Tag Archives: career advices

Dealing with Stress in the Year of the Monkey

CRI It could be that the economy is booming and there’s pressure to drive a better car, live in a better house and wear more expensive clothes. It could also be the case that the economy is tanking and there is pressure to stay put and maintain a quality of life. There is even a possibility your family is encouraging you to “take it easy” and “have a rest”, even though this may not be practical. It is hard to dispute that in modern China, competition and pressure abound. In this edition of career builder, we address a number of issues surrounding:
  1. Pressure, what is reasonable, and when does it become stress?
  2. Should we take drastic action to deal with pressure and stress?
  3. Is pressure and stress part of the normal pattern of working life?
  4. What can we do to relieve stress?
  5. What are the benefits or relieving stress?

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Career Builder – Job & Offer Negotiation

job offer negotiation    

Job offer negotiation is probably the most difficult part in the job seeking process. We put so much effort on interview preparation that we must not blow it off at the last step.

When you want to ask about salary in job interviews, do you think it is a sensitive issue to talk about? And for employees who work for the same employer for years, how should they negotiate the salary raise after several years? In this episode of Career Builder show, Founder & CEO of RMG Selection, Robert Parkinson shares practical tips for listeners to get over the problem.

  1. Everyone loves to have a job offer but there is so much in it. We need to learn how to handle a job offer. So what is your advice?
  • We need to keep in mind a number of different facts. Our social economic situation and whether you are a starter and many other things determine the level of flexibility of a job offer.
  • First job and even other jobs in one’s twenties should be investing years. So under this situation, you should negotiate less because you are going to benefit a lot more later on.
  • But if you are at your late 30s or 40s, and if you are good enough, you really have to think more carefully about package, bonuses, and holidays.
  • So this question depends on which perspective you are coming from and what other support you have. That’s the key point.
  1. If I ask for less than what I expect the job offer to be, would the employer think I have no confidence and do not deserve this job?
  • It is interesting that such situation does not happen that often. For most of the time, what we are left with are people who have high expectations.
  • A degree of confidence is important, but the confidence in salary requirements should be justified. Actually there are two sides of a coin.
  1. Usually you are underrated and underpaid for you first job. You know you have a good education and are confident in your abilities. But in front of a competitive job market, you are offered something much lower than your expectation. What should you do then?
  • Some people are in the middle class in China; some are in the position where they have great support from their family; some are working outside their hometowns and salary is important for them. For different groups of people, my main advice is that in one’s first job, the focus should be how much we can learn and what stepping stone will that be to the next job.
  • The other point I want to make is that one should pay more attention to his working skills. Particularly in China, people tend to think they have a lot of choices if they have a great degree. But the logic doesn’t follow because there is a lot of competition out there. Employers are actually more interested in how well people will perform in their jobs and what internship or experiences people have.
  1. If an employee performs well in almost every aspect for three years, is he allowed to re-negotiate an offer and how is he supposed to do it?
  • Ideally, the company will come to him to show that they value him.
  • It is perfectly reasonable for him to re-negotiate the salaries. In Chinese labor market, most young starters have their salary dramatically raised within five years. So I suppose if senior managers see certain values in you, you can re-negotiate and get salary raised.
  1. So if there is someone at their 20s and think they really do a great job at his company, but the employer hasn’t offered to re-negotiate the contract, how would the employee go around and issue that conversation?
  • A good starting point would be to go privately to your line manager and to ask for his feedback on your strengths and weaknesses. That conversation actually leads to how much you are paid. I would not suggest you coming along by saying I want more money. You need to explain why you deserve more money.
  • Using examples from other companies can be useful but you have to be careful. However, it is advisable for employees to find out whether they are regarded as an asset or a liability in the company, or whether there are even more valuable assets vital to the smooth operation of the company. Before they find out that, they should not talk to the boss about a salary increase. In short, employees need to have a good understanding of their value to the company.
  1. The very initial offer is always the most puzzling thing for young people. Are there any room for manoeuvre of negotiation in that offer?
  • It is a question of judgment. If the person you are talking to is a very commercial person, then go head and negotiate. There are different styles with different companies.
  • Again communication skills matter.

Listen to the episode of Career Builder on CRI: http://english.cri.cn/7146/2014/12/24/3262s858131.htm


Education Today – Undergraduates Starting Business II


China’s Ministry of Education has allowed college students to suspend their studies and start up their own businesses.

The notice from the ministry requires colleges and universities to set up a flexible education system allowing students to suspend studies temporarily to pursue business ideas.

It is said to be a measure designed to help improve employment, given the increasing difficulties college graduates face in landing jobs.  

For more on this issue, our host Wu You talks with Ruben van den Boer, Consultant from RMG Selection

Listen to the original program

Education Today – Socrative Programme in Classrooms

  • Overview: The key point of how people progress in the academic career is through understanding the people in the conventional way.
  • How to choose what you are looking to do?
On the one hand, the suggestion is by looking at what is a marketable period to go into, what are the demand and the opportunity for local graduates to choose? On the other hand, if you asked people who were in thirties, forties and fifties to set a clock back 20 years ago and asked them if they would have chosen what they were doing then, the answer will be “No”. The suggestion is that people should not worry too much about what they do when they intend to start their first job. Everyone will suffer from the hardships, but what you should do is jumping into the plateau and making a good decision. As a consequence, you will make a big progress. Listen to the original program

Career Builder – The Interview Before Interview


After you sent out your well prepared CV, what thing that you are looking forward? A notice of a face to face interview, right? Please wait a moment, there is a very important part missed by you. The telephone interview. What’s more, sometimes you even didn’t realize that you just did a telephone interview. Robert Parkinson, CEO and Founder of RMG Selection on CRI talked about how to do a telephone interview.

Listen to the original program (in part 2)

  1. Should I prepare for telephone interview?

Many reasons……….here are some of the most important:

  • 90% tel interview happens before the face to face interview. It can be a double check with the follow interviews. If you think the face to face interview important, then the tel interview does.
  • F to F interview happens when you know. But the tel interview happens suddenly (through it you can know when and where to go for FF interview)… So it’s even more important that you have prepared for tel interview
  • The conditions when you have the tel interview are not certain – in a noisy environment or any urgent situations.
  • You can only use your voice and saying to react. There is no eye-contact or body language.
  • It’s shorter. Less time and chance to show yourself.
  • And easy to be ignore – a notice call could be a telephone interview too
  • A small part tel interviews happen when the location or time cannot be matched well. This type of tel interviews is almost same with face to face interview. We will discuss in other issues.
  1. What questions will HR ask in the telephone interview before we meet?

Questions can be:

  • What’s your current situation – on job or leave?
  • Why do you want to leave current position?/ Why did you leave your last company?
  • Why do you want to join us?
  • Your understanding to the position
  • Tips of answering via phone: simple & accurate & show your listening


  • Prepare pen and paper while talk
  • Stand up – yes, your voice will be more energetic when you stand to talk
  • Be prepared for all of common questions
  • Pay special attention on your voice. Show a positive, dedicated and friendly attitude.
  • Use gesture while talk in phone – your voice will be more natural when you do that. The more natural you are, the more HR will like you.
  • Use simple and clear words


  • Don’t treat it as a cheat – even the HR say it is. It’s a interview and can decide if you apply successfully.
  • Don’t answer in a noisy place. It’s very annoying to call somebody when you have to repeat every sentence 3 times
  • Don’t answer in a place with bad signal.
  • Don’t speak too quick – make sure others can hear you very clear
  • Don’t forget to double check all of key information that you two mentioned in the call
  • Don’t forget a thank you email to follow up with HR even it’s just a notice call.

An example of polite way to answer notice call:

HR: Good morning, are you Mr.XYZ?

Mr.XYZ: Yes, it’s me. Who is calling me?

HR: Here’s HR department of AAA company

Mr: Nice to talk with you! May I go to a quitter place? (and find pen & paper)

HR: Yes please.

HR: I’m calling you to invite you for a job interview tomorrow. Will you be convenient from 2~6 pm tomorrow?

Mr.XYZ: It’s good for me too. Would you please give me the address detail? I can write down now.

HR: Sure. The address is XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Mr.XYZ: OK. Let me double check. Is the place XXXXXXXXXXXXXX? Is the time 2 to 6 pm?

HR: Correct.

Mr.XYZ: Thank you. Do you think anything I should bring with me together tomorrow? Like a printed CV or certificates?

HR: No. Just make sure you come on time. We will have a group interview.

Mr.XYZ: No problem. I’ll be there on time!

  1. If it is just a notice call, shall I ask money in via phone?
  • Those questions are usually asked by foreigners or Chinese graduates from overseas
  • Don’t ask money, especially when you applied a position in Chinese company
  1. What are the things that you must clarify with HR during the call?
  • For Chinese, better to confirm wearing requirements
  • For foreigners, better to ask traffic near the company and walking time between the nearest bus/subway station to the company.