Learning English through Workplace Communication

It has recently been claimed that in the workplace many Hong Kong fresh university graduates are less hardworking and less willing to face challenges compared to those in the past.

You strongly disagree with this opinion. Write a letter to the editor of Hong Kong Daily disagreeing with this opinion. Support your views with three reasons and /or examples.   

Dear Editor,

I am writing to express my disagreement with the recent saying that Hong Kong fresh university graduates are less hardworking and less willing to face challenges in the workplace than those in the past. The opinion is simply lame. Times have changed. Nowadays, Hong Kong fresh university graduates face tough and unfavourable circumstances which means that they have to pay extra efforts at work in return for lower salaries.  By giving three reasons below, I will prove the opinion wrong and unfair. 

Nowadays, in this age of globalization, one of the severe challenges facing fresh graduates is that they have to compete with international counterparts upon entering the workforce. Gone are the days when a university degree was a guarantee to a decent and stable job with high salary. With the increase in the number of universities in Hong Kong, more local university graduates are churned out. They have to work harder and compete with a larger pool of local graduates than those in the past. Despite keen competition among local graduates, Hong Kong university graduates also have to compete with overseas graduates who are favored by the employers because of their fluent English and international exposure. Moreover, after Hong Kong’s handover to China, mainland graduates are preferred by the employers because of their fluent Mandarin and understanding of Chinese business culture. Local graduates pale in comparison with mainland and overseas graduates. Unlike their predecessors, faced with tough and fierce competition, they have to work much harder and learn more skills in order to stay afloat in the workplace.  

In this digital era and social media age, fresh graduates are willing to face the challenge posed by the advancement of technology. They are versatile and able to adapt to the ever-changing pace and demand of the workplace. For example, my friend Sarah, a fresh graduate who is now an office worker, has to know how to use mobile apps like Deliveroo and Foodpanda to order food delivery on time for her bosses and colleagues whenever there is a pop-up lunch meeting. Also, she has to know how to use mobile payment service like PayMe or ApplePay to collect lunch payment from her colleagues. Moreover, they are adept at learning new skills such as building websites, vlogging, making short films and live-streaming videos, marketing and advertising products and services via Facebook, Instagram and Youtube, online teaching via Zoom or Google Meet, using Fintech and so on. These tech skills are highly sought after in the job market. Isn’t it a strong proof that fresh graduates are willing to adapt to the changing demand of the workplace?

In this global era, as business goes international, fresh graduates are required to work long hours and even around the clock to meet their clients’ needs. For example, my friend Cara, a fresh graduate who now works at a multinational corporation, has to work late into the night to make deals with her client on the other side of the world and return early the next morning to report to her boss the progress of her work. Another example is that my friend Joey, a fresh graduate who works at a leading advertising agency, has to work 120 hours’ overtime in a month due to heavy workload. In contrast to the claim, this is a convincing evidence that they are just as diligent as their predecessors.

In the 21st century, expectations placed on fresh graduates are much higher since the workplace has become more demanding and competitive than that in the past. The claim that Hong Kong fresh university graduates are less hardworking and less willing to face challenges is just a stereotype against the young generation. I hope that the above can help set the record straight and appreciate the efforts paid by Hong Kong fresh university graduates.

Yours faithfully,

Chris Wong 

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