Tag Archives: China Executive Search

Paying the Price for Your Work Experience – RMG CEO on China Daily in July

Internships offer students the chance to gain knowledge of life outside the academic world, but the downside is that many posts are unpaid and stressful. Shi Jing reports from Shanghai.

It’s summer in China and that means three things: sweltering heat, mosquitoes, and college students working as interns.

The first two are “grin and bear it” situations, but the third may be subject to change. The students are ready to embrace what may be their first-ever job and are likely to be close to the top of their game physically and mentally. Financially, though, there are questions. Most interns are paid the bare minimum – if they’re paid at all.

Ye Mengying, a senior majoring in Chinese literature at Beijing Normal University, is currently working as an intern at the Senior High School in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. The post is unpaid, but Ye seems quite content.

“Although as an intern I am not paid, life here is so much better than in Beijing. I spend about 4 yuan (60 US cents) a day on commuting and 10 yuan on lunch. Apart from attending other teachers’ classes, doing the marking and teaching some senior students, there isn’t much more to do. All the students and teachers here are so amiable, which makes life even more enjoyable,” she said.

The subject of payment is problematic. Some see internships as a way for students to acquire useful experience of work and life away from college, while others view the practice as little short of exploitation.

“Historically, apprentices to craftspeople received free housing and food, thorough training and a marketable credential upon completion of their service,” said Matthew H. Hersch, a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania who researches labor history, in a recent interview with The New York Times.

“Replacing salaried staff with desperate young people willing to toil for a slim chance at future paid work is worse than medieval. It’s bad for the employer and bad for society.”

Legal action

Not every low-wage intern is as content as Ye. Complaints about unrewarding and stressful internships are often aired on the social media site, Weibo, and some interns have even resorted to legal action to resolve what they see as unfair treatment.

But Wang Zhong, a lawyer specializing in labor law at the Shanghai branch of the Zhong Yin Law Firm, said there is nothing illegal in companies not paying interns and the recently introduced minimum wage does not apply in this case.

“The labor law is not applicable to interns. An employee-employer relationship between the intern and the company does not exist, not even as a factual labor relationship. The intern’s status is still that of a student, not a worker. In that sense, it is totally rational that the company need not offer any payment,” said Wang.

“Universities usually pay large sums every year to persuade companies and institutions to take their students as interns. The experience gained through the placement and the opportunity to enter society at an earlier age constitute a different form of payment,” he said.

Wendy Zhao is a senior at Shanghai Institute of Technology majoring in German language. As an intern with TUV Rheinland, a German provider of technical services, Zhao has had better luck than Ye in terms of payment.

“I have not come across or heard of any interns who are not paid by their companies. State-owned companies usually pay 800 yuan a month. A few even pay a bonus of 200 yuan. Multinational companies usually pay their interns 80 to 120 yuan a day,” she said.

The glamorous levels of intern wages shown on the international salary-exchange website Glassdoor have dazzled some unpaid interns. The companies offering the highest payment, including Yahoo, Amazon, Apple or Google, see the average US intern earning $4,500 a month.

The website’s Chinese counterpart, Fenzhi, keeps an eye on the vagaries of intern payment rates in China. The average monthly intern payment it has monitored nationwide was about 2,189 yuan at the beginning of July. Accenture Xi’an, for example, pays its graphic-design interns 120 yuan a day.

Yang Benli, a junior at Fudan University, is currently working as an intern at the website news.163. Compared with many of his peers, he is relatively well remunerated.

“I am paid 1,500 yuan a month, and I can save on commuting fees if I take the school bus. But if I miss it, I have to pay about 10 yuan a day to take the metro,” said the 22-year-old journalism major.

Yang is fortunate enough to assume some hands-on tasks. His work mainly revolves around writing news stories, conducting interviews and making cold calls. Although he finds aspects of the work interesting, Yang will be relieved when it ends.

“If my opinions clash with those of my boss. I speak out. But on the whole, I find the job quite rewarding. However, what I’m most looking forward to is the end of my internship and enrolling for driving classes with the money I’ve earned,” he said.

His ambivalence was echoed by Wendy Zhao, who “did not give too much thought to internships, because my original plan for the summer was to study and be well prepared for my thesis”.

“I read the wanted ad on a job website and sent my resume to the company right away. But I was really taken by surprise when they called and told me I could have an internship. I’d waited a month without hearing from them and so I figured someone else had got the job. Then the company asked me to come in as soon as possible, so that I could enter a real office environment early on. So that’s why I am here,” she said.

“Meanwhile, I have signed a three-party agreement with the company and the university. Hopefully, the company will hire me officially when the internship ends, because I have been working extremely hard, doing overtime occasionally too. I have even worked during the weekend. It would be a great loss to the company if they just let me go,” laughed Zhao.

“So far, my colleagues have been quite nice to me. But that’s because I have been keeping a low profile. I’m used to hearing students complaining about internships. Some full-time staff often push work onto interns if they don’t feel like doing it. Therefore, interns have to handle all kinds of chores assigned by different people, on top of their own work. I’ve experienced that sort of thing, but I always tell myself the more I do, the more I learn,” she said.

“If I get other job opportunities, the things I have learned here will be of little help. If I have learned anything useful, it is to be fearless in the face of demanding, fast-paced or tough work because I’ve been working like crazy in my current position,” she said.

“Internships are an excellent way of gaining practical and social experience and development in a short period of time. Indeed, I know of students who have completed at least five internships – that gave them a tremendous advantage when they finally started their careers,” said Robert Parkinson, CEO and founder of RMG Business Consulting (Beijing).

“I don’t believe people should be paid a salary for working a very short space of time. Really, the experience is a reward or payment in itself. Of course, not everyone is fortunate enough to have rich parents to support them, and we cannot expect students to lose money, so what is reasonable is daily reimbursement for travel and eating expenses,” he said.

“People should see the first one to five years of their career (including internships) as an ‘investment period’ where they listen, learn, and carve a niche for themselves. The great financial and status rewards will come to those who work hard, learn, and do the best in those early years,” he added.

Professional advice

Some companies and institutions seek professional advice on internship payment standards to avoid unnecessary headaches.

Jessica Xu, senior manager and consultant of Foreign Education and International Exchanges at the International Training Center of Shanghai Foreign Services Co said that companies she has advised often have stronger autonomy over internship payments. Her company’s role is to offer advice on the details.

“The companies that cooperate with us offer their interns 30 to 50 yuan per day. For overseas interns, the payment is usually higher, sometimes double, but cases like that are quite rare. They only receive that level of pay if they have a type of professional knowledge that is difficult to find in the market,” said Xu.

“Generally speaking, companies will offer subsidy or reimbursement for interns. For an internship lasting more than three months, we usually suggest that companies offer some payment. But a period shorter than that is usually unpaid,” she said.

It is more usual for interns to be paid if their positions are directly related to the company’s performance. Those expected to complete a project or advance a technique within a certain time frame will also be paid, said Xu.

“The labor laws in China have not explicitly ruled on payments for interns, neither have overseas labor laws. Internship payment is not compulsory. In other words, the right is in the company’s hands,” she added.

TUV’s Wendy Zhao doesn’t think it unreasonable that students expect to gain more than just experience from their period of work. She admitted that she has learned some valuable lessons, but they’re possibly not the ones usually associated with internships.

“The certificate issued by TUV should be the most substantial result I have earned here. However, the lessons that will really stay with me are these: To always keep a low profile and be prepared to learn at any time. Only in this way can a newcomer maintain a good relationship with colleagues and progress on a career path.”

Read the whole article: http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/life/2012-07/22/content_15606325.htm

Read the magazine: https://www.rmgselection.com/images/rmg%20news_cd_jul_rp.png

Bankers Fleeing to the Corporate Sector – RMG Senior Consultant on eFinancialCareers

China’s banking job market has started to become slightly bearish as the credit growth of the big four state-owned banks has declined and the A-share market has performed poorly. This is helping to drive some banking professionals into other parts of the financial industry, or even into the corporate sector, where they stand to enjoy a better work-life balance.

Clemmie Zhang, senior consultant, financial services, Antal International Beijing, says most banks, especially municipal commercial banks, have been affected by the downturn. “They have to adapt to the new business environment and set proper internal systems, as well as have new financial products, in order to have long-term success.” When the economic environment is pessimistic, it is even more difficult for them to compete with larger, nationwide banks.

Banking professionals have started to search for opportunities elsewhere. “They are looking into funds, trust companies, insurers, finance companies, leasing companies and even ones not in the financial area, like the auto industry. They are tired of the performance pressure,” adds Zhang.

Cecilia Li, senior finance consultant, RMG Selection, says: “Internet high-tech companies who have established strategic investment departments, some of which have their own funds, have attracted lots of candidates from the financial industry.”

She adds: “Generally speaking, not all professionals will get an increase in salary in a short period of time, but their work-life balance will be better than before. For instance, the average working time is 10 to 16 hours in the financial industry and eight to 10 hours in other enterprises. Their salary may increased in the long-term as some enterprises offer long-term equity anticipation securities.”

But if you staying in banking…

For those who are determined to stay in banking, employers are become more demanding about candidates’ skills and backgrounds. “In the past many companies required large amounts of people in financial analysis and investment banking. At present, there are more positions for those with both a financial-analysis and consultancy background as well as financial experience,” says Li.

Most banks still plan to open new branches in China. “Currently we have plenty of positions, but all are resource driven, which means candidates need to have a great amount of corporate deposits and have a strong sales ability,” says Zhang.

Read the whole article: http://news.efinancialcareers.com/107753/bankers-fleeing-to-the-corporate-sector-because-they-cant-take-the-pressure-its-even-happening-in-china/

Top Ten stressful Jobs in China – RMG on Financial World






2005年网易公司沉痛对外宣布公司代理首席执行官孙德棣于9月18日辞世。根据网易在纳斯达克的资料显示,孙德棣死时年仅37岁。此外还有同仁堂(600085)少掌门张生瑜 ,38岁突发心脏病逝世; 大中电器总经理胡凯,52岁心脏病突发;爱立信中国总裁杨迈,54岁,跑步机上突发心梗辞世。名单上的每一位,都是成功的社会精英,拥有无可限量的美好前景,但都因为劳累,绷断了生命之弦,在人生的黄金年华便早早逝去,不由人不扼腕长叹。














2010年12月24日,台大医院证实精神内科主治医生陈至全日前被发现卧倒家中,疑似过劳死,引起了网友的争相关注。早在10月底,台大医院也曾传出医生曾胜弘晕倒在办公室走廊,甚至一度停止心跳的消息,这些不禁让人质疑,医生这个曾令人羡慕不已的高薪职业,何时变成了令人同情的高危险人群。台大医院相继爆出医生疑似过劳的新闻,让众人看到这个职业光鲜背后的无奈,有台媒爆料,医生早上7点就得参加科里的 “晨会”,9点开始看诊,名医可能要看到晚上都看不完,而外科医生则常常是要彻夜开刀,疲惫不堪。




8. IT程序员:

一方面,程序员的工作强度之大,是一般人难以承受的 。程序员的生活普遍没有规律,特别是在关键的开发期间,每人从早上9点工作到晚上12点,有的甚至吃住在工作室。如此,一段有限的时间方能完成整个项目。










无论做怎样的工作,职场压力都是客观存在的,关键在于如何应对。面对hold不住的高压职业,试着调节自身,找到工作和生活的平衡。工作不是生活的唯一追求,更不应成为生命的负累。无论付出多少努力,追根究底都是为了更好地生活。对于职场人而言,平衡压力,更要平衡内心,“压力山大”,也别奴役自己的幸福生活。(作者系罗迈国际CEO 潘瑞宝)

Read the whole article: http://money.jrj.com.cn/2012/07/04220613685516-1.shtml http://money.yzforex.com/a/2012-07-05/13414197532566460.html http://finance.66163.com/2012-07-05/656728.shtml

Born to Win – Episodes 125 – RMG Manager on Hubei ETV

Watch RMG on TV: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNDE2MDM3NDgw.html

‘Naked resignations’ reveal workplace frustrations – RMG Marketing Manager on China Daily

One of the hot phrases during the rounds recently in China is “naked resignation” – which means quitting a job without lining up another.

It is well known that Chinese people are the model of hard work and diligence, and “naked resignation” would have been beyond imagination 10 years ago when I first came to China.

According to a recent survey covering 8,064 respondents by Global Times and Sohu.com, more than 43 percent had done, or were considering, “naked resignation”. Among them, more than half explained that the main reason was the lack of satisfaction and happiness at work. Nowadays, an increasing number of Chinese youth are pursuing a balance between work and life and personal happiness. My company, RMG Selection, is a China-focused specialist HR and recruitment consultancy. Our consultants contact thousands of job-hunters or outstanding candidates and one of them told me a very interesting story about a candidate, Ma.

Ma was a typical rising star: a graduate from a prestigious university, he worked at a famous audit firm for more than three years and had just been promoted as supervisor. This was the optimum opportunity to look for a new job. However, right after the Chinese New Year, which is regarded as the best time for job-hopping, Ma decided to resign, and told our consultant not to offer him new positions for the moment.

Why did Ma do so? Because he feels that he had lost himself: in the past three years, Ma had to regularly work overtime and go on business trips frequently, and he found that he had no time to take care of his family, be in a relationship and to continue his hobbies. Therefore, when the boss asked him to go on a business trip after the Spring Festival, Ma just spent three minutes to write a resignation letter and leave the company.

It’s really hard to imagine such a situation happening to my friends in London, who find it quite difficult to make ends meet given the high cost of living. This is quite different from Chinese people according to my personal experiences. Chinese people prefer saving, a legacy of the economic hardships during the earlier stages of New China. Although China’s economy is booming and many first-tier cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, offer expensive temptations similar to be found in New York, the habit of saving has been retained, especially among those who have children. Most of them have acquired assets to deal with various crises. Therefore, even though they have no income for a period of time, they don’t have to worry too much.

In addition, family plays an important part in Chinese culture. Even if their children have already graduated from universities and got a job, parents still offer them a lot of support, such as sharing a house or financial assistance for a downpayment. Of course, children support their parents when they are in a good financial situation. This phenomenon is very common in China, just as children have to be economically independent after graduation in the West. This solid family backing is another reason why Chinese youth dare to resign abruptly.

Apart from material changes, another important factor leading to “naked resignation” lies in the mentality of Chinese youth, especially the post-80s generation. They focus more on career happiness and achievement and pursue a balance between work and life, which is quite different from the older generation. At the end of last year, Qianjiang Evening News conducted a survey aimed at investigating the reasons of “naked resignation”. In this survey, 48 percent of the respondents preferred to stay at home due to the heavy workload and poor salary, while 27 percent considered their current jobs valueless and meaningless, so they would like to resign and study more.

Personally speaking, I do think this is a good phenomenon, for a mature and advanced job market should attach great importance to workers’ happiness. Nevertheless, there are always other solutions, such as communication, and usually it can solve as much as 90 percent of the problems. We cannot always stay at home without working. Most importantly, we must never be impetuous.

Some young people hope to get a perfect job after “naked resignation”. But I have to say there is no “perfect job” in the world. If you can really find such a job, please do let me know!

Read the whole article: http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/epaper/2012-05/11/content_15269632.htm