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February 22, 2011

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Overtime for graduates

ALTHOUGH local young people increasingly strive to balance work and private life commitments, last year's graduates ended up putting in eight hours overtime a week on average, according to a survey.

Fresh graduates working for NGOs worked the most extra hours - 10 hours a week on average, while civil servants and staff in state-owned research institutions put in seven hours overtime.

The survey of last summer's graduates was conducted by MyCos, an education evaluation institute, and was published yesterday.

It found that only 17 percent of people who worked more than 15 hours overtime a week were satisfied with their jobs. Of those working overtime of less than five hours a week, 32 percent were satisfied.

Feng Lijuan, chief HR analyst with, a Nasdaq-listed headhunting firm, told Shanghai Daily that more local graduates applying for jobs ask whether they have to work overtime.

"It's becoming a trend that people are paying much more attention to their private lives. Work is not their whole life," Feng said.

Lynnette Zhou, a sales assistant at a multinational hotel, said she has to work two hours overtime each day.

"Sometimes we work at home as the company does not encourage working overtime. We are paid for the extra hours."

Laura Dai, a secretary with a state-owned enterprise in Shanghai, said she generally has to work three hours overtime each week, but in busy months this might rise to five or six hours.

"I feel under pressure when working overtime and there's no spare time left for me," said Dai on her blog.

More than 2,000 people across the country participated in the survey.


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