If you are moving to China for work, the first step you should take is research. Do away with old-fashion images of workers in paddy fields. China is especially diverse. In addition to the English-speaking Chinese population, you can expect expats from around the world representing their company’s interest in China.
Living in China
If you are moving to China with your children, the move will definitely be daunting. Raising children in a completely different culture will require adjustments. Spend time before the move learning the language. Allow older children to help in the decision making process about school and/or house. Once you arrive in China, travel around with your family and get comfortable with your surroundings. These tiny steps will make the adjustment process easier.
If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, you do not have to turn down this job opportunity. There are many Chinese hospitals with the same facilities as Western hospitals and English speaking doctors. If you are having a baby in China, the only adjustments that you will have to make are to Chinese pregnancy and birthing customs. For example, pregnant mothers are treated with utmost care and are required to wear radiation aprons to prevent mobile phone, computers and other devices from harming the baby. You can expect to receive advice from all and sundry.
Working in China
China has one of the largest economies in the world. There are many companies setting up shop in China to take advantage of the large workforce and the low cost of production. If you have been asked by your company to move to China, there are differences in work culture that you should be aware of.
One of the main differences in work-life in China compared to that of the West is the separation (or lack thereof) of personal and professional lives. In China work culture is more social. Business deals are made at the dining table as often as they are made in the boardroom. So, if your manager invites you to join him for dinner, do not be quick to turn him down, as you will not only lose out on a business opportunity, but also insult his honor.
If you are moving with children, you will find great international schools; if you are a pregnant or planning a baby, there are excellent English speaking hospitals. Overall, China is an excellent business destination with many advantages. Have fun and enjoy or time in China!