The Halfpat Life: Sydney

Thursday, April 5, 2007 20:02
Posted in category The Halfpat Life, Uncategorized
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Originally from the Shanghai, Sydney has been back in China for 4 years now following time in New York City and Hong Kong.

What brought her back to China was

Booming market, vibrant social atmosphere, language ability, all combined with the fact that I was going through your typical major mid-twenties crisis and in need of a change.

with 5+ years of experience, Sydney took the plunge and landed a job with a Fortune 5 managing internal communications. In addition, she is also head of the Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives for the China market.

Language Background:
On a scale from 1 to 10, what level is your Mandarin? 8
How often do you use Mandarin in general? Daily
How often do you use Chinese language skills at work? 50 – 75%

To get ready, Sydney did no formal study of the language, culture, or business climate, but wishes she had.

For those looking to learn more, Sydney suggests the website All Roads Lead to China (and we appreciate the plug)

My perspective is that learning too much ahead of time could either make you hesitate and delay entry or worse, it could give you a false idea that you are knowledgeable, hence you’ll be even less prepared upon arrival.

What are top 5 of living in China
1. My job and how I can make a difference
2. All the interesting people I get to meet
3. Being a part of the global excitement
4. Ayi
5. Taxi

What are bottom 5 of living in China
1. Life as a non-stop business trip
2. Too fast & too much(of everything)
3. Don’t know when would pedestrians earn the right of way
4. Lack of taxi when in real need
5. Spending RMB like monopoly $

Living in an apartment,Sydney’s employment contract provides housing, insurance, and Chinese language lessons.

Career path:
Do you have a business plan on the shelves? No
Have you ever carried 2 cards? Yes

She is not concerned about what career opportunities are available for her should she return home, and here current employer does offer career growth opportunities. Working for a Fortune 5 does have its priveldges!

While in China, she believes the most valuable skills gained are:

The extensive level of forced training obtained by living in such fast growing, immature, and chaotic market like China, have really pushed my creative problem solving abilities, and seriously tested my risk tolerance level, which I think are both essential in any market and in life ultimately.

Hindsight being 20/20 … Sydney WOULD do it again if given the choice, and rather than advise people she would would lay things out, and “it’s up to them to decide”

What keeps her in China?

  1. Cannot leave all these excitement without feeling like missing out on something great,
  2. Simply don’t know where else to go at this very moment,
  3. Addicted to the chaotic life style
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