Real life thread


Team Blue

Junior Member
Registered Member
Is COVID under control there? If so you can enjoy the beaches.
We're better than Florida at least. I'm not much for beaches though. Nice thing about Virginia is the abundance of camping available. But I'm about to be busy af thanks to higher ups "helping me out" with training I wasn't interested in.
 

Miragedriver

Brigadier
What do you mean by warning to all against left-leaning socialists politics? Are the socialists ruining your country?
That is absolutely correct my friend. The political cancer of Argentina is “Peronism”. This country was the sixth world’s power before General Peron came to power. Today, 70 years later, we are on our knees.

What is Peronism? It’s populism, patronage, demagoguery, hyper-corruption, authoritarianism, prepotency, lies, and destruction of democratic institutions and family values.
 

Hadoren

Junior Member
Registered Member
I'm writing this post to talk about my 2021 experience applying for jobs in Asia, especially Singapore and Hong Kong.

A bit about me - I'm a software engineer with several years of experience, albeit not at a top firm.

Here's how my job search went. It was not easy, but also not insurmountable.


Process

I applied for jobs the same way that I apply for jobs normally. I would look for positions on major job recruiting sites and then apply for jobs.

Of course, in any job search cold applications have very little success (especially when coming from across the world). As with my normal job searches, I therefore looked for recruiters or CTO's/company founders (medium and small companies only) on LinkedIn.

Sometimes I would message the recruiter or VIP on LinkedIn. Othertimes I would guess their e-mail through tools such as Rapportive or Clearbit. I would then e-mail a short introduction to myself (with pictures of my work), whilst mentioning the role I was applying for.

When companies responded, the interview process proceeded fairly similarly to the normal process. One thing I noticed was that Asian countries wanted a lot of coding challenges/projects. This made sense, as this is a better way of learning the skills of an unknown person across the ocean.

Work Sponsorship

Work sponsorship was difficult and definitely the biggest hurdle in the process. This was especially excruciatingly difficult with respect to Singapore and a big reason why I ended up in Hong Kong. Another reason is, of course, because I want to live in China.

I understood the difficulties involving COVID and work sponsorship. Nevertheless, it's pretty clear that COVID is here to stay. It may be years before international borders are fully open again. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and pursue your dream.

I grew to hate the question about whether or not I required work sponsorship. My answer usually resulted in an instant rejection. I lost count of the times a company would say, "We're currently hiring locals only." There were definitely days when I despaired.

As time went on, I noticed that companies grew more willing to entertain work sponsorship. This was probably because of the decline in American COVID cases. I started applying in February, just off the tail of the massive winter wave. By April, there was much more engagement.

Salary

Generally the salary (for an experienced software engineer) was around $55,000 to $80,000. This was more than I initially expected, although obviously a big cut from the six figures I'm currently making.

My impression of Singapore and Hong Kong is that a typical experienced white-collar job pays $45,000 to $65,000. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

English/Diversity

All the interviews and communication were in English. A lot of the companies were very international. I of course had East Asian interviewers, but I also had a number of Caucasian and South Asian interviewers.

My new company's team in fact has substantial Indian and European representation. In terms of diversity, it's actually not that different from an American company.



Notes About Specific Places

Singapore

I initially wanted to work in Singapore and sent 75% of my applications to Singapore.

I knew beforehand about anti-immigrant sentiment in Singapore and tightening restrictions during COVID. Nevertheless, the depth of work sponsorship rejection was dispiriting.

On
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, the Singapore government even planted a nice message which said "[CANDIDATES WHO REQUIRE WORK PASSES NEED NOT APPLY]." Thanks Singapore (not that it stopped me from applying).

An enormous number of job advertisements also led to the famous Singaporean government site
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, which is for Singaporeans only. The trick with this is to find the company's website itself and then apply for jobs on the website (make sure to find recruiters/CTO's/founders on LinkedIn and message them at the same time).

Ultimately, I did receive one oral job offer from Singapore. They asked for me to update my job profile on their website, which I did (and informed them). They never got back to me after that.

Hong Kong

At first, I wasn't that interested in Hong Kong and just sent applications there to test the waters.

While I didn't exactly get an enthusiastic response, there was more interest than in Singapore. As time went on, Hong Kong companies seemed more willing to proceed with the process. Eventually 50% of my applications were sent to Hong Kong.

Finally, I got two job offers from Hong Kong (one oral).

From my experience, I do believe that the Hong Kong atmosphere is more open than that of most other places today. Hong Kong appears to be accepting of skilled foreigners, as there's this narrative of emigration they want to counter. So the government seems more willing to give foreigners a work visa.

Mainland China

Although it was not my main focus, I sent a few applications to mainland China, including with a Chinese translation of my resume.

I never got a response. There was one recruiter who messaged me. When I informed her about my need for work sponsorship, she said that they weren't looking for non-citizens.

ASEAN

I also sent a few applications to ASEAN (usually when the company offered multiple positions in different countries). These included Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

I never got a response. I did notice from Glassdoor that salaries were generally $20,000 to $35,000 a year. That honestly is too low for me.



Data

Here's some data on all the companies that I applied to.

Total Applications149
Willing to Interview Me12
Oral Job Offer3
Written Job Offer1


ApplicationsWilling to Interview Me
Messaged/E-mailed Recruiter/CTO/Founder808 (10%)
Cold Application683 (4.4%)
Recruiter Messaged Me21


Tidbits of Advice

Avoid Cold Applications

Find recruiters or CTO's/founders/VIP's and message or e-mail them.

Apply While You Still Have a Job

Companies are much more interested in currently employed applicants.

Don't Send Applications Every Day

Pick two days per week to apply.

Q: Why are you leaving your current job?

Make sure to say that you love your job before talking about why you're leaving.

Q: Why Singapore/Hong Kong?

For me this question was very tough and it took a lot of thinking and tries with interviewers to get it right.

Spend time to prepare an answer for this question that avoids negativity or a sense of desperation.



How Things Are Going in Hong Kong

Since I've moved to Hong Kong, things have gone well.

It is great not having to worry about COVID. I go to many restaurants and tourist spots and never have to worry about catching it and dying. It's great.

I've met several people and am working on making friends. Some has panned out; some has not. I've had dinner with a co-worker and visited some tourist spots with another. The company is very nice, although that is obviously company-specific rather than country-based.

I also have found a girlfriend, and we've done the deed. I'd characterize myself as below-average in handsomeness and social skills, which is why I didn't have a girlfriend in the United States.

The government wants to attract immigrants to counter the emigration narrative, meaning that work visas are easy to obtain. Carrie Lam has specifically spoken about her desire to continue attracting international talent. So they're not kicking out foreigners.

There are many English-speaking jobs here that don't require Cantonese. Obviously the majority of Hong Kongers speak Cantonese, and my co-workers do so when talking with each other. However, I've met many foreigners in white-collar jobs who cannot speak Cantonese. So contrary to the myth, it's 100% possible to be obtain a middle-class white-collar position speaking only English.

So I am very much loving Hong Kong, and I highly encourage others to try.



Conclusion

Returning to Asia is tough but doable. You can find a job that pays American wages that isn't teaching English. If you are a white-collar American with experience, you can do it.
 

caudaceus

Junior Member
Registered Member
I'm writing this post to talk about my 2021 experience applying for jobs in Asia, especially Singapore and Hong Kong.

A bit about me - I'm a software engineer with several years of experience, albeit not at a top firm.

Here's how my job search went. It was not easy, but also not insurmountable.


Process

I applied for jobs the same way that I apply for jobs normally. I would look for positions on major job recruiting sites and then apply for jobs.

Of course, in any job search cold applications have very little success (especially when coming from across the world). As with my normal job searches, I therefore looked for recruiters or CTO's/company founders (medium and small companies only) on LinkedIn.

Sometimes I would message the recruiter or VIP on LinkedIn. Othertimes I would guess their e-mail through tools such as Rapportive or Clearbit. I would then e-mail a short introduction to myself (with pictures of my work), whilst mentioning the role I was applying for.

When companies responded, the interview process proceeded fairly similarly to the normal process. One thing I noticed was that Asian countries wanted a lot of coding challenges/projects. This made sense, as this is a better way of learning the skills of an unknown person across the ocean.

Work Sponsorship

Work sponsorship was difficult and definitely the biggest hurdle in the process. This was especially excruciatingly difficult with respect to Singapore and a big reason why I ended up in Hong Kong. Another reason is, of course, because I want to live in China.

I understood the difficulties involving COVID and work sponsorship. Nevertheless, it's pretty clear that COVID is here to stay. It may be years before international borders are fully open again. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and pursue your dream.

I grew to hate the question about whether or not I required work sponsorship. My answer usually resulted in an instant rejection. I lost count of the times a company would say, "We're currently hiring locals only." There were definitely days when I despaired.

As time went on, I noticed that companies grew more willing to entertain work sponsorship. This was probably because of the decline in American COVID cases. I started applying in February, just off the tail of the massive winter wave. By April, there was much more engagement.

Salary

Generally the salary (for an experienced software engineer) was around $55,000 to $80,000. This was more than I initially expected, although obviously a big cut from the six figures I'm currently making.

My impression of Singapore and Hong Kong is that a typical experienced white-collar job pays $45,000 to $65,000. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

English/Diversity

All the interviews and communication were in English. A lot of the companies were very international. I of course had East Asian interviewers, but I also had a number of Caucasian and South Asian interviewers.

My new company's team in fact has substantial Indian and European representation. In terms of diversity, it's actually not that different from an American company.



Notes About Specific Places

Singapore

I initially wanted to work in Singapore and sent 75% of my applications to Singapore.

I knew beforehand about anti-immigrant sentiment in Singapore and tightening restrictions during COVID. Nevertheless, the depth of work sponsorship rejection was dispiriting.

On
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, the Singapore government even planted a nice message which said "[CANDIDATES WHO REQUIRE WORK PASSES NEED NOT APPLY]." Thanks Singapore (not that it stopped me from applying).

An enormous number of job advertisements also led to the famous Singaporean government site
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, which is for Singaporeans only. The trick with this is to find the company's website itself and then apply for jobs on the website (make sure to find recruiters/CTO's/founders on LinkedIn and message them at the same time).

Ultimately, I did receive one oral job offer from Singapore. They asked for me to update my job profile on their website, which I did (and informed them). They never got back to me after that.

Hong Kong

At first, I wasn't that interested in Hong Kong and just sent applications there to test the waters.

While I didn't exactly get an enthusiastic response, there was more interest than in Singapore. As time went on, Hong Kong companies seemed more willing to proceed with the process. Eventually 50% of my applications were sent to Hong Kong.

Finally, I got two job offers from Hong Kong (one oral).

From my experience, I do believe that the Hong Kong atmosphere is more open than that of most other places today. Hong Kong appears to be accepting of skilled foreigners, as there's this narrative of emigration they want to counter. So the government seems more willing to give foreigners a work visa.

Mainland China

Although it was not my main focus, I sent a few applications to mainland China, including with a Chinese translation of my resume.

I never got a response. There was one recruiter who messaged me. When I informed her about my need for work sponsorship, she said that they weren't looking for non-citizens.

ASEAN

I also sent a few applications to ASEAN (usually when the company offered multiple positions in different countries). These included Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

I never got a response. I did notice from Glassdoor that salaries were generally $20,000 to $35,000 a year. That honestly is too low for me.



Data

Here's some data on all the companies that I applied to.

Total Applications149
Willing to Interview Me12
Oral Job Offer3
Written Job Offer1


ApplicationsWilling to Interview Me
Messaged/E-mailed Recruiter/CTO/Founder808 (10%)
Cold Application683 (4.4%)
Recruiter Messaged Me21


Tidbits of Advice

Avoid Cold Applications

Find recruiters or CTO's/founders/VIP's and message or e-mail them.

Apply While You Still Have a Job

Companies are much more interested in currently employed applicants.

Don't Send Applications Every Day

Pick two days per week to apply.

Q: Why are you leaving your current job?

Make sure to say that you love your job before talking about why you're leaving.

Q: Why Singapore/Hong Kong?

For me this question was very tough and it took a lot of thinking and tries with interviewers to get it right.

Spend time to prepare an answer for this question that avoids negativity or a sense of desperation.



How Things Are Going in Hong Kong

Since I've moved to Hong Kong, things have gone well.

It is great not having to worry about COVID. I go to many restaurants and tourist spots and never have to worry about catching it and dying. It's great.

I've met several people and am working on making friends. Some has panned out; some has not. I've had dinner with a co-worker and visited some tourist spots with another. The company is very nice, although that is obviously company-specific rather than country-based.

I also have found a girlfriend, and we've done the deed. I'd characterize myself as below-average in handsomeness and social skills, which is why I didn't have a girlfriend in the United States.

The government wants to attract immigrants to counter the emigration narrative, meaning that work visas are easy to obtain. Carrie Lam has specifically spoken about her desire to continue attracting international talent. So they're not kicking out foreigners.

There are many English-speaking jobs here that don't require Cantonese. Obviously the majority of Hong Kongers speak Cantonese, and my co-workers do so when talking with each other. However, I've met many foreigners in white-collar jobs who cannot speak Cantonese. So contrary to the myth, it's 100% possible to be obtain a middle-class white-collar position speaking only English.

So I am very much loving Hong Kong, and I highly encourage others to try.



Conclusion

Returning to Asia is tough but doable. You can find a job that pays American wages that isn't teaching English. If you are a white-collar American with experience, you can do it.
Cool, whats your tech stack if I may know?
 

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