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Career Doctor
Would it be better to return to the UK or stay in HK?
posted on Sunday, 16 May 2010 22:55

Dear Doctor,

I am now at a crossroads looking for direction that will be better for my work and family. I have been working in civil engineering field for 10 years. and worked three years in UK and returned to HK last year. now I have another offer in UK and asking me going back? I have two children of 6 &2. my wife prefers going back to UK as it will be better for my sons and my family. but i don't like the work style there and was tired of it. what is your opinion?

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Anonymous's picture
Posted Saturday, 02 July 2011 12:03 PM

I also encourage you to think about this area too.

What is it that you want as a civil engineer ? What is your goal and aspiration too ? Does the UK job offer you something and a path to somewhere, or does the HK market also offer you this too ?

You mentioned that the UK environment is not good, but is that going to be the same with ALL UK companies? (It isn't you know... you can find more international projects and companies too, as well as SME style companies.) In this regard, it is no different in HK than UK.

I myself have worked in IT for 10 years, and there is a big difference in the first consultancy environment that I was in, compared to the two US international companies that I found myself in later on in my career. I much prefer the consultancy companies, as they are more technically minded. So you see, you got to ask yourself these kind of questions, and search the style that is out there and maybe see it a little bit more objectively.

My gut instinct says that, there are indeed good civil engineering project that are going to go on, especially as there are the Olympics coming up, and regeneration of many cities across the UK as part of town planning. So there are potential work there.

What projects or work will happen in HK in the next few years within your industry? Do you know which direction it will go? I would write up a pro and con list and discuss each area.

Anonymous's picture
Posted Saturday, 29 May 2010 09:18 AM

Most lands in HK are engaged, what kind of jobs you can get from HK? London has "tea" restaurant as well, why you hate London so much compared to HK?

Anonymous's picture
Posted Tuesday, 25 May 2010 01:53 AM

I can understand why your wife wanted to go back to UK for the kids. I don't have any children of my own but I don't think Hong Kong is a suitable place to raise up children. The education system in Hong Kong puts so much stress on both children and parents. It is also crowded in Hong Kong. But whatever your decision is, I believe family staying together is most important.

Career Doctor's picture
Career Doctor  
Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 05:47 PM

First off, you need to ask yourself how you rate the importance of work & family. What comes first?

Tell you what, as a wife and a mother of two children myself, I'd rate family first. As an entrepreneur running a business, my family still comes first.

You must remember there's never a correct and therefore incorrect answer and/or decision. And talking about marital relationships you should try and discuss with your wife the pros and cons of staying and leaving. Sometimes you men always hide your true feelings – not wanting to tell your wife what’s really on your mind. Without this info how would she know you're so sick and tired of the work style in the UK?

Or she does know but still prefers going back? I know how determined sometimes we women can be. No matter what, don't, please don't, it's never an option to split your family and let your wife going back to the UK with your two sons with you staying in HK working alone. It'll cost you your marriage, and it's so unfair for your children. They're still so young. They need parental care and they're entitled to it too!

Unless you have to do it for a living, otherwise when you have a choice – should you move – move as a family, OK?

I'd say no matter what, get your wife involved, tell her everything including but not limited to your feelings, thinking, planning, etc. etc. Women can be determined, but we love our families and husband and kids more than our lives. Be reasonable and rational. Talk to her and see what she says.

If you still can't convince her, write back here to tell me her reasons why. I'll see if I can give your further advice.

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