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Sky-high Success in Shanghai: Exploring China’s City of Opportunity

Welcome to the third instalment of our series exploring life in our global offices!

In this edition, we journey to the dynamic city of Shanghai, a bustling metropolis renowned for its impressive skyline, rich cultural heritage, and strong work ethic. Our rapidly growing Shanghai office is perfectly situated to offer ambitious professionals a unique blend of tradition and modernity, providing an incredible backdrop for career growth and personal fulfilment.
In this blog, we’ll introduce you to William Trayford, a consultant in our Shanghai office, who will share his insights on navigating the fast-paced lifestyle, uncovering hidden gems, and making the most of the endless opportunities that Shanghai has to offer. Join us as we delve into the unparalleled work-life balance, networking potential, and career growth awaiting you in the captivating city of Shanghai.

The Shanghai Experience: Work, Life, and Play

Shanghai, China’s bustling megacity, offers an unparalleled experience when it comes to striking the perfect balance between work, life, and play. This vibrant metropolis is known for its “work hard, play hard” culture, where individuals commit to putting in the effort to achieve their goals and are rewarded with ample opportunities to enjoy the fruits of their labour.
As William Trayford, our consultant based in Shanghai, shares, the city has a plethora of popular activities that cater to diverse interests. Sports enthusiasts can find their niche in football, rugby, and cricket, while art aficionados can immerse themselves in Shanghai’s thriving art scene.
For the foodies, the city serves up a smorgasbord of culinary delights, ranging from authentic local cuisine to high-end international restaurants. And when it comes to partying, Shanghai boasts a lively nightlife scene, with various hotspots scattered across the city.
Diving deeper into the Shanghai experience, William highlights his top three favourite places to visit and spend time. First, there’s the Bund, a must-visit destination for drinks at sunset, offering breath-taking views of the city’s skyline.
Second, the Former French Concession is the perfect place to wander around and get lost among tree-lined streets, charming cafes, and a myriad of restaurants. And finally, for those craving an escape from the urban jungle, nearby beauty spots such as Suzhou, Hangzhou, and the small water towns provide a serene retreat.
William also shares his favourite hidden gem: taking the ferry across the river for a mere 2 RMB, admiring the view, and then hopping on a shared bike for 1.5 RMB to cycle along the river, away from the bustling crowds. This affordable and refreshing experience allows you to take in the city’s beauty from a unique perspective.
The Shanghai experience isn’t just about working and playing hard; it’s also about embracing the city’s unique character and adapting to its distinct vibe. William mentions that the local food may be quite different from what foreigners are accustomed to, but the abundance of Western options ensures that everyone can find something to their taste.

While the city's hustle and bustle may be overwhelming for some, it's all part of the dynamic atmosphere that makes Shanghai so special.

Adjusting to Life in Shanghai: Challenges, Misconceptions, and Living Tips

Relocating to a new city can be both exciting and challenging, and Shanghai is no exception. In this section, we’ll address some of the biggest challenges and misconceptions about living in Shanghai, as shared by our consultant William, and provide practical tips to help newcomers adjust to life in this vibrant city.
One of the challenges that newcomers might face is acclimatising to the local food, which differs significantly from Chinese food found in the West. However, as William points out, Shanghai offers an abundance of Western options, ensuring that everyone can find something to suit their taste.
Another challenge is the sheer number of people in the city, which might be overwhelming for those unaccustomed to the hustle and bustle of urban life.
A common misconception about Shanghai is that nobody speaks English, but as William clarifies, you can get by with very little Chinese. However, learning the language is highly recommended, as it opens up the city for you even more and proves invaluable when traveling around the country.
Navigating the city as a foreigner is easier than one might think. With the widespread use of smartphones, you can use your phone for everything from payments and public transport to taxis, all through apps like WeChat. Additionally, translation features on apps like WeChat make getting around the city a breeze, even if you don’t speak Chinese fluently.
When it comes to the climate in Shanghai, newcomers should be prepared for a range of temperatures and weather conditions throughout the year. July and August can be extremely hot, with temperatures reaching 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) and humidity making it feel even hotter. On the other hand, the months of April to June and September to November offer more moderate temperatures, often hovering around 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit).
Winters can be cold, with temperatures occasionally dipping below freezing in January and February. To adjust to these varying conditions, it’s essential to have a wardrobe that caters to the different seasons.

Networking, Career Growth, and Opportunities in the Shanghai Office

Shanghai is not only a city that offers an exciting lifestyle, but it also presents a wealth of opportunities for networking, career growth, and professional development. In this section, we’ll discuss the ease of networking in the city and the potential for career growth in the Shanghai office, drawing upon the insights shared by our consultant William.
In a city with a population of 24 million people, it comes as no surprise that networking is a significant aspect of professional life in Shanghai. As William points out, there are networking events taking place every night and even most mornings. These events provide an excellent opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and professionals from various industries. With such a diverse range of networking opportunities, it’s easier than ever to find a group or event that aligns with your interests and career goals.
The Shanghai office itself offers promising career growth opportunities for the right individuals. As a growing office, there is potential for management roles to open up as the company continues to expand. This presents a unique chance for professionals to advance in their careers while being part of a dynamic and supportive work environment.
Relocating to Shanghai comes with numerous benefits, as William recommends. Among the top reasons to consider moving to this international city are the low cost of living, the convenience of the metro system, and the fantastic food scene that includes both local cuisine and high-end international restaurants. Additionally, Shanghai offers unique travel opportunities, allowing residents to explore the diversity of mainland China with ease.
When it comes to housing, buying property in Shanghai can be expensive, so most expats opt for renting an apartment. The Shanghai office’s central location and proximity to two metro lines make it easily accessible from various parts of the city.
This convenience allows for a range of housing options to suit different budgets and preferences. Many employees choose to live within a 20–30-minute commute of the office, with some even opting to walk to work.

Discover the Opportunities and Growth Awaiting You in Shanghai

Shanghai is a city that offers an abundance of professional and personal opportunities for those who choose to embrace its vibrant and diverse atmosphere.
As a leading international IFA, we recognise the importance of providing our team members with the chance to expand their horizons and grow both personally and professionally.
Considering a relocation to Shanghai means exploring the wealth of experiences, career growth possibilities, and unique aspects that make this city a truly rewarding destination. By adopting the right mindset, adaptability, and enthusiasm, you will be well-equipped to thrive and make the most of your time in this dynamic metropolis.
So, as you contemplate the next step in your career journey, we encourage you to consider the incredible potential that awaits you in Shanghai. With our supportive and collaborative team environment, we are confident that you will find success, growth, and fulfilment in this captivating city.

Are you ready to embark on an unforgettable journey and join our Shanghai office?

We invite you to apply now and take the first step towards an exciting new chapter in your career.

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