So you have taken the courageous path of moving to Hong Kong and making a fresh start? Or perhaps a career change? Although visa limitations and the need of an employment visa do not make things easier, there are some industries that are always in constant demands of labour, which are worth a try to look into.
With an increasing population of expatriates and long working hours, Hong Kong has witnessed a dramatic increase in schools and education centres that help children become globalized and well-rounded citizens, as well as various fitness classes to counter the constant stresses in this city,where work-life balance is a luxury.
Here are some places in the education and fitness industries that you may want to look into if you only have 7 days (or a brief time) in Hong Kong.
While all kindergartens are required to register with the Hong Kong Education Bureau, depending on their owners, they are run as non-profit or private, independent kindergartens.
Although the salary may not be as generous as positions in other industries, native English speakers are in constant demand due to staff turnover and parents’ desires to expose their children to English.
It is important to bear in mind that because kindergartens are privately owned, their expectations may vary. For example, some may require prior training and/or experience, such as a Diploma in Early Childhood Education, or experience with young children, while others may offer you on the job training.
With over 100 kindergartens in Hong Kong offering half and full days, as well as local and international curricula, this can be your calling if you are passionate about working with young children.
Although English is one of Hong Kong’s official languages, you will still find many children and adults enrolled in a class or two in learning centres to improve their understanding in various subject areas for better school and job prospects.
If you are interested in teaching adults and older children, but do not want to work in a school, Learning Centres may be the way to go. Classes in Learning Centres range from math and exam preparation classes for children to teens, to specific classes, such as business English and accountancy for adults.
While certain qualifications, such as a degree in your teaching subject or a Postgraduate Diploma in Education are strongly advised, staff turnover and a big demand means there are frequently positions for tutors.
Depending on which Learning Centre you apply for, there are full-time and part-time positions available, and you may earn by the hour. Currently, some of the most popular classes include exam preparation classes in British IGCSE and A-Levels, American SAT, IB, and English classes. Job postings can be found on online job sites such as Jobs DB and Indeed.
In the past few years, Montessori schools have been on the rise as local and international parents seek an alternative to the traditional, rigid education system. Nevertheless, because there are a lack of Montessori training resources in Hong Kong and teacher turnover, this leads to a steady demand for Montessori educators.
In Hong Kong, there are 7 Montessori schools with toddler and kindergarten programs, and 2 that offer the Montessori primary program as well.
While some schools will sponsor you to take Montessori training, most of them prefer to have applicants with some teaching experience and willingness to learn the Montessori approach. Nevertheless, they offer competitive packages, and if education is something you are looking into, this is a place to go.
Another popular trend is the rise of fitness classes, with fitness centres and dance schools offering various classes, such as yoga, Pilates, and Zumba one after another to cure Hong Kong’s stressed-out workforce.
If you already have certificates in fitness or any of these sports mentioned above, it is definitely worth a try to apply to gyms, fitness centres, and dance schools. But don’t worry if you love doing these sports but lack the qualifications, because many well-established fitness centres also offer in-house training.
For example, Anahata Yoga offers a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training class and advanced yoga classes, while Iso Fit hosts Polestar Pilates training. Meanwhile, there are regular Zumba instructor training sessions in Hong Kong as well.
All of these certifications are excellent ways for you to connect with potential employers and turn your passion in sports into a career you love. There are also some instructors who have shared their passion through freelancing on online communities, such as Meetup.com, Geo Expat, and Asia Xpat.
If you are really, really courageous, there is also the hospitality industry. Although Starbucks may turn down an application due to visa sponsorships, some expatriates have found work in one of the many restaurants and bars that cater to expats, such as those in Lan Kwai Fong and Soho.
However, if you already have qualifications in the culinary arts or hospitality, you may want to look into finding work in hotels and catering groups that have opportunities throughout the year as they continue to expand.
Last but not least, don’t forget freelancing and temporary work. Since Hong Kong has a large population of expatriates, there are also regular postings on expatriate forums, such as InterNations and Geo Expats where you can find freelancing opportunities.
Furthermore, you may also want to check out online job database, such as Career Jet and Jobs DB, which have regular postings of temporary jobs in companies, trade shows, and conferences. Do note that temporary jobs in companies can be short-term or long-term, and that conferences or shows tend to be more short-term in length.