Seeking for Work Related Advice

Hi everybody:
I am here to ask for some advices/sugg. in regards to work. Or maybe just to get it out of my chest.

As you guys know, I am doing customer related work that required me to work long hours and on weekends. Also, since it is a relative’s family business, I have more responsibilities to help them to make this place better. But the way ppl do business here are different. Espeically this, since it is a family business, not like a big corp. company so there is no management at ALL. That is one of my major problem. Most of the things I wanna to do or improve, the boss / manager doesn’t seen eye to eye about my sugg. So I feel powerless because I’ve been making a lot of sugg. to make this place better, but they always give me some reason like, “well, we cant do it like this here in TW” “well, things are okay just the way it is onw…”…etc. Therefore I feel sad / fraustrated most of the time @ work.

Now I have a oppt to either work @ the office in Taipei City or cont. to work @ my current place. I don’t know what to do. I feel like since I’ve only been here for 2 months, I should give it another few months, just to see if things get better. But on the other hand, this is a family business, it will never be good to work with relatives and since they have major mangement problem, it will probably takes a long time to fix the problems. Since the upper management never liked my ideas/sugg/inputs, I feel useless and powerless and I don’t see the point of staying…

I am lost and confuse… I don’t know what to do… any thoughs??
Thanks - MiakaW :?

*Sorry about the typo…

If you need the experience then stay with the familiy owned business. Since you are just working for two months, the rest of the family will not judge you yet but they will. If within 6 months you feel under appreciated, you should leave since it will not get better and you are the new person working there. Although you may have better qualifications, you will get resentment from some relatives. I would say “Go your own way” like President Chen Shui Bian. Most Taiwanese I know, know the situation with family owned businesses and stay away as much as possible.

Who knows, you might have your suggestions appreciated at other companies. Why slag yourself with this? You will feel better. This is just my opinion.

You don’t owe the business anything. They can probably get along without you. Don’t feel obligated to them. If you get a chance to get out with a good working atmosphere, then go for it.

I always get the feeling of “what have you done for me lately?” when you work with the family related business.

Since I work for a small company basically run by my boss (VP) and his wife (admin and finance - now you know who is actually the boss :wink: ) I can perhaps contribute something as I feel I am in a similar situation.
There is not much of improvement possible as soon as it inolves some cost and I must say I feel that my local colleagues are short of being exploited. (I am the only foreigner and thus treated somewhat differently)
When I make suggestions it’s usually doesn’t get me anywhere though I did manage to convince the company to pay us a daily allowance when we travel out of Taipei - but a measily NT$300 a day only.
Otherwise any kind of suggestion is blocked with an argument along the line of “Companies in Taiwan usually don’t do that” or “That’s Taiwan culture” bla bla …

By the end of the year, when my contract will expire, I need to reconsider if I sign up again (I am sure they will offer me at least one or two years extension) or just pack my things and leave for good.
Heard a lot of bad things about the way local companies operate and treat their staff and I am afraid I have to admit most have become true …

Sorry for painting such a black picture; alternatively you could look for some international companies or branches of foreign companies though you should hold on to your current job until you have signed up for something better.

Wow this is just like the book I’ve been reading, “Living rooms as factories”, which is the same name as an old KMT program.

I vote leave and here are my reasons:

  1. You’re a woman working for your family in a patriarchal society
  2. You’ve given too many suggestions and they probably view you as a busybody
  3. You work too much and are probably poorly compensated
  4. Lack of management/organization/direction/leadership opportunities for you
  5. You need your own life away from family. I love my family dearly, but I’ll be damned before I hire, get hired or work with any of them. This isn’t a strike against them, just how I was raised and what life has taught me.
  6. You will never be more than what you currently are. Unless you’re happy with that, leave.

I would take another job. If your a foreign born Chinese with good English ability, try your hand at the EFL field. Just use a face-saving excuse and do something else. How good do you mesh with local Taiwanese culture and how things are done? This could be a possible problem for you.

Your final decision should be made on the belief/opinion of how much your current job will help you in life. If you decide to quit please be warned, your relative will make all types of promises to get you back. Once you come back he will break every one of them and say you have a bad attitude when you become upset and complain. It’s a tactic that abusive men use on their women. Just get her to come back, which makes her threshold for pain higher, making her less likely to leave him for beating her. Chinese bosses are also users of this tactic to keep their skilled wokers without paying them as much as they should be paid.


Thanks for everybody’s suggestions.

Here are few more details that I can provide to you guys.
I was born in Taiwan and went to the US when I was 12, been there ever since for the past 12 years (Damn, now you know my age!) I graduated with a business degree with an emphasis in accounting. I wanted to work for my relatives because I wanna try something new other than accounting, so I choose management. (but I would love to get into advertising and marketing as well since I took a few classes back in college) Now my problem is that I don’t wanna teach English since I don’t think I will be a good teacher. Also, I would really like to stay in the business field. I don’t mind doing accounting here in TW, but I was wondering if the taxes / laws are the same here in TW?!

I just think that I should give my job some more thoughs rather than jumping into a conclusion. Can I grow with the company - YES. Will I have a lot of stress/hardtime/problems while working here - YES. Can I see myself with the company for the next few years - MAYBE. I think if I work in a bigger company with better management, all my answer would be YES, YES, YES!!

Sigh, work is always fraustrated, don’t ya guys think?? Anywayz, thanks for all your advices, keep them coming!
MiakaW :wink:

First thing (English teacher demon coming out), there is no such thing as “advices.” The singular and plural form of the word is “advice.” Sorry to nitpick, just trying to help.

If I were you, I’d keep working in business until you’ve got enough experience, and the right opportunity, to do exactly what you want to do. It sounds like you already have another opportunity available–have you spoken to anyone who works at that company to find out whether a jump over there will be any better than your current situation? If you do your research properly, you’ll know whether to move or stay. The only reason to stay, in my view, is because you don’t have a better opportunity (you have to eat, after all). As soon as one comes up, get the hell out of there. Life is way to short to work for crappy management.

Good luck.


[quote=“Tomas”]and started my own shop (gourmet foods).

Hi Tomas,

Anytips to running your own shop? I have this urge to be my own boss. How much Capital should I save up? How do you deal with the ARC if you start your own business here? Were there a lot of red tape?

Be careful when working for local companies in Taiwan and trying to make suggestions and improvements. Alot of the time, your suggestions will eat into managements or other employees commissions and kickbacks so you will get alot of flack for it.

[quote=“sticks of fury”][quote=“Tomas”]and started my own shop (gourmet foods).

Hi Tomas,

Anytips to running your own shop? I have this urge to be my own boss. How much Capital should I save up? How do you deal with the ARC if you start your own business here? Were there a lot of red tape?[/quote]

This is a much longer discussion than we have time or place for here.
Perhaps sometime we’ll meet at a get-together, and I can give you some more details.


Did you get any good Gourmet knowledge from working with the Taiwanese companies?
Also a friend wants to set up a hotdog stand in ShiDa night market. Your thoughts on that.


Did you get any good Gourmet knowledge from working with the Taiwanese companies?
Also a Canadian/Toronto friend wants to set up a hotdog stand in ShiDa night market. Your thoughts on that.
Not a big hot dog eater so I would say its a bad idea.

I think you’re making a mistake staying. Long hours will never go away. I can’t see you actually getting anymore control. I seriously suggest you read the following books for some insight.

  1. “Men Who Hate Women and The Women Who Love Them”- Don’t let the title fool you this is very much a life-changing/altering book. I think it should be mandatory reading for everybody

  2. “Living Rooms as Factories”- has a lot to do with your current situation and gives a lot of info on the worsening situation of Taiwanese women in business since the 1950’s.

  3. “Influence: Psychology of Persuasion”- Read this at first opportunity. Should be on everyone’s shelf. Please at least read the follow up essay on this by Charlie Munger at:

There comes a point in your life when you have to take control. When you have to grow-up/mature enough to realize where you are is or isn’t the right place for you. I hope you make the right choice.


[quote=“sticks of fury”]Tomas,

Did you get any good Gourmet knowledge from working with the Taiwanese companies?
Also a friend wants to set up a hotdog stand in ShiDa night market. Your thoughts on that.[/quote]

I have no experience with hot dog stands, other than frequenting them from time to time.

The concept of gourmet in Taiwan isn’t the same as it is in the U.S., so no, I didn’t learn the business here. I used to be the president of a tea company in the States. That is how I made my contacts and learned what I have learned.

[quote] played “the good soldier” for several years before I said fuck it and started my own shop (gourmet foods).

Sorry to nitpick, but that should be ‘gourmet food’. :smiley:

Just a joke OK.

Miaka, forget about the family angle and all that for now. Just think this:
What’s your work prioroty:
Somehwere relaxing and enjoyable to work?
Somewhere you’re making money?
Somewhere with career prospects?

Now does your current job fulfill your work priority? Yes - stay. No - go.