Work life in China or the extension of my role

Some of you might remember what a never-ending nightmare it was to get all the paperwork done to receive my work papers for China. I am proud of these documents now:

In addition to the resident visa in my passport, I received this Alien Employment Permit. The bar code is actually me. Me as a barcode. 🙂 And this last green book is the company certificate, or should I say “The Holy Company Certificate”. I had to take it with me to the police station, to receive my resident visa. My colleague took it out of the safe in the office, and I had to sign a paper so that she could hand it over to me. I do believe that loosing such a registration certificate is not convenient. Replacing any official document seems to be close to impossible here, from what I heard so far.

Work is going well, but it is busy. My role in the company has already been modified, after 3 months: I am not only in charge of bringing family audience productions to China to tour, I am now actually as well in charge of our complete International Touring. LOL. Background is that I have realized very quickly that the company is somehow lacking an organizational structure. Everyone seems to be working by him- or herself, everyone touches a bit of everything, or nearly. And well, my friends, you know me: I cannot live without an efficient structure…. So I have proposed some changes to Mr.W, and I ended up becoming now part of the newly formed Board of Directors (with the boss himself and 2 other Chinese colleagues), while getting a complete additional team to manage.

My title has been changed into: Director, International Tours & Projects – and I have hell a lot of work to do…

…at least now at the beginning, going through half of the company to understand what has been done before, and how, in order to reorganize the work. I am managing now 3 sales persons for our international touring, as well as 1 project & tour manager with 1 assistant. The sales persons are all foreigners: one German, one South Korean and one Mexican. But funny enough: they all speak German! Our project manager as well as her assistant are Chinese, dealing with the Chinese groups and going on tour with them.

This complete week ended up being a meeting marathon, from Monday ’til Friday… Dealing already as well with some human ressource stuff, some resistance to change etc…. yes, I can say that I’m fully involved here now in my new work in China! It’s good. But I know that I have to be careful in order to establish a good live-work balance… Mr.W has obviously dedicated his complete life to his company, that he is running since nearly 25 years now. He easily expects others to do the same. Though, I have lots of other things to do here in China, so I will have to set my own limits.

Our offices got renovated this autumn, it looks like this now:


My section is in the middle, and my desk is right next to the window. I have never been convinced by the open-space-office-concept, and I am still not. But, what can I do? Our space is limited, and even if Mr.W was looking into moving the office into a bigger space, this is a lot of effort… and finally it did apparently not work out.

The process of finding staff here is long, and needs patience. After my first intern/assistant who arrived in August had left me again after 5 weeks, now I have a new employee working as a project manager in my team since beginning of October. Her name is June, and I think she will be good to work with.

On top of managing now the international sales team, I am still busy trying to get my family entertainment department started. So far I have 2 bigger projects that I want to bring next year 2016… but because this segment is new to the company, I am facing some difficulties in getting things going. But I am staying positive, and patient. We will get there! 🙂



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