Itching from the pull of working abroad in the busiest city in the world? Imagine feeling the adrenaline rush of being in the concrete jungle: Hong Kong. A delicious culture shock awaits you in all forms and stages: food, language, people, and cultural customs. Before you know it, you’ll be the local foreigner having tea with your 80-year-old neighbour. Working in Hong Kong will be life-changing experience, where your environment will be the the eternal tropical weather reigning over the island and skyscrapers melting away into luscious mountains and the sea.
Popular Types of Jobs in Hong Kong
As an extremely coveted destination among the expat community, you can bet there are as many exciting jobs in Hong Kong to be found as there are variety of dim sum dishes. No matter what you majored in or have work experience in, there's something to suit everyone.
Short term jobs and summer jobs vs. long term jobs. You could find a job in Hong Kong that is as short as three months or for as long as a couple of years. The teaching positions are usually longer than the business positions. Most of the positions are flexible and are offered year-round, and you could easily find some during the summer, but just keep in mind that the summers in Hong Kong are hot and humid.
Popular work fields. The majority of jobs in Hong Kong are readily available throughout the year is teaching. From youngsters in kindergarten and nurseries through to secondary schools, there is a high demand for teachers. Maybe big classrooms and tens of students clamouring for your attention isn't your thing, but you love kids all the same; consider au-pairing! Hong Kong also offers a variety of business jobs, such as accounting work, statistical projects, and economic tasks.
Paid vs. unpaid jobs in Hong Kong. Most Hong Kong jobs are paid and offer stipends that include airfare and housing as part of their remuneration package. This also means that from the get go you'll be living with fellow colleagues who will be able to help you out. Some jobs are unpaid (internships), but they will still offer benefits. Check out what is included in each job offer. On the whole, wages in Hong Kong tend to comfortably cover whatever expenses you might encounter abroad.
Expat Life in Hong Kong
Expats mingle with locals and participate in activities (weekly football matches and running clubs) and events (book clubs, orchestras, plays). There is also always an adventure waiting to be stumbled upon every day. Daily life for expats is as diverse and bewilderingly funny, from the moment you land in Hong Kong airport to the moment you leave (unless you decide to stay and prolong dat expat lyfe)! The networking events, cultural rendez-vous for expats, and travels around Asia during the time in Hong Kong means you will never be bored.
The cost of living in Hong Kong very much depends on individual tastes. Hole-in-the-wall local noodle places cost peanuts ($4 for a filling bowl of yum noodles), whereas one cup of latte cost $5. As long as you budget and are sensible, Hong Kong can be a very affordable city to work and live in. Transportation is accessible and cheap, weekend excursions are not pricey, there’s plenty of market stalls to haggle in, electronics can be bought at great discounts, and housing costs can always be trimmed down by finding yourself a local roommate.
GoAbroad Insider Tips
As a popular tourist destination as well as home to over 620,000 foreigners, Hong Kong is very international with English signs and translations scattered throughout. The majority of Hong Kong jobs will not require knowledge of Cantonese (though it can be useful!) and proficiency in English will be required. Of course, if the desire to learn Cantonese is there, kudos and good luck!
The culture shock is likely to hit pretty hard, but it will fade away just as quickly; reading up on the differences between Hong Kong and your country will ease the transition much faster. Things like hierarchy at your job in Hong Kong, common cultural norms (e.g. concept of face/dignity is paramount to Hong Kong citizens) that might not be concurrent in yours could throw the balance slightly initially, but hey ho, that’s what makes the expat life so enriching and exciting!
Major perk of being in Hong Kong: being situated bang in the middle of Asia. For wanderlusters, this should sound a music to your ears. With readily available and cheap flights from Hong Kong to the rest of the continent, countries like Vietnam and Malaysia are waiting to be explored. Working in Hong Kong while becoming an Asia travel guru — not too shabby la (tip for sounding like a local in Hong Kong: at the end of every sentence add la, ar, wor, gar).
Plonking yourself down in Hong Kong is synonymous with a sparkling CV and a new outlook on life. Take the plunge, go for the job in Hong Kong you always wanted to try but didn't have the time or courage, and become part of a new culture. All the while, you’ll feast like a king on Hong Kong delicacies every day.