About a year ago I was working as a sales engineer in Los Angeles and decided that I had enough of reading about the great economic boom in Asia and rather than sit back and watch it on TV I wanted to be a part of it. I started to save up and talked to my friiends regarding a job with a US based company in SE Asia. Unfortunatly after looking online and exchanging a few emails it became clear that most companies wanted a basic understanding of Mandarin before they would hire you.
About 7 months ago an old college friend emailed me saying she was coming back to Taiwan and if I was still interested in learning Chinese she knew a good school in Taipei. Make a long story short I’ve spent the last 7 months at NTNU learning Mandarin and working in the marketing department of a large software company.
So after 7 months of working in the buisness world in Taipei I’ve come to the conclusion that this is not something I would ever want to do on a full time basis. The hours are horrendous they pay isn’t anywhere near what I was making in the US and I don’t have any vacation to go traveling around SE Asia. Don’t get me wrong there are a lot of things I love about Taiwan but the buisness world isn’t one of them. I’ve hard plenty of western workers say their views are disregarded on a regular basis and that their companies basically see them as replaceable parts in a big machine so I know it’s not just my experience with my company.
My question is this the norm in Asia ? Do tech companies in Singapore and Shanghai expect their employees to work saturdays on a regular basis ? I know Singapore has more holidays and vacation days than Taiwan but what about Shanghai ? I have had a few emails from recruiters back in Los Angeles but I don’t want to give up yet so any advice or pointers towards other resources online is highly appreciated.