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Beijing to stay ahead as options open for the young
China Daily
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Beijing to stay ahead as options open for the young

Many graduates I have spoken to are not that keen on living in Beijing to pursue a career, which comes as something of a surprise.

I was born in the 1980s, and having been told since childhood that the capital is the "heart" of China, I initially found it hard to understand the graduates' reluctance to make the city their home.

As I carried out more interviews, I gradually gained a better understanding of these young people, who were mostly born some 20 years ago.

Some of them said they could not afford the high housing prices in Beijing. They also did not want to rent property, as they needed a sense of security.

Others said that after they graduate they want to find a low-pressure job with lower pay in their hometowns, as they will be closer to their families and face less competition.

Since starting college, some graduates have never considered living and working in Beijing, as they plan to go overseas.

Members of my generation were told to face difficulties directly and fight to overcome them. Only a goal that was hard to achieve deserved our effort. Perseverance was the best quality. If there was no pain, there was no gain.

As a result, in childhood I decided to study hard to get enrolled at a Beijing college and to find a decent job after graduation. I worked diligently every day to secure a foothold and prove myself in this huge city.

Younger people don't see it this way. They work hard and have big ambitions, but they have more and are more innovative than I was. They also have more choices than I did at their age.

China's rapid economic development has led to a rise in the number of attractive cities that can provide a good living environment and job opportunities for graduates.

They can realize their dreams and use their talent in numerous destinations.

Even in their remote home villages, graduates can prove their worth and make money by helping farmers sell agricultural produce via livestreaming.

One of the more unusual reasons I heard for leaving Beijing centered on skin care.

A 21-year-old female graduate said she has always had facial pimples in Beijing, as her skin is sensitive to the local climate. The pimples disappear every time she travels south to her hometown.

"I have had pimples in the four years I have been attending college in Beijing. I need to head south for them to go away," she said.

The fact that more choices are being offered to younger people is clearly good news. They do not face the problems that we did in starting our careers.

China is becoming a prosperous society, and members of the younger generation can prove themselves in more ways and in more locations than we did.

This is why new regulations were introduced in Beijing last month to attract top young talent to live and work in the city.

To become better and stay ahead, the capital is competing with other cities, even though it already has many advantages.

China DailyShen Yi

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