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Author Topic: Ok, then how DO I find a job?  (Read 7196 times)

Raoul F. Duke

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Ok, then how DO I find a job?
« on: December 19, 2009, 06:43:47 AM »
I was recently asked a very intelligent question...so intelligent that I'm answering in the form of a thread here.

The question was "OK, Raoul, you don't want us to use recruiters...so how do  we find jobs, then?"

So, let's look at some things you can do to find that job...

...but first, some general comments.

When approaching this, try to keep in mind that, no matter what it's like back home, teaching English in China is still a seller's market. The margin is thinning, but there are still more jobs than acceptable teachers...YOU are the scarce community. The odds are extremely good that you're going to find a job, especially if you're from a Big 6 Country (USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland) and, preferably, Caucasian.

So...relax. Take your time, shop carefully, and hold out for a job you're satisfied with.

Corollary to this: Don't be in a hurry. I know you're really excited about going to China- and well you should be!- but don't let that excitement become desperation in the job search, that leads you to a sub-optimal placement or even an overtly abusive situation. Be patient, and nail down a promising job before you pack those bags. Don't grab a bad job just for the sake of getting here.
When you get here, your experience is going to be better if you don't have a horrible job, right? RIGHT?

OK, here's the main way I know to find a job yourself, without a recruiter...

1) Hie thee to the internet! There are LOTS of places that list Chinese teaching jobs. You'll find a good start in our Links section...and not just in the "Job Listing Sites" area...many of the other links also contain job ads. You can also Google something like "teach english china" and raise a whole galaxy of sites with listings.

Sites like Dave's ESL Cafe and TEFL.com and eslteachersboard.com are well-known for having large numbers of job listings for teachers in China. Do go there and look 'em over, but don't make the mistake of confining your search to only sites like these. It's been my experience that the best jobs are found in local sites...places like The Beijinger or AsiaXpat.com's Shanghai site, and their counterparts in other cities, not the internationally-oriented sites I mentioned earlier. Local sites' jobs are more oriented to people already in China, but you might find that the differences in salaries more than enough to offset the cost of an air ticket. Meanwhile, the international sites like Dave's and TEFL are more oriented to people that are not yet in China...and therefore don't realize what a lousy deal they're getting.

It's a matter of sitting down at the computer and searching through the sites you decide you like, as the new listings continue to come in. Read the ads carefully, and if you like what you see, respond to the ad and find out more. Of course, you want to steer clear of any ads from recruiters, but you'll also find plenty of jobs advertised directly by the schools. If you mistakenly respond to a recruiter ad (Not always easy to tell...some are pretty sneaky about it. References to multiple schools are one of many signs you learn to look for...), once you find out, just stop communicating. Don't answer their e-mails, etc. If you're not sure, ASK...then act accordingly.

You CAN do this. You really can. One of the worst aspects of recruiters is that they aren't really necessary in the first place.


2) Network with other expats. Go to the places where the expats hang out...you'll find that many of them often know of real or potential job openings (not to mention the local schools to avoid), and will be glad to point you on or wave you away as the case may be.

Not in China? You can still do this! The Saloon is also a place where the expats hang out, and any of us here should be happy to help if we can...and we cover a lot of cities.

And if you're here, don't forget that Chinese folks can also sometimes lead you to jobs. Just being open, friendly, and polite is a good start. You don't have to speak Chinese to be friendly. I know of plenty of stories where chance encounters in a restaurant or something have led to a job offer.


These approaches have led all or most of us to our jobs. They'll work for you, too. You just have to spend a little time and effort...eventually it's going to pay off for you. bfbfbfbfbf

One thing I DON'T recommend is using most resume-listing sites. You're just opening yourself up to massive bombardment by recruiters.

But let me please repeat: YOU CAN DO THIS. It's just not that hard, usually. You really don't need a recruiter to do this for you.
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

Jimi02

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Re: Ok, then how DO I find a job?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2009, 10:44:58 PM »
Great tips, thanks Raoul.

 agagagagag

BrandeX

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Re: Ok, then how DO I find a job?
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2009, 10:18:16 AM »
Any lists on how to find a job in China that aren't teaching English?

Raoul F. Duke

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Re: Ok, then how DO I find a job?
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2009, 05:51:53 AM »
You can try your luck on places like Zhaopin.com ( http://english.zhaopin.com/ ) that are general job listing sites, and list a number of jobs in English.

Not an easy path, though. Most non-teaching jobs require high fluency in both spoken and written Chinese, plus specific education and experience in the area of work you're pursuing.
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

harry_aus

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Re: Ok, then how DO I find a job?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2010, 09:53:46 AM »
Following upon RD's advice "hi thee to the Internet",
here's a method that I'm using to make direct contact with schools and colleges.

Firstly, decide which city you're wanting to teach in,
then go to the venerable Wikipedia (if that is still available??!!)and enter
your chosen nirvana.
For most cities in China, scroll down these Wikip city-guides to "Schools, Colleges
and Universities". Their lists aren't of course exhaustive, but there'll be a reasonable
number to choose from.  (I say 'most cities', meaning medium to large cities
in China....places such as S'hai and Beijing, well, there are just too many).

For example take a look at Hangzhou here (if that is where you've set your sights):-
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hangzhou

Ok, then you can go clicking to your heart's content. You'll get the school or college website open but naturally all the writin' is in Zhongwen.

For those who use Google as their engine, this has a translation Toolbar
setting...a little click on that, and voila! Usually this'll give you
the principals's name and their photo (if that turns ya on). But I simply
look for the email....and with that, I send 'cold' emails. Naturally I haven't yet secured an actual teaching job using this 'method'   llllllllll, however I almost always get a nice polite response from the place.
Just thought I'd share with yas.

Raoul F. Duke

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Re: Ok, then how DO I find a job?
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2010, 09:17:14 AM »
Thanks, Harry...nicely put.
Let me just point out that city info coming from job ads, official city websites, school websites, and travel sites may not be very trustworthy. All those people have a vested interest in making their town as attractive as possible...even if they have to lie like a rug. asasasasas  The best info is going to come from a foreigner (who isn't a school manager) that's at least been there.
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

The Local Dialect

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Re: Ok, then how DO I find a job?
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2010, 07:20:08 AM »
You can try your luck on places like Zhaopin.com ( http://english.zhaopin.com/ ) that are general job listing sites, and list a number of jobs in English.

Not an easy path, though. Most non-teaching jobs require high fluency in both spoken and written Chinese, plus specific education and experience in the area of work you're pursuing.

To update this, I've been seeing more and more non-English teaching jobs on eChinacities (www.echinacities.com) and The Beijinger (www.thebeijinger.com). These sites have teaching jobs too, but there are a lot of recruiters on both of them.

The thing about non-teaching jobs is that despite what reason might lead you to believe, they don't actually pay terribly well. Most entry-level office type jobs in Beijing, for example, (sales and marketing, editing, copywriting, etc) don't pay much more than 10K RMB a month, which sounds like a lot if you're living in Henan or somewhere making 4k a month teaching, but these jobs will require you to work 9-5, you'll have unpaid overtime, you will only have very basic holidays, and you won't have free housing. The only real reason to move out of teaching in China is to build your resume and hopefully move up the foodchain and on to better things, but this can be hard to do in China as most people end up doing a little of this and a little of that rather than having some sort of linear progression.

Tuco

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Re: Ok, then how DO I find a jer ob?
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2011, 02:02:59 AM »
In my experience, I have found jobs in various ways.

internet
referrals
Handing out business cards when meeting people
walking down the street
talking to everyone I know

But, I have been really lucky from the get go. I never once was ripped off for money, been farmed out(attempted 2 times) and I guess it has to do with that I live in Beijing where work is massively abundant.

if you are looking for a job as a teacher in China I suggest:

Do come here first and take a look around before settling on a job.
Bring plenty of money from abroad.

do not trust what you read. It usually is not going to be what you were told.

Remember, that you are a commodity here. And that without people like you, there would be no business for them.

Remember, that is exactly what it is, a business.

If you can, stay clear of language schools.

Check current market prices for your area.

Talk to many foreigners here and other webs.

Do not allow yourself to be used in advertisement without compensation. I never had this done to me, I guess I am fugly?

No, its my long hair. Not clean cut. And that is good! I hate fashion!


most of all, trust your instincts, because if you do not speak and read Chinese, you will have to fend for yourself and gut feelings are always going to do you right.

most of all, do not sign anything until you are sure both english/chinese versions are the same.


oh and it doesn't hurt to have a trial period set up.


I never took a job with housing included into the package. I always thought that these in Beijing were so bad that the offset of salary per hour vs. housing was not worth it.


if you can, find your own house. it is not difficult to find some kind chinese soul who are looking to practice english and may help you. But be careful!!

there have been many  horror stories about dealing with Chinese people. You need to be totally mindful of what is going on around you.

contact me if you want more help.

he ping
When you have shoot, shoot, don't talk.

El Macho

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Re: Ok, then how DO I find a job?
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2011, 03:54:40 AM »
51job.com has quite a few listings for English teachers, and even has an English-language interface: http://www.51job.com/default-e.php

mlaeux

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Re: Ok, then how DO I find a job?
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2011, 05:25:04 AM »
I'm just a relative newbie here, but I got my latest job by going to a forum that was dedicated to the city I was targeting. I cruised the "want ads" on a fairly regular basis and sent out a few inquires to jobs that I felt were in the salary range I was looking for. Most didn't bother to reply (that's their loss.) The ones that did, were very interested and after some haggling (my hats off to you 'all here at the Saloon) I was able to land a job making an adequate amount of money. OK, not everything is perfect, but at least it's better than my current job and I'll be in a better location. Well, maybe air quality won't be as good, but I'll have A LOT more options in the way of culture, entertainment and shopping.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2011, 06:07:37 AM by mlaeux »

piglet

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Re: Ok, then how DO I find a job?
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2011, 04:15:35 PM »
All excellent tips. Having not been able to find anything at the beginning I targeted the cities that the good people on this forum recommended, then cruised the Net till I found contact info about those schools that looked ok and had no damaging refs here or on Dave's.Then I just kept trawling and trawling for more places.Lots of the emails bounced and some didn't answer. But now my inbox is positively overflowing  bhbhbhbhbh
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jimbojagpot

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Re: Ok, then how DO I find a job?
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2011, 10:58:58 AM »
Good advice.I'm a great believer in Lady Luck.Don't stitch yourself up & get tied up in knots "oh-my-god-I-dont-have-a-z-visa-yet" kind of mindset.Get the vibe & let the city choose you.I spent 2 years in Danang & the students just turned up - I had stayed in town long enough for the word to get around that I wasn't another backpacker passin' thru.(It'll work in the PRC too - if my next post is from jail then OK I fxxxxd up!).Apologies-I'm new to this forum but not new to Asia.Cheers,Jim

Raoul F. Duke

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Re: Ok, then how DO I find a job?
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2011, 12:51:56 AM »
No apologies needed, JJP. Ya done just fine. bfbfbfbfbf
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

Raoul F. Duke

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Re: Ok, then how DO I find a job?
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2011, 11:38:04 PM »
A question was asked here that delved into a new topic; I've moved it to a new thread of its own.
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

Raoul F. Duke

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Re: Ok, then how DO I find a job?
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2012, 07:20:12 PM »
ANOTHER question was asked here that delved into a new topic; I've moved it to a new thread of its own. http://raoulschinasaloon.com/index.php?topic=7874.0
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)