• Give a Gift
  • Customer Service
  • Promotions
  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • Win
  • Games

February 24, 2011

Braving New Worlds: Why Career Women Are Moving Abroad

Share
braving new worlds march 2011 article

Photo Credit: Chien-min Chung

Special Offer

CHINA
Sheila Zhao 27, photographer
Hometown: Upper Saddle River, New Jersey

Why I wanted to live in China: After college, I got an internship in public affairs at General Motors — I thought it would be a great opportunity, especially since my parents had taught me to speak Chinese. Five years later, I'm still in Beijing, but on a different career path. After traveling the country and snapping photos along the way, I've become a freelance photographer, handling photo assignments for various companies, as well as exhibiting my work.

Biggest surprise: How fast things change in Beijing. Every time I return from traveling, something is different on my street. The last time I came back from a monthlong trip, a whole new building had appeared out of nowhere.

Greatest challenge: Massive gridlock. The other day, I took a cab to meet some friends for dinner in Beijing. The ride should have taken about five minutes. It took 40.

Major mishap: Once, when I was at a bar with some expat friends, a waiter mistook me for a local. He said he wanted to charge my "foreign" friends a higher price for drinks. If I went along with it, he told me, he would split the profits with me. I passed on the arrangement, but maybe this can be a contingency plan if my photography career goes south!

What I love about living here: Riding around on "ice chairs." They're tiny stools that you can sit on to slide across frozen lakes, thanks to blades on the bottom.

Biggest disappointment: I have not found a single restaurant that makes General Tso's chicken.

What I miss about home: Clean air and big blue skies. While the pollution in Beijing can make for some fantastically eerie photos, it's not cool when you step outside and can see all the microparticles you're breathing in.

How the experience has changed me: I've learned to be more patient. For instance, I don't lose it anymore if someone hawks a loogie right next to me on a crowded sidewalk.

How you can get here: Look for job listings and networking events on thebeijinger.com and cityweekend.com.


Share
This Is A Developing Story
Connect with Marie Claire:
Advertisement
horoscopes
daily giveaway
Win a year’s supply of makeup products from Tarte and a year’s supply of hair products from Hamadi Organics!

Win a year’s supply of makeup products from Tarte and a year’s supply of hair products from Hamadi Organics!

enter now
You Know You Want More
More From Career Tips
The High-Performer's Cheat Sheet

The 10 rarely-discussed-but-totally-essential career skills they don't teach in business school—and expert advice on how to nail them.

The Single Girl's Second Shift

You spend every night at the office, cluttering your desk with takeout containers. Your coworkers with kids are out the door at 5. Does work-life balance apply only to moms? Ayana Byrd reports on the latest type of workplace discrimination.

post a comment

Special Offer
Link Your Marie Claire Account to Facebook
Welcome!

Marie Claire already has an account with this email address. Link your account to use Facebook to sign in to Marie Claire. To insure we protect your account, please fill in your password below.

Forgot Password?

Thanks for Joining

Your information has been saved and an account has been created for you giving you full access to everything marieclaire.com and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your username and/or password or complete your profile, click here.

Continue
Your accounts are now linked

You now have full access to everything Marie Claire and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your settings or profile, click here.

Continue