back in the nineties i lived in hong kong for five years, after
traveling there for more than 10 years as designer for various
companies. this can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but
proceed with caution.
i recommend you ask the prospective employer those questions
regarding cost of living before establishing your salary. if possible
they should provide the apartment as part of the compensation, that
was pretty standard for most of the expats that had not already made
there way to hong kong to seek work. make sure the apartment is in a
you should also try to get an employment contract that details your
responsibilities and protects you from a sudden release. i have seen
occasionally a designer build up a body of work and be summarily
dismissed and the company kept the books, and gave them to the local
designers to develop. (it even happened to me, working for an
american company with an office in china.)
they should also provide heath care and at least one yearly vacation
including air ticket.
i don’t know what the cost of living is currently, but following the
above steps will take the risk out of the equation, since the day to
day expenses were low if you avoid the touristy areas.
your salary should reflect the sacrifice for living in unfamiliar
surroundings far from family and friends, and the talent and skills
apparently unavailable locally. some people i know actually had their
entire family relocated to hong kong to live together with them when
the contract renewal came up as part of the new contract.