First of all thanks for all the information shared in the forum. It has been enormous help for me. I am about to be transferred to the subsidiary of my company in HK later this year. On one hand, I am excited as HK has always been my favourite place as a visitor, and I have wanted to go back to asia for a while after several years living in Europe. However, the current relocation package offered to me is not so desirable as I expected and I’m bit worried about the prospective life out there, especially for my partner, for whom we don’t know whether it will be a risky move from his currently stable job in Europe.
We are a couple of late 20s with no kids. Any advice on the following subjects will be very appreciated.
My work will be at IFC. I am looking for a 1-2 BR flat for 400-500 sqft, preferably refurbished, with proper shower (not necessary bathtub, but not the type of over the toilet shower), kitchen (used to cook on my own), easy access to supermarkets and/or 7-11, and quiet. Don’t mind living in a Chinese walkup or flats without good view. The location I am targeting on includes Kennedy Town, Sai Ying Pun, North Point, Quarray Bay, Sai Wan Ho, or Olympic, Lai Chi Kok, Meifoo on the kowloon side. Will the budget between 8-10k be realistic?
I have also read that the minimum lease term is usually one year. Given the uncertainty of my new job (though I think I would stay at least one year), should I add up some budget and cut of some expectation and fit myself into a serviced apartment to avoid the hassles of rental/utilities/internet contract?
I am of course coming with a job yet not my partner, a computer engineer with 3+ years of experience, English speaking and Spanish native, very basic mandarin and no Cantonese at all. Will it be difficult for him to get an IT related job in HK? Salary will not be a big issue and local hiring terms are well accepted. Will it be easier through headhunters or applying through local websites should suffice?
Being a Spanish teacher will naturally be a temporal solution. Yet we don´t know whether there’s much demand in the market and whether one needs certain certification or on-job training will be available.
Finally one question about my transfer package. In negotiation of the terms, the company offered a lump-sum payment as the compensation for transfer (apart from the subsidy for relocation expenses). But they claim that if I quit/ they fired me within one year I have to return the full amount to the company. Is it legal/reasonable? To me it sounds more reasonable to be proportionally returned…
I somehow feel that the company was really sneaky about the package, but i´m not really in the position to argue much more. At least in Europe I am protected by a strong labour union in the company but don’t think that would exist in HK.
Any advice well be much welcomed. Thank you all in advance.