If you were almost 26 and got an interesting job in china...
January 17, 2010 5:44 PM   Subscribe

If you were almost 26 and got an interesting job in china...

Would you take it??

I'm almost 26 and I got laid off from a financial data provider in San Francisco. I have applied to about 300 jobs in the bay area over the last 3 months and only got one interview where I was dinged. My original degree was in physics by the way but I've been in the business world since graduating, I see my degree as a degree in puzzle solving with solid mental training, which is useful in the business world for making decisions. All my knowledge of the financial markets and databases was what I taught myself in the last 3 years as I have no money for school.

I've been learning mandarin (my skill is basic) and I got offered a job to be a Director of a market research company in China. The downside is that the job pays very little, close to 10$/hr US. However the cost of living is super low so I might be able to save just under 1000 a month. I've been thinking of tutoring on the weekends for around 20-25 an hour or taking other odd jobs on the weekends.

If you were almost 26 and couldn't find a job in the states but found one overseas that was going to train you to be an executive would you take it??

I'm scared I'm making a huge financial risk but at the same time it would be very cool to fly around China and play the part as director for a few years while I'm 26...The problem is it's on a Chinese salary since it is a Chinese company so I'd make less than an English Teacher in China...I'm absolutely broke by the way because I still haven't paid off all of my undergrad debt and my parents do not help me out unless there is an emergency.

What do you guys think? Would you do it if you were in my shoes? What would you do? I need some guidance and opinions..
posted by townster to Work & Money (42 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Go for it.
posted by dfriedman at 5:47 PM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Do it. Before you go try to do some work though. Before I left for my international experience, I took whatever work I could get (waitress, dog walker) so I could have some savings while there. And where I went was $$$$ and I got paid just a living stipend. You can live on less than you think! I remember that people thought I was crazy, but I had an awesome time.
posted by melissam at 5:52 PM on January 17, 2010

Will you regret it if you don't? If I was in your shoes, and I didn't go for it, I'd wonder if it was the kind of thing I'd regret forever.
posted by NoraReed at 5:53 PM on January 17, 2010

Not for $10/hr I wouldn't.

There are plenty of jobs in China that you can get with an expat package once you have some experience. You could also just attempt to ver a work visa and move there if you have some high-value skill.
posted by rr at 6:02 PM on January 17, 2010

I'd totally go for it. Just make sure you have enough money saved that you can buy a return ticket home.
posted by TooFewShoes at 6:02 PM on January 17, 2010

You're broke and you can't find a job. This is a job, so you'll have some income, maybe you'll be able to put money away too, plus it'll be exciting and new, and a resume builder, and you'll get stories to tell your grandkids.
I like the idea of getting a whatever-you-can-get job before you go so you'll have some cash. I would also research the organization that's sending you and make sure everything is on the up and up, if you haven't already. And spend the rest of your time learning the language. It sounds like a great opportunity!
posted by amethysts at 6:06 PM on January 17, 2010

I've managed to save enough cash that I could go back home and be alright, plus my parents have promised to fly me back in case things go sour. But I don't have much more than this..

10$/hr is crap, but it is better than 0$/hr..... and sadly no one is hiring me here, it sucks because I studied on my own really hard with the goal to break into quant..finance and now that isn't exactly the best place to be looking for a job...

Hey rr, what do you think of trying to get an expat package once I'm over there and more experienced? I.e. just hounding Us/Canadian (I'm a dual citizen) companies to see if they can squeeze a foreigner into their ranks over there?
posted by townster at 6:19 PM on January 17, 2010

I'd say go for it assuming the company offering the job has some history and is legit.

Maybe the salary isn't that great, but I don't know the ex-pat job market in China at all. I imagine the very best packages would be of a salary + benefits similar, or likely more, to a comparable job in the West.

The big advantage you'll have is while you're there you'll be able to network with the other ex-pat's so be in prime position when new vacancies appear.

Personally I wouldn't bother teaching freelance, if you have enough to live on and save $1000 a month then that can be your "disaster" fund. In a year you'll be sitting on $10k or more. And you can use your freetime to get to know the area that'll be your new home.

I didn't live outside of my home country in my 20's and I regret that.
posted by selton at 6:21 PM on January 17, 2010

To be honest it sounds kind of fishy. If you haven't already, you should do your homework about the company, and find out exactly what it is you'll be doing as a/the director. Make sure everything is aboveboard with your working status in China as well.

I've heard of companies in China that hire Western expats cheaply for the sole purpose of having a Western face at meetings or expos to give them an air of legitimacy, or to play the role of "foreign investor." Not saying that that will be the case with this company, but you should ask around with people who have experience in China, especially if you've never been. There are a great deal of scams going on there involving foreigners. A good place to ask might be Chinese Forums.
posted by pravit at 6:28 PM on January 17, 2010 [3 favorites]

I've been working in Beijing now for about a year, and overall, I'd also say go for it. China is a fascinating country and it's a great place to be at this moment in history. The fact that you have some basic Mandarin is a real plus. A couple of points to consider:

-- You didn't say where in China you would be based. Beijing and Shanghai are great cites, and there are some other good places to be, but there are also some pretty grubby industrial cities in the interior of the country that might be tougher from a quality of life perspective.

-- I wouldn't hold out lots of hope for the type of expat package that rr suggests. Expats are hugely expensive and for that reason, more and more Western companies are turning to locals to fill positions and returning expats to their countries of origin. That's not to say that they don't exist, but it will be difficult for a company to justify the expense, particularly for a new hire.

-- The expat communities in most cities are quite tight. As selton rightly says, once you start networking with them, other better paying job opportunities are likely to arise.

Best of luck.
posted by hawkeye at 6:31 PM on January 17, 2010

Well I do know for a fact that the company is legit. They are a Chinese company but the foreigner that I'm replacing is actually a friend of a friend (did not know this before hand, small world !!) so I trust their judgement...The experienced worked for them 2 because they got into the best biz schools in the world.

I doubt I'll apply to biz school because my grades aren't that good and I'm more interested in just making money and working for now, but you are absolutely right Selton.

I'm going to do it, not because of anyones opinions on here, I was 80/20 on doing it but it's good to hear that other people think it is a good idea.

Thanks for your input so far everyone...
posted by townster at 6:32 PM on January 17, 2010

the job is in beijing
posted by townster at 6:34 PM on January 17, 2010

Do what you want.
I will tell you my only anecdotal answer.

I had a work acquaintance who went to China for a two week trip subsidized by his local city government (Eastern Michigan area) and the Chinese government. He came back full of propaganda on how the Chinese were going to own the the United States and the Earth in ten years. We got stories about how wonderful it is there.

I have a life-long friend (met in college, I've known him for 40 years) who went to China for his job to teach and learn manufacturing methods. He came back the same way. A changed person. This was a person who was very into the natural way of things. Chopped his own wood for his home heat. Did not buy thing that were over packaged, etc. A changed man. "China is the only way!" Now, I have never seen someone so wasteful. He says, "It's the American way to waste, the Chinese are so thoughtful." He is returning there to live as soon as he can.

Now watch this: YouTube Link

Do what you want.
I would not do it for $100/hour.
posted by Drasher at 6:49 PM on January 17, 2010

If you want to live in Asia, you will love it. If you are not sure, or don't want to, you will grow to hate it. :)

I took a job in Tokyo, and absolutely love it. It opens your mind up, and your opportunity could just be a stepping stone to something better. Or it'll fail and you go back home, and chalk it up to "life experience". At least you tried.
posted by lundman at 6:54 PM on January 17, 2010


yeah, I've seen the ordos videos...

Ordos is really interesting but i guess time will tell. There was a similar project I believe 10-20 years ago where there was a related 'motor city' that received extensive criticism from the west, "it will never work' etc. It ended up working, not so much that the west was wrong, but in my personal opinion I think it has more to due with the fact that China plays a different socioeconomic ball game altogether. The way government is intertwined with business makes such projects possible. In western society this would never work under normal economic rules but this is china we are talking about. I'm not saying it is right and believe me I like the west better because of its freedoms, but I want to go to china because they will employ me and I can learn their business climate and culture.

I'm not of the mindset that China is superior, etc. I just look out for myself but you can't deny their place in the world being the 3rd largest economy. If anything this experience will lead to something down the road that lies between both east and west...
posted by townster at 7:06 PM on January 17, 2010

Do it. As long as it is a legit job, your China experience will be invaluable and you will be able to parlay it into another, better opportunity down the road. People too often look at an opportunity on paper, how much it pays for how many hours etc. But the life experience you will gain will be invaluable. This century everyone will be talking about China. It will come up in every dinner party you attend for the next fifty years at least--and you will be the guy who gets to say, "Well actually, I've worked in China and..." invaluable, I tell you!
posted by the foreground at 7:20 PM on January 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

I like your thinking foreground...
posted by townster at 7:27 PM on January 17, 2010

I'd do it more for the (life) experience than anything else. Te grass is always greener, but I definitely wish I spent some time working abroad.

I also really loved China when I visited, and know people who have worked in various positions there and come away with only good feelings.
posted by backwards guitar at 7:42 PM on January 17, 2010

It's good that you're going for it. The year I spent in China was probably the best of my life. One thing to think about, Beijing (and Shanghai) are pretty expensive places to live. This isn't to say that you can't live there, and live well. You will need, though, to adjust your ideas of what living well means, in some ways. While the comforts of home are pretty readily available, they are available at a premium, one which might make living within your means more difficult.

Read, if you can, Coming Home Crazy by the late Bill Holm. While it might be a bit dated, it really helped me when I had problems adjusting to life in China.

And enjoy. The food will be amazing, the people great, and living in Beijing should be fascinating.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:46 PM on January 17, 2010

I know of a guy teaching English in China whose rent is about 400 USD for a two-bedroom, so he has a roommate and only pays the equivalent of 200 USD. Meals, especially if you know some Chinese, can be found for one or two dollars. The point being, you really can save more money than you'd expect.

But, I'm curious as to why they won't guarantee you a monthly salary. Actually that's kind of a red flag. At least in Korea foreigners won't touch hourly pay jobs unless they're desperate because it usually means "You're going to be doing shit that is work, but we don't consider it work unless you're 'on site' or 'in the classroom.'"

So I dunno.
posted by bardic at 8:04 PM on January 17, 2010

10$/hr is crap, but it is better than 0$/hr..... and sadly no one is hiring me here, it sucks because I studied on my own really hard with the goal to break into quant..finance and now that isn't exactly the best place to be looking for a job...

Since I am not part of the "rah! do it!" crowd I want to provide a little background to give you some help evaluating my opinion and maybe provide a few more details.

China has a lot of problems internally which includes pollution and whatnot. For $10/hr. your flexibility is going to be incredibly limited in terms of being picky about where you live and what you eat and if you're a responsible guy, that's less than you'd be making at just about any job you would find in the US. So there is an opportunity cost there.

The two most important things you should be doing in your 20s is: get your finances set up (if you have debt, pay it off, if you don't, start putting together first an emergency fund and then goal-targeted funds) and building your professional network. At $10/hr (what happens if the RMB floats?), it will be impossible to save, but that's an OK trade if you are getting a big payback in professional network. It is generally far, far easier to get your ducks in a row in your native culture.

How much will this benefit you professionally vs. putting some effort into working out why your current approach is not working? That's one question you need to answer.

The other question you need to answer is how a director of a marketing research company can possibly be paid only $10/hr for a legitimate opportunity. I think this one deserves real consideration.

[For reference, I am not at all against the idea of working overseas even if just for a change of pace -- it's the reason I've looked at expat options in depth. I did an east asian language in school with the intent of moving there when I graduated to work in business or technology. At the time I was doing this, the overseas country was booming and likely to take over the world, kicking America's ass, and so on. All of that started to change and by the time I was done it had all changed; what looked like an invincible economy was revealed to be a bubble and it collapsed totally. Yeah, yeah, China is different, but you should make sure the opportunity you're taking doesn't put you at risk. A friend who did the same program ended up in a rather dire situation.]

Expat packages are for employees who agree to do a short stint overseas -- you are not likely to find one once you're there. They may hire you, but it will be at prevailing local wages (maybe slightly more).

Hey, if my current plan doesn't start panning out (and soon), I'm going to be looking hard at ways to work overseas since it's something I've really wanted to do for fifteen years, so if you do it more power to you, just be aware of the tradeoffs.
posted by rr at 8:37 PM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Is it $10 an hour or $1600 a month full time? If the former, it sounds fishy, if the latter, it might be okay.

Make sure you're clear about what kind of visa they'd be providing, they should be setting you up with a residence permit.
posted by bluejayk at 8:54 PM on January 17, 2010


no it is around $1300 full time on a salary and it is guranteed... I said 10$ an hour because they also include paid lunches everyday and other perks that are a part of the job, (like assiting me with finding an apartment, airline flights,bonuses+ commission etc.).

The reason why it is cheap is because it is a small company which started in China. My salary will be double what the average Chinese person makes so as far as living in China goes I should be fine...but I'll be the only foreigner working for the organization.

I think it will be worth it because my job search is just not working in the bay area, I have seriously applied to so many jobs and I can't find anything that is related to my work experience in quanitative finance. What am I to do to survive if I don't have a job at all?

yeah 10$/hr is incredibly picky in terms of what options I have, but it's more than zero options right now and I'm running out of money here in the states. San Francisco is an incredibly expensive city and I am moving more out of necessity. I feel like I am qualified as anyone applying to the jobs that I want and it is not working because there are just too many people my age looking for jobs. There are too many qualified people right now, especially in my realm of specialized finance...so I must look elsewhere.

I think this experience will pan out because I'll be doing business at the Director level which is something I won't find at 26 in the states. I want to come back and use my newly gained management and cultural expertise to try and land a higher paying job...not to mention I will have done business in all major cities in china and have a feel for the place.
posted by townster at 9:30 PM on January 17, 2010

I would absolutely do it. Any experience is better than no experience and this actually sounds like good experience. And it pays enough to get by, what more could you ask for in this economy?!

You're choice is really between possibly indefinite unemployment and a potentially great opportunity. Worse case scenario you come home in 3 months and are exactly where you are now. I really don't see what you have to lose. The chances of getting your dream job next week is pretty much zero in this economy. The fact that a friend of a friend can vouch for the company is a very good sign, but I would call up that friend of a friend and drill them on every detail about the job you can. I would personally do it in a heartbeat if I were you.
posted by whoaali at 9:34 PM on January 17, 2010

At 26 years old I don't see any reason not to take the job, as long as they're paying for your flight and providing a work permit and Z visa. I was slightly younger than you are now when I quit a fairly high paying job in the US and moved to Shanghai seven years ago to take a middle-management position at a large multi-national on a local salary package. I left that job eventually and moved on to more interesting things. If you're a career kind of person, the China experience will be good for your resume. If you're not, there are tons of cool opportunities here, and the low cost of living makes it easy to take risks. However, $10/hour = $1600/month = 11000RMB = low end of English-teacher pay in Shanghai. Beijing is a little cheaper, and it's more than enough to live on, but it's still a pretty low salary for a foreigner in China.

On preview, I see that it's $1300/month, or about 9000RMB. That's still enough to get by on, but I doubt you'll be able to save more than US$500/month. Anyway, if you decide you don't like it you can always find another job pretty easily, or just go back to the States. What's there to lose?
posted by twisted mister at 9:38 PM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Do it! Even if you hate it, you certainly won't regret it. I'm just back from living overseas for two years. Even when I wished I was home, I never ever regretted it.
posted by bluedaisy at 10:21 PM on January 17, 2010

Do it, do it, do it. It isn't about the money - this would be the right thing to do for $5.50 per hour. It isn't about money, it is about getting this Golden Lucky Opportunity to see the world.

Who do you want to be - this guy or this guy?

Carpe diem, baby. When you get there tell them Meatbomb sent you (I get kickbacks on Karmic Life Growth referrals).
posted by Meatbomb at 10:21 PM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

The friend of a friend is the person I am replacing, the experience worked out for them and they got into one of the best business schools in the world (MBA) on a 60K scholarship. I won't say the school but it is within the top 3 business schools in the world...

10$/hr or not I think this will lead to something else... The pay is only low because that is just what directors make in China..

They won't provide me a Z visa as the first 3 months will be an internship/training period so they will give me an F visa which is ok for internships. The stipend for this is supposed to provide only for my housing so it's not really a salary which is what F visas are for aside from short business trips. The interhship housing allowance is 4000K rmb a month for the training period.

During this period I will make half of what I'll make as the director but they will reapply for a Z visa after the training period as outlined in the contract. Unfortunately I had to pay for my flight there but after that they will provide me with flights. I think it makes sense and is reasonable...as a lot of foreigners go over and then switch jobs immediately...plus they are a small company.

Ideally I want to work for a Us company based out of there and luckily they do business solely with US/UK companies looking to expand their products into China so at worst maybe I could parlay this experience into doing something for the Us players later...
posted by townster at 10:24 PM on January 17, 2010

Just chiming in about the salary issues...while around 9000 RMB would be considered ridiculously low elsewhere, it is indeed on par and much more than what locals are making. For instance, when I was working in marketing here in Beijing, I know for a fact that I was making twice as much as my colleague with the exact same title.

Expat salaries, other than English teaching salaries, have been declining for years, and the kind of expat packages that senior managers and executives used to see are now far and few between.

Where salaries are really rising are the kind of jobs that young, educated, completely bilingual Chinese who have studied abroad excel at. The language issue is important. Before, you could be a young foreigner straight out of college without any Mandarin skills, and expect a starting salary of 10,000 RMB a month, but nowadays lack of, or non-fluency in Mandarin, is a dealbreaker for many companies, both Chinese and foreign.

Beijing IS an expensive town, I say this even after having lived in New York, especially if you live like an expat, meaning taking taxis often, going to expensive bars (50 RMB and up in Sanlitun), eating out often, etc.

Do make sure that they get you your work visa, that will save you an expensive and painful trip to Hong Kong, Seoul or Mongolia to deal with that sort of thing.

Townster, if you want to grab a coffee when you're in town, I'm always happy to meet new people, especially a fellow MeFite!
posted by so much modern time at 10:54 PM on January 17, 2010

Do it! Do it! Don't look back! I can't tell you how glad I am that I lived abroad. Even if it's not your favorite thing in the world at the time, you'll get to see the U.S. from a new point of view while away. You don't get reverse culture shock from vacations, just longer experiences like this, and you won't experience it until you come back. But that alone will make the experience worth it.
posted by blazingunicorn at 10:55 PM on January 17, 2010

See it as being paid to learn Mandarin. That skills in itself will be a massive bonus once you decide to move on.
posted by doogyrev at 11:25 PM on January 17, 2010

Just chiming in on the salary issue here. While 9000 RMB would indeed be low elsewhere, OP is correct that it's on par and still higher than most local salaries.

One important thing to note is that OP has mentioned that his Mandarin skills are basic. Where salaries are really rising are the jobs that require FULLY bilingual speakers, and most of those jobs are going to young, educated Chinese who have studied abroad and have both experience outside of China and speak English fluently. The days where young graduates without any work experience and without any Mandarin skills could just show up in China and get a great job that ISN'T English teaching are over.

I have a friend who is currently looking for a job now in Beijing, and even though she has some language skills and great work experience behind her, her lack of fluency has proven to be a dealbreaker for many companies both local and foreign.

BTW, on 4000 RMB/month, you'll be able to get a pretty nice flat.

Do make sure that the company gets you your work visa if the job works out for you, it will save you an expensive and pointless visa run to Hong Kong, Seoul or Mongolia.

Beijing IS an expensive town, especially if you "live like an expat." By that I mean going out drinking in expensive bars (50 RMB and up for drinks), eating out a lot in non-Chinese restaurants, taking taxis, etc.

Townster, if you want to grab a coffee when you're in town, I'll be more than happy to meet another MeFite! and do MeMail me if you have any questions about living in Beijing.
posted by so much modern time at 11:25 PM on January 17, 2010

Yes the 4000 rmb shouldn't be bad, my girlfriend is moving with me as well so I figure we wil split like a 3500 rmb flat.

The housing allowance is included in the 9000 rmb a month salary as the director so I may save a good amount among the 6000 rmb or so that I have left over. Meals are taken care of for me during the lunch hours as well so that'll help.

Either way, my goal is to come into work and blow everyone away during the training period. I'm going to work really hard to get things done the right way and I'm going to try hard to learn the language. They require that I take 1 hour of the day to practice mandarin so in a way they are paying me to learn the language.

I figure if I beat their expectations then I may be able to negotiate a higher salary and prove that I'll be valuable to them after the training period. In the meantime I'll search other offers, I have a few other interviews lined up as well while I'm over there.

I'm finding my job search to be way better in China than in the bay area and I don't even live there!
posted by townster at 11:43 PM on January 17, 2010

That seems pay seems so low. I'm in Nanjing, where it's dead easy to find a job teaching English for at least 100RMB an hour. Experience might be worth it, but the pay is ridiculously low. Compare also to the skilled teachers in Beijing I know at an international school who get between $3000 and $5000 a month, if not more.

I'm also worried about the weirdness with visas and half-pay and all that. Seems very strange.
posted by msbrauer at 11:48 PM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Funny: in your comments you are emphasizing the pro's, so to me that is a sign that you want to go and are just looking for confirmation.
Throwing in my personal opinion, I say go for it as well. What is the worse that can happen? That the job is crap, you don't like it in China and you go back after a month? As long as you earn enough to pay for a house and food, and you can afford a return ticket, you have nothing to lose. You are learning more than you do sitting at home.

PS you can always look for a better paid job once you get there
posted by eau79 at 12:01 AM on January 18, 2010

You sound like you really want to come to China, and I don't think you really have anything to lose by doing it. However, the F-visa thing and half-pay thing are red flags. You should definitely come and have an adventure, but prepare to be disappointed if (when?) you get screwed.

Also, Chinese directors at Chinese companies (in Shanghai, anyway) still do make significantly more than 9000RMB/month. You say you're replacing a friend of a friend who verified the legitimacy of this company, but I very seriously doubt you'll be doing the kind of Director-level work you're expecting. The fact that you'll be transitioning directly from intern to director in three months should tell you something.
posted by twisted mister at 2:14 AM on January 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

If you don't have anyone but yourself to look after, do it. Even getting screwed will be better (in the long run) than sitting home with no success after applying for 300 jobs.
posted by pracowity at 4:53 AM on January 18, 2010

Like pravit, I find this a bit fishy-sounding -- If it really is $10 an hour, that's less than RMB 70 -- which is less than half of what a basically unlettered frat-boy can make teaching English here fresh out of the gate, even in a second-tier city. Look into this company, f'reals. There are better jobs in Beijing. If you do take the gig, be very certain that they will handle your visa for you: there are ways to deal with working here on a non-working visa, but you should really not have to be dealing with them -- especially at that pay grade.

That said, China is a great place to be, and Beijing is a really fun city. Have you been here before?
posted by bokane at 8:53 AM on January 18, 2010

k. Sounds like you've thought it through.

eau79 says "what's the worst that can happen?" and this is true -- if you've got family who will rescue you in the worst case scenario, then no worries.

The salary sounds quite low for a director position; Metafilter is often very confused about salaries and when these threads come up it always amazes me how wide the gap between the collective (mis)understanding of the compensatation of people who are experienced or at a higher level (incorrectly estimated as very low) and the reality of what experienced or higher level positions actually pay.

In terms of adventure, great, go for it, but keep your eyes very open and be skeptical.

I still say that if you are having that much trouble finding a job, especially in the bay area, with a college degree, that something is wrong with your approach and that you might want to try and understand what's going wrong even if you take this opportunity.
posted by rr at 9:09 AM on January 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

warning: i work for a chinese company though i'm in america and you might be in for a shock with the difference between work cultures. i have it better than my team in china since i'm in the US, but you will likely work long overtime hours without any OT pay as well as weekends. and forget about vacation. the only vacation my boss has taken since i started working here was a week long stay in the hospital for stress. jobs in the US and Canada are REALLY cushy compared to jobs in china, even i had culture shock at how i was expected to work and i'm taiwanese and fluent in mandarin

that said, if you can't find a job here, may as well- a friend of mine went to taiwan to work for pennies for awhile when he also couldn't get a job in the bay area
posted by raw sugar at 10:14 AM on January 18, 2010

Well to wrap up,

The job seems legit, part of my responsibility will be managing teams catering to fortune 500 companies, I'll act as a key note speaker on several topics at events, I'll also be 3rd in command of the company so I'll be able to influence decisions and the company direction etc. I know I am close to the director level because I was in a similar role in my previous job, albeit not at the director level but I was next in line and above many others... They want to hire me because I'm an expert at crafting quantitative products ( I've published over 1300+pages, created financial data feed products, etc) and they want to expand in that region. To me I see this as a shot to actually grow the business, if I can do do that and prove that I'm worth a lot then I'll ask for a much higher salary or leave. I understand they are small and don't have the excess reserves to just pay someone 2x as much, they are almost just beyond a start up...In someways I'd say I'd want to do the same thing and lowball a salary in hopes to find someone really dedicated vs. just another cog in a large company.... I dunno

The company visa thing doesn't sound fishy to me because they have handled everything. They have promised to fly me to hong kong and take care of all my travel arrangements that are visa related. They took me on the F visa just for the internship/training period and have said if they want to continue with me they will sponsor a Z visa, thus they will pay for any Hong Kong/Korea type flights to reapply my visa.

9000 may be low for english teaching, but for small companies in china it is still a pretty decent salary and probably around average so I hear. If I truly kick ass and they know it, I'll say pay me 15000 or more...

I just came back from the consulate today and my visa invitation was approved no problem, which they paid for.

I'm going to do it because it will provide a lot of networking opportunities and I'll be a great intro to China. I may ultimately find something else but I have multiple interviews lined up already in Beijing with other companies that seem like they will pay better. Either way, it is getting me over there which is the kind of experience that I want at the moment. Not to mention that I also have 2 side businesses that I have been working on forever and I want to launch them in China.

The businesses are a GRe/SAT vocab online prep service and the other is an algorithmic trading model that I've developed and I'm looking for foreign investors to pool money together and let the algorithm run.

Also, the entire company is western in practice so I've been told. Everyone knows English and was educated in English speaking countries and my replacement says she has rarely ever worked weekends...Since they are contract based sometimes long nights are required but for the most part it's a steady, normal work day from what I hear...either way I'll find out but at least I'll be over there in Beijing so I'll be nearby to search for other opportunities...Also if things go sour I have a last resort English teaching resume on hand.

Anyways so that is my story, if anyone would like to meet up in Beijing let me know, I'm going to pursue this opporunity because I think it'll be worth it in the long run. If anyone disagrees I'd be curious to know your reasoning at this point...
posted by townster at 5:02 PM on January 18, 2010

Please keep us posted!
posted by tksh at 6:56 AM on February 2, 2010

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