CHINA Podcast: Story in the Story (8/21/2019 Wed.)

CHINA

Podcast: Story in the Story (8/21/2019 Wed.)

People's Daily app

00:59, August 21, 2019

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From the People's Daily app.

And this is Story in the Story.

A recent report on China's emerging occupations in the services industry this year shows that not only has a new batch of jobs been created, but new digital-oriented professions are also defining the industry.

The report was jointly released by Meituan Dianping, a Chinese e-commerce platform for a host of services, and Zhilian Zhaopin, one of China's top job-hunting websites.

It encompasses professions such as home party operator, escape room designer, pet photographer, scalp therapist, sundry sorter, Counter-Strike coach, bartender and fitness instructor.

According to the report, most professionals working in these jobs are highly educated, in addition to earning high income, and seeking a work-life balance. Almost 70 percent have a degree higher than junior college, and a quarter of them have salaries higher than 10,000 yuan ($1,470).

Today’s Story in the Story looks at how young Chinese workers are pioneering new industries by following their passions.

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Sun Xuli teaches students programming at Coding March, a teenager programming training agency in Pudong, Shanghai. (Photo: Global Times)

People born between 1990 and 2000 make up the bulk of these new professions. According to the report, generations born after the 1980s and 1990s occupy more than 90 percent of this job market. Half were born after the 1990s, and over 22 percent were born after 1995.

As opposed to their parents, younger generations tend to be open to a wider range of professions such as online restaurant designer, cat stroker, or other jobs outside of traditional occupations.

They are described as free, confident, self-incentivized, and having pride in their work.

"Slash youth" is a term describing young people who have more than one area of expertise, a common trait among recent job holders. Nearly 20 percent of new job holders have one or more part-time jobs.

Yang Kesi, 29, founded a programming school in Shanghai for teenagers in 2016, after selling an overseas study agency startup.

"I decided to establish my own programming school as I was not satisfied with existing training services in Shanghai," Yang said.

In the past three years, he has seen that more attention is paid to programming education by parents and students.

"I have changed my students' lives by teaching them programming and helping them receive offers from world-famous universities like Columbia and Stanford," added Yang.

"I think I have created a new section of education."

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An escape room designed by Tu Chao in Chengdu in China's Sichuan Province (Photo: Global Times)

Tu Chao, 31, owner of a Chengdu-based escape room design company, quit his job at a state-owned mining enterprise to start his own business with a colleague from the same workplace.

"When I introduced my business to ten friends, none of them had heard of it before. My cousin mocked me and said that it might be better to sell noodles," he recalled. 

Now his company is producing its own original storylines and differentiating its designs, some of which are styled after movies.

Lai Youwei, head of Meituan Research Institute, Meituan Dianping, said that this wave of new professions has resulted from vigorous development of the services industry as consumer demand grows more personalized.

The top five reasons for the growth of these new jobs include the fast development of promising industries, passion, opportunities to work with different people, the appeal of trying new things, and flexible working hours, Lai analyzed.

The driving force of synergy development across different sectors dominates this job market. This unique professional landscape offers a new generation in the workforce opportunities to combine their interests and personalities, said Meng Qingwei, vice chairman of China Talent Research Institute.

According to Meng, three factors are critical in these new emerging professions: an understanding of the connections between majors and careers in the era of artificial intelligence, a thorough comprehension of one's own potential, and professionalism and flexibility.

"We can see that people who are taking new occupations are gaining more control, and this might be attributed to their online hours, with clear plans [to their career path]. Most of the young entrants witness the fast growth in the Chinese economy; they are more confident to choose the jobs they love," Lai concluded.

The Meituan Dianping report called for acknowledgement of the services industry and a more flexible job market.

"[Society] needs to push forward the convergence of digital technology and the services industry while developing a bigger talent pool," the report said.

(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Brian Lowe, Lance Crayon and Paris Yelu Xu. Music by: bensound.com. Text from Global Times.)


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