Managing Director of Links International
What are my career options?
Dear Career Doctor,
This website rocks, you guys have provided some interesting and informative answers to the questions posted. Well done and thank you.
Would you suggest possible career options/industries in Asia, particularly in Hong Kong, Taiwan, singapore or Great China in general. I am a qualified Lawyer in Australia and New Zealand, but due to recession the jobs are hard to find in these countries for graduate lawyers. I have considered the path of doing PCLL or PCL in Hong Kong or Singapore repsectively, but also heard the competitions and cost are high. Was wondering if there are any other career choices for me, I also have Science degree majored in Psychology. I am good with people and enjoy solving problems for people and make a difference.
I do not enjoy being stuck in the office, therefore I enjoyed practicing as a Barrister more than a solicitor for the time I did practice. I was hoping you could give some guidance as to the type of fields I should consider and which Asia countries you would suggest.
I am aware of the long hours people work in Asia, that is all great, but I wish to have a balance in my life. I guess ideally, I would like to work in field where I know I can make a difference or able to help and interact with people. I want to have the flexibility in the hours I work but make enough money to be comfortable in life without having to worry about making the ends meet each month when the bills come.
I am maybe asking for too much. But I am really at a lost here as Asia, particularly Hong Kong and Taiwan both are my homes which I hope to return. I am a native English and Mandarin Speaker. I am semi-fluent in Cantonese but that will improve with more practice. I can read and write Chinese also.
Someone mentioned paralegal or legal advising roles, will these fit what I described above.
Additionally, I was also wondering what are the criteria in broadcasting in medium such as TV and radio in Asia?
Thank for your assistance, it is very much appreciated.
Debbie Matson - Career Doctor
Posted Thursday 1st August 2013 10:05:00 PM
Dear Open2anything Your challenge is to figure out where you are in life and what is important to you. The letter mentions so many ideas and possible fields. It sounds like you are at an exciting moment in your life. A first step is to evaluate whether law is the profession for you. Take the time to remember what motivated you to become a qualified lawyer. What part of the practice have you most enjoyed? Where were you most successful? What do you do best? Those answers may help you narrow the search within the legal field. You mention developing a practice as a Barrister. In Hong Kong, competition is fierce to become a Barrister. In addition to certification, Barristers need to spend a year in “pupilage”. Acceptance to pupilage is only offered to highly qualified and motivated candidates. In general, you need to think about whether you have the drive, passion, interest and intensity for this path. It will also take several years in this process before you can earn much money. You mention possible becoming a paralegal. Working as a paralegal can be very interesting. But, a paralegal will have more in office and support work. Since you like to be away from the desk, this type of switch does not seem like a good option. Creativity in your search is important. You have a degree in psychology and law and a desire to help people. How does all that tie into your next employment? What have you done in the past that gave you the satisfaction of having helped people? The public sector, social welfare institutions and non-profit organizations may have positions that would enable you to make the best use of your mix of education and interests. Where do you want to live? Why are you leaving Australia? Is it because of the recession that has affected legal positions or is it for other reasons? The areas you have listed can generally be called Greater China, but beyond that they have as many differences as points in common. Employers in the PRC are seeking well educated employees with native level Mandarin and fluent English. If China and its rapidly developing economy is of interest to you, it is a place you may want to consider. Lifestyle factors appear to rank high with you. Before launching into this search, be clear about your values. Look at your list, money, work life balance, helping people, further utilizing your legal skills, what is most important. Be honest with yourself and try to answer the questions around what really interests you. Where do you have passion? Have the courage to make a choice where you can make a difference and feel accomplished.