If you wanna work, just go do it, that’s how you handle it. Just be careful because technically it’s illegal for you if you do not have the work visa.
If you want to get a legal job with the correct visa, you will have to do what your wife did. simple.
@ BDecks – Possible, yes. Legal no. If you get caught you can end up with a fine up to 100,000 RMB plus the value of your earnings along with imprisonment and repatriation for a repeat offence. Anybody could potentially report you. If you work illegally then don’t be surprised if you don’t get paid because there is nothing you can do about it.