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Which way do I go?
chadders
posted on Tuesday, 18 October 2011 22:13
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i am a South African that has been in the sales industry for almost 11 years. 

I moved to Hong Kong with my wife so she could further her career leaving behind the sales company that my brother and I had been growing since 2006. 

We specialized in security risk products, selling to all industries across the board from retail, pharmaceuticals, industrial,commercial, hospitality schools and more. The company does its own installations across the whole of sub Saharan Africa which needed to be managed from commissioning to hand over. I have now moved away from the company and am looking for a sales Or business development role that gives me a average to good salary. I have worked in different industries across the board understanding the different needs of different customers.

However I am finding it virtually impossible to get any opportunities and generally it's a Cantonese or mandarin problem. Are there any companies that are looking for westerners who only speak English. I have been a director and manager of the company that employs 25 people, so I know how to deal with all types of individuals from salesmen to technicians. What's out there for someone like me? It does not have to be industry specified.
 

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Louisa Yeung - Career Doctor's picture
Louisa Yeung - Career Doctor  
Posted Friday, 24 February 2012 03:54 PM

Hi Chadders,

It’s admirable that you have moved to Hong Kong to support your wife’s career progression. The difficulty you are experiencing in securing a job in sales or business development is due to the fact that, because Hong Kong companies have operations in China, most front-line roles require Mandarin or Cantonese language skills.

As a professional who speaks English only, you should concentrate your job search on applying for positions where you can use your core strengths in sales, management and leadership. My advice is to apply for positions that match your abilities and experience and where language will not be a barrier to showcasing your skills.

For the best chance of getting a job offer in a role that you apply for, your CV must stand out among other candidates’. You will need to clearly demonstrate how you meet the employer’s needs in your application by referencing the requirements of the job advertisement. To be successful in proceeding through the interview stages, you need to sell yourself and your current skills. In particular, demonstrate your soft skills such as management and leadership, as well as your willingness to learn and develop on the job, to show an employer that you are both talented and enthusiastic about the role and company.

It is important to remember that the recruitment process takes time and you need to be patient while you do your best to ensure you find the most suitable role and employer for you.

As a last resort, you could consider changing your home base to a country like Singapore where diverse language skills will not be an issue. This is because many companies from around the world base their regional Asia headquarters in Singapore and so international talent is favoured.

If you would like further information or advice, please leave a comment below.

All the best with your job search,
Louisa

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