Pointers from an overseas returnee

February 21, 2018 3 mins read
Pointers from an overseas returnee

Following a gradual increase in the number of people in China who have studied abroad, studying overseas is no longer as rare as it used to be. Whilst in the past, having overseas experience would make you part of an elite few who were guaranteed to get cushy jobs with high salaries, the perceived value of overseas experience is rapidly decreasing.

Following a gradual increase in the number of people in China who have studied abroad, studying overseas is no longer as rare as it used to be. Whilst in the past, having overseas experience would make you part of an elite few who were guaranteed to get cushy jobs with high salaries, the perceived value of overseas experience is rapidly decreasing.

The age where a degree from overseas is a sure-fire way of getting employed seems to be coming to an end. As finding employment becomes an increasingly arduous process, I considered it important to give young job-hunters some advice from the perspective of someone who has lived and studied abroad.

Firstly, you must determine how to market yourself

This means not only identifying your strengths, but your weaknesses, too. An international perspective as well as a unique fusion of Western and Chinese ways of thinking are both invaluable qualities that will set you apart from other candidates. Of course, where young people who have just returned from abroad are concerned, the greatest impediment to one's professional growth is a lack of experience. A lack of experience is also the main reason for which young candidates find themselves eliminated from the competition.

Secondly, you must have a firm grasp of the market

Young people who have only just returned from abroad are unlikely to have a clear understanding of the market and may lack a grasp of the basic state of affairs in China. This may prevent them from realizing the full value of their skills within China's uniquely socialist economy and market. Therefore, whether or not a candidate is able to firmly grasp the market is a factor that will decide the fate of their business.

Thirdly, you must not be afraid to demonstrate your strengths

As Charles F. Glassman wrote: “The danger of venturing into uncharted waters is not nearly as dangerous as staying on shore, waiting for your boat to come in.” Talented employees with overseas experience have the courage to "venture into uncharted waters" during the initial phase of starting their own business and are good at displaying their strengths. In the interests of making up for a lack on the domestic market, professionals should devote their efforts towards converting their skills to intermediate product research and development. They should also make sure a team of talented employees from various fields are assembled, thus increasing the chances that their new business will be successful.

Last but not least, you should actively take part in practical initiatives

During your studies abroad, make sure to participate in initiatives that are relevant to your professional development as a means of accumulating experience. In particular, if you are able to find initiatives that are related to China, then you will also be able to develop a better understanding of the domestic market. Currently, Chinese companies lack talented employees who have a strong sense of entrepreneurship. By participating in various kinds of initiatives abroad, and by coming into contact with different people and ways of thinking, you can reinforce your sense of entrepreneurship, as well as your ability to think in an unrestricted manner. This is precisely what makes professionals with overseas experience so valuable!

Morgan McKinley
shanghai@morganmckinley.com