Making the jump from China traveler to China expat is still a common occurrence, despite the reported decline in the traditional expat packages in Tier-1 cities like Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong. Living and working an a foreign country is a complicated process, within both the new country as well as your home country. Expats in China are subject to a dizzying array of considerations.
That’s usually the first piece of advice that I give to would-be expatriates, and it is one that I, throughout my career, continue to keep in the forefront of my mind. I’ve become good at reciting PO box addresses as if they were my home address, at answering calls from my bank at 1AM because I’m unable to explain that yes I still have my same california number but it’s a skype number and I’m on the other side of the world, and at saying good morning to colleagues on a conference call when for you it’s late a night. Through it all, expats will find themselves bowing to the immovable force of a world built to think and act locally, despite the catchy slogans on posters at our corporate headquarters.