Career progression in Taiwan... is there hope?

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

Postby teamblubee » 18 May 2012, 04:16

superguavaguy wrote:Did a search, but didn't see anything with your forum name on it. So let me get this striahgt, you're working as a software developer, are self-taught, don't have any apps for sale (just "test apps"), "don't do business with Asians," but your business is in Taiwan, you're presumably living in Taiwan on tourist visas (meaning you have to leave every 2 months)...is this right? Sorry, but this is start to look quite suspicious.

Asia didn't get under my skin, I just realized I didn't have to do all that justifying people who live in Asia do all the time (i.e. well, this sucks and that sucks, but it's better than this or that back home). Once you get out of that mindset it's quite surprising to see how hard people work to convince themselves that their life in Asia is so great.


Nope your mistaken. Maybe I wasn't clear so here is a direct link to the search results : https://play.google.com/store/search?q=blubee&c=apps If you look close enough you will see apps for sale on the google play store, there's also some on samsung app store, amazon app store, appchina, and a host of other stores so do some research before you go around sticking your foot in your mouth. I am not on a tourist visa, didn't come here on one and never been on one, like I said I followed the rep guide to self sponsor my own visa, I didn't start a company in Taiwan. Read the post on the rep office. I love living in Asia come hook or crook I'll be around until my bucket has been kicked. I don't want to "do business" with Asia because like anyone here will tell you, its not something they do because they "Love" it. I make games and apps now because I Love it. Those apps aren't amazing sure but I didn't learn this in school and no one starts out a master, Its all a process of learning.

There's enough info out there to find out a lot about who I am since I have nothing to hide, but tell me about you. How did you spend your time in Asia? Did it kick your butt and sent your running back home butt hurt and bitter? Your snarky little attitude reminds me a lot of the people who I don't associate with, and like I do to the locals I'm letting you know and publicly. If you had a rough time here that's no ones fault but your own, there are no children on this board. It's OK though because not everyone can cut it in Asia. :2cents:
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Re: Career progression in Taiwan... is there hope?

Postby teamblubee » 18 May 2012, 04:27

Militarygamer wrote:Smuggle drugs is an option but it involves a lot of risk. Even if you become a successful smuggler, you can't tell people what you do.

I suggest buying a fake diploma and fake your working experience in order to satisfy job requirements. Something I have been thinking of, since it seems impossible for me to find a job outside teaching due to the strict labor laws.


ha ha your funny but honestly, you don't come to Taiwan to find a career, I don't think it's worth your sanity. Have you seen the working conditions here?

Real story.

In Taiwan a boss will advertise a job for say $30,000 TWD per month. They'll get 5-6 applicants. No one will even dare putting a asking salary for $25,000 per month. They all low ball even the advertised job salary. I say why, they say because that's the only way they can get a job. Then when they go for the interview the boss will chop off another 1-2k just to test them to see will they accept. I've never seen such a mess! Trust me those labor laws are to protect YOU. Unless your really talented; speaks Chinese, speaks some Taiwanese, are real sharp, have some good qualifications you wont really get anywhere looking for a career in Taiwan.

There was an article on http://www.focustaiwan.tw/ that talked about how the tech industry was stagnating because the major firms hire top engineering graduates, pay them really good salaries and give them remedial jobs and basically destroy their talents. If your an engineer and not always trying new things its easy to lose those skills. I'd say another reason why Taiwan's tech industry kinda lags is because lack of creativity. Very few people here have the drive to risk failure. The students play it safe, no facebooks, myspace, google, yahoo, twitter, they wouldn't dare risk it.
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Re: Career progression in Taiwan... is there hope?

Postby Teddoman » 18 May 2012, 05:28

Mr He wrote:I do not believe that I am unique, other people could do the same

Great story to hear about, Mr He. I'd read about the expats who became cram school entrepreneurs but hadn't seen your story before.

If you don't mind answering, what would you say are some of the elements that made your export business successful? Do you specialize in exporting a particular unique product which has high demand in other countries and you're getting good margins on it? Or are you more of a general exporter and dealing in lower margins but making enough to pay yourself a nice salary? I guess it would help others thinking about other Taiwan opportunities if they had a sense for how replicable it is what you did and how to go about starting an export business? You probably know what's making your business work, these are just open-ended questions to get you talking, really. More interested in how and why your business is making money rather than the logistics of starting, since the details are irrelevant without the right big picture.
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Career progression in Taiwan... is there hope?

Postby headhonchoII » 18 May 2012, 06:37

There are quite a few Westerners in Taiwan exporting, trading, designing and running manufacturing businesses, you don't hear about them that's all. It can be done but it usually involves working with both Taiwanese and Chinese sources these days. It's actually easier than it used to be due to direct flights. Of course it's not easy to be successful and it takes time.
As for hiring Asians being difficult, I suggest you trying to get free overtime from your staff in the west everyday without big salaries and bonuses, see what happens! Fact is it is a lot cheap hiring people in Taiwan aswell as all the other cost savings here.
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Re: Career progression in Taiwan... is there hope?

Postby Mr He » 21 May 2012, 11:06

Teddoman wrote:
Mr He wrote:I do not believe that I am unique, other people could do the same

Great story to hear about, Mr He. I'd read about the expats who became cram school entrepreneurs but hadn't seen your story before.

If you don't mind answering, what would you say are some of the elements that made your export business successful? Do you specialize in exporting a particular unique product which has high demand in other countries and you're getting good margins on it? Or are you more of a general exporter and dealing in lower margins but making enough to pay yourself a nice salary? I guess it would help others thinking about other Taiwan opportunities if they had a sense for how replicable it is what you did and how to go about starting an export business? You probably know what's making your business work, these are just open-ended questions to get you talking, really. More interested in how and why your business is making money rather than the logistics of starting, since the details are irrelevant without the right big picture.


I focused on a product where I knew that there was a market, and then worked up a customer base over time.

I am fairly specialized. All my main exports are ex Taiwan.

Oh, and for the record, when I came here and the dot com bust started, the Taiwan electronics industry was hit, the semiconductor bookings rate went to hell. 9/11 and nari further pushed us off the edge, and it was late 2003 before there was any recovery.
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Re: Career progression in Taiwan... is there hope?

Postby Teddoman » 21 May 2012, 21:49

Mr He wrote:I focused on a product where I knew that there was a market, and then worked up a customer base over time.

I am fairly specialized. All my main exports are ex Taiwan.

Did you work backwards by first knowing some customers who needed this product, and then you looked around in Taiwan to source the product?

Or was the product already available in Taiwan and your gut told you it was marketable abroad?

I imagine the first situation is a better position to be in from a revenue perspective. Though the latter is a better position to be in in terms of product development risk. Not sure which is better when starting up.

I guess one just needs to build connections on both sides, the supply side and demand side, and figure out who needs what and then find out how to source that product for them competitively. Though I imagine there are so many sectors that are very competitive, so it might be a matter of finding a less competitive niche.

I know someone who works in textiles, and there are tons of companies pitching new products every season to the retailers in NY. Every season, they design new samples, which are showcased to the buyers in NY. If they get an order, the factory in Taiwan or China produces the order. So it's more of a design-order-build model, rather than purely having inventory produced on speculation. But this area is very competitive, as textiles is a very old industry.

Is your product in semiconductors? If so, not so sure how replicable that model is, unless you personally have some technical background to come up with new designs and/or have contacts who are sitting on saleable design concepts.
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Re: Career progression in Taiwan... is there hope?

Postby aphasiac » 22 May 2012, 10:37

teamblubee wrote: I am not on a tourist visa, didn't come here on one and never been on one, like I said I followed the rep guide to self sponsor my own visa, I didn't start a company in Taiwan. Read the post on the rep office. I love living in Asia come hook or crook I'll be around until my bucket has been kicked. I don't want to "do business" with Asia because like anyone here will tell you, its not something they do because they "Love" it.

I was under the impression that legally the whole point of a rep office is to do business with clients in Taiwan. If you can't show that you're doing business with Taiwanese companies, you won't be able to renew your ARC when it expires.

teamblubee wrote:I make games and apps now because I Love it. Those apps aren't amazing sure but I didn't learn this in school and no one starts out a master, Its all a process of learning.

You've entered a very difficult overly-saturated sector, and are competing against developers who did learn this stuff at school (i.e. much better qualified). If this business covering your cost of living yet, and if not when do you project that it will? Just curious really.
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Re: Career progression in Taiwan... is there hope?

Postby aphasiac » 22 May 2012, 10:37

teamblubee wrote: I am not on a tourist visa, didn't come here on one and never been on one, like I said I followed the rep guide to self sponsor my own visa, I didn't start a company in Taiwan. Read the post on the rep office. I love living in Asia come hook or crook I'll be around until my bucket has been kicked. I don't want to "do business" with Asia because like anyone here will tell you, its not something they do because they "Love" it.

I was under the impression that legally the whole point of a rep office is to do business with clients in Taiwan. If you can't show that you're doing business with Taiwanese companies, you won't be able to renew your ARC when it expires.

teamblubee wrote:I make games and apps now because I Love it. Those apps aren't amazing sure but I didn't learn this in school and no one starts out a master, Its all a process of learning.

You've entered a very difficult overly-saturated sector, and are competing against developers who did learn this stuff at school (i.e. much better qualified). If this business covering your cost of living yet, and if not when do you project that it will? Just curious really.
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Re: Career progression in Taiwan... is there hope?

Postby steelersman » 22 May 2012, 10:45

honolulu86 wrote:
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


I was going to ask when I saw this post. Is career progress even a viable option in 2012? I guess it is possible for a few, but I doubt for many.

The only thing one can do is start a business, become a doctor, or become a lawyer.
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Re: Career progression in Taiwan... is there hope?

Postby Taiwan Luthiers » 22 May 2012, 10:48

I have a friend who develops iphone/ipad apps, I am under the impression that if you make something like Angry Birds you'd be rich but otherwise I don't think you make much from writing apps. I mean it doesn't take much to write an app (reading a few books on programming and making a simple app for example) but good programmers are hard to find, while most who goes to school are probably little more than copy and paste (and with the Chinese culture the creativity isn't all there).

If I were to get into software development I'd work for a software company, plenty of that in Taiwan, but then I have no experience developing software and only have limited programming skills. I just know that if you pull your own weight in a software company, you wouldn't be making 22,000 a month long, you should be getting more even if you have to work long hours.

I hear people say that life is what you make of it and it doesn't matter what country you're in, that if you work hard you will be rewarded for it. Although sometimes I do wish that there are a better market for luthier service but at this point its hard to know, but I do know that the few qualified luthiers in Taiwan are overworked because the demand outstrip the supply.

Oh and doctors are a dime a dozen in Taiwan and they do not get paid much, but being doctors give you more freedom to immigrate to other countries because doctors are always needed everywhere, especially third world countries.
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