribute to their organisation. You also need to know the job you're applying for as well. Not just by its title, but what the job itself calls for.

Large banks, small banks, all retail banks are hiring front line sales staff. You stand a far better chance to get back in than trying something new. We are only human, we have no wings, and therefore we can only walk take things one step at a time to try out new paths. Don't be discouraged though I know how tiring and panicky one might get. Trust me, I've been in your same position too many times in the dark and at a crossroad not knowing where to go and what direction to head towards. You will find your way, if you persist!

Write back and tell me more ...



Anonymous's picture
Posted Thursday, 13 May 2010 06:09 AM

You should apply for management trainee position with your bank when you are a teller, you might wait for 3-4 years before you can succeed. You shouldn't quit your job without finding another one first. This is a lesson you should learn. Now you have to wait at home for at least one year or even more, depends on your luck.

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