It seems like not long ago that we’re cuddled in our mom’s hugs but now next on our priority list is finding a job. Next thing you know, you’re getting married, doing taxes and raising a kid. Whoa! Feeling overwhelmed? We all are. Where to start? What to do? Who to ask? If only life came with a manual book…
There are, of course, others who made it. Kudos to you guys! Andrew was a year-long exchange student in 2014/15 who now landed a job as a teacher in Hong Kong. Joseph was also an exchange student in Semester B 2014/15 who is now working in Taiwan. Both from the States, working in Asia was definitely a big step in their lives. Let’s hear some tips and advice from them, shall we?
It’s totally fine to be confused about what you want to be in the future. However, it’s not okay to not do anything about it. University is the perfect time for you to learn about yourself.
It’s good to step out of your comfort zone and explore the world out there whilst you’re still young. You might need to follow a few steps to make sure you’re not leaping and falling.
Step 1: You need to know yourself – Are you adaptable? Are you okay being around new people?
Step 2: If your answer is yes, then you need to research on your destination.
Step 3: More research! Search for job openings in that specific country. Nowadays, a lot of job openings are posted online. Keep updating your CV, be persistent and apply to as many job openings as you can.
Step 4: Set your mind into it. Keep on learning. The moment you stop learning is the moment you won’t move forward. Instead of going to rave concerts or cafes during the weekend, sometimes it’s better to spend your weekend attending workshops and talks. You might be a creative media student, but you’re really interested in big data and programming. There’s a lot of talks held around Hong Kong that you can go to. The price and time you’re paying now will pay off big time in the future, promise!
Challenges will always come in your way. However, if you treat others with respect, they will respect you back. We don’t grow when it’s easy. We grow when we face challenges.
Asia is a world of new potential and opportunities. No one expat in Asia is staying here because they want a boring life. They want a new adventure, the excitement of figuring out what to do next. Impromptu trips to tropical islands! Discovering exotic culinary! New faces! New people! Weird sounding languages! Life is too short, so explore as much as you can.
It’s never too early to kick-start your career planning. There’re a lot you can do in the meantime. Go to recruitment talks, improve your soft skills by attending CV and interview workshops. You can even join internship abroad to test the waters – see if you really want to live abroad for the long haul.
Sometimes binge-watching Netflix instead of researching for internship offers is a lot more tempting and fun, I get it. We’re all guilty of it. However, as a CityU student, we’re blessed with the abundant facilities the University provides us. If you ever check your student email (which most of us don’t, let’s be honest), there’s always something from the Career and Leadership Centre that will help us in our career path. Take the initiative and time to enroll in some of their workshops! There are CV writing workshops, group interview workshops, mentoring programmes, summer internship programmes, the list goes on and on. You can check their term calendar to see what you can sign up for.
There are even websites like JIJIS or LinkedIn that can help you search for an opening in one simple click. The process is really simple – you just need to fill up your personal details and tada! You’ll be able to finish it while munching on your lunch. Save time and multitask!
We still have a long way to being a real adult, and everyone is “adulting” in their own way. I hope the advice above could be useful for those who are confused and lost. After all, we’re all here to help one another. Students unite!