Taiwan is a state in East Asia and is governed by the Republic of China (ROC). An island that is attractive to both tourists and jobseekers alike, Taiwan has become a popular choice for expats and professionals alike. With its diverse economy, professionals in a broad range of industries are required to fill available positions that local labour cannot.
Essentially, if you have language skills, and possess the expertise and qualifications in demand in Taiwan, then it is likely that you will secure yourself a top job. However, without the necessary language skills and formal qualifications, you could struggle to find a suitable position with a good salary.
The capital, Taipei is home to many multinational companies and as such, is a hot spot for foreign workers and expats.
Language requirements – the official language of Taiwan is Mandarin Chinese, although Taiwanese is widely spoken and in some companies, English is also required. Without knowledge of Mandarin Chinese, Taiwanese and English, you may find securing a top job particularly challenging. However, there are hospitality jobs and volunteering positions available to those who can speak English.
Major industries of employment:
- IT and electronic products
- Petroleum refining
- Motor vehicles
- Iron and steel
- Food processing
- Financial services (venture capital management, insurance and banking)
The Taiwan government encourages skilled foreign workers to apply for jobs in areas experiencing a labor shortage, which currently extends to sales jobs, technical trades, management positions, and engineering posts.
Working in Taiwan
The best jobs in Taiwan usually require candidates with a specific skill set, level of academic achievement and language proficiency. If you are skilled and qualified in computing, telecommunications, medicine, sales, technology, or engineering then you are encouraged to apply for jobs as growth is continuing across these industries. Taiwan is also home to a number of major international companies, including China Airlines, IBM, Sony, Hewlett Packard and Taiwan Sugar Incorporation.
These large international companies operating in Taiwan provide excellent career opportunities to both nationals and foreign nationals. The working conditions are generally very good and employees can achieve a high standard of living on relatively average salaries. Holding a BA or MA degree can significantly increase your average salary expectations.
Business etiquette in Taiwan
Following appropriate Taiwanese customs, traditions and protocol, both in and out of the workplace, is essential when working in Taiwan.
Normal business attire for men is a dark colored suit (red and black colors should be avoided), while for women, a conservative style dress or suit is appropriate. It is imperative not to offend people in Taiwan, and the importance of giving off a good first impression is vital in order to secure a business deal.
When greeting a businessperson, a handshake is customary, however it should not be a firm handshake as practiced in western countries. Many Taiwanese people avoid eye contact and lower their eyes as a sign of respect. Addressing people in the workplace is done by using the person’s title and surname and you should only use a person’s first name where they have expressly invited you to do so.
So if you have the necessary skills, then as long as you follow the rules above, you should find relocating to Taiwan relatively easy.