Finding the Right Job For You: The Job Hunt Ammo Belt
Rebecca is a TEFL teacher currently living and working in Hanoi, Vietnam with her fiance. In this post Rebecca shares her advice for TEFL job hunting.
Congrats! You’ve completed your TEFL course and have all of your documents in order! You may be nervous and psyched and all of those giddy emotions that accompany your imminent job search.
My advice for you now is to shout ‘Yeeeehaaaaw!”, grab a cup o’ joe, and plug in to the internet.
There are thousands of jobs for TEFL qualified teachers on the internet, and it can be truly overwhelming to try and sift through the potentially skuzzy ones to find the best fit for your goals and aspirations.
Equip yourself with my informed Job-Hunt-Ammo-Belt you’ll be ready and raring to go Resume Rambo all over this job hunt!
* 1 – Read Company reviews!
Previous employees will review most companies with any qualified reputation in online forums. If possible, also try to speak with current employees either on Skype or in person. Find out what their experiences have been like, and you will be glad you did.
My Story: I once made the mistake of neglecting to do so.
What happened? I wound up roped into a 1-year contract working for a dishonest and corrupt employer. I will spare you the details, and simply say that while working for them, I was subjected to 4 months of painstaking company malpractice and sociopathic business behaviors.
The result? I was unhappy, and left feeling trapped and extremely taken advantage of.
The Lesson: I COULD HAVE PREVENTED THIS.
There was no information online pertaining to this company. They had no website, and no reviews. I trusted the words of an acquaintance as my research, and it backfired.
Thankfully this story ends well. I found a great job working for wonderful people with an awesome wage and hours to match! Having learned the hard way, I will never be making my initial mistake again. And hey! Now you won’t either
* 2 – Determine Your Ideal Schedule; You Can Find Something Close to It.
Do you want to work evenings and weekends? Would you rather have a day job? Or are you looking for full-time or part-time? Teaching can be really flexible and you should be able to find hours to suit you.
In Hanoi, ‘full-time’ is generally considered 20 hours/week. This means that you can work daytime hours for a school during the week, and still teach private lessons in the evenings if you would like to.
Vietnamese schools typically operate from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
English Language Centers typically offer hours in the evenings and on weekends.
Each have their benefits and negatives, and so it is up to you to decide if you prefer to sleep in after a groovy late night out on the town, or to have your evenings and weekends free to explore.
Another option to consider is that you can join a Facebook group to cover sporadic hours for fellow expat teachers to help to maximize your flexibility.
*3 – Don’t Be Shy About Negotiating Your Wage.
I didn’t have any real teaching experience prior to moving to Hanoi.
My first job here paid $17/hr, which I thought was fairly reasonable, given that I had no experience. In fact, as I quickly discovered, $17 is a low wage here, regardless of my lack of experience!
I stated this in my last blog post, and I will say it again:
YOU ARE AN EXPERT WHEN IT COMES TO THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
You have your TEFL certificate, and you are fluent in both speaking and learning the English language. Do you have a University degree? Even better!
Educated/qualified foreign teachers are not only necessary, but also valued here! $20/hr is a reasonable starting wage in Hanoi. If you have experience, aim for $22-25 to start! There’s no harm in asking, and there’s gold at the end of the TEFL course Rainbow.
* 4 – Trust Your Gut.
If something doesn’t sit well, and even if you can’t quite pinpoint the focus of your indigestion, listen to that gurgle and move on.
You will be much more likely to find the right job for you if you can brush off the wrong ones by giving credence to your instincts. Conversely, if you feel great about a job, go for it!
Instincts are a fabulous job-hunting antacid.
*5 – Take Your Time.
This one is a simple as it sounds – don’t put all of your eggs in one basket! Don’t rush, don’t fret, and be choosy!
I hope that you will find what you’re looking for with this advisory ammo under your belt 😉 Enjoy, Research, and go get ‘em, Tigers!