Career Advice Career Doctor

Blending in with the local culture and making Hong Kong your new home


Everything is so different here… At first, I thought it’d be an adventure, accepting a job and jumping on a flight across the world to a place I’d never been. But as the plane prepared for landing, I found myself hoping for the first time I wouldn’t be alone in my new company and that I wouldn’t need to adjust much…

Fast forward some months and I’m miserable. I have to work long hours on a ridiculous 6-day work week. I hadn’t even noticed that in my contract — I assumed the work week would be similar to my home country. So I was shocked and angry when I got a call on my first weekend asking why I was late for work. I tried to fight it but failed, and now I’m just resigned to practically being a slave. What kind of place is this?

I’m also the only foreigner at my new workplace. Many of my coworkers can only speak basic English, and most seem uncomfortable being around me. The language barrier creates social divisions between us, and we don’t really interact beyond what is absolutely necessary for my English marketing work.

I often feel on the outs, deliberately kept out of the loop, and taken advantage of. Is there a secret I’m missing?