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Opportunities in Hong Kong

I recently received a comment from Andrew in the Philippines about opportunities in Hong Kong.

Here’s his comment:

I’m 22 male from the Philippines and just graduated college. I would like to move to hong kong. I’m an actor and model but also have a business degree from a top university here. I have chinese-spanish features so it may do good for my career if i move there. However i do not know how to speak cantonese yet. i could also take the other road and be an office person since i have a business degree.Anyways the cost of living is so high there but there must be something that’s worth it. So what is it? =) Is it the women, the nightlife, the job satisfaction? Is there a demand for male models and serious actors there? i have never tried to go mainstream here in the philippines as it is so.. well degrading for an actor in my country. Do you have any advice for someone starting out fresh in hong kong? thanks!

This is my response:

First, if there’s one thing I am sure about, it is that breaking into modeling or acting anywhere in the world is one tough road to travel. Beyond that I know little or nothing about that market here in Hong Kong.

Second, deciding to be an “office person” here in Hong Kong betrays a certain naïveté. Why would a company hire a recent college graduate from a foreign country who doesn’t speak Cantonese over a local recent college graduate who is already here and speaks English, Cantonese and maybe even Putonghua?

You asked why people liked Hong Kong. I believe, for many, it is the opportunity to achieve success; however they define that, in a relatively short time. Hong Kong is also relatively “foreigner friendly” compared to many other Asian cities. It is not difficult to find people from your home country, here. It is easy to find your way around – most signs are in Kanji and English. Lastly, it’s a very exciting place – lots going on.

My advice to you is to make contact with some Filipinos who are already here – last count was about 150,000. Ask them for advice. You could also contact Filipino companies with offices in Hong Kong to see if they would be interested in hiring you to work here. My best advice would be to come here on a tourist visa and knock on doors to see what your chances are to do what you want to do.

You will gain two things by doing that. One, you will find out pretty fast what the opportunities are. Second, you can decide whether you would like living here or not.

Good luck and if you need further information, please contact me. If anyone else has advice for Andrew, please weigh in.