Are you considering moving to and finding work in Hong Kong, but have no idea how to begin? This article focuses on the issues that an expat frequently asks and will be facing before and during the move to Hong Kong.
In Hong Kong, language barrier issues are virtually non-existant as English education is popular here and it is one of the official languages, nevertheless, Cantonese is often the first language the natives will use to communicate. Even so, it is still of great use to know some Chinese as you may meet people without any knowledge of English at all (especially older locals). Unlike the western work ethic – working less and enjoying life more, hard work is often appreciated and praised as a merit in the society in Hong Kong. Therefore, the working hours can be long and stressful, with working days possibly extending to six days including Saturday. What’s more, although Hong Kong is a very westernized city due to British colonial influences, the Asian culture is still the main theme. You will definitely encounter some of them you don’t fancy, for example, exotic foods such as thousand year old eggs and chicken feet. Plus, it is always a good idea to do a thorough information search on the city in order to prepare your self a little, however Hong Kong is one of the most international cities in the world. Local qwerks are easily avoidable or available depending on your taste.
The summer time is pretty long in Hong Kong with high humidity, so you should pack more summer lightweight clothes instead of winter clothes. It is also noticeable that the living cost in Hong Kong is very high so that you have to pay a lot for your rent and daily meals etc., making it very hard to save money especially for your first 2-3 years in Hong Kong.
Types of work in the current job market
To secure employment it is not as easy as it seems in Hong Kong. Most of the work require employees to speak fluent Chinese (Cantonese or Mandarin) as well as English. Therefore, ESL teachers are almost the first choice for English speaking expats with a language advantage of being a native speaker. The average salary for ESL teachers is 15,000 to 25,000 HKD per month, with no provided housing (sometimes they do but the rent is deducted from your salary). Your working hours will be 30 to 45 hours per week, consisting of 25-30 teaching hours and 10-15 office hours. You will be expected to keep good relationship with both your students and colleagues, and teaching English or subject courses for students by using provided materials. Alternatively, if you don’t like teaching, you can try to find jobs within sectors such as finance, accountancy, sales and marketing, IT, human resources, legal, telecommunications, logistics and engineering, in which companies more likely to hire foreign employees. These jobs usually have higher salary than the ESL jobs, but also higher requirements: 2-5 years experience in relevant field, a bachelor or even master degree (well ranked university is preferred) and a high degree of professionalism (non-teaching jobs in Hong Kong).
Apply for jobs in Hong Kong
To apply for the jobs, first please register your account on the Find Work Abroad, uploading your CV and relevant documents, including a recent photo of you, photo of passport, degree and certificates (if you are applying for an English teaching position, you should have 120 hours TEFL certificate. No TEFL? Click here). Then use the top left drop-down menu to choose “Hong Kong” and click the job section below. Remember to wisely use the filters (type, city and salary) to quickly reach the job you want. After successfully submitting your application, you will receive a call from us promptly and you can discuss with our consultant to select the best job for you. Once you confirm the interview time with us, you should be preparing for the interview and show the best of you to the interviewer. If the interview is successful (occasionally there is a second round interview or more), you will receive the contract after a few days and when the contract is signed, that means the position is secured by you. Meanwhile, don’t forget to communicate with your employer about your application of working visa because you must fill out some forms and prepare documents before your arrival.
Due to Hong Kong being very near Mainland China, after finishing a contract in Hong Kong, a huge amount of expats will relocate to Mainland China to look for better opportunities because the living cost is extremely high in Hong Kong and there is not much disposable income monthly after paying your living costs. With one or two years teaching experience in Hong Kong, it will be of less difficulty to find a high paid job there. Also, some of them will move to South Korea to look for a different cultural experience with best-class living and working environment, or seek a job in Thailand to enjoy a “working holiday” as beautiful beaches and fabulous islands are plentiful there.