Find the right path
The inaugural Classified Post Career Forum offers tips for success and on-the-spot job opportunities
You've worked hard to graduate, and maybe worked even harder to rack up a couple of years' experience in your first job, but now you're asking yourself - what next?
With employers in Hong Kong crying out for top-quality talent, the options can seem endless. But how do you tell the difference between a career cul-de-sac and the fast track to the top?
Targeting the newly graduated and those with up to two years of work experience, the Classified Post Career Forum aims to not only provide a wealth of advice from top employers and professional bodies, but also the opportunity to apply for positions on the spot.
The forum, which is taking place today, March 4, at the InnoCentre in Kowloon Tong, is the first event of its kind held by the Classified Post - with free admission for ClassifiedPost.com members.
One key speaker is Carrie Leung, CEO of the Hong Kong Institute of Bankers (HKIB). Leung has over 20 years' experience in sales, service quality and training in Hong Kong, on the mainland and overseas, and serves on a range of government and public committees.
At the forum's "CEO Sharing Conference", Leung will moderate a session with Patrick Ip, deputy chief executive of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia), entitled "Pave your way to a successful banking career".
"For the past 50 years, HKIB has nurtured industry talent at all levels," Leung says. "One of our prime focuses is to promote professional growth amongst banking practitioners, and build a sustainable talent pipeline for the industry. I am delighted to have a chance to meet so many of Hong Kong's young talent, talk to them in person and introduce them to what the banking industry has to offer. I look forward to meeting these future bankers."
Another notable speaker is Philip Tsai, an audit partner with Deloitte and former president of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA). For over 30 years, Tsai has planned and managed audits for multinational companies' Hong Kong-based operations, as well as local- and overseas-listed clients in a range of industries. He also holds, and has held, top posts in government and regulatory bodies.
In another CEO Sharing Conference talk, Tsai will be joined by George Hongchoy, CEO of The Link Management, and Richard Tse, a council member of the HKICPA and the vice-president of finance and corporate services at the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation. The talk - on the topic of "Evolving careers for accounting professionals" - will be moderated by Susanna Chiu, a past president of HKICPA and a director of Li & Fung Development (China).
Tsai gives a sense of the sort of experience-based insight he will bring to the forum. "The accounting profession is no longer confined to auditing and reporting, but now involves a wide variety of jobs such as risk management and financial advisory," he says. "Apart from professional knowledge, it is important for graduates to learn about leadership, integrity, communication and interpersonal skills, and gain general knowledge during their career in order to prepare for advancement."
Another highlight of the Career Forum is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet and spend time with some of the top bosses in the accounting and engineering industries in Hong Kong. A maximum of three of those applying to join the "Shadow a CEO Programme" will get to spend between two and five days shadowing a senior executive from among those taking part in the forum, experiencing their daily lives and picking up some essential management tips.
Among those taking part is Victor Cheung, a director of engineering consultancy J. Roger Preston and senior vice-president of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers. He explains what those who successfully make it through the programme's application and interview process will experience.
"From working alongside me, they can get an insight into the operation of my company and of my daily life. They can also learn something about management and communication skills," he says.
Other sharing sessions fall under the banners of "Leadership Forum" and "Career Talk". The Leadership Forum presentations include "IT shapes the future", given by Michael Leung, president of the Hong Kong Computer Society; "Career prospect of the surveying profession", with speaker Sir Simon Kwok, president of the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors; and "You will see your future in Standard Chartered", presented by Elizabeth Alam, regional head of graduate recruitment for northeast Asia at Standard Chartered Bank.
The career forum also offers not only tips and advice on how to get a dream job, but also the chance to take the first step to making it happen. Over 60 premium employers, from a range of industries and looking to fill over 4,000 positions, will be there to meet visitors.
To help visitors sharpen up their job application skills, a team of "CV Doctors" - professional consultants from Page Personnel - will also be on hand for pre-booked, one-on-one CV-enhancing sessions.
To find out more details about the Career Forum online, go to www.classifiedpost.com/cf