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Hi,

I would like your opinion on an offer to work in China. Sould it be consider like a special offer that will anyway bring value to my career as engineer or no?

 

Thanks

 

svibanez's picture

I don't have any personal experience with China, but I did spend two years as an expatriate in Japan setting up a new office.  Most of the senior managers I met during that time attributed their career success, at least in part, to their expat experience.  Successfully completing a foreign assignment shows you are flexible, self-motivated, and able to succeed in situtations that are outside your comfort zone.

My assignment in Japan, and now working closely with a Korean partner, has helped me grow professionally and personally, and I feel senior management has a greater respect for my opinions, and for me as a person, as a result of my foreign work than they had before I went to Japan.

Like any assignment, what you put into it will determine what you get out of it.  Don't expect it to be easy.  It's easy to get frustrated with the way things are done in other cultures and you have to learn to work within their existing system (unless you're being hired specifically to change that system).  The expat experience is an opportunity for you to "show your stuff" and I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for an opportunity to set themselves apart.

Steve

DiSC 7114

mattpalmer's picture

 Experience working with cultures wildly different from your own is *massively* beneficial.  *Especially* in engineering, (regardless of the speciality), China is a growing market for your skills, and you will no doubt find a great many opportunities to apply what you will learn, and bring value to your organisation, in the future.

Steve is completely right about how you'll only get out what you put in.  The fact that you appear to have a choice will help you in that frame of mind, because it'll be your choice to be in the position you'll be in.  

I squandered an opportunity to learn a lot about dealing with different cultures in a position where I had to interact heavily with a Chinese team, by believing I knew it all and they didn't.  In retrospect, I should have dealt with the whole situation very differently, and taken it as a learning experience instead of a frustrating one.