The UK is preparing to mark a special Chinese New Year as towns and cities herald in the 2020 Year of the Rat on January 25. The celebrations will last for 15 days, ending with the Lantern Festival on February 8.  


In Liverpool festivities will take place in Europe’s oldest Chinatown, with traditional Chinese culture and modern performances showcased in street and stage acts, leading up to the grand finale on Sunday, January 26. 


Many of the city’s buildings will be illuminated in red and display lanterns in honour of the New Year – a sign that marks good fortune and promises joy to everyone. 


Birmingham’s celebrations, meanwhile, will also be in its vibrant Chinatown district. The party, which takes place on January 26 from 11.30am to 4pm in and around the Arcadian Centre in Hurst Street, is expected to attract more than 30,000 people. 


In Southampton, the Year of the Rat celebrations will be the biggest on the south coast. The festivities on January 25, which will be hosted at the city’s Guildhall by UK Shaolin Temple, will include a parade, dragon dancing, an arts and cultural exhibition and workshops, as well as arts and crafts stalls and many opportunities to sample traditional Chinese cuisine. 


Throughout this New Year revelry, the focus will be on the symbol of the rat, which is seen by many as a representation of generosity, focus, diligence and kindness. With its top ranking among all of the Chinese zodiac signs, the Rat is also associated with alertness, delicacy, flexibility and vitality. 


Of course, you don’t have to have been born in the Year of the Rat – 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008 and 2020 – to appreciate that these characteristics could also boost your career in the Chinese New Year. 


Being naturally instinctive and continually alert, for example, are important strong points to have in the world of health and safety professionals. Ensuring construction workers and tradespeople abide by the rules on a building site or checking warehouse operatives and package handlers adhere to their guidelines requires an inquisitive nature and a keen eye for the smallest of details. 

The Rat’s delicacy and flexibility, meanwhile, are both vital when dealing with people and there are three sectors where being a people person, able to adapt to every situation, is paramount: hospitality, HR and customer service.  


Choose a new role in the world of hospitality – a vast sector that also encompasses tourism and catering – and every day you will interact with many different people from every part of the planet and all walks of life.  


There are few better ways to experience a sociable and financially rewarding environment, especially as a school leaver or part-time worker, while boosting your confidence and communication skills. 


Factor in teamwork and time management and you can soon build up a valuable skillset that can lead to managerial positions or be easily transferred into other careers. 


The inimitable leader of the Rat Pack, Frank Sinatra, was also known as the Chairman of the Board . . . enter the world of Human Resources as an HR assistant or HR manager and you could find yourself working alongside executives at boardroom level.  


Here you’ll be helping to formulate the company strategy; plan recruitment drives with x1jobs and ensure employees are 100% happy and empowered to do their best. 

Customer service is an integral part of so many jobs that it can be difficult to imagine a role that doesn’t involve smiling, being polite and non-judgmental. 


In the Year of the Rat, however, customer service roles can benefit from an applicant having the twin virtues of the Rat’s flexibility and kindness. 


Being diligent and focused, Rat people are also expected to excel in the field of financial services. For investment consultants, bankers and accountants, add alertness into the equation and it all equals a natural talent for numbers. 


There’s more good news. If you’re prepared to be a go-getter in 2020, the Year of the Rat is linked with enjoying good fortune in one’s career and finances. Could this come through a new role from x1jobs with a bigger salary and incentives? 


One last thing to consider about the Year of the Rat. According to the tale of the creation of the Chinese zodiac, the Jade Emperor decreed there would be a race to decide the natural order of the animals. 


Quick as a flash the Rat asked the Ox to take him on a ride so they could both cross a wide river and finish together. But as soon as they had crossed the water, the Rat leapt over the Ox’s head and crossed the line – winning the race ahead of his rivals and so becoming the first of the zodiac creatures. 


If like our friend, the Rat, you’d like to be more cunning than an Ox and become number one, why not get your Chinese New Year off to a winning start by discovering the latest career opportunities on x1jobs?