China? For Real?

Posted on April 21, 2010. Filed under: Musings | Tags: , |

I know this blog seems to be turning into a personal journal of sorts, and I promise it won’t stay that way. However, I thought you all might be interested in a recent development of mine, and because I’m still overwhelmed at the thought, I figured I should post and let you know of my current predicament.

I’ve been applying for jobs (like the rest of the unemployed population) left and right. I mostly use connections through my university employment website. It’s convenient and lets me upload as many different resumes as I like. I can log in and submit my applications right there, so I do that frequently enough.

That’s how I got the interview for Target that I managed to not get a second interview for. It’s okay, though, because I’m not sure I really want to work retail for more than a year. The experience is good, and I know more of how it feels to be treated poorly by customers (though most of ours are pretty nice or at the worst, indifferent). I think it’s good experience in making me a nicer person.

So then I got the interview with Amazon. That would, of course, be the book lover’s dream job, even if I would be an area manager in an operations unit. I haven’t heard back from them concerning the results of my phone interview yet, so I’m not sure how well it went over.

Finally, I did something a little spontaneous. I started applying for ESL jobs. Teaching English as a second language isn’t something that’s ever really interested me before, but I thought it would give me an opportunity to go somewhere new, and as the university site had several listings for openings, I figured I’d give it a try.

I submitted a resume to several different agencies. There are a ton of them out there, and for all intents and purposes, the agents get paid by the schools as opposed to by the teachers or by taking a bit off the top of teacher salaries, so it’s in their best interests to place teachers or risk losing their pay. In any event, most of the jobs I saw concerned teaching ESL in various Asian locales.

I admit, I like learning about Asian cultures. I’m not a fanatic by any means, but I do have my vices. I read manga and watch anime and Asian dramas. I have a particular penchant for Japanese, Chinese, and Korean pop music, and I enjoy eating at Asian restaurants.

Unlike a number of my friends, however, I’ve never studied an Asian language. I’ve never been to an Asian country either for missions work or for study abroad programs. I really never dreamed of actually going to an Asian country except as an addition to my already planned dreams of going across Europe.

So this isn’t exactly something I’ve been planning for years.

However, me being me, I thought it would be fun to try for something new before I have to settle into a typical salary position forever. Or for a while anyway. And since I’ve always wanted to travel the idea of making money while being abroad is definitely not a bad one.

Well, I applied to one company representing positions in South Korea. It sounds pretty cool, actually. From my research, the typical ESL teaching teacher can save around $15,000 per year while working in South Korea. I think that would be pretty fantastic, personally.

The company I contacted immediately put my resume out with a school that’s looking for hire teachers for a May 10 start date. That’s ridiculously fast, and I’m not sure I’d be ready to leave that soon even if I were certain about this job. Not only that, but it’s for a primary school teaching position where I’d be working from 1 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

I haven’t heard anything recently about that position. I’m not sure I’d be too upset if I didn’t get it, though.

Then there’s another position I applied for, the one I’m really thinking about and considering. I got an email from my school notifying me another position had opened up in their system. It was for a university in China teaching English to undergrads. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? I sent off my resume, not thinking much of it.

I got a response asking me to reply to the attached questionnaire. It took me about a week to actually sit down and respond, really poor response time for a normal position, I know. And I figured I wouldn’t hear anything back for a while once again.

I got the second response within a few days. They offered me a position as a teacher in their university. I would start September 1 and could be teaching either standard English courses or something as closely related to my major as business classes in English.

Not only that, but I’d have the standard amenities afforded an ESL teacher. They provide teachers with apartments that are fully furnished to include even telephones, computers, and Western style toilets (an important commodity, to be sure). I’d have my own kitchen and washing machine as well, so I wouldn’t be without necessities. I’d also have a monthly salary that, from what I’ve heard, would be more than sufficient for surviving in China.

So that’s where I am right now. I’m leaning towards taking the job at the moment. There are a lot of things to consider, and I’ve been doing a lot of research, but they respectfully requested that I give them a response by Monday, and I’m trying to make my decision to comply with that request.

Any thoughts? Got any crazy plans of your own? Let me know!



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3 Responses to “China? For Real?”

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Congrats Rae!

That’s a tough decision and I can’t give you any advice, because I haven’t experienced it myself.

I knew a few people who’ve done ESL jobs and they’ve had good experiences. I would lay on train tracks for 15k at this point.

Like you I’ve applied endlessly and I can’t even get one interview. So, You’ve definitely made it further than I have.

I got two rejections just Monday, the worst part is they are for clerical positions, that don’t need even an associates degree.

At this point, I just laugh sadly as I look at my depleted wallet…

Still, strange coincidences happen everyday. Just yesterday, My favorite Woodchuck Cider read a post I’d written on my blog and they enjoyed it so much that they not only posted a message, but they also going to send me a cool t-shirt!

It’s amazing that they even found my blog. LOL!

So, I’m still holding out hope.

Right now, I’m doing hobby work. Optimizing sites for my people that I know. I haven’t written in two weeks and I am feeling sort of guilty about it.

Whatever you decide, you’ll definitely have a story to share.

Good luck,


Thanks, Ed! I’m glad to have some support on this cause it’s been ridiculous talking to all my friends and family about it. They all have conflicting reasons why I should or shouldn’t do China.

As far as interviews go, it’s not necessarily always a good sign if you get an interview. I’ve been rejected by a couple employers after getting through the interview process, and it almost feels worse to be rejected after you’ve met people than before. For some reason I don’t mind it if they don’t contact me when I’ve submitted a resume. It’s like rejecting a piece of paper. When they reject me after an interview, I take it a bit more personally because they’ve had a chance to meet me and see a little of who I am. I dunno… that’s just how I look at it.

That’s hilarious about the cider, by the way. It is interesting how things work out. Sounds like you lucked out there.

And you should definitely hold out hope and keep writing. How are you going to be published if you’re not writing? (Of course, I can’t talk cause I can’t remember the last time I wrote creatively…)

Crazy plans? Like moving to a foreign country to do what you majored in for free while teaching English to get by? I can’t think of anyone crazy enough to do that…oh, wait a second…

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