This story aims to provide informations about finding job in Taiwan, my personal experience about finding work in Taiwan which all outsiders find is very difficult to find (especially we are in pandemic moments). And tips and ways to be able to find full or part time in Taiwan for final year students or expats.
Facts about Job Seeker in Taiwan (my personal perspective as foreigner)
1. If you don't have ENOUGH Chinese language ability, the percentage of being accepted is tiny. This is TRUTH. *They will ask you to provide TOCFL certificate (Equal to IELTS or TOEFL)
2. I am graduated with a bachelor's degree in the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic (2020). I feel hard to find any jobs I want. Most of the companies are closed the opportunity for us to apply. You have to adapt with the current job demand.
3. Some companies will think twice about accepting foreigners or expat because, as foreigners, you must apply for a work visa, and the process is very long and tiring.
Note: Welcome to everyone to hit me on contact form so I can share and explain how to apply.
Some companies in Taiwan sometimes don't really understand how to apply for a work visa unless you find a kind company to help you apply for a work visa, or you must apply by yourself to Ministry of Labour.
4. If you have searched for about 30 job vacancies and still haven't found them, you can consider yourself to fight search the job or back for good. That's from my experience during the pandemic time. I have friend of mine who tried find half as I did. And still hard to find the job.
5. In Taiwan, You must research and check the company's reputation. These will bring you some consideration and decision before you sign the contract.
Facts & Data
“At the end of 2019, there were 785,341 foreigners living in Taiwan, 363,323 males and 423,018 females. Around 92% are from South East Asia and around 14,000 are from the larger English-speaking countries” – Ministry of Interior, Taiwan Immigration Office. (台灣內政部，移民署）
Ministry of Labour categorises foreign workers into two : Productive and Social Welfare. Traditionally known as blue-collar and white-collar.
Most of the companies in Taiwan are required foreign worker to have good Chinese skill. At least for communication or typing to your co-worker, supervisor or do some technical stuff like apply work permit document, fill forms, etc.
Second, if you want to order a food or beverage everything are in Chinese. In addition, how do communicate with your neighbor and everyone surround you?
If you choose to search your job through 104,1111 or related local job seeker application. The UI is in Chinese and they (currently) provide any English interface. If the platform does not offer English interface, you have to use desktop to translate it all in once.
Certification, Work Experience, and Portfolio
It might depend on your job, some companies do not require us to have certain certifications but it would be nice if we have certifications related to our work, work experience related to our field will be very helpful and don't forget the portfolio. These three things are very important to help us get a job in Taiwan.
Tips and Trick to build and successful career in Taiwan
Being liked by your colleagues
Obviously, this is a factor in job success wherever you are, even as an outsider working in a Taiwanese company. This point will be crucial. If you are liked, you will be able to work even better. Teamwork is not a big problem because they already know and respect each other. From my experience, this becomes an ace when you need help completing tasks or dealing with administration. . Being able to ask colleagues questions and have them respond positively and patiently will make your life so much easier. I am going to add a disclaimer. It might not be too likely to become close personal friends with many co-workers. Taiwanese don't enjoy discussions about controversial issues, which contrasts with my personal social circle of friends who love discussing deep philosophical, contentious and often very personal topics. You don't want to overshare in a professional work setting as you never know what office gossip will do to your reputation and relationships. You will be stunned by how your attitude and actions look, but you do not leave a comment. I give a stern warning on this, watch your tongue
Tip: Buying food for our co-workers is an excellent way to be friendly or ask how we can help. I may feel shy at first because I need time to understand the environment and understand the nature of my co-workers. Gradually I understood that they also value me and sometimes give me work they can't do, but I can.
This is an excellent place to start and something that often proves to be a significant culture shock for ex-pat professional talent. When I started my internship, I also felt that this was the most challenging thing for me to do because I was constrained by language (more precisely, the use of everyday language, which I still haven't fully mastered)
All over the world, workplace disputes will be resolved by adapting the country's culture. In some cultures, they will appreciate the honesty and openness of what we say. In many Western countries, arguments about business strategy and marketing strategy are common when we meet or convey ideas to our superiors, where everything will be discussed at the meeting table before making a decision. However, in Taiwan, communication disagreements must be done carefully and carefully. Because this is a stumbling block for foreigners.
Taiwan is a reasonably non-confrontational culture. In generalization, the Taiwanese don't like to argue, criticize, or debate in an open setting, especially in the office. If you are loud and opinionated (like me, lamentable), you will struggle in a Taiwanese office. I made the mistake to argue in an open setting in my workplace. Moreover, I have to admit my mistake and apologize to everyone in my team.
Another massive tip would be to never have disagreements over text or email. Written arguments lack context, are permanent, lack the nuance of vocal delivery and often get heated and passionate in a way that seldom happens in face-to-face discussions. My supervisor or supervisor will send me a skype or line message to let me know that we have something to discuss. I would always reply, "yes, go ahead, and what kind of discussion do we need to discuss?" then we walked into a meeting room and discussed it. This is why I can survive in a Taiwanese office, although I am the only foreigner in my workplace currently.
Tip: Causing colleagues or a boss to "lose face" and keep silent in a meeting are severe errors on your part and one that you will pay a high price for in the long and short term.
Relationship with your boss
Handling your relationship with a Taiwanese boss is critical to how well you will do in that company. If your boss likes you, then the promotions, salary raises and extra responsibility you will be given can see you secure that long and successful career in Taiwan.
The opposite is obviously also true. If you cause your boss to lose face, challenge them publicly, or just generally become a nuisance for them, your career will suffer.
Yes, handling your relationship with a Taiwanese boss sometimes can be challenging and frustrating. You must have a sense and see the opportunity. This is essential for your success in the Taiwan workplace.
Tip: make sure your boss sees you as an asset and an ally. Work hard to impress them and purposefully work to improve your personal relationship. It will pay dividends in the long run.
Building up your experience and skill set, forming a strong CV
From my point of view, before we look for a job or we already have a job, don't forget we have to keep learning and learning. If we feel too comfortable with work and forget about ourselves. Then we will be one step behind the others. Because we do not know what will happen in the future, and the world is dynamic.
Second, all job interviews in Taiwan will use Chinese, but some companies allow us to use English. So, you have to prepare yourself, ask your local friend about tips & tricks to pass the interview or Chinese CV building.
Third, In an interview setting, you have a chance to promote yourself and your previous achievements to the best of your ability. For example, suppose you have worked on Microsoft, Mckinsey. In that case, having an international achievement will help you get an interview and be accepted. However, the harsh reality is that you won't get interview opportunities in the first place without the "on paper" achievements.
Lastly, having a referral from someone inside the company is probably your best bet. Sometimes you need the luck to do this. When I want to find my internship at one of the Taiwanese companies. My senior contacted me and had an interview to learn more about my profile and abilities.
Personal Tips from Kevin
Job Seeker Platforms
104,1111 : I think 104 and 1111 are the most common platforms for finding full or part-time jobs. On this platform, you can search for the company you want, create a profile and upload your files, such as a CV.
To speed up the screening process, you have to upload your CV and fill in all information the system requires you to fill (if you are lucky, the company will contact you via email or on the message website).
This is from my personal experience, and a friend of mine reminded me about this stuff. The cons are that both platforms don't have any "filter". You have to work on yourself to check that your chosen company is reputable and don't have any issues with a foreigner before. For Contact Taiwan, you can also consider because they will look for talents, especially for those of you who study at elite universities such as NTU, NTUST, etc. Mainly, international students are using these because they will affiliate with some of the top companies in Taiwan that collaborate with Contact Taiwan.
Job Seeker Exhibition
Ask your professor / friend or someone you know to help you recommend.
I think this is a bet. Unless, if you were lucky enough if you have someone who have a lot of connections to introduce any kind of job to you. However, you can still try if you need it.
How about quickly understanding the work required? I will give you some phrases you might need it.
Multinational Company (like IKEA, Philips, Unilever)
CV or Resume
Location (like Taipei, Taichung)
Field of work
Benefits (Insurance, Bonuses, etc)
Improve your Chinese Language Ability
Pay a private Chinese teacher to do lessons with you once or twice a week according to your schedule. Practice as much as you can. Focus on slow and steady progress with your Mandarin, man man lai (慢慢來) . If you want free one, you can search through social Media, read a news article or YouTube to improve your Chinese. And if you have a chance localize with the local! I have tried this step and it helped me through to understand some phrases or culture environment in Taiwan.
1. You have to know what your career path road (A.k.a Career planning)
2. Improve yourself with learn specialize skills or abilities (depend on your Job)
3. Understand Taiwan work environment through asking your friends, doing an intern or research through internet are helpful to getting more information and consideration before you do.
4. Improve your CHINESE is important to survive in Taiwan, no matter for work life but daily life also.
5. Learn a new culture which differ from us will be challenging. But, it will bring a positive for our life and the future.
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