Is it time to leave Taiwan behind?

Hi folks, I’m a super passive user of Forumosa, but I’ve decided to raise my hand for a change because I’ve reached an odd turning point in my life.

Basically, I’m finishing a master’s program in Taipei and am now voluntarily unemployed, but worked for a few years as what can loosely be called a reporter at an English-language media outlet (let’s not name names here). The experience was a good one and has gotten me very interested in [strike]world affairs[/strike] doing something to affect change in the world (or a small part of it) and help make it a better place. I don’t care about pay, as long as it’s enough to get by (and yes, I have done plenty of soul searching and am very certain of this); my main goal is a job that makes me feel good about what I’m doing.

So here’s the question: Are there any opportunities like that in Taiwan? Any do-gooder NGO’s, for example, that would need a native English speaker (aka Westerner) who is fluent in Chinese and has a good amount of experience in translation and the media? I’m scratching my head for ideas here, and I think it’s a sign that it’s time for me to move on from Taiwan after five very, very happy years here. Any advice?


I can’t speak to the NGOs, (sorry) but I will say: if you stay, it will become increasingly harder to leave, and the adjustment to living somewhere else may become more difficult as well. If you feel you’re at a turning point, and you’re financially in a position to make a move, you may be right about it being time to explore.

Do you have any other skills, or are you prepared to learn new ones? What you’re experiencing is pretty common, but you’re basically starting from zero again. People do it all the time, but expect a bit of a struggle while you find your feet in your (new) chosen career.

Maybe you should ask yourself what specific cause you’re most passionate about, then go from there

Thanks for the advice guys. Well, I like to think that I have a decent set of skills (in particular, years of experience in public and media relations and a very high level of competency in translation, not to mention my MA in the subject…), but I do realize that many returning huaqiao are matches for me and probably have better Chinese to boot. I’m very open to learning, and I like to think that my willingness to commit to a cause I believe in would make me an asset, but I haven’t found any organizations that seem to be looking for just that.

If I had to choose a direction in Taiwan, I would want to contribute to reforming and improving the extraordinarily low-quality (Chinese-language) media, but I don’t think the four major newspapers have a particular interest in bringing a Westerner on board (or listening to what he would have to say if they did). Honestly, as long as I feel like I’m doing something to help others I’ll be happy, but even though that sounds like an easy order to fill there doesn’t seem to be much open to me here. I’m starting to seriously lean toward searching in China, where there’s probably a lot more good that needs to be done, anyhow.

A person of your interests and motivations working in the Taiwan media, especially trying to change it for the better, would be like pissing into a typhoon. Completely ineffectual, only making a smelly mess of your own trousers, and almost no one in Taiwan would really care to see your dick.

Use your talents and your Chinese knowledge in a way that benefits those who need such skills. Go get a job in Europe or America, where NGOs focusing on eradicating Chinese organ harvesting camps or whatever would love to have your contribution.

Taiwan has good money for cost of living, I’d take advantage of this while you explore your options. Most jobs especially in PR or Media will do Skype interviews these days. I’m all for going off and ditching the safety net to do a job you’ll enjoy, that’s how most of us came here. But it seems like your not sure where or who to work for yet,

This is your wet dream: