Managing Director of Links International
Non fresh graduate seeking work in Hongkong.
Dear Career Doctor
I'm a Chinese born overseas women in her late twenties considering to seek a career in Hong Kong. I've heard that older women are more likely to face discrimination in job hunting and workplace. Aside from the age factor I am concerned about my work experience which is quite limited,revolving only around administration and customer service. I can speak Cantonese as well as having average writing and reading skills and able to speak basic Mandarin.
Would this factor boost my chances of looking for a good job in Hong Kong, or am I just dreaming and being unrealistic?
Thank you in advance for any advice and comments.
Debbie Matson - Career Doctor
Posted Friday 24th May 2013 07:02:00 PM
Dear Chess Where to start? A good positive attitude and belief in yourself is 90% of the battle. Are you really in your late twenties and worried that you are too old for the work force in Hong Kong? Let’s get over that quickly. Age is not a factor in your situation. Since you want to move to Hong Kong and would like to improve your career prospects, it might be helpful to start by exploring the market. Use your network of friends and colleagues to make contact with people in Hong Kong, working in fields you want to explore. Travel to Hong Kong during your annual leave. Look online through classifiedpost.com or smartjob.com and see if there are positions that may interest you. Try and set up some exploratory interviews during your trip and arrange some meetings. Try and get a feel for the environment and where you may fit best. You say that you speak Cantonese, basic Mandarin, read and write Chinese and have some administrative and customer service experience. Sounds like the ideal candidate for many possible positions in Hong Kong. Do you speak English? Can you conduct a customer service related conversation in Mandarin? Do you like working on the front line, or would you prefer an office job? After you answer some of these questions I would consider a few possible sectors depending on your preferences. If you like front line customer service, you may want to look into a receptionist or customer relations position in a serviced office or a shopping area. You could also consider an entry level secretarial position. Look into the retail sector. If you enjoy working with people and selling, many brands look for store staff as well as behind the scenes operating staff for the many retail outlets in Hong Kong. The steady influx of tourists to Hong Kong means a dynamic opportunity with career growth opportunities in the retail sector. Your challenge is not to find a job, but to find yourself. Determine your best qualities and the things you like to do best and then go look for a job. You will be pleasantly surprised.