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Revised homeward-bound thread
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Joined: 22 Jun 2004
Location: United Arab Emirates

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I lived in Korea from 2003 to 2011. Started at hagwons, worked a stint in Japan, then back to Korea for an Office of Education position (worst job I've had in ESL) and finally landed at a university for the last 2.5 years. I loved living in Korea, but eventually, it got old. I will always miss the place though. As time went by, I found salaries were not going up as much as my job title or inflation was, so I left. I also married a woman from outside Korea that didn't really want to live in Korea/couldn't really work there.

So, I moved back to Canada and took an ESL related MA and tried to stick it out in Canada. At one point I was working two jobs. My wife was also working two jobs. That said though, ESL in Canada is a cut-throat industry that mostly puts you in high cost cities, competing with too many people, for too few low paying jobs. We were keeping our heads above water, but barely and not enjoying it. High income taxes, not much vacation time and long working hours took their toll.

We needed a change, so we went to a conference n the Middle East in early 2014 and moved out here in September. It's been far greater than any of our expectations here. I will come back to visit Korea in April as I miss it. But, I doubt I will move there again and things don't look that good in the west either.
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: North Shore NZ

PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I taught in Korea from 2000 - 2006, started off in a Hagwon and spent the last three years in a high school. I also married a Korean and had a son. I knew that for me, living in Korea wasn't a long term proposition, wages were low and the pollution was not a good thing for my young child.

To prepare for my return to NZ in my final year in Korea I did a Graduate Diploma in Information Design (Technical writing). I knew there was a market for this skill in NZ. It took me 5 months to get the job I wanted, as a training administrator for a large company, within six months I was promoted to Operations Training and Development Manager a position I held for 5 years.

I then moved onto a new role as an SAP trainer. For those of you who don't know SAP look it up, this is a profession that attracts the BIG bucks, I now lead a team of 32 trainers at a large multinational in NZ and I can't find the trainers I need. For a newby you get approximately $2000 NZD p/w before tax, a lot of my trainers are on closer to $3000 NZD per week.

Another area that I can't find staff is in e-Learning development. If you are an expert in Captivate, Articulate and Graphics you would not have an issue finding work in NZ. The beauty of E-Learning Development you can do it remotely, though personally I prefer people to work on site.

Good luck on your return to your home countries, my advice is to check out the market, look for high value roles that are in short supply, study up and look for an entry level role. I would also advise you to look into SAP and e-Learning as I know both of these skill sets are in short supply (at least they are in NZ and Australia).
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: North Shore NZ

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thought i would update my previous post, as it still rings true, there are shortages for skilled people in corporate education and people with the ability to craft elearning and film short instructional videos is in huge demand.
My best tips are:
    If you need to retrain - do it via distance learning while working in Korea, i woul do an instructional design course and learn articulate 360 products, also the adobe creative cloud.

    If you want to continue as an educator and like getting paid well seek out a role as a corporate educator - there are load of job titles so when searching through online job sites use keywords like - Learning and development, organisational development, corporate trainer, systems and process specialist, instructional designer,
    training coordinator (nice entry-level job into a company). You can also get a project role as an independent consultant. Alternatively, another path is to look for a consulting job at one of the big consultancies such as Ernst and Young, Deloitte, Boston Consulting Group. What sort of money are we talking about here? For a new consultant NZD$65 an hour plus GST (15%). Permanent role anywhere from NZD $60,000 as a starter - $200,000 as you move up in seniority/roles.

    Go digital - Learn how to craft meaningful eLearning, not the read and click variety - Your skills would be in huge demand - If you want to work as an independent instructional developer you could charge an average of $25000 per course
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