We have received a lot of questions about making the move to China and finding part-time jobs. This is a subject we talk a lot about here on Enter China. This was a crucial aspect of us starting our entrepreneurial journey in China. The fact is the price points here are significantly lower than the U.S. and working part time job can give you the freedom of time to build your own business.
We want to make it clear that we have no interest in corporate and managerial jobs in China. That’s not our interest and hopefully it’s not yours. If you are looking to start a long-term career in China this post will not be very helpful.
Our focus will be jobs that can cover your basic expenses, rent, utilities, food, and fun. While at the same time giving you the freedom and time to pursue your own ventures.
If your goal is to become an entrepreneur then there are two keys in finding a good part time JOBS (Just Over Broke Situations).
1.)Simple or beneficialsourcing your OWN products.
2.) Just enough
It should provide just enough. This is crucial. Ideally the best job is one that provides just enough income to cover your expenses and requires the least amount of time. Why? Because time, your most valuable resource is what you will use to build your own business. The more of it your have, the better.
CAN YOU FIND A PART TIME JOB IN CHINA? YES.
There are many different jobs that foreigners can have here in China. The difference between most of them is part-time and full time. And no NOT everyone is teaching English. If you absolutely don’t want to teach English there are many other avenues you can pursue. Some of our close friends are hotel assistants, quality control managers, marketing interns, foreign news anchors, journalists, and bar managers/bartenders.
However, if I was going to do it all over again I would teach English. There are many reasons for this. First off, you can work as much or as little as YOU want. Second the hourly pay is very good, even by U.S. standards and third, its easy. Meaning it’s not stressful and takes little to zero of your time off the clock.
HOW MUCH CAN I EARN?
If money is the most important thing to you then we aren’t talking about the same kind of jobs. We aren’t searching for careers with salaries. BUT, you can find jobs that will allow you to live comfortably.
The first teaching job I had my hours where 8:30-11:30 M-F. I was paid 8000RMB/month and at the current exchange rate that is about$1,264.
This amount easily covered rent, utilities, food and FUN. Don’t believe me? Well we will be doing a post on expenses as well. This job was at a kindergarten=EASY! And it left me plenty of time, every afternoon and the weekends to build my company.
(Sidenote: This all comes from my experience in Guangzhou. I am not speaking about the different situations all over China as I don’t have experience in those locations.)
The last teaching job I had was private tutoring. This is the way to go if your willing to teach English. There a thousands of private tutoring centers all over the place.
Example class: 2 students/1 hour 180-200RMB/hour ($30hour)
I used to do this only on the weekends. About ten hours and that worked out to about the same 8000RMB/month.
Again, this is by no means how it works everywhere, this is just one example from my personal experience.
Different Job Opportunities
- Teaching English
- Interning in the U.S. embassy/ western company.
- Translating services
- Legal assistants
- Journalism / Media Positions
- Hotel Assistant
- Business–>Q.C. or Buyers agent
- Modeling-Very Popular among expats
HOW AND WHERE SHOULD I LOOK FOR A JOB?
Many people come through recruiters or agents. This is not the way I recommend you go, however I am more of a risk taker than most. Many people don’t feel comfortable moving to China without something lined up. You should never work with an agent if you are looking for a teaching position.
In the other industries this may differ. However, remember that if you are going through an agent they will be taking something. Meaning you are not getting the most efficient job as possible.
Least Amount of Time for the most amount of income.
The real key to finding real opportunities in China is to network, network, network. Come to china and hit the streets. When it comes to looking for jobs there is only so much you can do if your not actually in China. The best way to start building “Guanxi” is to spend several weeks on the ground in the Chinese city in which you plan to work (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenzhen, etc.)
If you are interested in checking things out before the move there are a lot of different websites you can check out.
AsiaExpat (Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou)
Geoexpat (Hong Kong) more coming soon!
Hong Kong Recruit
Even if you find interesting opportunities on these site we still suggest you refrain from signing something until you have come here.
How and What should you prepare for?
Be flexible and patient as it may take a month to find the job your looking for. It can also only take a few days. Depends on how diligent you are, and how desperately you need one.
Come with enough money to cover yourself for at least three months. Figure about 1000-1500 USD a month should cover you no problem. The biggest expense will be housing. You won’t achieve Hollywood status just yet, but this will make sure you are more than comfortable.
Degree: The Chinese really respect the status symbol of a degree. It rarely matters what the degree is in just as long as it came from your home country. China is all about status so having a degree does a lot to boost you up. However, there are jobs that don’t require anything. (i.e. private tuition)
Resume (CV) – You should come with a few different resumes prepared tailored to the kinds of opportunities you are looking for. Everyone should have a teaching resume prepared as a back up.
VISAS ……To Be Continued.
Our next post that will strictly cover our experience with visas in China.
HEY GUYS! It has been really great getting private emails from everyone! If you have yet to reach out to us, your are LAGGING and we want to hear from YOU!! We LIKE sharing our experiences, BUT we LOVE hearing yours. SO CONNECT WITH US!
Leave a comment below, or check out our private member’s forum here