China is an excellent country to live and earn as an expat. China employment opportunities are not so easy to find, but the process can be simplified by using personal contacts who can help connect you to organizations in China that want someone with your expertise. You can also try job hunting online for China employment opportunities posted on job boards. However, once you’ve got a job, you’ll be the newest member of the China business and social evolution.

Working in China is challenging and fast paced, and you will get much more responsibility than you’d get back home. China employment statistics show that the China employment by sector is the growth engines for multinational corporations, as businesses and consumers purchase more and are less cost-sensitive. In the next few decades, executives with experience in China will be in high demand back in America and at top business schools, so getting a few years of China work experience in your CV definitely can’t hurt.

The China employment statistics for Expats In China

Sustained economic prosperity and an international competitive advantage are largely what Chinese workers benefit from working in China. Compared to a decade ago, China employment by industry has seen evolutionary changes. Most people who for many years toiled in under-regulated workplaces, but now, you’ll find that the new labor law reforms are improving the standards and the rights of workers throughout China.

These new laws have been commended for their progressive measures and also blamed for putting a lot of economic burdens on businesses, particularly those laws that are marginal and have caused some companies to fail. The displacement of countless Chinese migrant laborers and the recent international downturn have caused an on-going debate on the effectiveness of the new labor laws. It is, however, noteworthy, that because of these new regulations the Chinese Union has opened up its doors to foreign multinationals like Walmart and many more Fortune 500 firms. Chinese workers are now pursuing their labor rights in vast number.

The difference between a Chinese and an American employer

China’s employment law system is not the same as the U.S system and in most cases is the reverse. The U.S operates an employment-at-will system; this means that your employment can be terminated at any time for the most fickle reasons. In China, however, the opposite is the case. As long as the employee has a written contract, then it is quite hard to terminate an employee. The company must prove beyond doubt that they have valid reasons for dismissal. This entire situation makes the employer and employee considerably more adversarial than is usual in the U.S. You’ll discover that there are completely different rules in official communication when working in China. This might be a cultural shock at first but after some time, you will adjust to the new tone of business and work.

So you’ve decided to pursue China employment opportunities, what next?

Step one in your application is the submission of the below:

• A letter stating why you think you are qualified for the job you are interested in. Note that cover letters that are long isn’t quite common in China, but you should explain why you are applying for the job. The basic rule of thumb here is to show why the employer should pick you instead of a qualified Chinese citizen. Ask yourself, how many people are employed in China from the U.S, and use these China employment statistics to weigh in your decision.

• A curriculum vitae or CV, which should be about two pages in length. Your CV should contain some personal information, education, work experience, skills and achievements and career plan.

• Copies of your degrees and your diplomas. Given that education is of great importance to companies that are Chinese, you should attach as many diplomas as you have, no matter how unrelated it is to your prospective job role.

The Chinese Employment Contracts

Each new worker must be hired under the conditions of a written contract, and this contract is taken very seriously. After the first contract period expires, it may be renewed for another period with the same old conditions or modifications to previous conditions.

Establishing the period of your first employment in your contract is essential as jobs are not terminated without an excellent reason. On average, most companies in IT and other technical roles will offer you a 2-3 year contract at first. This gives you sufficient time to look for another job or settle into your current position in the hope of getting an open contract status- Open contracts in China is when the employer and employee agree that there is no definitive expiry date.

Once your application is accepted, the next step is a phone interview. If you are applying into a major corporation, you will go through several of in-person job interviews.

Before the interview imagine yourself in the position of the company that is hiring and ask yourself these questions. Why would they need to hire you and not a Chinese man who already understands the Chinese business environment, probably more experienced on the workings of the Chinese workplace, and is likely paid a fraction of the wages that you will earn? If you are applying at a global firm, wouldn’t it be more beneficial for them to hire a local worker that already understands China? Ask questions about what sector will be the best fit for you and let the China employment by sector statistics guide you. If you can honestly answer these questions, you will be able to recognize the firms that may want to hire you and understand your value. Giving you the opportunity to set your terms.

Final words…

Naturally, you may also want to work as a freelancer or be self-employed in China, but be prepared for some hurdles. The first is getting a work visa. A work visa is going to be a great deal harder to get if you are not yet in China, or if you do not have a company in China that wants to hire you. The best way around this is to ensure you have a valid job offer before traveling to China.

The tone of adverts in China might sometimes be inappropriate for your taste. Don’t be surprised to see work advertisement like “Smart and sexy typist needed.” Most Chinese companies will require a photograph along with your application and many are free to state the desirable age of their applicants. Discrimination like ageism, sexism, etc. Follow a different trend when you are not in America so be prepared.