In August, when overseas students were returning home, we found that returnees who have just returned to China have expressed concerns about readjusting and may lack information about domestic job hunting.
Students return to China to enter the work unit or ambitiously start their own business. However, many of the interviewees we contacted will confide in the stage of confusion that they have just returned to in China. Originally thought to be back to their familiar hometowns, it was found that the connections, the rhythm of the work, and even the surrounding streetscape environment have changed. Due to differences in social environment and education system between China and foreign countries, it is possible that an international student would be overwhelmed when returning to China to find a job. If there is no clear plan for personal career development, it can be even more confusing.
However, this ubiquitous confusion is often overlooked.
Inquiries on the Internet can find many examples of it being confusing, but there is little research on this. This kind of depression, which lasts for an unspecified period of time brings trouble to the returnees and wastes personal and social resources.
There are several reasons we must analyze sentiment of returnees: First, the returnees who graduated from an internation university, do not have obvious employment advantages while some companies even prefer domestic graduates. Second, entrepreneurial returnees will face the difficulties encountered by all entrepreneurs in the early stage of their business. All kinds of unfamiliar daily affairs can make them feel overwhelmed and deal with hardships, thus generating depression and self-doubt. Third, some returnees do not have clear enough personal career goals. If the work is not fulfilling, the individual expects a gap with the reality and causes a sense of loss. Fourth, there are concerns about the existence of cultural “faults” after returning to China for many years. Many people repeatedly ask themselves: “Can I really reintegrate into the domestic social circle?”
Although many returnees returned to China in the early days, they felt that they were not suitable, but they did not realize the impact of this “confusing period” on their own development.
Also, some wonder how should the returnees overcome the incompatibility and pass the “confusing period” as soon as possible? We interviewed some of the “predecessors” who have been employed or started businesses.
Q: Can I adapt to the domestic social environment?
A: Persistently work into the circle.
“My high school went to study in Australia, and I stayed for 9 years. When I returned to China last year, I felt that I was a blank canvas. It felt very strange adjusting to the domestic living environment and the social circle was very narrow.” Zhong Hanbin, who is pursuing a master’s degree in marketing and business law, just graduated from The University of Western Australia and returned to China for just one year. During this year, he gradually overcame the confusion after returning to China and found a clearer plan for his future.
“After less than one year from the master’s degree, I was thinking about how to go back to Congress. In the meantime, I was entangled in my decision to return to China. On one hand, I was not sure if I could adapt to the social circle in China. In addition, he has a little hope and expectation for the challenges that will be faced after returning to China.”
“Recalling it now, what makes me stick to it is a belief – since this decision has been made, it is difficult to overcome it.”
As a native of Shenzhen, taking into account the opportunities and platforms for development, Zhong Hanbin chose to go home to find opportunities after graduating. To his surprise, “After returning to China, I found that I was not so out of touch with my imagination. When I first started working, I would definitely encounter many unsatisfactory situations, but I just needed to take a moment to understand the work behaviors of my colleagues. By the way, you will find yourself adaptable to the new environment.”
After a year of hard work, Zhong Hanbin said with pride: “Now, I am the secretary general of the Shenzhen Guangming New Area Overseas Students Association. This position has given me a lot of opportunities to learn, and I also like to do my best to help others. More returnees are coming. Step by step, I am learning about future development paths that establish and operate a platform, to help others under the premise of ensuring their own development. This is the way I live and work.”
In fact, during his study in Australia, Zhong Hanbin used to be a new “mental mentor”. After returning home, he is still willing to help more returnees integrate into the domestic work and living environment. “Some Australian schoolmates and schoolgirls often worry that they can not integrate into the new environment when they return to China. I often ask if there is any way to improve me. Adapt quickly. I will tell them at this time, don’t be afraid to face problems, bravely try, your ability to adapt is far stronger than you think.”
Q: What industry should I work in?
A: Try new things and really research different roles and positions.
“When I graduated, I was under a lot of pressure. Many of my classmates had already completed recruitment and accepted offers from domestic employers. In contrast, my actions were slow. Many feel that they don’t know where my future is going, and my heart is getting more and more panic. On the other hand, my parents’ expectations have brought me a lot of pressure and anxiety. They think that because I graduated from a prestigious school. I can find a good job.” Lu Yizhen, a graduate of Business Analysis and Strategic Management at the University of Manchester in the UK, returned to China in 2016.
For the first time, Lu Yizhen always had a sense of alienation felt incompatible with the surrounding environment. Haitou’s resume and job change, it is always difficult to integrate into the domestic environment. “Later I came into contact with a HR senior employee. He asked me three questions: first, what do you like to do; second, what are you good at; third, what career has a future. If I find the three intersections of the points, I can find the best opportunity for personal development. After this sort of combing, I found the direction.”
Lu Yizhen gave up floating around. “I like to deal with people. It is suitable for communication work. My previous internships are also related to sales. I can use my own advantages to enter the headhunting industry and help employers. Find the talent they want and help people match the jobs they want.”
Lu Yizhen believes that it is very important to find out how to truly integrate into the domestic environment and workplace. “Many Chinese companies have to open up overseas markets, and many foreign companies think of China’s development. Both sides are very fond of returnees with a background in studying abroad. The label “Haigui” can help us get this job in the early stage. Of course, after going to work we need to learn relevant professional knowledge and combine our overseas study and life experience to help the company develop.”
Q: How can I minimize the pressure business?
A: Build a platform and show its value.
Lin Guimin, a master of computational data science at Carnegie Mellon University in the United States, decided to return to China after graduation in 2012. “When I was a senior, I started my business with my classmates. I have some experience and I always wanted to have the opportunity to do something myself. So I decided to continue this path after I returned to China. I like reading books and I am happy to help others. The online platform of education has effectively used my professional skills and found the way I work.”
However, due to the lack of social communication skills and marketing experience, Lin Guimin repeatedly hit the wall at the beginning of his business.
Lin Guimin recalled the initial stage of his career. “At the time, I had only a vague and macro concept for what it took to start a company. Many details still need to be polished. Therefore, the product has not yet come out, and my own money will be spent. My classmates in the United States heard about my entrepreneurial ideas and situation. After discussing with me in detail, he invested in my company with his savings. This kind of trust sent me a sense of empowerment.”
As a “technical man” with an engineering background, Lin Guimin said, “It is a very enjoyable process to develop tools that can improve efficiency.” He not only creates a platform for providing children’s English education, but also shows his self-worth. The entrepreneurial platform.
Songzi Li/ Editing Manager
Translation by Philip Park