Officially gave up looking for a stable job in TW...

Ok, so to sum things up I came back to Taiwan for the 3rd time attempting to land a stable job in Taipei. Relating to my earlier post on dating a single mom, she’s the main reason why I returned.
I already struggled on the last 2 attempts and this time seems that it got worse…barely getting enough English classes to teach on the side to get by while busting my ass on my job search champagne 24/7.
I am a ABT with a TW citizenship and have a B.A. degree in Interior Design from the states. I had several interviews with Architecture firms in Taipei but no offer mainly due to my limited Mandarin ability.
At this point I’ve decided not to waste anymore time with TW’s job market and want to look into China , HK, SG.
I would like to know if anyone can share any experience and success stories with landing jobs in other parts of Asia while living in TW. Thx

It’s not just your lack of Mandarin ability.
Even if you were willing to do the same job as a local for the same $ as a local (which doesn’t happen very often), having a foreigner on staff presents a crapload of complications and extra effort (some real, some perceived), for accounting, HR, staff in general, and others.
Consequently, it’s doubtful that you’re seen as bringing anything to the table extraordinary enough to warrant the bother.


When looking for a job locally, keep a few things in mind:

  1. Not every company in Taiwan is allowed to hire foreigners, for starters. This is done to protect local labor, which brings us to…

  2. Law says you must be paid almost double of local minimum, which means 40k plus. They can hire two locals for that amount, of which there ae plenty, and they are desperate to work. Unless the company really really wants you, which gets us back to you:

  3. You must have certifiable experience of several years aside from your degree. Which school also matters. The higher the degree, the more they like you. harvard you say? My cousin went there! Come in! *later we will talk about guanxi

  4. Moreover, if they do not already have foreigners, they will be groping in the dark of intricate bureacracy to hire you. Most give up. If they do and they know what to do, then it depends on them choosing you. Otherwise, convincing them to apply to hire you means for starters they need to open their books to the government, and many feel that is like pulling down their pants in the middle of Zhongshiao road for the world to see. Bit complicated, to say they least.

As to China and HK and other places, well, variations of the same tune apply but I think China was not that strict in terms of experince and degrees. Anyways, do get your stuff translated and certified for expedite use. Good luck.

Chinese will also be required. The more you know, the better opportunities you will be able to catch. Oh and network like crazy.


I thought that employment gold card scheme would help foreigners like him to get job easier in Taiwan. Apparently I was wrong. :roll_eyes:

thanks for your insight.

sounds like a typical Taiwan doctor’s visit, anyway.

For those who have gonorrhea.

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I thought the OP mentioned they have Taiwan citizenship? In that case, the company may not have to go through those hurdles. (But then again have an excuse to pay OP less than for a “real foreigner”.)

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Plus 100 points for observation paoerclip :).

The job market sucks here you tried how many times already ? Even if you got a job you’d probably hate it and be underpaid and overworked anyway . They are doing you a favour.
Go where the work is and see your missus on your time off.

Also broaden the type of jobs you could do by a large factor (think design not just home design ).

Where’s a hot but developing real estate market now? Vietnam ? Myanmar ? Thailand ? Can think of these places too if really focused on interior design.


He’s got a BA in design. They want PhDs in AI.

Actually Taichung and Hsinchu should have had some jobs a while back , certainly more than Taipei . The real estate market is in the doldrums here so it’s not good timing in reality.

This is not even true. It’s not even that hard to hire foreigners. Taiwanese HR are just usually lazy and are worried about doing extra work or dealing with anything regarding outside world. The paperwork isn’t tough and they most likely have most of the documents needed lying around.

From what I understand the locals in the labor force are nothing but buncha lazy selfish f**ks and never will do bit more work than they are required beyond their means. Actually most locals are selfish in general behind all that “fake friendly” hospitable mask they have on.

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It greatly depends on individuals. I’ve seen as many lazy or selfish locals and foreigners here as I saw in US or my country.


Well, I do understand the lazy part. There’s no incentive to do a lot with the low pay and no chance for any promotion for doing a lot of work. You get paid the same for the maximum work or the minimum work. So why bust your ass for nothing?

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I thought he wrote he is an ABT (American Born TAiwanese) with tAiwanese citizenship? That means he can work as a local.

Low pay in TAiwan though. Many with Masters degrees from prestigious foreign Univs are getting 50,000 to 60,000nt/month.

If you are heading that way, better marry the TW lady and move her and kids to USA. Provided she is willing too as well and you guys are heading in that direction.

I don’t know about Architecture firms, but if you want to work in CH, HK, or SG, isn’t mandarin still an issue?

Can’t you work for US from Taiwan as IT people can do?

Not sure if HK would be an issue. If it’s a larger architect firm, you can definitely get by with English. I do know that a lot of major corporations in HK that do local hires really want fluent mandarin speakers, but (from what I hear) for Gen Y, most of them were not pushed to learn it.

However, the last time I was there and shopping around Sham Shui Po, most of the younger crowd had better Mandarin than English.

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It can take a long time to find a job here, just like anywhere else. It took me months the last time I tried.

And I’ve heard nothing good about working as an interior designer here, especially if you have little Mandarin skills.

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It took me a year and a half to land a good job and I’ve been here forever and have passable Mandarin.

There was an Italian guy working in design here in Taiwan on the boards. To say he was unhappy would be an understatement.

If being a foreigner was not a problem, then teh OP means to say that teh companies were not interested in his expertise? Maybe I think it is like civil engineering or architecture. Styles, materials, reguklations from abroad may not be teh ones used here. Some skills in different professions are hard to transfer here.