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Approaching companies in Poland

 
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stonethecrow



Joined: 04 Jun 2013
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:12 pm    Post subject: Approaching companies in Poland Reply with quote

There's an interesting thread at the moment about salaries in-company. I thought I'd start a new one rather than hijack that one.

After June I'll have to make a decision regarding staying in Poland or heading elsewhere. Say I was to stick in Poland, what are the best ways to approach a company for work? Are there any faux pas I should avoid?

I'm currently teaching some in-company lessons through a school. It's very, very relaxed though with no tests and we only loosely follow a course book. What is average you've experienced regarding what companies want for their employees and the formality of lessons?

Cheers
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 976
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:37 pm    Post subject: You don't approach companies, they approach you. Reply with quote

Word of mouth is your best bet. If your students like your lessons, they'll recommend you to their colleagues, who will recommend you to their colleagues, and eventually you'll be turning down work right and left because your schedule is full.

If this isn't happening, might be worth collecting some feedback from your in-company students to see how they think the lessons are going (e.g. Do they like your 'very relaxed' approach?)

I think you'll have very limited success contacting companies directly.

Honestly tho, most in-companies I've taught have been status-conscious unmotivated layabouts who were being forced by the company to take lessons. All they wanted from me was to shoot the breeze with a 'cool' exotic native speaker and escape from work for an hour or two.

In-company is not really my cup of tea, but I have had a few good groups who had a pressing reason to improve their English.
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stonethecrow



Joined: 04 Jun 2013
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re: the 'very relaxed' thing. It seems like that to me because they are tired after work and I don't follow a book. This is in stark contrast to the other lessons I teach to teenagers who are hyperactive and follow a book...

So, there's no point in contacting directly then? Word of mouth, i.e. a good reputation, seems like more of a long-term development. I've only been teaching in company for 2-months and my contract will be up in June!
That said, I could start handing out business cards towards the end of my contract. I like the idea of a student survey too.

Cheers Shake
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 522

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that the problem is that many companies have contracts with language schools, so they can't just break them even if you offer something cheaper or better. You would have to find companies in a "limbo" period or ones just starting to look for language classes. You never know if don't start making the calls though, you could also always try to get info on when the contracts end so that they could consider you when it comes time. Let us know how it goes.
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delphian-domine



Joined: 11 Mar 2011
Posts: 555

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is what worked for me - I'm not saying it will work where you are, but you never know.

1. I would approach small to medium sized companies - no more than 50 employees, and I'd write a professional letter with information about what I offered. I would offer a free demonstration lesson, as well as including copies of all my references from other companies.

2. If they contacted me, I would send them a link to my Google Calendar, showing where I was and when. If they could make it work, then we would have a face to face meeting.

3. Pricing - it would always be based upon several factors rather than a set price. If someone was willing to take a 2 hour block close to another class, then the price could be lower - but the price would always be high if it was inconvenient for me to take the class. I'd offer them discounts for multiple hours and so on. No two offers were ever the same - it was highly dependent on their own needs.

4. The most crucial thing for the person paying the bills is that the whole thing looks professional. I stole an idea from a Warsaw language school that we would do a needs analysis at the start of the classes, along with set targets and most importantly, how we would measure their progress. Of course, I also had attendance sheets and so on - and the person in charge would also get detailed reports at the end of each block of lessons.

But be warned - it's soul crushing to deal with corpo-drones on a daily basis. It might seem easy and fun right now, but a year of that was too much - I found myself having to act as a therapist for some of them, and you'd often see that they would bring their own problems into the lessons.

The most crucial thing from an HR point of view is that they aren't allowed to "do nothing". Even if the progress is mostly fiction, you need to show that you're staying within the target-orientated world of corporations.
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stonethecrow



Joined: 04 Jun 2013
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info.

I think I know what you mean about it becoming depressing. I can see the signs of it already. Hopefully, if this is the path I choose, I'll be able to get a mix of corporate classes and other individual classes.
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