Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Jon in Hong Kong

For anyone interested in what Jon's been up to his first few days in Hong Kong, this is reprinted from a facebook note he wrote about his time so far (and if you're wondering about the time difference, HK is exactly 12 hours ahead of Eastern Time):

Day 1 (Monday in HK)

My first day started out early, I went to a Bible study that has some influential people at 7:40 in the morning. Given that I went to bed at midnight after about 27 hours of travel... yeah. It felt a little early.

The Bible study itself was insightful (Luke 14) but uneventful. After that, however, things got interesting. I started moving southwest, from downtown up the mountain where I knew there was some shopping. I had left all my ties at home and was hoping to find one. After walking a mile or two I finally decided to start making my way back northwest in the general area of where I was staying.

As I was walking I saw a sign for a church that said, "Worship Around The Clock" with service times listed all day. I thought that was interesting so I kept looking and saw the name of the church, Union Church. "Cool name," I thought to myself. "Pastor Greg Anderson," another sign said. A light bulb came on in my head. "Hey, I've been emailing that guy for the last month!"

So I went in to see if he was in. As it was, it was his day off but he was indeed in. So I finally met Greg in person and we talked for about an hour. Near the end of our conversation he remembered that a job recruiter attended his church, so he called this guy on the spot and handed the phone over to me after a short introduction. This man, John Eyres, told me to come in that afternoon.

So at 2:00 I started working on getting my suit on and tying the tie that Greg gave me. (Note that in all of this if I had packed any ties this appointment never would have happened). After 45 minutes and three YouTube videos I got the tie on satisfactorily. I met Mr. Eyres at 4:00.

He seemed very willing and eager to help. He gave me some tips, the names of more recruiters and websites to visit and told me he would get back to me after talking with "his people." (As managing director, he actually has "people.")

Day 2 (Tuesday in HK)

Day 2 started with an email from Mr. Eyres that his firm didn't have anything for (which was not a surprise) but that he still wanted to meet with me later in the week (Friday) to follow up.

At 10:00 I met an amazing guy named Chris who was incredibly helpful in re-crafting my resume for Hong Kong, getting me in touch with more contacts, and engineering an overall job hunt strategy.

I went out to lunch with my parents after that, then went home to work on my resume. I made the changes and crashed hard for awhile. I got up after a bit and searched for jobs. I waded through at least 150 postings and then crashed again. I got up around 12:30 am and starting applying like mad (12 applications, 1 resume submission to another recruitment firm). I finally went back to sleep at 4:00 am.

Day 3 (Wednesday in HK)

I woke up to find two rejections from recruiters because I am not an HK resident. I emailed one of the recruiters to see if we couldn't meet anyway. Waiting to find out what happens there.

Then I went out to find (a) nail clippers and (b) breakfast. Nail clippers have been hard to find here, especially as I don't know the Chinese word for them. Finally I found a shop with household supplies: cleaners, brooms, cork operners, etc. I found a pair of scissors in the shop and asked "[This, you have it smaller]?" ( brackets = speaking in Mandarin, {} = actions).

"[smaller...] uhm...?"

"[For...] {I motion cut my nails...}"

"[No, don't have it.]"

"[Where can I buy some?]" She paused and then dug into a box and pulled out a pair of clippers.

"[Yes! That it is! How much?]"

"{Slightly accented Mandarin} [10 dollars.]"

"[Good. Thank you!]"

I found my breakfast (included iced coffee, boiled chicken, noodles, a fried egg and something leafy and green for US$3.

I finally returned to my flat and looked up more jobs and applied to four more.

The remainder of the day includes some extra rest, mock interviews with Chris, some time with my parents, and, if I have time, a printing shop to reprint my reworked resume.

To my church friends you mostly know what you can be praying for: (1) that whatever happens it glorifies Jesus, (2) wisdom in every step, (3) that #1 includes a job in Hong Kong for me! (In that order)


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