Working in China as a foreigner has a variety of benefits financially and socially. Angel Boakye, international relations and diplomacy master’s student at Shanghai University, has had a spectrum of experiences working and interning in China. She is originally from Ghana, where she also has work experience. She shared with us her take on working as a Ghanaian in China, the Chinese work ethic, and the social benefits of living in China.
“Chinese people have a very great work ethic,” said Angel. “They set out to have a goal and then they reach it. They have objectives. I really respect that.” Comparing the work ethic in China and Ghana, Angel notes that Ghana is more relaxed in the working environment.
For example, Angel continues, “in China, most of the jobs are paid by the hour. If you are late for work or losing hours, it goes against you. This makes people very effective and productive because they come to work on time and they do what they are supposed to do. They even work overtime. The overall goal is to make money.” While in Ghana, Angel shares, “it’s more on a salary basis. So, it doesn’t really matter the number of hours you work or how much work you put in it.”
Angel continues, “for us, my break time is my break time. I’m going to take my break. But, you find with Chinese people they will stay 2 or 3 hours after work or maybe even give up lunch. Chinese people are a little more effective.”
As for working for a Chinese boss, Angel has had a positive experience. “Chinese bosses demand so much of you,” said Angel. “Chinese bosses can be very nice. Even though you are working for them and you are kind of at their mercy, they don’t use that against you. They actually make you feel that they need you more.”
Financially, Angel has found that work in China is compensated very well. Some foreigners even get accommodations for bills and housing. Thus, the cost of leaving home and living so far away from family is somewhat reimbursed by what the salary covers.
Socially, Angel has found that China is a great place to meet people. “When you begin to work in China,” said Angel, “you find that you are opening your social circle and connecting on the same ideas and topics. You’re not always going to meet the same people from back home. You’re going to meet different people from different backgrounds and different countries. It really gives you a broader perspective on life. It is just a beautiful atmosphere if you want to know more about the world.”
Finally, Angel hopes to continue working in China and develop her own business after she completes her master’s degree. “I feel like Shanghai, China allows you to make some sort of profit. Culturally, there is this drive with the people. Everyone is striving to bring out the best of the product or service and be the best. That is really the most efficient kind of environment you want to be in.”
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
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