The Job Hunt in China | 在中国寻找工作

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When I graduate with a Master’s Degree from Tsinghua University in four months, I will enter perhaps the world’s toughest job market – China.  While the official government unemployment rate has hovered around 4 percent since before the Olympic Flame was extinguished at the Bird’s Nest Stadium, recent college grads (my Chinese friends among them) tell a completely different story.  Unless you have remarkable skills in a red-hot area like computer programming, it’s nearly impossible to snag a promising job that you’re interested in, and can pay the bills, fresh out of college.

As far as I can tell, the reason rests in simple statistics.  

In 2012, China pumped out nearly seven million college grads, according to its ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. That’s seven million educated grads with sky-high expectations entering a job market that is still heavily tilted towards low-paying manufacturing jobs.  And those jobs are, indeed, there for the taking.

A serious shortage of willing labor has caused many factories in southern China’s industrial belt to engage in all-out recruiting campaigns, sometimes, my friends say, even, venturing into China’s most prestigious universities like Tsinghua and Peking University to fling out job offers.

More often than not, these recruiters are scoffed at. Factory work is looked down upon, considered far below the abilities of well-read, worldly college grads. Perhaps they shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the idea, though. Reports came out last year that detailed how these factory jobs paid more, on average, than the starting salary of a college grad in China.

The problem is that so many in China, like the U.S., hold themselves out for the perfect job – one that pays well, challenges them, and fits their area of expertise - when the jobs available don’t at all fit this criteria. That leaves Chinese college grads, just like their American counterparts, settling, in desperation, for low-paying service jobs, working in fields that have nothing to do with the fields they studied. 

My Chinese friends at Tsinghua who will soon graduate are, like me, scrambling to send out resumes, network with potential employers, and score reference letters from their professors and internship coordinators.  I can’t help but feel, though, that I, as a foreigner and native-English speaker, have a leg up in the rat race.

All seven million Chinese are competing against each other for that perfect job. Most drag through the official hiring process at big multinationals and huge Chinese firms – applying online, taking tests, going through group interviews….Outshining their fellow applicants is near-impossible when some positions attract thousands of very bright, ambitious go-getters with internships under the wings and connections to pull on. 

I, on the other hand, can often just email a company executive to inquire about an opening. Being a foreigner is sometimes that much of a novelty.

Whatever the case, I wish my friends, both foreign, and Chinese, the best of luck while job hunting before this graduation season, and I urge them all to look beyond their ideal jobs and settle for something a little more feasible.

 


 

还有四个月,我将从清华大学获取硕士学位的毕业证书,到那个时候我将会进入社会,进入全世界最困难的就业市场-中国。据了解,自从奥林匹克之前,失业几率也就只有百分之四,不过最近的毕业生(包括我的朋友)说情况并不是这样的。除非你在电脑程序方便拥有非常独特而又出色的本领,其它方面对于一个毕业生来说,能够找到一个称心的职位几乎不可能。

根据我的了解,这种现象是因某些数据而造成的。

在2012年内,根据人力资源与社会保障部门的调查,中国大学毕业生超过七百万。这就说明了有七百万充满了期望的大学生但愿能找到份好工作,不过现实摆在那里,那就是低工资的工厂职位

因为毕业生都不愿意去工厂当职员,所以导致中国的很多工厂都去大规模的招人,我朋友说有时候这些工厂都会去清华或北大去招人。

大部分时候,这些招聘官都会被鄙视,因为在工厂工作是一件让他人很瞧不起的事情,而且更是浪费毕业生的才华。不过根据调查,对于刚毕业的大学生来说,这些职位发的工资要比其它的工作要高。

问题所在就是,就像美国,大部分人都想拥有他们梦寐以求的职位-高薪,有挑战性,符合他们的专业-而现实并不会如此完美。这种现实逼迫了毕业生只能够选择底薪,而又不符合专业的职位。

跟我一起在清华的中国朋友也像我一样,马上就面临着毕业,也已经开始四处投简历,与公司联系,并且为了推荐信与老师打好关系。作为一个国际生,我感觉自己稍微有点优势。

七百万人在竞争一个梦想职位。在网上投简历,考试,小组面试。。。一个位置可能会有成千的学生来征聘。

而我,大部分时候就是发个邮件给公司的管理处,然后问问有没有空位。有时作为一个外国人也有些它的好处。

不管怎样,我祝我的朋友们,找工作好运,不过我劝他们不要把目标定的太死,有时候也需要放松。

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I have always thought before I graduated that working in the United States would be difficult. This idea was largely affected by articles and other media pieces either about either illegal immigration or barriers for foreign national individuals to find job in the United States. Many of my friends and I heard a lot of stories about the hardship people went through when they were looking for a job. All these added up and made me believe firmly that it would not be a fun experience to look for a job here. I learned later that finding a job here is not difficult as long as you know how to look for one. In my opinion, the barrier is usually there to prevent foreign nationals from taking jobs with lower pay or unfair advantage over United States citizens. As long as you can prove your value in the work you have done or demonstrate the importance of your work, there should be no problem for you to be able to work in the United States. 

Luckily for me, I managed to get hired as a full time staff member to work on the Blue Zones Project for Cedar Falls. This is a community wellbeing improvement initiative. I grew more and more passionate about my job everyday because I realized that this is such a great opportunity for me to experience working and learn more about engaging different people. However, I couldn't help but to compare the working environment and employees' attitude towards working here with Chinese culture. 

It seems that Americans are more likely to quit a job without knowing what their next step would be. Most Chinese workers would not leave their current job until they know they have another job waiting for them. Americans seem to care more about finding passion in the job and will not continue once they do not feel good about what they are doing. 

Some may say this kind of action is reckless and irresponsible, but I think it is really important to be doing whatever you feel is right for you. I believe firmly that doing something with passion will make you one of the top employees in the industry. It would motivate you to keep on learning and improving. However, I also think that before leaving a job a person should at least have a general idea of what should come next instead of just leave and  start searching later. 

All in all, I have had an awesome working experience here in the States and this definitely would help me in my future career development.

 


 

我毕业前一直认为在美国找工作会很难。这个感觉主要来自于一些网上的抨击非法移民的文章及其他媒体内容,还有不少关于美国找工作时外国人会遇到的“门槛”,我的一些朋友和我也都从不少人那听说了他们各自在找工作时所遇到的困难,所有的一切都汇聚成了一个非常明显的,“在美国找工作难”的印象。不过我后来知道了其实在美国只要你知道怎么找工作,留下来并不是很难的一件事。我认为,所谓的“门槛”是为了防止外国人以较低的工资或其他不公平的竞争因素从美国本土居民那里抢走工作。只要你能证明自己所做的工作的价值,或者展现你自己的重要性,留在美国工作绝不是一件很难的事。

我很幸运的在本市的一个公共健康项目里供职,我一天天的变的对我的工作更有热情,因为我发现这不仅仅是一个十分难得的工作经历,更是一个可以让我更多的与别人沟通的机会。不过我总是会忍不住的比较美国和中国文化上对工作的态度及工作环境。

我觉得美国人比起传统中国人更容易在不知道自己下一步的时候辞职,大部分的中国上班族不会轻易在不知自己下一步的时候离开目前的工作,而美国人更注重自己工作时是不是做的开心,做的是不是自己喜欢的工作,有没有热情等等,如果他们感觉不对那就非常有辞职不干的可能。

有人认为这是冲动和不负责任的表现,但我认为做自己喜欢的事是最重要的。我坚信从事自己有热情的工作会不断的激励工作者学习和进步,从而使他成为行业内顶尖的人才。可是我认为无论是谁,在决定离开一份工作时至少应该已经决定了下一份工作的大致方向而不是先辞职再开始考虑下一步。

总的来说,我目前的工作经历非常棒,我相信这一定能在我未来的职业发展上留下深刻和久远的印象。

language: 
Chinese