I think that there are some issues involved in finding the ‘ideal job’ in Taiwan to be considered
The visa issue has to be dealt with
A good way to deal with this is to bring over a reserve of cash and enroll at chinese school (bogus or not bogus).
You need a 100,000 NT statement to do this and flight tickets out of the country. After you arrived people could explain easily the different methods. You can enrol at a fairly bogus school for about 7000/3 months…good deal eh?
Real Chinese schools start from 15,000 NT/mth.
Of course learning chinese would be very useful for you but its quite a long process. Enjoyable for more people I think though. Very useful too.
Just don’t expect miracles.
After you regularlise yourself here you have time to send out resumes, try and meet people etc. There are few openings in multinationals in Taiwan. I dont personally know anybody who works for these. I do know quite a few people who work for small, medium and large Taiwanese firms. To be honest most of us would prefer to work for large multinationals where you might get a bit more time off and westernised workplace. The time off thing is quite a big issue if you are from Europe or a place that gives generous vacations. Due to the rather american system here time off is officially not guaranteed the first year. In practice people are often given one weeks paid leave. NOT A LOT OF TIME you’ll agree. Every year you work you get an extra days paid leave. So often you will have to take unpaid leave which might eat into your earnings. It’s also often impossible to get Xmas or certain holidays off. Different culture can be tough sometimes. If you can negotiate better holiday packages (some people are successful, some not) that is a great bonus.
The money isn’t great (average 50000 to 80000 NT/mth), 1-2 mths bonus. Hours generally 9-7pm Mon-Fri. Sometimes less, often more.
Work is fairly relaxed but long hours can be tedious. Taiwan has probably many locals who can do what you can do cheaper but they do like to have a western face and somebody different to work with. They will probably treat you very well. However it can be isolating if you are the only foreigner. If you work for some colleagues that have studied abroad , international experience etc. that makes things easier. They can see things from your perspective. It is very hard to make friends with Taiwanese colleagues in my experience. You can be friendly but making friends is a different ballgame, in general you wouldn’t go with them to a pub for some drinks after work, if you see what I mean.
That might not be true for all foreigners in Taiwan but in the majority it would be (including long termers here) . It sure is an experience though!
Most people end up doing copywriting and sales and marketing type jobs who work in technology here. Its a logical progression…it’s the skills we have that they don’t . It’s hard to get the ideal job when the police are breathing down your neck as your visa is expiring…
Sometimes you go through a succession of jobs and find one right for you.
Often these type of jobs are not available in Taiwan and you have to adapt to the needs of the job market…who knows you may enjoy a different type of job. I’ve already worked at three completely different jobs here. While living in Taiwan you have to adapt to your circumstances. If you have your heart set on only one type of job you may be disappointed.
The economy is not what it used to be but its still pretty dynamic compared to many other countries.
Taiwanese companies also seem to be rather americanized. They use timecards and insist on puncuality. Not all but the ones I know. They are not very social in general after hours as people spend enough time at work already and to be honest they don’t do much on weekends. However in Taiwan it’s quite easy to meet girls to keep you amused…just try not to get locked down before having fun! (very important bit of advice and difficult to follow)
The opportunities here are good for traders in IT and people who stick around a while. You can also use it as a launching pad to mainland China.
Compaq and HP are huge here but of course they are the OEM people more than anything else. You will see how they are good businessmen in a cost down what can be do quick sort of way. This is changing rapidly though and you will often have convesations with managers and businessmen about how they are changing their business model to do more R&D, top line stuff. You might even get hired on this type of premise.
Often work can appear pretty chaotic. Shareholders change , businesses collapse, whole divisions of companies move to other divisions, profits shoot up and down. It’s pretty fast living business wise.
Get lists of companies off the internet and go to trade meetings in the WTC and meet people…something will come up.