Jobbatical Stories: From Indonesia to Hong Kong
As a UI/UX designer at CompareAsiaGroup, Andrew currently lives in Hong Kong where working feels like traveling. He made his move last year through Jobbatical, and has been experiencing a whole lot since then — including a crowded city during Christmas!
Why did you want to take a jobbatical?
Because I like traveling, and I wanted to live in a new place and environment which is so challenging.
Did anything surprise you about the new team and culture?
More than 90% the employees in my company are expats. I was thinking it’s gonna be full of local people, but the fact is I’m working with many people around the world. It feels so different, like I’m working as well as traveling. I never had this feeling when I was working in my hometown.
The crowded photo is from when I was walking on Christmas Eve. As an Indonesian, I never felt Christmas like that.
What have been some challenges?
No family, no friends. If you’re not well-managed with your money, you’ll end up eating instant noodles once per day. My first two months, I was always prepared to be bummed everyday.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned from this experience?
How does your jobbatical in Hong Kong tie in with your career goals?
First, define “career”. Everybody has a different perspective about career. For me, career is not about a certain amount of salary that you get every month, or some level of position in management structure or some housing and insurance benefits.
Experiencing this new environment and meeting new people around the world opened my mind and gave me a wider perspective about life. I believe these are positive influences. My dream is to create products and services that are innovative and meaningful. I believe this is the right step for me because I learned so many things in the past few months.
What advice would you give to someone considering a jobbatical?
I wouldn’t suggest Jobbatical to someone that doesn’t like to get out from their comfort zone. Jobbatical is for people who love challenges and risk-taking. If you’re the one, try it. Experiences never lie.
Any must-have item you brought from home?
Bring your favorite chillies. This is important for Southeast Asian people.
Lastly, what would you like to take away from your time in Hong Kong?
Memories. Feel every second in your life through your heart, not through your camera. You can enjoy it more through your own eyes than when you see it in a picture.
Feeling inspired by Andrew’s story? Here are some Jobbatical opportunities in Hong Kong — and we’ve got more for you around the world!