Working in Hong Kong is the dream of many people, but finding a job in Hong Kong can be a nightmare. Not only do you have to have the necessary educational background, but you also have to show that the work you are doing cannot be done by a local. Being an English speaker is still a bonus, but it’s not the golden ticket it once was – some locals can speak English, Cantonese, and Mandarin, and the ability to speak different languages is increasingly needed,
There are a number of specific jobs and industries that have traditionally provided employment to expats in Hong Kong. Once you’ve chosen your job below, be sure to explore essential resources and contacts to take the next step.
Banking and Finance jobs in Hong Kong
Most expats in Hong Kong work in the banking and financial sector, however, almost all have been transferred here on temporary contracts by their head office in New York, London, Paris, etc. It is unlikely, although not impossible, that you will find a job in Hong Kong banking and finance as an individual unless you have prior experience with a certain bank or in the Asian financial sector.
Teacher jobs in Hong Kong
One of the most popular forms of employment for English speakers in the city (with limited opportunities for French and German speakers). The educational and skills requirements for teaching English in Hong Kong are generally high compared to other countries. Hong Kong has several highly regarded international schools, where the only language of instruction is English. That means there are openings not only for teachers of English, but also science, history and other subjects. Competition for jobs at these schools is fierce, and you will typically be required to have a college degree, a professional teaching qualification, and usually a year or two of teaching experience.
On the positive side, payment and terms are generally excellent.
TEFL Teaching jobs in Hong Kong
Qualified teachers will also find opportunities in the city, although they can often be off the books and relatively poorly paid. The more experience you have, the better the school will be. There are many, many cowboy schools to watch out for in Hong Kong. If you want to work legally and obtain an official visa, you will still need to have a title in your suitcase.
Publishing and Media jobs in Hong Kong
There are a number of local and international publishers and media organizations based in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Magazine, Time Out, and South China Morning Post Magazine are local magazines that regularly hire English-speaking expats with relative experience. If you don’t have a background in journalism, it will be almost impossible to get hired. Internationally, many major magazines and news organizations maintain offices here. BBC, CNN and VOA magazines are three of the largest.
Restaurant & Bar jobs in Hong Kong
Once it became a staple of expat employment, the opportunities to work in bars and restaurants, if you don’t have a Hong Kong ID card, are dwindling. The exception is trained chefs and cooks, where there are good job opportunities in the city’s many western restaurants.
Hospitality Industry jobs in Hong Kong
If you have a hotelier experience, from manager to concierge, Hong Kong has some great opportunities. The city is full of international chains that seem to have carte blanche to employ whomever they want. The contracts are extremely lucrative.