Consider being a tourist first, not only will this show potential future opportunities that you’re serious, you’ll be able to really think and reflect on this huge move and if you’re up for it. For me, I was sure within a week of arriving. But I was also sure I needed to return to Canada and exit that part of my life responsibly. I will mention that many arrive in China to start new jobs without having ever visited, but many end up switching jobs in the first year when they learn more about which cities they like, what type of work they like best etc. It’s absolutely possible to do a lot of the important research before hand, but if you can stand the hit to your bank account - I recommend visiting first. If you know you’d like to eventually work here and you’re not interested in teaching English, it’s unlikely a corporate employer will take you seriously if you’ve never even been to China. Think about it, would you?