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The Working Chinese Girl

Abstract:In this paper I would like to explore the world of young Chinese women competing in a modern China for jobs and the fulfillment of the ambitions they left University with but by and large feel unfulfilled. In China today more and more young women are leaving University and seeking their first job. They are full of hope that they will find a good job that pays well and can give them the expectation of promotion and future prosperity. However in the harsh economic world of 2009, when most countries are in financial crisis and the Chinese government is thrusting money into the banking system to save a downward export market, things are not as rosy for these girls as it was five years ago during the capitalist explosion of wealth in China.Introduction:When you ask most Chinese girls in their last year of University what they want to do they all give a similar stock answer. “I want to work of an International company in a executive position where I can earn good money and have prospects for the future” When then asked why this is their goal you get a supplementary reply, I need to think about my future as I will one day need to support my family – under the one baby policy in China – I am obligated to look after my parents when they get old as the state currently does not provide for Chinese senior citizens.” Then you ask the next question, are there enough jobs for all the girls who are looking for the same things, they answer, “fate is our guide, we will work hard and hope that our ambitions will come to pass.”The above shows the wildly optimistic approach many of these girls have in their thought processes and are not easily persuaded that this may be a rosy view of the chances they face in a China in an export decline where taxes are supporting Banks who borrowed widely and unwisely in the USA and home markets. Where International companies are shedding staff and considering moves to Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand to take advantage of the cheaper labour and lower costs as China becomes a world economic player and prices rise as domestic demand does not support many of the high-tech and consumer led products for sale.Of course in this new climate the supply of new jobs has declined to an all time low for companies and as staff leave they are not being replaced. The work simply being shared amongst the ones who stay. This in turn is causing enormous pressure on young staff that often break down and leaves to return jobless to their families. At many work fairs held around China only 2,000 jobs may be on offer with over 30,000 students crowding the halls offering poor quality resumes in the hope of a job when they graduate. International companies have learned that while Chinese students have a vast amount of knowledge through memory learning (rote) they have little insight into the subjects they learn and certainly no practical applications or critical thinking skills. So most also realise that additional on job training in China adds additional costs that in the present climate they cannot afford.All this leads to an unemployability of Chinese students that International companies recognise as a problem. It is also one of the reasons Chinese university degrees are not recognised by most Western countries as valid. Two reasons are behind this, the first is the lack of external marking and assessment in China – too easy to cheat your way through the system and the second is corruption, fathers paying for grades to be changed, examinations to be fixed and so the actual degree paper becomes worthless in many countries eyes. This is also a shame, as a University Professor in China I know the average student here works extremely hard and long hours. Given proper teaching and support they can flourish just as much as any Western student if not better.They after all, under the one baby policy, have more pressure to do well and become successful to support aging parents in the future. Older parents also get sick and with no free medical support in China, many either go without treatment or pay huge sums to hospitals for what are often poor quality services. A young woman thinking about all these problems for the future wants to study hard and make sure she can support them.Another solution to family support is of course a good marriage, to the good boy, from the good family, with the good job and the good prospects. Plenty of boys to marry in China but few who live up to such high expectations that these single girls are looking for. A third and sad solution for some is suicide – China has the highest suicide rate amongst young women in the world!Once in the workplace many of the girls find the work either extremely boring or they have an over-load of tasks that they find hard to complete. This leads to stress either way – they often contemplate leaving within a short time, but the family factors keep them in place. Employers know the pressures of family very well and exploit these feelings to the maximum by over-working staff, forcing late working hours and little real reward in terms of income and benefits, however always the promise that tomorrow will be better if they continue to work hard. This situation in a communist country is quite laughable if it were not so tragic for the young working girls.In an ideology of Socialist Marxist ideals China has moved a long way from this thinking today. No cadres now sharing the spoils of hard work, no share of the profits from their hard earned labour. No they have discovered Western capitalism at its worse. In the West laws were passed to protect workers rights (mainly through past Union activities) enabling them redress under the law against employers who exploit the worker. However in China even if such laws exist the natural instinct to obey your boss and do as you are told are so strong that not a single worker would even think about legal redress for unfair working practices.Examples: All based in ShanghaiDolly 25 – Working for a Taiwanese company. Two years as a project manager, no promotion as only Taiwan staff can be promoted in China, even if you become a team leader it is unofficial and not paid for in your contract. Over a third of the staff have left due to the economic turndown, existing staff now working on average a 14 hour day to fulfil obligations to clients. Family has health problems and she fears for her ability to support them unless she changes her job or gains more education.Betty 24 – Working for a Hong Kong bank. Three years as a customer support role. Promotion offered as a sideways move but in fact less initial income. Some training is deducted from income as not directly seen as applicable to the banks welfare. Wants to leave but cannot – her family rely on her income to support two retired parents. No boyfriend as with her low income and high cost of living in Shanghai she cannot afford to go out. Searching for a husband on the internet most evenings is her chief occupation at home.Rachel 32 – Working for an International Art firm. Arranges exhibitions and marketing to potential supporters. Same pay now as five years ago – no prospects of a pay rise in the future. Wants to marry an American to get away from her boring poor life.Sharon: Working for a hotel group. Customer sales and liaison. There were five girls in the sales department but today just herself and the sales manager. She feels with the amount of new hotels being built daily in Shanghai she should move to increase her pay and security. Foreign boyfriend who does not want a commitment to marriage.Sonia: Working for a Japanese company. Design and marketing. She was very happy with her work but found the money was very low compared to similar jobs she sees advertised however because she has very nice work colleagues and a happy atmosphere in the company she decides for now to stay. She gets to travel in her work and at first enjoyed this but now realises that business travel is actually quite boring and repetitive in nature. Long trips, same hotels rooms, same customers.Insight:In each of the examples above the girls were asked how they felt their real experiences of work compared to their expectations on leaving university. They all agreed they have been greatly disappointed by the work experience. They also thought they worked much longer hours than Western people do (14 – 16 hour days are normal) who work a 9 to 5 type arrangements. Although part of the culture in China is you do not leave the office before you boss. So many sit on computers after their contractual hours and play computer games or chat on line to friends. We call this QQ time in China! It is not all work in a Chinese office in fact often they ignore work to watch movies or other such things on the net. This is in the main because they feel they deserve a break when they feel not appreciated or financially supported by the company. Although this seems to be more prevalent in Chinese owned companies that International ones.What do women want?When asked after at least two years working experience what do they now want. A surprising answer came from many of the girls, “a rest” Most actually wanted to quit the jobs and go home to the family. In China the family represents security and peace, so after the hassles and disappointments with employment they felt, to get away for a while and have a rest would be the best thing to do. When asked if a break at such an early time in their employment was wise in respect to the future for pay and promotion most replied, “I used to believe that fantasy but now I know the truth, no-one cares about you but your family” Almost all the girls reported absolutely no loyalty to their employer and felt that the company shows no caring attitude towards them. Although here I have only shown a few examples in fact in interviewing dozens of girls about work – this same attitude after two years of work was very common amongst them. Of course there were some exceptions, girls who loved their job and were very happy to stay and show support for the establishment but this was quite rare.Conclusion:It seems that for most young women in China (Shanghai in particular) they are unhappy at work and mostly wanted to leave to find a better job or simply give up and go home for a while. My own observation is that Chinese girls mature a lot later than Western women and also want marriage much earlier from starting work after university. This being the case they are more in a hurry to succeed and have little patience in going through a maturing process at work to learn the job and seek timely promotions. This is because the pressure of obligation to the parents and the early pursuit of a marriage partner dominate their thinking most of the time. They see little sense in dedication to a career, at the expense of personal relationships, that many in the West recognise as a sacrifice in order to succeed as women in the workplace.While I am not advocating that women have to be so single minded the evidence seems to show that successful people are more likely to have transient relationships and higher rates of divorce than working class equivalents. Of course another factor is over-education, just like in many countries China is making it easier and easier to get a university place. This means a lowering of standards (as seen in the UK) where professors have to cope with students who clearly do not have the ability to attend advanced courses. The result being thousands of graduates who expect good jobs in a shrinking economy and with little real talent to offer.Last Word:This paper may see a little gloomy in content and I recognise that it is. Of course many of the girls who talked about their careers and work were in fact unhappy and it is hard to find happy workers who feel the need to express that feeling to others. So while I recognise a certain bias in the paper I hope that is will at least act as a warning beacon to girls to perhaps lower their expectations of work and prepare for a more realistic view of life’s struggle.

How To Start A Service Business

Setting Up A Service Based Business For Beginners

Although there are exceptions where both entities are entwined into one, most basics of the business is built around one unifying category so that the intentions and goals are clearly and visibly set.

This distinction allows the individual to then decide of the accompanying tools that should be chosen for the purpose of enhancing the business experience and also to contribute positively to the ease of running the business entity.

Most service based forays are labor intensive which the business entity revolves around. This is either packaged as the selling of expertise in a particular field or the selling of the actual “engines” that produce the desired outcome that bring in the revenue.

Either way the quality, efficiency, attention and detail that is exercised within the business are the eventual elements that are going to make or break the business foray into the revenue churning mechanism.

Basically offering the time frame required to create a particular service or to provide the content of the project itself is how the cost factor is calculated and the profits are gained in the service based business.

Therefore, the individual would have to factor in the cost of business entity by the labor intensive tool it provides, in order to provide a suitable base line for the eventual calculation of the profits and the pricing suitable to be demanded.

Alternatively the value of the service based business can be calculated on the value of the service being provided in a consultancy capacity which is evaluated against the insights the said service will bring to the company with the intention of creating a system thereby the said company is able to save or be more cost effective.

Being able to identify a suitable and good service based company is very important if the new business or existing business owner intends to hire its services to help enhance the site’s potential.

Identifying the characteristics of a particular service based company and matching them to the needs of the site in question will allow the business owner is make an informed decision of the merits of the chosen service.

Do Your Research First-

Customer perception of a company is very important to the progress and eventual success of any business endeavor, therefore it is very important to be able to identify the appropriate service based one to best suit the individual’s needs.

Being able to provide good service should always be the prime concern of any business entity especially if its revenue earning power depends on this one factor.

Market research is often the best way to identify the companies that have good track records and are capable of delivering what they promise.

This information can easily be sourced over the internet as these companies will be active in presenting their achievements for all interested parties to view.

It is also an excellent platform for potential clients and competitors alike to note the merits of the presenting service based company.

Being well-placed on the search engine rankings will allow the service based company to be more visible and thus make it easier to garner the intended customer base to ensure its consistent success.

The features of a good service based company would have to include the value added by the business entity from the input stage to the output stage where the results are then measured by its success rates.

These input stages are often regarded as the commodity phase and the processes that it is designed around have to ensure the successful output stage which is where the end desired results are more than adequately met.

Making a sale or pushing a business proposition is never an easy task to accomplish for some, therefore having the relevant assisting tools at hand should provide the individual with some encouragement to see the process to success.

Marketing Skills-

The following are some tools that can prove to be of great assistance to any individual intending to beef up their marketing skills:

Making use of as many online tools as possible to promote the business or product intended is one way to start the enhancement of the marketing skills venture.

Using blogs to create the interest and visibility for the item is something that should be considered as this is one way to get the attention of the target audience without much cost incurred.

Working together with others is another way to beef up an individual’s marketing skills. Being part of a team effort where the individual’s talents and contributions are noticed and acknowledged is definitely an encouraging factor and helps the individual to be more adventurous and keen on honing his or her skills further.

Availing one’s self to be listed on freelance job sites is also another way of beefing up the marketing skill of an individual. The fact that the visibility factor the site can bring to the individual will help the person focus more on ensuring the eventual connections made are optimized and locked in at the earliest opportunity.

Social websites are also a good platform to introduce one’s marketing skills to the masses.

Because of the competitiveness of all the participants in this particular platform the individual will subconsciously be forced to step out and ensure his or her participation leaves a positive impact on the interactions.

Showcasing all the positive skill of the marketing process will eventually earn the respect and attention of others looking for such services.

Create Your Website-

Creating a website can be a challenging feat for those not very internet savvy, however it is not altogether a task that is formidable in nature. With a little startup knowledge and tips anyone can successfully attempt to put together their own website.

The following are some guidelines that will help ease the process:

Registering the suitable domain name is the first step to take when designing a website.

The choice of this domain name should ideally take into consideration the relevance the name has to the intended site, an easy to remember reference, one that is short yet descriptive and whether it has the right extensions tagged to it such as.net,.com,.org.

The next step would be to set up a web host account and this would entail the picking one that can provide the services the individual would need for the website.

Although cost is always a factor for every business endeavor, it would be advisable to avoid using the cheaper and inexperienced ones available as this might end up costing the individual in the future.

The follow up step would be to point the domain to the web host in place.

This is a fairly simple exercise, however if the individual faces any potential problems along the way there are always assisting platforms to tap into to get the relevant help or explanations.

Getting a word press linked to the site is another important step to incorporate into the setup. This word press is a free platform that is used by bloggers and allows the individual to build the website with the minimum of effort while making it user-friendly always.

Last but by no means the least, would be for the individual to organize the website.

This process would involve the backtracking exercise to ensure there are no defaults that would cause the viewer to be put off when visiting the site.

Learning to build websites isn’t the complex technical process a lot of people think it is. All you really need to do is come to our website and get access to 300+ Tutorials that show you step by step how to build a website, and so much more, and start playing around with building your own websites.

Advertising Ideas-

In order to stay competitive it is necessary to always be able to have fresh views and ideas to present to potential customers and target audiences. Without such innovations the website will become stagnant and outdated thus eventually causing the original high volume of traffic flow to thin out. Brainstorming is one way of gathering and creating new ideas that would benefit any endeavor.

Some of the ways that can be adopted to bring forth interesting and innovative ideas at the brainstorming sessions are facilitated by encouraging the participants to simulate the mindset of the customer or the intended target audience.

By doing this the participant are more likely to anticipate the needs and wants of the customers and target audience and design any changes to fit into this discovery.

Bringing people together to discuss ideas at the same time and in the same place is also another good advantage the brainstorming sessions can facilitate.

Advertising ideas and campaigns can be discussed in “real time” as opposed to having emails flying about which is less effective and time-consuming and even confusing at times.

Brainstorming for advertising purposes, should ideally take into account the following points:

Problem definition and identification should be done at the very onset of the exercise. With this clearly outlined, other factors can then be worked on in line with the initial problem discovery information.

Custom designing can also be worked on within the brainstorming session, as the collaboration of views can contribute to finding the one idea that is going to eventually used to build the campaign around.

Customer Service-

Making a sale is only the first step is the relationship building exercise, which will eventually contribute to either the success or failure of any business endeavor. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the customer service offered to cement the success rate desired.

The following are some tips as to how to stay on top of the customer service exercise:

Taking the customer for granted is the first and most common mistake most businesses make. This is especially evident when the business has expanded to now successful and comfortable levels. Often forgotten is the customers that brought the business to such heights in the first place.

Therefore, it is very important to keep in touch with the customers so that vital information can be obtained about the current needs and wants of the customer.

In the quest to stay informed and provide optimum customer service another point to consider and exercise is the importance of being fresh and innovative with ideas that are going to keep the customer coming back for more.

When boredom sets in the customer will usually simply look elsewhere for the next new exciting thing that attracts their attention.

Therefore, in order to induce customer loyalty innovative ideas should be a constant feature within the business.

Happy Customers Are Loyal Customers-

Training staff to treat each customer with respect and individuality is well worth the effort. Sometimes this positive treatment is the defining factor that keeps the customer coming back, even if the products are not exactly the best in the market.

Having the protocols in place for quick and efficient responses to a customer’s queries or grievances, is one way of ensuring the individual stays a loyal customer and does not spread negativity about the business or product. Happy customers are loyal customers.

In most cases it is rather difficult to specifically categorize businesses into specific service based styles. This is mainly because a lot of businesses tend to incorporate different platforms and strategies into the actual blueprint of the business format.

However, there are some that can be clearly defined as service based business companies and the following are some of these examples:

Types Of Service Based Business-

Such service companies may include the likes of services provided by doctors, accounts, architects, actuaries, lawyers and other related fields.

On a more creative side one may include the likes of services provided for by fabric designers, fashion designers, color scheme artists and many more as the list of such endeavors can be quite overwhelming.

Most service type companies rarely have appreciable inventory as the purchases for usually made with the objective of facilitating a job thus the need to carry any inventory would not be necessary.

Merchandising companies can also be considered service style enterprises as they to provide a service of sort to the customer base.

However, this service is based solely on providing tangible elements rather than just the action of extending physical service. The generation of revenue is from the actual sale of the inventory rather than from the service extended.

Manufacturing companies also come under the category of providing a service to the industry and the customer needs. In this scenario the products or items are made and sold within the company’s business entity thus ensuring monetary gains are derived both from the product and the service offered by manufacturing the product.

All these different types of basic service providing entities are all in place with one goal in mind and that is to create the platform for revenue earning potential. Therefore, in order to understand and identify which would be best suited for the individual business owner, more research should be done to find the style that best suits the individual’s needs.

OK, so I hope this article gives those looking to start their own online service based business a better understanding on what it takes to set up and grow a successful online serviced based business.