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On the fence. USA vs China
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tin man



Joined: 18 Jun 2010
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:06 am    Post subject: On the fence. USA vs China Reply with quote

I have been in the USA for several years working in sales and management. I have several business interviews this week and the ones that seem of most interest are straight commish rather than a base and stuck in a grind. But of course risky since no salary but upside income potential

That being said, I have some offers to go teach in China. I don't have a lot of experience but taught back in Korea in 2006. Anyway, the offers for low hours which I actually consider part time work is about 6000. My question, is this really a comfortable living assuming the apt is free and so forth? I am not so concerned with saving but living comfortable, eating out often, etc. I am not talking about big cities.

The attraction for me is a lot less hours than the USA and off the stress high pressure treadmill and micromanagement that seem to be pervasive in the new economy. I also do enjoy teaching assuming it is a good school/area. Your thoughts?

Frankly, I will probably stay in the USA but I am somewhat intrigued with going expat. Appreciate any advice....
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3233

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, you can live comfortably here. ESPECIALLY since you're not concerned with saving.
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tin man



Joined: 18 Jun 2010
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just got an email from a teacher at one of the schools and he confirms the same. Sounds like in fact he is able to eat out often and still save due to the low cost of living.

I find it hard to save in the USA due to the high cost of living. Rent, insurance, food, vehicle, and so forth which would be eliminated or lowered in China...now the question is do I give up the western comforts and go teach?
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thatsforsure



Joined: 11 Sep 2012
Posts: 134

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How old are you? China is the road to nowhere, career-wise. Now, if you truly have the ability and personality to make it as a straight-commission salesperson, that might not be an issue, because that kind of person will always make a living. But it strikes me that a true salesman at heart, vs. the kind of person who likes working in China for 6k/month, are fundamentally two different people. Which are you?

If I were you, I would go to China and do the part-time, and in your extra time, use your God-given sales ability to make some more money online or something.
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twilothunder



Joined: 09 Dec 2011
Posts: 442

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thatsforsure wrote:
How old are you? China is the road to nowhere, career-wise.


Not true at all.

Many people here just don't see the opportunities.
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Javelin of Radiance



Joined: 01 Jul 2009
Posts: 1187
Location: The West

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

twilothunder wrote:
thatsforsure wrote:
How old are you? China is the road to nowhere, career-wise.


Not true at all.

Many people here just don't see the opportunities.

Dead on. It's easy to be cynical but there are some among us who have made a decent career out of ESL. It aint gonna fall into your lap, it actually requires a bit of initiative and effort to achieve.
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Banner41



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 592
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

twilothunder wrote:
thatsforsure wrote:
How old are you? China is the road to nowhere, career-wise.


Not true at all.

Many people here just don't see the opportunities.

+1
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choudoufu



Joined: 25 May 2010
Posts: 3325
Location: Mao-berry, PRC

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:06 am    Post subject: Re: On the fence. USA vs China Reply with quote

tin man wrote:
Anyway, the offers for low hours which I actually consider part time work is about 6000. My question, is this really a comfortable living assuming the apt is free and so forth? I am not so concerned with saving but living comfortable, eating out often, etc. I am not talking about big cities.


yes, you can live very comfortably with a provided apartment/utilities
and a salary of 6000. you can have a great time, and blow on average
150 rmb/night. but.

it won't go that far if you hit the ktv's/bars with 40-50 rmb/bottle
budweiser. (instead of the 5-8 rmb bottles at the less flashy places)

it won't last long if you insist on the 200 rmb steak at the 'western'
restaurants 5 nights a week. (in place of the 40-50 rmb plates at
the chinese places)

it'll go really fast at pizza-hut/subway/starbucks. (you know the drill)
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tin man



Joined: 18 Jun 2010
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good info here. Regarding my skills as a sales professional and manager, well I did very well financially prior to the new economy whereas companies today don't want to pay and became micro-managers. Still, I have some solid interviews this week.

This is a real tough call...I will have to sort it out soon
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wonderingjoesmith



Joined: 19 Aug 2012
Posts: 910
Location: Guangzhou

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Javelin of Radiance wrote:
twilothunder wrote:
thatsforsure wrote:
How old are you? China is the road to nowhere, career-wise.


Not true at all.

Many people here just don't see the opportunities.

Dead on. It's easy to be cynical but there are some among us who have made a decent career out of ESL. It aint gonna fall into your lap, it actually requires a bit of initiative and effort to achieve.
I am interested to know what honorable choices do FTs move on to, how they begin the drive, and how they acquire their success.
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Javelin of Radiance



Joined: 01 Jul 2009
Posts: 1187
Location: The West

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wonderingjoesmith wrote:
Javelin of Radiance wrote:
twilothunder wrote:
thatsforsure wrote:
How old are you? China is the road to nowhere, career-wise.


Not true at all.

Many people here just don't see the opportunities.

Dead on. It's easy to be cynical but there are some among us who have made a decent career out of ESL. It aint gonna fall into your lap, it actually requires a bit of initiative and effort to achieve.
I am interested to know what honorable choices do FTs move on to, how they begin the drive, and how they acquire their success.

Those people with the drive, the motivation, the skills, combined with some ideas or a plan, along with a bit of luck, good timing and knowledge of the lay of the land, will know what to do. So seize the initiative. Don't wait for others to tell you how to do it because it doesn't work that way.
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twilothunder



Joined: 09 Dec 2011
Posts: 442

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly, I'm not going to lay out a roadmap for fellow posters, sorry.

As much as this is a community that we all enjoy contributing to, few on here are going to give away sources of competitive advantage for free.
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wonderingjoesmith



Joined: 19 Aug 2012
Posts: 910
Location: Guangzhou

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Javelin of Radiance wrote:
wonderingjoesmith wrote:
Javelin of Radiance wrote:
twilothunder wrote:
thatsforsure wrote:
How old are you? China is the road to nowhere, career-wise.


Not true at all.

Many people here just don't see the opportunities.

Dead on. It's easy to be cynical but there are some among us who have made a decent career out of ESL. It aint gonna fall into your lap, it actually requires a bit of initiative and effort to achieve.
I am interested to know what honorable choices do FTs move on to, how they begin the drive, and how they acquire their success.

Those people with the drive, the motivation, the skills, combined with some ideas or a plan, along with a bit of luck, good timing and knowledge of the lay of the land, will know what to do. So seize the initiative. Don't wait for others to tell you how to do it because it doesn't work that way.
Nothing tangible out of there. Not that I expect a confession but at least a sense of direction. A more concrete feedback with some examples of success would probably be more helpful.
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kev7161



Joined: 06 Feb 2004
Posts: 5801
Location: Suzhou, China

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One suggestion: If you find a good school/job, STAY with it! Come into work on time, every day you are scheduled. Do your job and do it well. Be flexible and cooperative (within reason - - don't let them walk all over you of course). You will be able to more easily negotiate pay increases and other benefits the longer you stay at the same job. You like them, they like you - - a match made in heaven, yes? (well, maybe) There are certainly going to be some things you have to grit your teeth over or scratch your head about, but if you are mostly content, don't sweat the small stuff.

This is my eighth year at this school. It's not always a bed of roses and I have my good days and bad days, but I easily take home now more than I took home teaching in the states. My net salary here equals just about my gross salary there (10 years ago of course!). Throw in free apartment and utilities, bonuses, travel reimbursements, medical, etc. and it's great. Now if only I liked living in China more . . . . !!! Laughing
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GreatApe



Joined: 11 Apr 2012
Posts: 422
Location: South of Heaven and East of Nowhere

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I definitely agree with many of the positive things which have been posted here so far. I taught at the middle school, high school and university level in the United States for 12 years. Coming to China was a big step for me. When the economy tanked in 2008 I was making just South of $60,000 a year teaching high school in California.

As a teacher, coming to China meant two things immediately: I could take the two biggest problems I had teaching in the California public schools and throw them out the window!: 1) discipline and 2) motivation. I no longer had to be a policeman, a bouncer. a babysitter, a psychologist, a life-coach AND an English teacher. Nowadays, I can focus mostly on the last one.

Yes! ... it's true that many Chinese students have motivational (and confidence) problems, especially when it comes to learning (and speaking) English. But after three years and two jobs in China, I've finally found an International School where the students are pretty good. The salary here is above-average and the benefits that go with teaching here are great. As someone else said, there are good days and bad days. I plan to stay onfor the next few years unless something appreciably better comes along.

It's easy for me to live comfortably in China, although that was not true of my first two years. I make roughly 1/3 of what I made teaching in Cali., but I spend much less too. I don't party very much. I don't eat out very often (usually only once or twice on weekends). I don't eat KFC, MacDonald's, or go to Starbucks very often at all. I rarely go to bars.

Frankly, teaching keeps me busy (and out of "Trouble") all week long. It also allows me some great paid vacation time so that I can travel, splurge occasionally and spend a bit of money at my leisure. In 2013, I hope to travel to Australia, Malaysia and perhaps Thailand.

The job can definitely be frustrating, especially the Communication issues (or lack thereof) and the Academic issues with regard to "How Things Are Done" here versus in the West. I'm still learning to adjust and cope with some of that and --again-- some days are better than others. It takes patience and understanding ... sometimes it means pushing back and getting upset. But that's true of teaching ANYWHERE!

No matter whether you stay in America or come to China ... life is mostly what you make of it. Personally, I believe that Happiness is something you choose (or don't choose), and not something that happens to you.

No matter your decision ... Good Luck and Enjoy!

--GA
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