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Job hunting from afar - a good idea?

 
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red



Joined: 10 Feb 2003
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2003 4:35 pm    Post subject: Job hunting from afar - a good idea? Reply with quote

First, a little background.

I am hoping to secure a position teaching English in October/November of this year and in an attempt to be as prepared as possible, I am currently doing a little research re: where to go, necessary visa requirements, average wages and a whole host of other stuff. At this stage, Europe or Latin America appeal most (I am an EU citizen), however this may change depending on, well, a lot of things, but specifically job availability. I have a degree (BA) and am scheduled to take the 4-week CELTA course in Spain in September of this year.

My question to you all is this - how advisable is it to accept a teaching position applied for and attained via the Internet (either through this site, or tefl.com etc.)? I do of course realise that this depends hugely on the school/organisation in question, and I do plan to research thoroughly any offer made to me. However, have any of you applied for and accepted an Internet job and if so, how was it?! Were you able to secure a contract (via post/email etc.) prior to starting or did you risk it and just turn up, hoping you weren't being lied to? On the other hand, would you not even consider accepting a position if you were not able to meet in person your employer and discuss thoroughly the terms and conditions, view the facilities etc?

Ideally, of course, I will stay in Spain following completion of my course and apply in person to as many schools/organisations as possible, be offered a good job, accept, and live happily ever after. However, I am also realistic enough to know that this may not happen, so applying elsewhere from afar may be my only option.

Any thoughts on this most welcome. Thanks in advance.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2003 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
how advisable is it to accept a teaching position applied for and attained via the Internet (either through this site, or tefl.com etc.)? I do of course realise that this depends hugely on the school/organisation in question,


You just answered your own question. Fortunately, I am glad to see that you are willing to do a lot of preparation, planning, and research before you jump into the fray. That will mean a LOT! I did the same thing and was glad.

I got my first overseas job through the Internet. I answered an ad from this very web site. Fortunately for me, and I realize that this is an exception to the rule, the company had a contact person in the city where I lived at that time (Seattle). She forwarded my resume to Japan, and in a week, I was told they were coming to Seattle to interview all of the candidates. Only two of us showed up, despite the fact that they had a dozen on the list. A few days after the interview, I was told I had the job, and the process of getting a work visa began. A couple of months later, I found myself in Japan working, and I stayed at that place for over 3 years. Nice job. Nice overall experience. But, I had researched job hunting and Japan a lot before I did it. That's one reason I post so often about offering advice to newbies.
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bnix



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 645

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 1:23 am    Post subject: Getting a Job from Afar.... Reply with quote

"did you risk it and just turn up,hoping you weren't being lied to"?

Very risky.Especially if you paid the travel expenses out of your own pocket.If they paid the airfare and the deal goes sour,it is still bad,but at least you are not out the initial airfare.And be sure to take plenty of funds in case the situation is intolerable and you have to make a quick exit.It happens.

Glenski is right(even though he does not like"mudslinging" Rolling Eyes on the board).But I am digressing.You should prepare as much as possible...a good idea..although not always feasible.And of course it is possible that people (prospective employers) can lie to you in person just as well as they can lie to you on the Net or on any other media.Although probably(but not always) you can size up the situation better in person.

One of the biggest problems(among others) is the housing.If possible, you should always take a look at the housing before signing a contract..I have turned jobs down on this alone.Although,of course,you cannot always see the housing in advance,and have to take their word(often risky).

And of course,there are some prospective"employers"that you should not deal with at all.It has been said that this is"etched on their foreheads".In other words,some of them cannot even lie convincingly. Rolling Eyes

If you are faced with getting a job from afar.a good idea is to ask for references from former teachers of the school.Former teachers have less to lose if negative comments get back to the management.Of course,you should not take what they say as the gospel truth,either,but at least it may give you some idea as to what you are dealing with....

And....always plan ahead...remember the axiom"the best laid plans of mice and men".Have at least one option up your sleeve in case the plan goes sour.Don't get yourself stuck anywhere.Be careful and best of luck! Smile
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Bindair Dundat



Joined: 04 Feb 2003
Posts: 1123

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My gosh.... THOUSANDS of people get EFL jobs over the internet or through advertising in international media. It's nice if you can have an on-site interview, but that's not always practical. I've nearly always found some kind of unpleasant surprise lurking when I've taken long-distance jobs, but rarely anything I couldn't adjust to long enough to have a profitable experience.

The best insurance is to make sure that all of your concerns are satisified before you get on the plane. If you find that a prospective employer is impatient with your need to know all the details, don't go.
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bnix



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 645

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 1:44 am    Post subject: Those Lurking Unpleasant Surprises.... Reply with quote

I agree with most of Bindair's post.By the nature of this business(TESOL),a lot of times it is not possible or feasible to have a face to face interview,check out the housing,etc.Sometimes iti s.For example,if you are teaching in Poland and want to teach in Czech the following year,it is not too much trouble to go down to Czech,size up the situation in person,check out(no pun intended) the housing and so on and so forth.Of course,that is not possible in situations involving greater distances.

He also said in his post"The best insurance is to make sure all of your concerns are satisfied before you get on the plane."Ideally,that is true...but it is not always possible.Besides,some of the "employers"in this business have been known to lie,and they lie convincingly enough to get people on the plane,even people who normally should and do know better....there is no "cut and dried" answer.Almost always there is at least some element of risk...it is the nature of this business.
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stgeorge



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a start I doubt very much you will get a TEFL job in Spain on the strength of a BA and TEFL certificate. TEFL jobs are not common in the EU and the teacher are all bilingual. There are rare exceptions.

As for accepting a job over the Internet just use your common sense! If your employer is paying your return air fare (i.e. you order the ticket, he pays) then you have nothing to lose. Anything less than that and you could be up the creek. But we're talking about contracts of employment, not slavery, so you can always change jobs if it doesn't work out.
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bnix



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 645

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2003 12:07 am    Post subject: Changing Jobs is Often Not that Easy Reply with quote

Of course,St.George is correct when he says that it is not slavery....but often changing jobs is not as simple as just going and finding another job....because in many countries the work permit is job specific....for one employer...and if you want to legally get another job...you have to do the requisite paperwork...which in many cases is a hassle and can be expensive.It often is not as simple as just quitting the job you don't like and getting another one,like you could do in your home country.Of course,the regs differ from country to country on this.In some countries,you have to get a release letter from your present employer before you can legally get another job.Notice,I said "legally".
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Albulbul



Joined: 08 Feb 2003
Posts: 364

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2003 4:59 am    Post subject: spain Reply with quote

There are jobs in Spain but many are at the bottom end of the job market.
There is also the problem of legally working there if you are a national of a state that is NOT a member of the EU.

If you can't get a job in Spain console yourself with the thought that you couldn't live on the salary they would pay you anyway.

Bite the bullet and head for the countries that pay you a real salary. Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the Middle East. Then you can visit SXpain in your vacation !
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