Wednesday, June 22, 2011

About That Hong Kong Job Search

Okay, so about that Hong Kong job search...

I went over to Hong Kong for two reasons. One of them was the job search and the other one was a personal thing. For now.

Call me lazy, but I didn't line up too many interviews in advance; there just didn't see to be that many ads on prior to the trip that fit my qualifications.

So in the first week of the trip I met with a recruiter from the Connected Group.

This recruiter was very helpful, as he had been via e-mail prior to the trip.

I learned a bit about the Hong Kong job market and what would most likely be my best sources for employment there.

Interestingly, based on this recruiter's earlier recommendation, I had been putting down my target salary as $30,000.00 HKD per month -- Hong Kong salaries are listed monthly. That was my hunch as to what I would need to live quite comfortably in Hong Kong, and save up and pay off some bills back home.

In an earlier conversation, this recruiter told me that he had placed editors in jobs with salaries between $25,000 and $35,000 HKD per month so I was right in the middle of that range.

For some reason during our face-to-face meeting, he told me to up my desired salary to $35,000 to $40,000 HKD per month even while telling me that associate editors at one of the big newspapers only made $38,000 HKD.

I didn't change my target.

Next, based upon a chain of names and e-mails I can't even remember now, I had lined up an informal interview with an editor at a big newspaper in Hong Kong. This editor was very kind to meet with me and we got coffee in Causeway Bay.

I should add that our meeting was originally scheduled for the first week I was in Hong Kong, but my contact had some health issues so we had to reschedule for the next week.

During our hour-long chat, he seemed more concerned about my lack of newspaper experience than anything else. Obviously, I knew that I had that gap but I also knew that I did have 15 years of editing experience which might allow me to fit in somewhere at a newspaper/media company in the 21st century.

A few days later, I hiked out to Tai Po and interviewed with another editor at the same publication, this time one not on the newspaper side of things.

That interview went well for a casual one. Clearly, there would be no position available until at least September but there was some discussion of remote editing gigs at this paper. I remain curious about those positions and would like to learn more about them.

In neither of my interviews did the move from America to Hong Kong seem to be much of a burden; the company was well used to sponsoring visas for new employees.

Frankly, my lack of newspaper editing came up as a hindrance more than anything else.

And that's it.

I didn't go to any networking events, like those pricey cocktail meet-and-greets at the American Chamber of Commerce, and I didn't apply for anything else while I was there in Hong Kong.

I am strangely optimistic about my chances in Hong Kong and simultaneously more dejected.

I guess I'm still working out what I think it would take to make the move to Hong Kong.

And I'm still wondering if I should just quit my job, take my vacation buyout pay, and move to Hong Kong and start my job search in earnest.

I'm almost more convinced than before that I don't want just any job in Hong Kong. I feel like even if I did make the move over there, I'd be even more selective in what I applied for than ever before.

And I've lowered my accepted salary even if I'd still put that $30,000 HKD down on any new applications I might send out; $25,000 HKD is do-able for me but why not shoot for a bit more?