Career progression in Taiwan... is there hope?

Moderator: John

Career progression in Taiwan... is there hope?

Postby honolulu86 » 04 May 2012, 23:39

This is another post about non teaching jobs in Taiwan. I am thinking of going to Taiwan after this summer, but I don't want to teach English if there is any possible way to avoid it. I spent a year teaching on the mainland some time ago... actually there are worse jobs to be had, but the lack of career progression was really frustrating. I understand that there are many barriers to foreigners finding non-teaching jobs in Taiwan that range from legal to cultural, but some people are still able to make it happen.

One issue that people have brought up is that many non teaching jobs actually pay less than teaching in addition to requiring vastly increased working hours and stress. Another one is visa issues that make it more complex to hire foreigners for jobs Taiwanese people could do. Non-teaching jobs like proofreading and translating arguably also suffer from the same lack of career progression that teaching has.

Assuming somebody is willing to put up with low wages and high stress for several years to gain experience, is there any chance for someone with a non-technical background (MA in economics) to find an interesting job? If somebody teaches for a few years, gets an open work permit, and is willing to take a low salary, do more opportunities open up? Would you guys say that there are more or less non-teaching opportunities in a place like Beijing or Shanghai?
honolulu86
Ink Still Wet in Passport (shífēn xīnshǒu)
Ink Still Wet in Passport (shífēn xīnshǒu)
 
Posts: 6
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 04 May 2012, 22:32
1 Recommends(s)



Re: Career progression in Taiwan... is there hope?

Postby achdizzy1099 » 05 May 2012, 00:23

No.

There is absolutely no career advisor anywhere on this planet that professes Taiwan as a good place to get started.

Every single *male* 'big nose-er' who is here (most of us English teachers) are in the same 'boat' as you, and follow this montra:

Reason #1 for justifying a life in Taiwan:

"Taiwan has amazing women that put a smile on your face daily. no doubt" :discodance:

Reason #2:

"Taiwan is, by far, the most affordable of the few Asian permanent destinations" :thumbsup:

Reason #3:

"Taiwan offers western transplants a sense of an 'exoctic, non mediocre' lifestyle without the danger and instability of other locales in the east" :2cents:

and finally...
Reason #4
"They are friendly mo-fos who let you live very well in their county without speaking a lick of their language while concurrently giving a fuck about their culture" :popcorn:

So no, if none of these sentences sounds like a justification for you, go somewhere else because Taiwan pays like shit and there are too many smart (but also trapped) locals who have to fight for the limited opportunities that exist here

T
Some people have a big mouth.....

This post was recommended by 2 Forumosans: Tiger Mountaineer (07 May 2012, 16:56), tommy525 (05 May 2012, 13:21)
Rating: 8%
Forumosan avatar
achdizzy1099
Chair-throwing Legislator (rēng yǐzi de lìfǎ wěiyuán)
Chair-throwing Legislator (rēng yǐzi de lìfǎ wěiyuán)
 
Posts: 305
Joined: 15 Aug 2010, 02:11
Location: Taipei
5 Recommends(s)
41 Recognized(s)



Re: Career progression in Taiwan... is there hope?

Postby *monkey* » 05 May 2012, 01:34

It's a pointless discussion without stating what career are you hoping to pursue.
Floggings will continue until morale improves

Monkey's portmanteau of the day: Scootard
Forumosan avatar
*monkey*
Wild Chicken Bus Driver (yě jī chē sī jī)
Wild Chicken Bus Driver (yě jī chē sī jī)
 
Posts: 1978
Joined: 29 Aug 2001, 16:01
Location: Taipei, Free China
4 Recommends(s)
66 Recognized(s)



Re: Career progression in Taiwan... is there hope?

Postby honolulu86 » 05 May 2012, 01:38

achdizzy1099 wrote:No.

There is absolutely no career advisor anywhere on this planet that professes Taiwan as a good place to get started.

Every single *male* 'big nose-er' who is here (most of us English teachers) are in the same 'boat' as you, and follow this montra:

Reason #1 for justifying a life in Taiwan:

"Taiwan has amazing women that put a smile on your face daily. no doubt" :discodance:

Reason #2:

"Taiwan is, by far, the most affordable of the few Asian permanent destinations" :thumbsup:

Reason #3:

"Taiwan offers western transplants a sense of an 'exoctic, non mediocre' lifestyle without the danger and instability of other locales in the east" :2cents:

and finally...
Reason #4
"They are friendly mo-fos who let you live very well in their county without speaking a lick of their language while concurrently giving a fuck about their culture" :popcorn:

So no, if none of these sentences sounds like a justification for you, go somewhere else because Taiwan pays like shit and there are too many smart (but also trapped) locals who have to fight for the limited opportunities that exist here

T


Yeah, it was the same in mainland China... most of the teachers on the mainland are like the waiters in New York who all want to become actors, very few actually succeed.

Aside from those four reasons, I love the different cultural setting, I really enjoy getting to use my Chinese in daily life, it is far away from my family, and I am utterly disillusioned with the political situation in the USA (I think this relates to our culture, it is not purely an economic issue or a question of electing new leaders) and just want to get out at this point.

My perspective is that Taiwan maybe has low pay and limited opportunities, but isn't it the same everywhere now? Career opportunities in my home country (the USA) are very bleak too. There was a recent report about how over 50% of fresh graduates are underemployed, and the disastrous job reports from the last few months make me feel like it could be many years and large structural adjustments to the world economy before the situation goes back to anything approaching normal. Out of the people I graduated with most are not doing so well. One person got an ibanking job, laid off after one year and unemployed ever since, many people ended up teaching in Asia, many people are working non college jobs or crappy sales jobs, some people escaped to graduate school, some joined the military. Out of the people who are working at professional jobs in their fields, many are working at jobs paying low wages ($12-14 an hour) with questionable advancement opportunities (for example, they have coworkers with CPAs and many years of experience working for less than $35,000 a year in one of the most expensive areas in the USA). These people all went to a medium sized state research university, the highest ranked one in our state. A few people are doing well, while a large percentage of these people are not getting the work experience that they need to get started in their careers.

My depressingly overachieving cousins all seem to be getting jobs as doctors or management consultants or big law lawyers...but I think it is only a small fraction of people who are able to do this, and I don't have much of a shot at these types of jobs right now, too mediocre :(

Working in Taiwan would be a dream for me, and in my opinion it is a dream worth striving for. Still, as an American the best career possibilities are probably in the USA... I don't want to still be teaching in 10 years and always be wondering what would have happened if I had just moved to DC or something and tried to build my dream career there instead. It is a hard decision
honolulu86
Ink Still Wet in Passport (shífēn xīnshǒu)
Ink Still Wet in Passport (shífēn xīnshǒu)
 
Posts: 6
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 04 May 2012, 22:32
1 Recommends(s)



Re: Career progression in Taiwan... is there hope?

Postby achdizzy1099 » 05 May 2012, 02:29

My friend,

I was not kidding about my original post. I'm not sure why you are so determined to get to Taiwan, but I'll just go ahead and assume at least a few of my (4) 'laws' rings true:

It is going to require outragous amounts of gumption and luck. You don't sound too thrilled with teaching, but you may have to do just that at first.

You speak and read Chinese, so this is a huge advantage.

A huge disadvantage is that Taiwan has some shitty COLA laws that make it balls-hard to companies hire foreigners, especially inexperienced ones.

So, If you love Taiwan so much that you just can't live without it, than I suggest finding a teaching job, then start networking to get the hell out.

I've only met one professional (foreigner) friend here that didn't start off teaching first. It's rare.

To succeed here requires creativity and persistence. You will find that creating your own commerce will be easier than trying to find someone to hire you into theirs. Yet after all is said and done, most of my teaching friends still make more money than the career oriented ones. This, as any Economics 101 freshman could explain, is due to the simple laws of supply and demand.
If you want to compete with the locals for jobs and money, prepare yourself to have to work like they do. :wink:

T
Some people have a big mouth.....

This post was recommended by Charlie Jack (05 May 2012, 13:07)
Rating: 4%
Forumosan avatar
achdizzy1099
Chair-throwing Legislator (rēng yǐzi de lìfǎ wěiyuán)
Chair-throwing Legislator (rēng yǐzi de lìfǎ wěiyuán)
 
Posts: 305
Joined: 15 Aug 2010, 02:11
Location: Taipei
5 Recommends(s)
41 Recognized(s)



Re: Career progression in Taiwan... is there hope?

Postby Mr He » 05 May 2012, 12:33

If you want to be a stockbroker, then there are opportunities.

At a local house, they start you out at NT$60-70K per month, you may get raises, but do not count on it. There are new year bonuses though.

If you then make it into a foreign house, and work hard, you will have it made, I here mean to the tune of NT$150-400k a month.

Background in economics, western IE white? face, and fluent chinese?

You should go for something like that instead of teaching. They might want to start you out as an editor, however in a stock brokerage, it can lead to analysis or sales if you show a little flair and they get an opening. I saw that happening several times.

An alternative would be to get a sales job in a local firm, and work your way from there.

OK a little about myself. I came here late 2000, and through a connection I landed a job paying NT$100k per month some 2 weeks after arriving.

I did that for 3 years, by what time I was sick of stocks.

After that, I decided to do sales in a local firm. I went from NT$110k plus a company car to NT$65k, and even worse work pressure. After one year, I had had enough, and quit in order to start my own firm, which I have been running since 2004. Today, I work with a huge wholesaler in Australia, and I have started my own wholesale importer in the UK, with a view into expanding into the US, once I learned the ropes regarding how to run an international company and got the UK branch to deliver a steady profit. In our rather specialized niche I am the biggest exporter from Taiwan to Australia, and I plan to repeat the feat in the UK in 2-3 years.

I have never taught here, I know a few who have not taught either.
Jeg er hvad jeg er.

Bring Zain back!

This post was recommended by Charlie Jack (05 May 2012, 13:05)
Rating: 4%
Mr He
Maitreya Buddha (Mílèfó)
 
Posts: 10063
Joined: 31 Oct 2000, 17:01
Location: Near the tower of doom
77 Recommends(s)
105 Recognized(s)



Re: Career progression in Taiwan... is there hope?

Postby superking » 05 May 2012, 12:36

Short answer: NO.

Longer answer: SUPER NO.
There are millions of people in the world. And none of those people is an extra. They're all leads in their own stories.

If you lose one sense, your other senses are enhanced. That's why people with no sense of humour have an increased sense of self-importance.
superking
Presidential Advisor (zǒng tǒng gù wèn)
Presidential Advisor (zǒng tǒng gù wèn)
 
Posts: 3115
Joined: 19 Aug 2003, 05:05
102 Recommends(s)
347 Recognized(s)



Re: Career progression in Taiwan... is there hope?

Postby Mr He » 05 May 2012, 12:50

I really beg to differ, when I started here I was before tax making the same as my friends back home - after tax and figuring in that expenses here are so much lower - no comparision.

My own business, I prefer not to dish out figures here, but I do better than I would do in any teaching job here, a damn sight better, to be honest.
Jeg er hvad jeg er.

Bring Zain back!
Mr He
Maitreya Buddha (Mílèfó)
 
Posts: 10063
Joined: 31 Oct 2000, 17:01
Location: Near the tower of doom
77 Recommends(s)
105 Recognized(s)



Re: Career progression in Taiwan... is there hope?

Postby superking » 05 May 2012, 12:56

Mr He wrote: I do better than I would do in any teaching job here, a damn sight better, to be honest.


So eating a turd sandwich is better than eating a raw turd? Yummy. :p

Did you arrive speaking Mandarin? Did you arrive in the middle of a global depression? You must make your situation clear, if you want your evidence to be listened too...
There are millions of people in the world. And none of those people is an extra. They're all leads in their own stories.

If you lose one sense, your other senses are enhanced. That's why people with no sense of humour have an increased sense of self-importance.
superking
Presidential Advisor (zǒng tǒng gù wèn)
Presidential Advisor (zǒng tǒng gù wèn)
 
Posts: 3115
Joined: 19 Aug 2003, 05:05
102 Recommends(s)
347 Recognized(s)



Career progression in Taiwan... is there hope?

Postby headhonchoII » 05 May 2012, 13:02

Mr He wrote:I really beg to differ, when I started here I was before tax making the same as my friends back home - after tax and figuring in that expenses here are so much lower - no comparision.

My own business, I prefer not to dish out figures here, but I do better than I would do in any teaching job here, a damn sight better, to be honest.


Ah yes but you got a nice intro from the start, your case is far from typical. You also arrived in better times. Still well done on creating a successful export business, it is the freedom to do what you want that is enviable.
I can remember the fourth of July runnin' through the backwood bare.
And I can still hear my old hound dog barkin' chasin' down a hoodoo there
Chasin' down a hoodoo there.
headhonchoII
Maitreya Buddha (Mílèfó)
 
Posts: 12903
Joined: 26 Aug 2002, 10:40
Location: Taipei
1833 Recommends(s)
658 Recognized(s)



FRIENDLY REMINDER
   Please remember that Forumosa is not responsible for the content that appears on the other side of links that Forumosans post on our forums. As a discussion website, we encourage open and frank debate. We have learned that the most effective way to address questionable claims or accusations on Forumosa is by engaging in a sincere and constructive conversation. To make this website work, we must all feel safe in expressing our opinions, this also means backing up any claims with hard facts, including links to other websites.
   Please also remember that one should not believe everything one reads on the Internet, particularly from websites whose content cannot be easily verified or substantiated. Use your common sense and do not hesitate to ask for proof.
Next




Proceed to Working in Taiwan



Who is online

Forumosans browsing this forum: No Forumosans and 2 visitors

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see -- JOHN BURROUGHS