Friday, January 14, 2011
Everyone who knows me knows that I've always been intrigued by the thought of living and working overseas. Thus, you won't be surprised to hear that Lindsey and I are seriously considering living and working in Asia should the opportunity arise. The way we see it, deciding where to live and work coming out of this MBA program is kind of like choosing which restaurant to go to this weekend. We have been asking ourselves, "who wants to spend their entire lives eating at the same restaurant and eating the same food?" All of us have opportunities today to experience different ways of life that, for the most part, weren't practical a generation ago. My question for all of you who occasionally try new restaurants on the weekend is, why not take that adventurous spirit one step further?
If you are curious about mixing things up a little and want to learn more about job opportunities in China, check out Prof. Chris Carr's blog post, Job Opportunities in China (and India) - The Sky 'May' Be The Limit, BUT... Do Your Friggen' Homework. Prof. Carr is leading our trip to China in June and his post does an excellent job of presenting the realities - good and bad - of pursuing live/work opportunities in places like China.
After reading Prof. Carr's post and the links that he provides, does this sound like something that you are interested in pursuing? Add a comment to this post or shoot me an e-mail and share the details of your dream/vision with me. Let me encourage and/or empower you as you explore this interest further.
Here are some of the quotes that jumped out at me from Prof. Carr's post:
"Over the course of my last fifteen years [in China], I’ve learned that there are only two rules: Rule #1 is that 'Everything is possible in China,' but Rule #2 is that 'Nothing is easy.'"-Jack Perkowski
"When it comes to China, do a self evaluation. List your advantages and your disadvantages. What do you do exceptionally well? What are you weak at? What expertise does China need? What can you provide?"-Jack Perkowski
“I needed someone who was capable of communicating with the Western world.”-Willy Tsao
“In Chinese schools students are encouraged to be quiet and less outspoken; it fosters a culture of listening more than initiating.”-Willy Tsao
"My value-add in China was never going to be my facility with the language. Instead, it was going to be the knowledge and experience which I brought here from a long career in investment banking."-Jack Perkowski
"My firm has calculated that the ratio of purchasing power for salaries in China and the U.S. is 3.5-to-1."-Shaun Rein
"...the percentage of young, non-Chinese entry-level managers who get hired from the U.S. is small compared to those who are hired from here."-David Wolf
Here is a portion of the comment that I left on Prof. Carr's post:
What struck me about this post and its links is the universality of the advice provided. For those of us intimidated by the process, we must ask ourselves whether finding work in China is really that different from finding work in the U.S. today. The weak job market here has made hiring managers as focused on value-add as ever. They no longer need to recruit candidates who aren't local - eliminating the expenses of flying candidates in for interviews or offering moving reimbursement. I'm not saying that the job search here and there is equally difficult, I'm just saying that the delta between the two may be shrinking. Finding work in either place is going to take a lot of time and energy and landing a dream job with dream compensation may not be realistic these days.
Perkowski says that, "everything is possible in China... but nothing is easy". Ask yourself this, is everything possible in the U.S. today? Is anything easy here? It seems to me that the answers to both are "no" to both. So, what do we adventurous souls have to lose by exploring opportunities in China?