Date
23 September 2017
Yuen quit her full-time job after getting married and now teaches English to young children on a freelance basis. Photo: HKEJ
Yuen quit her full-time job after getting married and now teaches English to young children on a freelance basis. Photo: HKEJ

Freelancing: Hong Kong women get the hang of it

A major difference between working men and women in Hong Kong is the latter are more likely to quit their job once they get married and have babies.

But many would still want to work part-time to supplement the family income.

Other married women may have stopped working to raise children but when the kids are grown up, many of them want to rejoin the workforce.

Money is one motive. Some love their profession and see it as a waste of their talent if they do not apply their knowledge to work.

Others simply want something to do with their time.

A 50-year-old nurse named Wu works part-time for private clients and hospitals.

In some cases, she is there just for a day, but some clients become regulars.

Most of her individual clients are wealthy people who employ her to care for sick or aging family members such as giving injections, making sure they take their medicine or helping them exercise.

She is paid about HK$1,900 a day. Flexibility is one thing she likes most about freelancing.

“If I feel tired, I can turn down jobs,” Wu told Hong Kong Economic Journal Monthly.

Some full-time nurses are switching to freelancing to spend more time with their family, Wu said.

Another freelancer named Yuen, who is in her thirties, teaches English to children between three and eight.

Yuen charges about HK$200 (US$28.80) to HK$250 an hour and has about 10 students.

Some college admission requirements include a portfolio of the applicant’s work.

In Hong Kong, students often have to prepare such portfolios if they want to get into a prestigious primary school.

Yuen prepares these portfolios on behalf of the parents.

She puts together the students’ certifications, photos and notes from the parents, adding some smart touches to make the package attractive.

Different schools look for different things.

“It has to be tailor-made,” Yuen said.

She gets most of these jobs from referrals and the standard fee is HK$500 each.

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RA

Wu resumed working after her children grew up, She does not want to waste her nursing knowledge. Photo: HKEJ


EJ Insight writer

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