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A switch from engineering

Published on Friday, 24 May 2013
Debbie Matson

I've been working overseas in the field of civil engineering for 10 years and I can hardly find a job in Hong Kong that is fairly paid. What is the possibility of a career change? What type of job can I do? Karr

In part, the availability of civil engineering jobs depends on an area's stage of development or redevelopment. In Hong Kong, many of the big projects, such as the airport and much of the transport infrastructure, are finished. However, project development in Macau and the mainland is active, so the need for civil engineers will be high.

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. Financial service firms, including insurance companies, banks and private equity firms, have funds invested in real estate. Your skills in analysing a project or a potential acquisition could be valuable.

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 linking those best aspects to other possible sectors.

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 than in a more stable one. Pay also depends on the supply of people available. Find out the salary you need and want, and add it to your assessment.

You can also talk to recruitment firms specialising in engineers, read recruitment websites such as Classifiedpost.com and Smartjob.com and network with successful engineers.

Debbie Matson is managing director of Links International. With a strong regional presence in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Macau, Links International provides recruitment, payroll and HR services.

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