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How to get a good teaching job with little experience?

 
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clapdemcheeks



Joined: 28 Nov 2015
Posts: 16
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:03 pm    Post subject: How to get a good teaching job with little experience? Reply with quote

Whenever I see jobs offering good benefits and decent wage, they all want at least 2+ yrs of experience. I currently have three months experience as I recently completed my CELTA. How do I, as a newbie who is staring off in ESL, find a good job where its from a good and reputable company, offers good benefits and decent wage?

Or is that too much to ask these days and do I have to make some sacrifice on whether I want good benefits and low wage, or good wage and hardly any benefits?

Whats the standard package I should be looking at, especially as a newbie?

So far I've had two offers and jumped at them both, before being reined down by other experience teachers about the low wage, lack of benefits and reputation of the schools (one was shane english school in japan and other was berlitz in kuwait).
Whats the best way to build my experience and not be taken for a ride from these or other companies?
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11422
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dude, newbies start with newbie wages and packages. It's the real world out here. Just like everything else that's worthwhile in life - expect to pay some dues!

Quote:
Whats the standard package I should be looking at, especially as a newbie?


Were you under the impression that there is some worldwide standard package?

What countries are you interested in? Someone can give you an idea of newbie standards for that part of the world if you elaborate. That's also what the country-specific forums below are for....
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 10846
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:37 pm    Post subject: Re: How to get a good teaching job with little experience? Reply with quote

clapdemcheeks wrote:
Whenever I see jobs offering good benefits and decent wage, they all want at least 2+ yrs of experience. I currently have three months experience as I recently completed my CELTA. How do I, as a newbie who is staring off in ESL, find a good job where its from a good and reputable company, offers good benefits and decent wage?

Or is that too much to ask these days and do I have to make some sacrifice on whether I want good benefits and low wage, or good wage and hardly any benefits?

You have to compromise. It's unrealistic to expect your first teaching job to tick all your boxes; newbies commonly start in an entry-level position with mediocre pay, zero to skimpy benefits, and often, in a so-so location. It's called paying your dues. Obviously, the stronger your qualifications (i.e., TEFL-related BA/MA and CELTA or equivalent teacher training), the quicker you can move into the better positions once you have a year or two of experience under your belt. So either stay in your present job until you have enough experience to move on, or look for entry-level positions elsewhere with the expectation of compromising.
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 1304
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not much different than jobs back home. You start at the bottom. If you were an employer, why would you hire an inexperienced teacher if you had your pick of the litter?

I would personally go for whichever job offers the best overall support/professional development for a newbie, rather than wage/benefits.
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clapdemcheeks



Joined: 28 Nov 2015
Posts: 16
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do you pay your dues but also ensure you aren't being taken for a ride from a disreputable company? I understand you have to either take what you can in terms of wage or benefits, but most companies that have had some interest in me turned out to have a bad reputation amongst the ESL industry or I was getting screwed in terms of wages and benefits.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 10846
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clapdemcheeks wrote:
How do you pay your dues but also ensure you aren't being taken for a ride from a disreputable company? I understand you have to either take what you can in terms of wage or benefits, but most companies that have had some interest in me turned out to have a bad reputation amongst the ESL industry or I was getting screwed in terms of wages and benefits.

I'm aware you applied to at least one position (Berlitz) in the Mid East. You're not going to get the type of job you're seeking in the Gulf, where a TEFL-related MA + experience commonly tops employers' lists. Newbies are only able to garner the attention of sketchy contracting companies or, as you found out, mediocre employers like Berlitz. So avoid the Gulf for now unless you hold a relevant BA/MA (completed on-campus). By the way, you've never mentioned a degree. Confused

That said, Japan is still an option for that first teaching job abroad, as are China and Korea. You'll need to ask about decent employers and how to apply for openings on those forums. Or just stay in your current teaching position until you've racked up a year of experience. (What's wrong with your present teaching job?)
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 1304
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clapdemcheeks wrote:
How do you pay your dues but also ensure you aren't being taken for a ride from a disreputable company? I understand you have to either take what you can in terms of wage or benefits, but most companies that have had some interest in me turned out to have a bad reputation amongst the ESL industry or I was getting screwed in terms of wages and benefits.


You have to sift through the crap until you get a lucky break, if you want to work in certain places. Be realistic and understand that in some places, a newbie with minimal credentials and very little experience is only going to attract terrible employers. Use your sense with regions - don't apply to the ME, when you know you have well below the minimal expected credentials. You should be looking at China or Korea, where demand puts you in a good bargaining position. This is just like at home, really.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 996
Location: US

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clapdemcheeks wrote:
How do you pay your dues but also ensure you aren't being taken for a ride from a disreputable company?

You post on these forums. You ask about companies by name in the relevant country forums and post specific questions you have about contracts you are offered.
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Kowloon



Joined: 11 Jan 2016
Posts: 120

PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't have a hope of skipping the line from abroad (in my opinion, will always be the odd exception I guess). However when you are in country it can happen. Arguably happened to me. If you're in the right place, available to interview regularly and interview well then there is always the chance a school needs someone urgently and takes you on as there is little else available.

So first of all take as good a job as you can find first and get started. Aren't International House Affiliates pretty flexible in terms of experience? Some of them must be decent places to work with development opportunities. I'd also draw a line between places like Berlitz who you want to avoid completely and places that maybe aren't the best but as good as any to cut your teeth. I've heard reasonable things about certain EF centres in both China and Indonesia.
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Jmbf



Joined: 29 Jun 2014
Posts: 560

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

clapdemcheeks wrote:
How do you pay your dues but also ensure you aren't being taken for a ride from a disreputable company? I understand you have to either take what you can in terms of wage or benefits, but most companies that have had some interest in me turned out to have a bad reputation amongst the ESL industry or I was getting screwed in terms of wages and benefits.


Google country-specific ESL salaries and benefits (average and entry-level). Ask for more detailed information in the country-specific forums here. Build up a list with pros and cons of each country / position. Compare any offers against said info. Read the contract terms carefully and question anything that seems off. As mentioned above, be prepare to 'suck it up' for a year or two until you have sufficient experience to start applying for better positions.

Some details for your reference:

China: Entry-level salary 5-7K / month RMB plus accommodation (university)
Hong Kong: Entry-level salary 18-20K / month HKD (language centre)
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 10846
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jmbf wrote:
Some details for your reference:

China: Entry-level salary 5-7K / month RMB plus accommodation (university)
Hong Kong: Entry-level salary 18-20K / month HKD (language centre)

That equates to about:
    China: $725-1000 (USD) / £580-815 (GBP)
    Hong Kong: $2300-2500 (USD) / £1850-2050 (GBP)
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 799

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clapdemcheeks wrote:
How do you pay your dues but also ensure you aren't being taken for a ride from a disreputable company? I understand you have to either take what you can in terms of wage or benefits, but most companies that have had some interest in me turned out to have a bad reputation amongst the ESL industry or I was getting screwed in terms of wages and benefits.


So what is " being taken for a ride" mean to you?

Give yourself a dose of realism... get a job offer and sign a contract.
AS long as you and the employer can agree on terms and those terms are met does that suit your criteria?

There are some schools out there with poor reputations but overall most of them will meet the terms of your contract in regards to pay and benefits.

The majority of problem arise when newbies, full of vim and vinegar, start to insist on their "rights" as then heard them down in the pub or saw on facebook then get in trouble with the employer and usually ending up getting themselves unceremoniously fired and having their visa canceled leaving them stranded 1/2 way around the globe from home with few options and no money.

Even entry level, bottom level jobs pay their employees the wages stated in the contract. Put in your time, build your network, make some connections and get some classroom time.

If you are 1/2 as good as you think you are then it won't take long after you get some of that experience to move into better positions in nicer countries.

Then add some professional development and the next thing you know you are working 9 classes per week, holding 4 office hours per week, spending some time on your research and earning bonus money doing corporate classes or workshops.

If you were just looking at the "Teach 'n Travel" type of websites from generic TEFL course providers then you bought a pig in a poke. The life of a TEFL teacher is not mornings in the classroom, afternoons on the beach and evenings in the disco. It is a 40 hour, 8-5, M-F type jobs with lots of little stresses thrown in to keep you on your toes.

.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11422
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure why we are spontaneously resurrecting a year-old thread....did I miss something?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 10846
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Not sure why we are spontaneously resurrecting a year-old thread....did I miss something?

Very Happy
It's still relevant for newbies expecting that super-duper first teaching job.

BTW, the OP decided to take an entry-level position with a Saudi contracting company and not surprisingly, last posted in December that he was having issues getting paid.
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