I graduated from the University of South Florida in 2010, at the age of 23, and I was faced with a terrible decision. In 2010, the US economy was in shambles and for a young graduate with one internship and average grades, the prospects of employment were dismal. So, I had a decision to make 1) Move back home (parents funding was stopping since I graduated) and work a 60+ hour work week making 2K-3K a month or 2) Travel the world….. Decision number two sounded a lot better to me at the time, so I packed my bags and headed to China. I had no money at the time and my parents have never been rich; in their eyes I was an adult and I needed to make my own decisions. I found a teaching job at a university and they helped me buy a plane ticket and I was off to China.
When I arrived in China I didn’t know what to expect and after all the rookie mistakes and frustrations and China days (what we called days we hated), I have come to love this strange land. I think the main reason I have stayed so long is because after a month or so of being in China, I met the love of my life. I met Yvonne in Shaoxing (Sept. 2010) and a few months later we started dating. My original China plan was to teach English for one year and move back to the US and start my career but plans never really work out especially when love is involved.
Yvonne and I had been dating for about 7-8 months when our contracts expired and neither of us wanted to end the relationship and go home so we resigned with the school and worked for another 6 months. The 6 months rushed by and before we know it we needed to find new work. We didn’t like the current school because of the environment but we needed to find work quickly, so we took the only job we could get at the time (Yvonne is not a native English speaker) and moved to Shenyang were we taught English at another university for one year. After about 6 months teaching and about 1.8 years of dating we talked about our future and what we wanted.
I wanted to pursue my career in marketing and she wanted to further her teaching career. I decided to look for a job in marketing but I have been running into two major problems 1) I don’t speak fluent Chinese and 2) I have no experience. I was able to find a job working for an IT company and that is at least out of teaching but it is still not were I would like to be, I want a marketing or advertising job.
When I was hired by the IT company and moved to Beijing, I was told there would be opportunities to move up into management but I have been working for the company for 9 months and there are very few opportunities. After moving to Beijing, I decided that I would start a marketing blog to stay up to date with marketing trends and push myself to learn more about marketing in China. I clearly didn’t have enough experience according to all the companies I have applied for and I thought having an online voice or presence might allow me to network and also have something to point to in interviews. I am now looking for marketing positions and I hope by having an online presence it can show employers how passionate I am about marketing and maybe someone will be willing to work with me. I am trying to gain more knowledge through my blog and I hope that will help with one of the problems I am running into. As for the other problem, I am taking Chinese classes 2 nights a week for a total of 4 hours a week. This is not enough but it is a start and I do think it is helping.
Looking to the future! Yvonne is doing much better in her career. There are a lot more opportunities for professional teachers in China and she is progressing. So, we will probably remain in Beijing for the next few years. I hope I can move into the marketing field and find a company that is willing to give me a chance to prove myself. But until then I will continue to network through LinkedIn and I will continue to write my blog and look for opportunities. Thanks for reading.
Update on December 8th, 2013
Thank you for reading more about me. I have posted an update about my life and work. I am now working for a marketing agency and I am writing for other blogs. Read More Here.
Update on March 25th, 2014
I am now working for China National Petroleum Corporation. I am working for the CNPC’s international branch as a Marketing Coordinator. The Greatwall Drilling Company (GWDC), a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and an IADC member, is engaged in the worldwide business of petroleum engineering and technical services. Our business scope covers various processes of petroleum engineering and technical services and energy development.