Thursday, November 21, 2013
One of the very stressful things about international teaching is the way you get a new job. For many people, this job is appealing because it offers you the opportunity to move periodically and experience a different part of the world. Some people find a place or a school that they love and stay put forever, but it is also common for people to move every 3-5 years. Sometimes the school isn't a great fit, sometimes it's the community, and sometimes you just get the wanderlust.
This is great for me, because I am a person who gets bored easily.
The downside is the job search. Basically, it's like a giant game of musical chairs. Most schools require you to re-sign your contract sometime in late November or early December. Some schools offer a bonus if you either re-sign, or resign by sometime in October. By December, most schools have a good idea of their hiring need, and post the jobs on their websites and with recruiting agencies. Then it becomes a mad free-for-all as people try to find a job they want. If you've been doing this for a while, you probably have connections at a few schools and hopefully you can parley those into an interview at the very least. Sometimes however, your connections are at schools where there is not job in your field, or for what every reason you don't want to be in that part of the world. My best friend from my last job is in Saudi, but she's married; it would be a far different experience for me to be there as a single woman.
I have some connections, and I have been using them, but it's not easy. I teach a subject that is pretty over-populated with teachers. If I taught physics, I would pretty much be assured of a job, but no one in their right mind would want me to teach physics.
Today I got my first rejection letter, from a school I interviewed with via Skype last week. It's a very good job, and I have friends at the school, but it wasn't a great fit; I could tell that during the interview. But I do hate the rejection.
Unfortunately, this means that I have to go to a job fair, which is crazy expensive and will require new clothes. On the plus side, it's in Bangkok, a city that I love.