Job fairs, and opening my eyes to how big the world really is.

It’s the beginning of May now, which means my adventure in China is now approaching an end. My contract to Shijiazhuang Foreign Language School is almost up.

To be brutally honest, I don’t want to go home.

It’s not because I don’t want to see friends, family and everyone in between. I do, more than ever. But New Zealand is so, so small, and trying to develop any sense of identity and worth is difficult. It is also a relatively poor (yet developed) country especially after the global financial crisis, so earning money becomes a chore and not something to enjoy and develop within a career setting.

China however has proven to be one of the better decisions I have made in my short 22 years of life. Granted there have been unexplainable, almost breakable, points about it. It would take the rest of my life (and then some) to be able to give you a concise and accurate description of China, and even then it would not do it justice. Regardless of all this, I want to stay in China and ‘find myself’ in a more global setting.

Sarah, an expat better versed in the China scene, mentioned a job fair that was happening in Beijing. I had never been to a job fair before, and asked if I could come. Luckily for me she is a gracious individual (and possibly delighted at the thought of some travel company) so she said yes.

Catching the G train (oh NZ, how I wish you had such a magnificent rail system) we arrived in Beijing close to 11am. After navigating the subway using our paper maps and an app I downloaded (Explore Beijing) we arrived at the swissotel Beijing for the job fair relatively on time.

The job fair was specifically designed for foreigners in China and had ~50 stalls spread around the second floor conference room. Most were for teaching jobs through various universities, understandably. Others though were for marketing, finance, engineering and many other areas. I had no idea what to expect from a job fair and found myself quite unprepared for some encounters, especially regarding my outdated and unavailable CV (I managed to break the printer, whoops). I am definitely applying for the marketing and writing opportunities I discovered and left my contact information at, and have been re-designing/updating my CV today for further opportunities. Overall I found the day quite successful, and I now have a wider understanding about jobs, careers, and how to begin finding myself in such a large country like China.

Wish me luck!

E.

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