How did you find your job, anyway?

How did you land your current job?

  • Online job site
  • Other ad
  • Transfer from abroad
  • “Guanxi”

0 voters

I’m finally graduating from my MA program and I feel like a college grad all over again, wondering about what happens next and trying to figure out my place in the world. It got me curious how most people find jobs in Taiwan. I have a sneaking suspicion that guanxi outweighs everything and websites like 1111 are just for poor saps who don’t know anybody, but I have no evidence to confirm this. Care to answer a poll? :slight_smile:

Is your MA related to Chinese? Have you considered translation? If so you could comfortably live in Taiwan while freelancing for US and European agencies. That’s pretty much what I do. I don’t work for any Taiwanese agencies, and seldom work for Chinese.

If you’re going to go out on your own, be prepared for a slow build. In my experience, if you’ve chosen a career that you love, you’ll naturally want to get really good at it. If you’ve got some talent to build on, clients will start to rave about you, and you’ll end up with a lot of business through referrals. It takes some time, years, to do this, but things can get really good if you keep at it.

If you’re not on it yet, Seth Godin’s mailing list is a must. He’s a wise dude.

Good luck!

1111 and 104 are the standard way into companies, guanxi exists but it is overrated and if you don’t have it what’s the point of thinking about it?

Think about what you would like to get involved in and go from there, low level positions are fine to get started. Like Tomas said its a process.

“Guanxi,” in truest sense of the word, is really only relevant for locals. Local websites DO work, especially if you are looking for something outside of the teaching trap. I got an in-house editor position with a larger translation/localisation company through 104. I didn’t find them; they found me. Put up a profile on some of these sites. Indicate what kinds of jobs you are interested in. Include a decent photo, as well as a self intro in Chinese. Then you can search and apply to jobs that interest you. More importantly, companies can find you.

Also, you can pick up freelance translation cases from local companies as easy as pie, if that’s your thing. Search 翻譯社. Warning: their cases do not pay the world, and they tend to send them to you in the late afternoon, saying they need it by first thing the next morning.

I have, by no means, found that to be the case. I’ve had one full-time position and an uncountable number of translation “cases” that have come from people I know, either directly or through introduction.

My degree is in translation, and it’s something I greatly enjoy, but I’m limited in that I am only doing Ch>En, and never En>Ch… I could do it, but it would take so much more time and effort that I don’t think it would be worth it.

Now my task is to find a stable job that will give me a work permit and ARC… or otherwise cut my losses and head back to California and worry about the same problems over there. :ponder:

That’s all I do, C-E. In fact most professional agencies will only let you work into your native language. You really don’t want to bother with E-C, as there are plenty of native speakers of Chinese who will translate for next to nothing. Native speakers of English who are qualified (with an MA for starters), and can translate from Chinese are in great demand. But even for this language pair you’ll get paid peanuts from most Taiwanese and Chinese agencies. You’ll get paid considerably more from western agencies and there are hundreds out there. I did a T&I MA in the UK (Chinese - English), and I focused on translation. Being a freelance translator is just one option though. I’ve been doing it for 3 years now, and I’d be happy to do it for the next 10 years or so.

I’ve been working for Taiwanese agencies…maybe I should start looking for Western ones…

There are other benefits of working with agencies outside of Taiwan. Tax being one of them. You can earn up to 1 million NTD from overseas agencies without paying tax to Taiwan - this is 100% legal, I haven’t just made that up. I have no idea why Taiwan has such a law, but it does. If you bring more that 1 million into the country it needs to be declared and taxed, but I’m not sure of how that’s worked out.

Am I mistaken that the work also has to be done outside Taiwan?

It can be done from Taiwan. I’ve had a look on the official website. It was a bit vague, but said something along the lines of tax only needs to be paid when working with Taiwanese agencies. I wasn’t entirely convinced, so I asked an accountant to check it out, they checked it out and also thought the info was a bit vague. They phoned up the official office responsible for tax and said that that rule was only applicable to amounts under 1 million NTD. There’s a recent-ish thread about it on Forumosa somewhere (about freelancing).

Maybe it’s changed or they weren’t clear to me when I asked (mind you a few years back). Most of my work is done outside Taiwan in any case so it never mattered. Funny when I applied for my APRC I had to show my bank statement as my tax records show almost no earnings. They thought it was my wife’s account and had a hard time understanding the whole freelance thing.

There’s another thread relating to freelancing, to sum up it goes like this - one person (person A) said they were told the limit was 1 million NTD and another person (person B) was told it was a lot lower. After speaking to person A, person B then called the tax office up again and repeated what person A had told them. The person they spoke to on the phone then decided that it was 1 million NTD, and not the much lower amount they had previously quoted.

I don’t know why this is the way it is. There just mustn’t be that many people freelancing in this particular way - working with foreign agencies.

[quote=“Dr Jellyfish”]There’s another thread relating to freelancing, to sum up it goes like this - one person (person A) said they were told the limit was 1 million NTD and another person (person B) was told it was a lot lower. After speaking to person A, person B then called the tax office up again and repeated what person A had told them. The person they spoke to on the phone then decided that it was 1 million NTD, and not the much lower amount they had previously quoted.

I don’t know why this is the way it is. There just mustn’t be that many people freelancing in this particular way - working with foreign agencies.[/quote]

Sounds like Taiwan bureaucracy!

You wouldn’t want to hear my story, would you? It would be laced with profanity; utterly devoid of Compassion, Forbearance and Truthfulness, and probably get me suspended. :sunglasses:

104.com.tw. But it’s a couple years ago; 2004, 2006, 2007. In the software field.

I get job offers just having profiles on those sites. The only site that I couldn’t join was Yes123.com.tw.

It was “guanxi” for me. I’ve always assumed it basically follows… speak Mandarin: online job sites/job fairs/whatever; no Mandarin: “guanxi.” Registered at 104.com.tw years ago when searching for a job, it was utterly useless attempt.

Built a solid Local LinkedIn network. Landed me 2 jobs in last 12 months by reaching out to the right people.
Same counted for 4 talents I placed in Corp’s as a headhunter few months back.

TW jobsites are over-rated. Your CV ends-up at the desk of a 22 Year old HR Admin whom has no clue which Talent her hiring Mgr. truly needs. (let alone identify best fits vs. Fit with JD’s)

Uploading your resume on 104 and 1111 was a good start for me. I would get regular interview offers, usually by small Taiwanese companies. Make sure your CV is in Chinese, although I only speak a little Chinese I contacted many International companies through email addresses I had found on the job sites and attached my English resume with cover letter. Only a few replied but those that did were truly interested. I ended up getting a job with an International company for a job which was not advertised on the job sites, but because I had proactively contacted them they really wanted to have me.

So be proactive! Don’t just click the apply now button, research firms and contact them. Linkedin is a good place to start although there aren’t many jobs in Taiwan advertised there. There are enough jobs out there for graduates even if you don’t speak very proficient Mandarin.