When I came to HK jobless and homeless, it was a purposeful decision. I often liken my time with NY and HK to a relationship – and like any young relationship, you don’t just jump into commitment right away or lightly. Instead I rented a serviced apartment for a term of 3 months and enrolled in a 3-month language program. This gave me the flexibility to “explore the relationship,” if you will and feel it out without attachments.
By mid-October, after countless informational interviews with alumni, recruiters, other lawyers and professionals, I decided that I should throw my hat into the job market ring here and go for a full-time job. I also faced a lot of emotional challenges, as I thought a lot about Mom and coped with an odd form of loneliness in what might be one of the most social cities in the world. I applied to a decent handful of jobs, around a dozen or so, but with no success. By the end of November, I really put no effort into the job hunt, as I was quickly winding down, having to pack up and get out of HK temporarily.
I signed up for another term at CUHK and agreed to sublet Vicky’s apartment come 2010, and here I am, staring the question in the face and wondering, “What’s Up With Us?” or WUWU, as my friend Jill termed it. It’s that point in time where you take a pause to evaluate where your relationship is going, and whether or not it’s time to take it to that next level. Perhaps it’s a bit premature to WUWU here since I don’t have a job that will allow me to stay longer, or even a job interview to speak of yet, but I noticed that I’d been a bit lax about getting on the job search I promised I’d commit 7 hours a week to in my New Year’s Resolutions. Is it because I’m getting commitment-phobic?
They say that in and around Chinese New Year, which is February 14 this year, is a good time for job hunting — mostly afterwards, since a lot of job turnover happens, with people collecting bonuses and leaving for new jobs. I did notice a lot more jobs posted on JobsDB and eFinancialCareers, and should be ramping up efforts to find connections to help me submit applications, yet I was shy to. I even have a friend over at JP Morgan urging me to get my resume to him, and yet I waited and waited and waited.
Why? Am I having second thoughts, I wonder?
I started asking some of my friends here as I begin to resettle into HK and am doing all the “catch up” dinners/drinks/lunches. Whenever I mention it my friends tell me to please not be hasty about leaving and that at whatever point I think I’ve had enough, I need to add a few months more to my search. Other friends have emailed me job info or been otherwise helpful in referring me to headhunters or whatever data I may need. And yet I kept being lazy.
Last week I finally submitted 3 job applications, as they had a deadline; then yesterday I sent out another 7 or so. As I do it, I realize that any of these could be it… and then the real WUWU talk would have to ensue…
Moreover, it’s beginning to look as though I can easily continue the term of my sublet past end of April. But I wonder, is this right?
When I think about going back to NY, I just don’t really see it as a real option with the U.S. economy still suffering as much as it is. Unemployment in HK recently dipped under 5%, and I definitely see a lot of hiring going on all around me. And when I was in NY over the break, I felt a depression take a hold of me that frightened me greatly. Something about me and NY is not vibing right now, but is turning to the arms of HK right too?
My thinking is that if I cannot know in my heart that I want this, it may impact my energy and efforts at job-hunting. I can’t seem to put my finger on these thoughts, but I think I just have to forge ahead and do my very best. As they say in Chinese — jia you!
(yep… more contemplations ahead…)