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China – still an interesting place full of potential

With its 1.3 billion inhabitants and still rapidly growing economy, China is no doubt an interesting market place. The country is also very attractive to foreign companies to build productions sites – with the resulting need for qualified staff.

Currently, top-jobs-europe is working on several projects in China, including a Director Product Engineering and Head of Finance at major global companies in the automotive industry.

What awaits someone who takes the plunge and goes to live and work in a foreign world for a few years?

There will be the great new job of course, a new company, new colleagues and responsibilities, a different workflow and a ton of opportunities. Sometimes these elements are more pronounced, sometimes less, but they are always part of switching companies.

If you are moving internationally, other things are added to that list: a new language, and unfamiliar culture, the inevitable red tape. All these are issue that the candidates usually know of and take into account – even look forward to.

There are other challenges, however, and those are often unexpected; the school for the children focuses on new areas and expects a different kind of involvement from the parents. The flow of traffic on the street needs getting used to – and how do you find a good supermarket here, anyway? And in the evening there’s the problem of trying to program your AC unit without a readable instruction manual.

Often it’s the small thing, like slightly different habits during a visit to a restaurant, the question what might be a good gesture of appreciation for a dinner invitation, or what you should do with a business card you are being handed, that quickly add up to a unique experience and the realization that many things that we don’t even think about in our home country, are not quite universally true as we might have thought.

The reward of a time spent abroad therefore goes way beyond the career advances and professional experience; you will experience unexpected personal growth, gain new insights into a different culture and people – but will also learn to value the familiar way of life at home in a whole new way.

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