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Old 01-12-2014, 05:03 PM
174 posts, read 265,506 times
Reputation: 287


**I originally posted this topic in the employment section, but there weren't too many answers and I figured the Asia section would be more appropriate for my question. I really want more perspective on this topic, thank you! **


I've been clenching my teeth as I sleep (literally) for the past few months on this problem so I was hoping perhaps some of the more experienced members in the working world could offer some perspective here. I'll try and make it as short as possible.

I'm a (relatively new) business grad from one of the better universities in Canada. Did an internship in Hong Kong this past summer at a top advertising firm and loved it. Thought there would be greener pastures when I got back to my hometown (silly me), but it appears the job market here is dismal to say the least. It is only now that I've realized that perhaps the happiest time of my life was spent in those few months in HK.

I've already landed two interviews should i choose to go back in around 2 weeks, but there is one big issue holding me back: salary. The entry level salaries in Hong Kong are strikingly low ($15,000 HKD is already considered a "very good" entry level salary). For some reason entry level salaries haven't really risen with inflation. So factoring in rent (or in my case "flat sharing"), my savings based on that 15K "optimal" salary would be very low..according to my own detailed calculations would be around 500-600 CAD a month at the most.

I've talked with many friends/ex-colleagues about the issue and the consensus is that there are many more opportunities to be had in Hong Kong, and that it's worth the shot. Honestly I am feeling the same way - the two interviews I have landed are already with 2 multinational ad firms, and I truly believe this could lead to amazing future career growth later on. Again, my gripe is that my savings rate would be so low. The problem is that Hong Kong has insane property rental rates (5000 HKD a month just to share with 2 other room mates - around $650 USD). I'm just not comfortable with the idea that I would essentially be living from paycheck to paycheck. Of course I could find ways to supplement my salary (teaching english, tutoring etc) but it would be more of bonus money rather than a steady revenue stream.

So I guess my question is - is it worth it?

I'd like to hear experience from people who've worked overseas, or chose to make the move to Asia. Would be nice to hear from some new grads who did it as an initial career choice as well as well as those in the advertising field. Basically, those who started low in the corporate ladder and how things have been going so far.

thanks in advance! this has been a very very troubling decision for me.
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