Relocating to HK: Book Recommendations?

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  1. #1

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    Sep 2006
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    Relocating to HK: Book Recommendations?

    I'm from the U.S. and I just spent the last two weeks interviewing in Hong Kong. I found a job as a project manager at an online marketing agency.

    I'm Chinese-American and was born in NYC but even though I speak Cantonese, it was apparent from my interviews and speaking to people in HK that there was a big personality and culture difference. I'm looking for book recommendations that can help me understand a little where HK people -- in the business world in particular -- are coming from. Since I'm Chinese, I'm not looking for basic etiquette or Chinese-custom books; I'm looking for something a little more focused on business and how working in HK differs from working in other markets/countries (particularly the US).

    Saw a book in HK called "Foreign Devils : Expatriates in Hong Kong." Has anyone ever read it? Any recommendations that can help me prepare for my relocation as an expat would be appreciated. Thanks!


  2. #2

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    Don't bother with business / work related books. Most of it is made up and will probably not apply to the specific situation you're in.

    Just browse the forums here .. plenty of fiction and facts to keep you entertained.


  3. #3

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    I have got "Living and Working in Hong Kong" by Rachel Wright. Have not read lots of it, but so far some useful stuff.


  4. #4

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    Aug 2006
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    I was given

    'Living and Working in Hong Kong' and 'Culture Shock' before i came and I have to say most of it is useless, and/or way of base.

    'Culture Shock' seems like it was written in the seventies ex: In the heart of Sheung Wan or Mongkok English signs are few, and English speakers who can point you back to your desired destination may not exist'

    Agree with KIA stick to the forums and you'll get the best idea of what are the major concerns when moving over


  5. #5

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    Thanks for your suggestions. I guess that's the problem with non-fiction and travel-related books in today's digital age -- they're often dated as soon as they're published!

    Will continue to scour the forums...


  6. #6

    Your Experience

    I am, like you, also in US (NYC area) and is planning to move back to HK. I keep worry that it would be difficult. Could you share your experience about how you manage to find a position so fast? Did you plan ahead?


  7. #7

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    I've now read Rachel Wright's "Living and Working in Hong Kong" book. I personally thought it was a useful read. But saying that I don't think it is a crucial buy (although personally I'm glad I bought the book). Yes there is wealth of infomation on the internet and forums like this about moving to Hong Kong, it was just useful having some information in a book that could be read when you couldn't have access to a computer.


  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordbuddha:
    I am, like you, also in US (NYC area) and is planning to move back to HK. I keep worry that it would be difficult. Could you share your experience about how you manage to find a position so fast? Did you plan ahead?
    I knew I would be going to HK for vacation in December so I decided to use that opportunity to really look for a job -- to give it all I got. As soon as I knew I was doing this I joined this forum and started reading up and doing research to get a sense of how feasible it would be. Honestly, I wasn't very optimistic about my prospects. But I started applying to jobs online and over e-mail starting a month before (beginning of Nov), stating clearly that I would be in HK for two weeks and that I would like an interview... a meeting... anything. I also went through each and every personal contact I knew to try to get my resume forwarded.

    I work in the Internet industry and I'm not sure if it would be as helpful for you, but I thought this site served up the best job postings:
    http://hongkong.recruit.net/

    It definitely helps to physically be in Hong Kong to interview, and your chances are better if you can read and write in Chinese. Interviews are primarily in English but the interviewer will want to speak to you in Cantonese.

    Once I met those criteria, with my English skills and technical experience -- and MOST importantly, confidence and charm -- I was able to convince employers to take a chance.

    And be prepared to discuss salary since that's often the first thing on their mind when they interview someone from the U.S. (i.e., why would you move from a big market with great opportunity and pay to a smaller market with less pay, etc.). So come up with a smart answer!

    I'm sure it involved a lot of luck too. You can PM me if you have any other questions.

  9. #9

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    I read 'culture shock' before I came and found it to be very negative towards expats in general with comments like: 'some people will tollerate you...' I was really worried about being an outsider but actually have found locals to be more than accepting, especially when I dread to think how a HK person who spoke no English would cope in my conutry.

    It had a few good chapters but, as said by others, it felt dated.