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Why am I in Beijing?!

Popularity 7Viewed 1252 times 2014-6-25 16:26 |System category:Life| china, beijing, laowai, foreigner, introduction

The United States economy had nothing to offer. The economy had slowed construction/design work to a snail pace. Any positions available in the States were to be filled by people with much more experience. I graduated in May of 2013; my goal was to move back home and find a job near my family and friends. I lived in Atlanta, Georgia – a large city for U.S. standards. I thought a large city would have plenty of work to offer for an aspiring landscape architect.  The problem was that I found myself competing with people that had years of experience and that were willing to accept an entry-level salary. How was I supposed to compete with them?! (Throughout the years before my graduation, firms had to reduce their number of employees due to the economic decline.)

I widened my search – instead of searching for jobs in Atlanta, I applied for positions all across the United States. Everywhere I looked, my portfolio received plenty of compliments but my lack of experience made every firm lose interest in me. This pattern continued for several months. It was extremely frustrating! I decided to take a break from my job hunting; a visit to my university town always relaxes me. I also needed to get away from my parents; I had to move back in with them to be able to afford living in Atlanta. Living with your parents after graduating from college is not something to be proud of in American culture. It’s actually avoided as much as possible!

While I was visiting friends and professors at my old university, I spoke with someone about my struggle to find a job. Their immediate recommendation was to look for work internationally – China, specifically. I contemplated the suggestion for the rest of that day and decided it was a great idea! Chinese development is slowing down a tad but still has much, much, much more to offer than the United States. The field of landscape architecture is very new in China and I suspected it would allow for tons of growth.

I went home and applied for work in China, Korea, Switzerland, Morocco, Canada and a few other countries. I couldn’t stop once I started! International work would be a dream come true! I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t considered this option sooner.

The responses were slow to come but finally - a firm in Beijing offered me an opportunity I could not refuse! I applied for my visa, packed my bags and looked forward to a new adventure.

You just never know what life will bring you. I have been in Beijing for almost five months now and I'm loving it!

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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Recent comments

  • Nightmare 2014-9-10 11:01

    Sounds like Slenderman at first, but then it turns out to be a rotting lady. GROSS

  • Company Party as a Laowai 2014-9-2 22:12

    teamkrejados: I'll bet you'd freak if you received such a package!!   
    haha I don't think I would get much work done

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