Chris Aukland is the managing director of specialist recruitment agency Ambition and is responsible for the growth and management of the Hong Kong business. He has 15 years’ consulting experience in the UK and Asia.
A digital skill set is crucial for a move into publishing in Hong Kong, says recruiter Chris Aukland
I am currently teaching in Hong Kong and would like to move into educational publishing. I have good writing and editing skills, and have done some freelance copy editing work in the past. Like most millennials, I love social media and I am tech-savvy. How can I prepare for this career move? Do I stand a chance in the industry?
A change in career is never easy; it takes commitment and perseverance. However, as you intend to move into online publishing, there is some good news.
If you ask any CEO what is on her or his list of priorities at the moment, the majority will say that they would like to take advantage of the opportunities that social media and emerging digital technologies offer.
The continued growth of all things digital has created a multitude of opportunities for organisations and professionals who are willing and able to adapt. These dominant business trends are creating an increasing demand in Hong Kong for individuals with niche skills sets.
If you can combine strong editing and writing skills with a strong digital skill set, then this should be a good start to a career in publishing.
However, like most job sectors in Hong Kong, publishing remains highly competitive. Typically, a reputed degree in English, journalism or communications — as well as previous writing and editing experience — would be required. If you do not have the relevant qualifications, consider taking a course. This will give you the best possible chance of being able to secure a role.
Given you are currently employed as a teacher, I would also recommend that you do as much freelance work as possible in your spare time to gain more experience. I would also recommend that you maintain an active and positive presence online to build your personal brand, and attend relevant industry networking events to build relationships.
If you do want to start working in the publishing sector immediately and have the relevant qualifications, then you could explore internships or entry-level positions. These would give you exposure to the publishing industry and allow you to network in the sector and develop professional relationships more quickly. But be aware that you are likely to see a drop in income, certainly in the short term.
When you begin applying for roles, bear in mind that, given you are applying for roles in publishing, employers will place a lot of emphasis on the copy in your resume and cover letter, so review your application thoroughly before submission. Edit carefully and get another editor to proofread if possible.
This article appeared in the Classified Post print edition as Cutting-edge digital skills are vital for a move into publishing.