Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Worst Job Offer For Me This Year

Finding a job here in Thailand is not very easy, specially for those non-education graduate. If you are, it is still a problem because you need to prove that you can teach students who couldn't understand, read, write and speak any English. It is indeed a challenge for job hunters to prove that they can. During the interview, they will ask you to do demo teaching and you are expected to communicate with your students more effectively using your methods, tools and teaching techniques/skills.

For some of my friends in the Philippines, they thought working here is easy... They are completely WRONG! Teaching careers here is in demand but, there is a huge population of competitors/applicants from other countries. Apparently, their priority is to choose English Native Speakers for any teaching positions, specially in some International Schools. Secondly, they also take into account the educational background (which is a BS Education graduate) with Masteral is an advantage.

List according to importance when applying for a job here:

1. English Native Speakers (US,UK,Canada,Australia,etc.)
2. Educational Background
3. Work Experience as teacher in his Country + here in Thailand
4. Teaching Skills/Tools/Methods via demo teaching
5. Physical Attributes (Presentation)
6. Age Requirement

On the other hand, there are other nationalities from all over the globe who are applying for the same position. And I am one of them! I have worked as a Guidance Counselor cum Science teacher way back SY 2000-2001 in Antipolo City. I have experiencesd to hold a Home-room adviser position for 4th Grade in one of the Christian's School in Penafrancia. But, my teaching skills aren't enough to teach in classroom for foreign pupils/students. I admit that, because I know my strengths and weaknesses, as far as my career is concerned.

Last 2009, I started job hunting here in Bangkok. I came across a language center (which I don't wanna mention) online through & This language center phone me up for a job interview. I showed up so early before our scheduled time. But, I was shocked that they were very unorganized. I was expecting to have accomodated on time. Instead, the owner kept me waiting for an hour! Then, finally after an hour had my job interview with her. She was a little rude and has high regard of herself. I felt uncomfortable but, I composed myself not to express what I was feeling at the moment. She said that I passed the job interview and told me to start the following week. I asserted to ask about the pay rate, she told me that it was 13,000 baht only. That includes my housing allowance, ED visa (which is not a working visa), and meals while at work. All in all, it's only 8,000 baht take home pay. Plus, I've got to work on Saturdays and the hours of work is 7:30am-6:30pm (6 days of work! Whoa!)

On the same year, I was also called for a job interview for KG teacher in Pinklao, that is about 3 hours travel from my place, then. I was interviewed by the school principal and he said that I got the job and the salary was 15,000 baht and the rent for my apartment will be 1,500 baht a month (he owned it). I was hesitated to accept the job offer because it was too far from our home, and I don't need to live in an apartment because I'm living with my husband. He also told me that I don't have to work because he will provide all my needs. So, I stopped my job hunting. Until I got pregnant LOL.

This year, I've searched again, online for a part time job during the weekends. I found a private learning and computer school that I thought would be great to start teaching in classroom. They phone me for a job interview with the Head teacher (British guy), few weeks ago. Again... I passed the job interview and he turned me over to an office staff to discuss more about the pay rate, the whereabouts of the students and the schedule. I don't understand why the head teacher couldn't be able to discuss it with me, openly. Probably because of the sytem itself is infavorable.

So, I was about to teach two students (couple), 35 years old, 2 hours every Satudays and Sundays, 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, 280 baht per hour. I startled about the rate! I was hoping to have 20.00 baht more so I negotiated to them. The lady told me that she would have to ask the Academy about my concern and that I had to wait on their phone call if they agree or not, but I had to start on the following week that we had agreed.

One day, somebody from that learning center called me up to tell me that the Management did not agree on the negotiation. Infact, they were offering me a 180 baht (too LOW!), the lowest job offer in my life! I was a little upset but, still I composed myself, as a professional. I thought I was hearing her incorrect, so I made some clarifications on the pay rate that on the previous meeting, I was offered 280 baht per hour and not 180 baht. Then, she repeated that it was indeed 180 baht (what? goodness, gracious!!!) and her voice was serious. I believed her, because I thought it was a joke at first! LOL.

I replied, "I am so sorry that I can't accept your job offer of 180 baht per hour on weekends because right now, I am earning 500 baht per hour each student and I don't need to travel far because their houses are few walks from my home. Some of my students are learning English online.

The lady said, "But, because you are not native speaker and no work experience in class here in Thailand, no education diploma (this was the exact message I got from her). Sorry about that....

I responded, "I don't have to be a native speaker to teach two students on basic conversation. My friends aren't native speakers, they aren't education graduate either. But, they've earned their experience working here in Thailand because they were considered despite of that. Yes, I don't have a teaching experience in the classroom and I have no education certificate... But, I can teach. Besides, you're only giving me 2 students so that means it is more of private teaching or tutorial. If I am an education graduate... will you give me a work permit with that given situation? I don't think so. I am rejecting your job offer, I'm sorry.

Charged to experience again. I am not that desperate to grab any jobs that offering such pay rate. I may have to think about the traveling expenses and the distance. It matters a lot! If you need to travel, you will spend money and if it's far from your home, you will still spend time. Not smart enough to just accept without thinking many times of the pros and cons. That was the worst job offer that I had in my life here in Thailand! I hope it'll be the last (fingers crossed,lol).

It is very essential to know what you want in looking for a job. If you aren't assertive of your priorities and needs here... You will end up working stressful and not realizing your worth as a person. Sure they have the right to offer you low pay rate but, it is up to you to accept it or not. They're doing that, hoping you would accept it anyhow and so the school/company will have a great deal having you as a teacher working full load or too much unrelated task given to you without paying you more about your efforts. This is Thailand, if you aren't that smart, sensible, prepared, resourceful and skillful enough then, this is not your world. You've gotta learn to compete with other foreign people like you here (in a healthy, professional way).

borrowed image from google

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