The job search in Suzhou can be rather challenging, especially for newly-arrived expats. Of course, there is the language barrier and the need for a visa. But did you know that you will get nowhere without a business network? Read our article and learn more about finding a job in Suzhou.
Business Networking in Suzhou
As a seasoned expat, you already know that professional networking is important for a successful job search but everyone who understands the Suzhou culture knows that in Suzhou it is essential. Not only will your contacts be able to inform you if a position in their company opens up, they will also be able to attest to your good character. This is important as you cannot do business in Suzhou without personal relationships and trust. Knowing someone at the company you applied to is definitely an advantage.
In order to network properly, you should start by joining discussion groups on job networking sites and getting in touch with people who are working in Suzhou already. It makes sense to spend a few weeks in your future home, to meet as many people as you can. Proper business cards come in handy as well. Remember to have your business card translated into Simplified Chinese on one side and English on the other.
The Online Job Search
If you don’t find a job through professional networking, you may consider giving online job sites a chance. More and more companies advertise open positions online. However, most of these websites are in Chinese and not necessarily directed at foreigners. Therefore, it is important that you at least have a basic understanding of the Chinese language.
If you find a job ad that seems fitting for you, try to activate your business network in China and see if you can get in touch with a company representative. Your chances of actually getting hired will increase tremendously. Keep in mind that sending unsolicited applications to different companies is not a good way to conduct the job search in China.
Teaching English in Suzhou
Many expats in China start out as language teachers, particularly for the English language. Through their students, many of them learn of open positions or get in touch with a prospective employer. This job also offers a lot of flexibility and free time to make new business contacts and to network. Teaching English is also popular among global minds looking for a “trial period” to figure out if China is, indeed, a fitting destination for them.
Unfortunately, language teachers do not earn much. In many cases, the salary is barely enough to pay for basic living expenses. On top of that, you will still need to secure a Z visa to work at a reputable language school.