We’ve all fancied a fresh start every now and again, but you’re actually brave enough to do something about it. That sets you apart.
You’re looking at what you can do for a living if you should choose to move to China, and you’re confronted with the same thing time and time again:
Teacher, Teacher, English Teacher, Teacher, Teacher, Teach online, Teacher, Teaching English online, Teacher, English Teacher, Teacher, Teacher…
But what do you do if you want to live in China, but categorically do not want to be a teacher?
Hands-on jobs like engineering are already pretty much covered by the locals, so you want to play to your strengths; you don’t have to teach English, but knowing it puts you head and shoulders ahead of the game.
There are plenty of jobs available for those of you who can speak English proficiently, and this is a strength that you want to be advertising at every potential avenue.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of our top 4 picks for alternatives to teaching while you work in China, focussing on jobs which make use of your natural linguistical advantage.
1 – Working in IT
The IT sector in China is one of the most profitable and lucrative areas for employment, particularly for those of you coming from outside the country.
Your capacity to speak English will prove to be nothing short of an absolute benefit.
Liaising with foreign companies as you solve problems you didn’t even know existed, for people prepared to throw money at you the whole time… for many, this is the dream job.
Some previous experience working in IT is pretty much essential though; so it’s worth going back through all your old qualifications from school and seeing if there’s anything relevant you can use to your advantage.
2 – English Writer or Editor
A foreign perspective is one of the most sought-after things by local Chinese newspapers or media outlets.
If you have a grasp of the ‘goings on’ in China then you can write columns from the perspective of an outsider, and local businesses will pay you for it.
You can even find work as a freelance writer and editor, with many companies calling out for people prepared to give their input. Everybody has it in them to talk at length about something, right? So find a venue which allows you to just ‘get it off your chest’, and you’ll even make a little cash along the way.
3 – Working in Business
Chinese businesses are always desperate for people who can speak English, and who are prepared to do some hard work for good money; and make no mistake: the work will be hard, but the money will be good.
A quick Google search showed me that a whole host of various companies are looking for English speakers, even with very few necessary qualifications; none other than the likes of Apple and Google have proven themselves to be some of the most prolific hirers in China.
Businesses often need people who can communicate effectively with clientele and prospective buyers, and you’re putting yourself into a great position by being able to speak English already.
4 – Translator
There’s no shortage of people needing to work with English-speakers; primarily because of how invaluable an asset your knowledge of English really is.
If you advertise your services as a freelance translator, or even if you contract yourself in this position to a company, you’ll find you’re quickly snapped up.
Many businesses are looking to work with companies overseas and particularly Chinese ones. Your ability to serve as a middle-man/woman for these big companies is a sure-fire way of lining your own pockets in the process.
Play to your strengths…
The fact that you can speak English will already put you well above any potential competition.
You don’t have to be a teacher by any means, but definitely don’t lose sight of the fact that your language is your greatest tool in the foreign workplace.
Teaching is not the be-all-and-end-all of working in China, and there’s plenty of other things you can do there – and your ability to speak English is going to get you one foot in the door every time. However, teaching in classrooms or teaching English online is certainly the most reliable source of income out of this list.