The BBC recently published an article about ‘returning culture shock’.
A close friend once confided, “Coming to Hong Kong was exciting and manageable, given a certain amount of preparation and awareness.
Returning ‘home’ was much harder, as ‘home’ wasn’t there anymore. The issue wasn’t that ‘home’ had changed, I had! I hadn’t put the same preparation into returning and was unaware that my move had changed me. The result; coming home was harder than leaving.
If you have been in that situation, what did you find?
The South China Morning Post today reported that Hong Kong is Asia’s 10th dearest city for expatriates.
Hong Kong is unlikely to be losing it’s premium cost-base anytime soon, with rental inflation and school fees increases being major contributors to the City’s expensive living costs.
Although the Composite Consumer Price Index stands at 4% year-on-year, page 7 of the full report for April shows that private housing rent is rising by half as much again (5.9%).
Incredibly, a local ESF school recently projected a 54% increase in fees by 2017 as reported by the SCMP. With ESF waiting lists doubling over the last 3 years, there appears to be little danger of these increases impacting the ESF being full to capacity.
With the cost of English-Language schooling and property rental making up a significant proportion of household expenses, these statistics are cause for concern for expatriate residents.
The Washington Post recently posted that “If you’ve been out of work for more than six months, you’re essentially unemployable. Many companies won’t even consider you for a job.” In an experiment carried out by Rand Ghayad of Northeastern University, he found that employers would rather call back someone with no relevant experience who’s only been out of work for a few months than someone with more relevant experience who’s been out of work for longer than six months. The graph illustrates the findings that, based on the experimental data from the US, the short-term unemployed are 5 times more likely to be called back than the long-term unemployed when applying for a role in their own industry.
Obviously there are differences between the US and Hong Kong, but what are your perceptions? If your CV indicated you have been out of work for 6 months or more, have you noticed a declining level of employer interest? Does your CV even state that you are unemployed?
Chandler Macleod has just released their Hong Kong IT salary trends report 2013. The report warns employers that they can’t afford to allow their staff to fall behind local salary market rates, or they risk losing them as demand heats up.
Chandler Macleod noted some significant salary raises being acheived where this had occurred and staff decided to move on. The short-term saving of underpaying relative to the market is soon offset by (i) the replacement salary at market rate (ii) cost of rehire, (iii) productivity loss and the (iv) knock on effects to other staff. What trends are you seeing in the local market?
HONG KONG LIGHT POLLUTION WORST IN THE WORLD
From the South China Morning Post: “In the world’s largest light pollution study, scientists collected more than five million brightness measurements at 18 monitoring stations over the past three years. They used an instrument known as a Sky Quality Meter installed on roofs. The worst reading was at the Space Museum in Tsim Sha Tsui from 8.30pm to 11pm, which was 1,200 times the International Astronomical Union standard.” More of the article: http://bit.ly/ZtROak [Image via SCMP]