EMBA speaker event: Making successful career changes and navigating the China recruitment market
Written by Lee Whittington III, Master of International Business, Shanghai campus, class of 2016
vLarry Wang is the CEO of Wang & Li Asia Resources, which serves as a recruitment firm for large scale fortune 500 companies as well as smaller entities. This seminar was designed for Hult’s EMBA students, but thankfully I was able to sit in and experience a different setting than I am accustomed too.
As recruiter and business owner, Wang gave much insight on the skills that employers look for in applicants and how to differentiate yourself from the crowd. Simply submitting a CV is the bare minimum in today’s market. Though it can seem daunting to put yourself out there amongst numerous applicants, there is a real beauty that lies within china. “Close your eyes and throw a rock, you will hit opportunity.” This quote from Larry Wang, emphasizes the idea that China has countless things to offer and that it is up to you to go after what you want. Wang deemed technology, talent development / coaching, and entrepreneurship as being the top three areas of opportunity for foreigners in China. While these opportunities are present, you have to be willing to take risks and do things in often unconventional manners. It is time for us to create our own Shanghai reality.
Beyond Wang’s expertise in the Chinese job market, he provided a unique perspective being that he himself is an Asian American. He spoke about being an “outsider” because he did not grow up in China and how that impacted his career journey. This is something that all of us Hultians face. Though many of us are well versed in the Chinese culture, we are still seen as foreigners. This is an obstacle, but one we can overcome.
Wang also spoke about a shift in what companies are looking from potential employees. Soft skills are now being sought after more readily than hard skills. Particularly in the Chinese market, industries are looking for great communication / people skills, solution oriented thinking, as well as employees that are consumer oriented. Being that Hult students are from an abundance of disciplines, this is very beneficial because these are skills that all students can harness.
Larry Wang wrapped his session with three essential factors needed to succeed in the Asian Market. A high level of commitment, flexibility, and patience. To succeed you must persevere and truly be passionate about what you are doing. It is also important to be flexible with your expectations. Asia is unlike any other market with growth happening rapidly, and at times that can mean considering in environments you may have not considered. For example, you may consider working for a middle sized company instead of a high profile corporation because there are more opportunities there. Lastly, Wang finished with patience. “You will get what you earn.” Do not confine yourself to making everything fit how you want it to. Life is full of twists and unexpected turns. In due time, you will get back what you put in.
The time is now Hultians. Whether you are staying in Shanghai or venturing out to other countries, it is up to us to create our own “Shanghai Reality.” With little risk, reaps little reward. Our time is now. Own it.
Kickstart your career in the commercial center of Asia by studying at Hult’s Shanghai business school. To find out more, take a look at our blog Settling back into Shanghai: My MBA rotation experience so far. Download a brochure or get in touch today to find out how Hult can help you to learn about the business world, the future, and yourself.