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"The advocate that guided my move to a new city”

Relocating to a city where you can barely speak the language might sound intimidating. Couple that with transitioning to a startup role after years in bigger corporations, and the situation can be flat out overwhelming. Yet for Ellen Cheng, this transition was a breeze with the help of Robert Walters Hong Kong.

Ellen was looking to shake up her career after a decade in the tech industry. She was at home in Canada browsing job listings online when she stumbled upon an intriguing opening at a B2B software company – in Hong Kong.

“I’d never contemplated moving to Hong Kong before. I had no experience working there, plus, my Cantonese proficiency was minimal,” she explains. “But I decided to reach out anyway, and to my surprise, Shirley Tsang from the Robert Walters Hong Kong team responded to my email within two hours. We quickly scheduled a call.”

The two of them hit it off right away. Like Ellen, Shirley had also lived elsewhere – in her home country, Ireland – before embarking on her career in Hong Kong. This shared experience made Ellen feel less alone, and she genuinely felt that Shirley understood her perspective.

As it turned out, Ellen was exactly the profile that the company was after: someone with a North American background with fluency in Asian languages. Once Ellen affirmed her interest in the role, it was on to winning the job. The prep work was extensive, with Shirley guiding Ellen through the intricacies of the Hong Kong job market and hiring processes, all so she could stand out as the choice candidate despite needing a visa to work in the country.

“At that point, I had zero contacts in Hong Kong. Shirley was my guide in navigating this job hunt – and a new culture. After each interview, she also checked in with me to ensure I felt comfortable.” Ellen recounts. 

“There were moments when I worried about making blunders or was puzzled by certain interview aspects, but thank God Shirley was always there to help me understand the cultural nuances.”

 

Having worked with the company on other roles before, Shirley could confidently manage the hiring team’s needs. The hiring process progressed smoothly. There were no unexpected developments, only memorable moments for Ellen. The company flew her out to Hong Kong for the final interview, and it was then that she took the chance to meet Shirley face-to-face over coffee. When an offer came in, Shirley acted on Ellen’s behalf for the salary negotiations.

Pursuing a job in a different country is no small feat, but Ellen credits her success to her strong connection with Shirley. “Shirley earned my trust, and she really advocated for me at every step in the process,” Ellen concludes. “I really appreciate how we had overcome this challenge together, and I love that we’ve become great friends along the way.”

 

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