Managing Director of Links International
Possibility for a career change
I've been working in the field of civil engineering overseas for 10 years and I hardly find a job in Hong Kong that is fairly paid. What are the possibility for a career change? What job can I do?
Debbie Matson - Career Doctor
Posted Friday 3rd May 2013 08:55:00 PM
Dear Karr I hope you will write back and tell us more about yourself. I wonder what motivated you to come to Hong Kong and how have you managed your job hunt so far. What conclusions have you reached about the civil engineering opportunities here? In part, the availability of civil engineering jobs depends on the stage of development or redevelopment of an area. In Hong Kong many of the big projects such as the airport and much of the transport infrastructure is completed. However, in Macau and the PRC, new project development is active and therefore, the need for civil engineers will be high. If you want Hong Kong and are unsuccessful looking for a civil engineering position, it may be time to expand your scope and take your skills and experience to a different level. I would certainly consider real estate as a possible field. Many of the large corporations in Hong Kong have ‘owned real estate’ departments and your skills could be useful to them. In addition, financial service firms including insurance companies, banks and private equity firms have funds invested in real estate. Your skills in analyzing a project or a potential acquisition could be useful. Other possible sectors could be project management, education or building management. The challenge is to consider what you enjoy most about your current job and field linking those best aspects to other possible sectors. Regarding fair pay, it would help to know what you consider fair pay. If you have been working in a remote or developing environment, you may be getting higher pay then you can get in a more stable environment. Also, pay depends on the supply of people available to do the job as well as many other factors. It is important to understand the salary you need and want, and add that information to your assessment of possible new careers. The greater China area including Hong Kong is still in an exciting period of growth and I encourage you to take the time to look at many possibilities. There are recruitment firms specializing in engineers and it would be good to speak to one. Read recruitment websites such as Classified Post and Smartjob.com, speak to people and network with successful engineers. I wish you success in your search!