HK Here we come

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  1. #1
    TXTransplant

    HK Here we come

    Hi all - lots of great information on this forum.

    My wife and I will be moving to Hong Kong in January. Her company is transferring her there and it's an offer that she really doesn't want to pass up, so I'm going along (after quitting my job). I'm a little nervous about the job situation over there...her company has offered to place me either in her company or with another, but this has all come about so fast that we haven't really had time to delve too deeply into that yet.

    A few questions that we have (that I'm hoping some of you more seasoned veterans can help with) follow:

    1. we have 2 dogs that we are not willing to leave behind in the US - I read froggies post on bringing dogs from France...any advise on bringing them from the US? Is it really difficult to find a nice apartment that will accept dogs and is near a park or green area?

    2. this one is more selfish...HOW DO I FIND A JOB!?!? I've searched on monster.com.hk and some others and it seems that all want people fluent in English and Chinese (I speak one of these...guess which ) I am a college grad (advertising/PR degree) with ~7 years of experience in technology sales (with major companies) - I'd like to find a position in marketing...and if not I've toyed with the idea of going back to school either for my MBA or another undergrad degree in computer science.

    3. where are the good places to live? Her company is going to pay for a 2 bedroom apt, I think ~$3K/month and was wondering where we should be looking.

    4. does anyone else have experience with being the partner of someone transferred to HK and going over blind...I'm a little apprehensive about leaving a very good, well paying job here to go halfway around the world with no idea what waits for me.

    5. (last one...i promise) - taxes...since her company is transferring her to HK they're going to make her whole on taxes...she'll only have to pay her US taxes, they take care of the foreign taxes...should I expect this from a company that I work for in HK? (i doubt that a company that just hired me would do this, but I have no reference)

    Sorry for the long post...I'm just getting into this and any answers that you might have to the above would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks


  2. #2
    TXTransplant

    just reread that post...that would be about $25K-30K a month HK dollars for rent...still thinking in US terms.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    currently NYC
    Posts
    25

    Hi TXTransplant,

    First I must say that's a very attractive package which your wife's company offered. My experience isn't quite as dramatic - my husband relocated to HK during my last year as an undergrad in the US, and I joined him immediately after graduation to start my job hunt process.

    Pt 2- One of the selling points was my Native English capability; written and conversational. Although I do speak cantonese, half the times on interviews it was 50% english/50% chinese.
    Try out these sources as they've helped me in the past... also for your skill level, headhunters will serve you more justice in matching your distinct skills with the right position.
    South China Morning Post - www.scmp.com
    www.careertimes.com
    Recruit/PandaPlanet
    www.jobsdb.com
    www.jobasia.com (don't quite remember if all these sites require an '.hk')

    Pt 3- HK$3K is not much going towards renting an apt. It really depends on where your wife's company is. I used to work in Central & TST and rented a place in Tsing Yi (5 min minibus ride to the MTR station). Travel took only 1/2 hr and rent was under HK$6k. If it's US$3K, then your options have just opened up.

    These are from my experience in HK... hope it helps!

    I'm also curious about bringing domestic pets to hk. When I move back I'm hoping to bring my two cats with me too.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    12,383

    >> Housing near park or green area for around $20K HKD where dogs are allowed.

    Yes, its possible. Look up http://www.gohome.com.hk for Pok Fu Lam on the south / eastern side of the island.

    1500 sq ft apartments (and these are LARGE 1500 sq ft apartments) are running at $20-22K all inclusive with minimal furniture.

    >> Finding a job in marketing / PR

    Should not be a problem. It is one of the better networked fields (jobs are not likely to be on jobsdb.com) where you'll have to hit the various association meetings etc and build your personal network. People are hiring and yes, it is possible to get a job in this area with the regional companies. I would not sweat over this one if I were you.

    >> US Taxes.

    Talk to a competant tax lawyer before you leave. The US tax code is of the trickiest.

    I've also heard good things about Jill Elsner who has helped out some people we know.

    http://www.geoexpat.com/US_Asia_Tax_L89

    Local HK taxes are not withheld (which shocks many an american) and be prepared to pay 2 years taxes when you get your first tax bill as they tend to take the first years and the second years estimated tax in advance.

    >> experience with being the partner of someone transferred to HK and going over blind.

    Might sound harsh, but make sure you've extracted your ego out of your pants and your brains before you commit to this move. May be tough for the first few months moving over as the house husband.

    Sorry for the seemingly random responses. I'm a bit rushed for a meeting right now.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    12,383

    p.s. There are several other areas where you can get pretty decent housing (before people rant about me being a Pok Fu Lam biggot!).

    Would also recommend visiting the following sites for more anecdotal information.

    http://www.bigwhiteguy.com
    http://www.batgung.com


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Not friggin' Lamma no more!
    Posts
    2,181

    If you really want to keep your dogs happy, then the places with real space, greenery and fresh air (good for you too!) are Lamma Island, Sai Kung, Stanley, Lantau etc. It is very sad to see people in Central, Mid-Levels etc who keep their dogs in flats all day and walk them on leads through polluted streets busy with people coming from/going to work or a night out. 25-30k will get you a mansion in any of the places listed.
    If you come here without a job it can be tough, I worked in a bar for 4 months before I got a job as a Marketing and Design Director- networking is more important than any recruitment page.


  7. #7
    TXTransplant

    Wow...all these great responses. Thanks a ton for all the insight. I just found out that my wife and I will be having dinner on Sunday with her boss to discuss the possibility of my getting a job with her company, which could prove to be pretty sweet. I'm still really nervous about making a move like that without having a job lined up first...Thanks for the vote of confidence KnowItAll, but I'm curious as to why you think it would be easy to find a sales/marketing/PR job over there?

    I'm not too big on ego to begin with and I don't think I'd have a problem being a house husband for a while, but I'd rather not go that route and already have a job lined up before I get there.

    Someone in her company told her that I'd be able to work b/c I'd have a dependants/spousal visa...I was able to share my knowledge that that's not the case thanks to reading through your forums.

    I'm really excited and hope we get to head over there...there's just so many obstacles to overcome first!!!


  8. #8

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    15

    having 2 pets is a really huge constriant in finding a place to rent since most of the estates restrict owners and tenants from having any pets.


    http://www.aaaa.com.hk/agencies/memberAgencies.shtml

    here is the list of major advertising agencies with offices in HK.
    dunno if it's helpful but many of them does PR too


    good luck dude


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    >> Thanks for the vote of confidence KnowItAll, but I'm curious as to why you think it would be easy to find a sales/marketing/PR job over there?


    Shortage of creative and English speaking people here in HK... Its a serious shortage, thanks to the govt moves to switch the educational systems to cantonese, mandarin, language du jour.