Opportunities for experienced professionals?

Hello,
I am moving to Taiwan soon to study Mandarin. My partner is curious what kind of job opportunities would there be for someone with his qualifications:

-BS in Chemistry/Math, MS in Chemistry, MBA w/marketing focus, all from top 30 USA schools
-10 years work experience, ~3 of which in management
-ABC who speaks only survival mandarin

He would be interested in a Regional Marketing Manager, or R&D Director/Manager type role. I’ll be in Taipei, so he’d be OK with being in Hsinchu.
Are there many opportunities available for someone like him in Taiwan? What are the salary/benefits/working conditions like?

English t…

I would think pretty good somewhere in Taiwan’s technology industries. You will probably need to look for a while though. Check 104.com.tw and search with key words. You might send a resume to these people: sesasia.com/.

Also, try to figure out if there is an alumni club for your MBA school. Some of these can be quite active and they circulate job posting quite often.

Join AmCham or the European chamber of Commerce to meet people in your industry (you can also attend meetings as a guest).

Why would someone hire a non-fluent Mandarin speaker without work rights, when there are plenty of Taiwanese available with fluent Mandarin and open (citizen) work rights? Especially when foreighers tend to complain about long working hours, require lots of extra paperwork, and so on. It would not be very easy for a company to justify why there was no Taiwanese national who could do that job, I would think.

So, English tea…er…

Some companies like to hire Westerners because it gives their company an international flair.

That’s why I’ve got my job. We deal with international clients and the first things my boss seems to tell anyone is: That is Stacey, she’s from New Zealand. That is Eric, he studied in Australia. That is Noemi, she studied in Paris etc.

[quote=“Staceycolleena”]Some companies like to hire Westerners because it gives their company an international flair.

That’s why I’ve got my job. We deal with international clients and the first things my boss seems to tell anyone is: That is Stacey, she’s from New Zealand. That is Eric, he studied in Australia. That is Noemi, she studied in Paris etc.[/quote]

This is true.

Doesn’t make it a job for an experienced professional though – makes it a job for someone with a white face. What do you do at your job that is related to math and chemsitry and something a person with 10 years of experience might expect to be doing?

I thought so.

[quote=“ironlady”]Doesn’t make it a job for an experienced professional though – makes it a job for someone with a white face. What do you do at your job that is related to math and chemsitry and something a person with 10 years of experience might expect to be doing?

I thought so.[/quote]

I think I’m a special case. Actually my work is directly related to Chemistry. 60% Chemistry in fact. And I don’t have a white face. Unfortunately for you I probably am the one exception to your remark Ironlady.

OP if your background in Chemistry leans towards textile engineering Taiwan is not a bad place to be.

I could not resist to post the short version as above. But really I guess it is possible to find something else. Now I myself studied computer science back home, worked several years in the field, with some nice cryptography stuff and a company kitchen with beer, red wine and pretzels. Moving to Taiwan hastily I found myself for years on a low salary, having to work the occasional Saturday without this fun (getting monologues from the lady boss) and dealing with USB stuff. My goodness was that boring. Later I had a successful project at another company where showing off a foreign project manager was a goodie for the company. But I always got the feeling I was not a real employee for them, rather a show-off guy and later was pushed into Sales. I hate sales. So then I finally found a “home” here in the industry where I am not a show-off guy but a software developer and my benefit for the company is my knowledge of stuff the locals often do not have to that extend. They know and love WIndoze, for me it’s Unix and Linux and with software skills I am rather rare on the market here.

So having rare qualifications should lead to finding a long term job here, yet it might take a while. And I believe I could only do it co-working with … a trusted person dealing the Mandarin stuff for me.

So… that was the boring longer answer to the short one above… :wink:

[quote=“Staceycolleena”][quote=“ironlady”]Doesn’t make it a job for an experienced professional though – makes it a job for someone with a white face. What do you do at your job that is related to math and chemsitry and something a person with 10 years of experience might expect to be doing?

I thought so.[/quote]

I think I’m a special case. Actually my work is directly related to Chemistry. 60% Chemistry in fact. And I don’t have a white face. Unfortunately for you I probably am the one exception to your remark Ironlady.

OP if your background in Chemistry leans towards textile engineering Taiwan is not a bad place to be.[/quote]

It’s hardly unfortunate for me – doesn’t affect me at all. It might, however, affect the OP. If you’re the “one exception”, as you put it, clearly it’s not very easy to get such jobs, is it?

[quote=“ironlady”]Why would someone hire a non-fluent Mandarin speaker without work rights, when there are plenty of Taiwanese available with fluent Mandarin and open (citizen) work rights? Especially when foreighers tend to complain about long working hours, require lots of extra paperwork, and so on. It would not be very easy for a company to justify why there was no Taiwanese national who could do that job, I would think.

So, English tea…er…[/quote]

No, he needs to see a few headhunters.

He might work in a local company in a fairly senior role of some kind, I have met people doing that. Alternatively, he will work in a western company here in Taiwan, textiles is still big here, and him liasing with a bunch of Taiwan suppliers might be interesting to him for a few years.

The salary will not be on the english teacher level.

One thing I do not get is that foreigners always think that the market here is teaching and related only. If you have other marketable skills, then you can end up doing a lot of different and more relevant things, and you will get paid for it to boot.

If your only skill is a shaky grasp on mandarin and a relatively recent degree in something, it will be harder, as you will have to build skill while getting into a career path, and that might not be easy.

If you have lots of skill like the partner of the OP, I would not be surprised if they find a decent job here.

I think it’s actually pretty easy to land a ‘decent job’ in Taiwan. The problem I see comes from the lower pay scales here along with excessive working hours. It’s just not a great place to be an employee.

If an expat gig or a foreign company gig, then the payscale might be a little better, at least once local living costs are taken into account.Hours will be long, and higher-paid expats are pushed harder yes.

Do expat gigs or foreign companies still exist in Taiwan? Barely.
Expat gigs you land from overseas and they are hard to get especially to locate in Taiwan. If you can get a good gig Taiwan is a good place to save money.

That leaves local companies for 98% of the opportunities. They are a good way to get into a Specific industry and get some experience.

Some of the foreign companies have got very stingy too , big names like HP don’t actually pay much to their local employees, holidays are a bit more though.

So yeah it’s easy to land a job but not a particularly attractive place to land a job…which maybe why it’s easy to land a job!

Well, local hire with modified benefits, I tried that once, I held that one down for 3 years.