Author Topic: Seeking Advice on Whether to Take a Job...  (Read 2511 times)

nikki

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Seeking Advice on Whether to Take a Job...
« on: November 01, 2013, 04:31:06 AM »
Due to budget cuts in my city, my position teaching English at a middle school is being eliminated after my contract ends February 2014. I've been applying to universities, and I've been offered a job at a mid-to-low-level university in a non-major city in South Korea. I don't know if I should take it.

Universities are still posting job ads daily--the hiring season, which runs from early October to last-minute hiring in January or even February, is nowhere near done. I could potentially get other interviews later on. But I also might not!

I really liked the campus and its surrounding area. I really liked the teachers who interviewed me, and hearing about the collaboration and interest in professional development of most of the English faculty made me more interested in the position. I think it would be a great working environment.

HOWEVER (you knew it was coming), the pay is below average for this type of position and my experience. 15 hours teaching per week, 1 hour of office hours, 22,000w per hour for overtime, opportunity for additional classes during regular semesters and winter/summer camps high (but not necessarily forced on me). 2.25 million won per month. That's 50,000w per month less than I make now (not including the extra pay I get for after-school classes).

For a baseline, most universities start around at least 2.6 million won per month and 30,000w for overtime. This school being in a less-desirable area makes the low pay a little confusing.

What do I do? I don't want to be cocky and assume something better will come along and be disappointed when it doesn't. I also don't want to end up at a school that pays more but has a not-so-great working environment.

I really need some words of wisdom right now! I know I have a tendency to settle for less income than I have the potential to make, but I don't want to be a fool and throw away a potentially good opportunity.

And... erm... sorry for using Korean moneys. 2.25 million KRW is around $2120; 22,000w is $20ish.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2013, 04:35:02 AM by nikki »

YMDreamer

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Re: Seeking Advice on Whether to Take a Job...
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2013, 09:20:09 AM »
Hello Nikki, as a newbe here I hesitate to give advice, but could you please explain if there is a possibility to negotiate a pay offer in South Korea?
If there is, I would let the new employer know that you are interested but that you have difficulty accepting because of the low pay. This means not deciding yes or no yet, but exploring the possibility to get more pay or other benefits. Perhaps you could make a better decision based on the extra information you would get this way.

CommonCents

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Re: Seeking Advice on Whether to Take a Job...
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2013, 09:27:33 AM »
Hello Nikki, as a newbe here I hesitate to give advice, but could you please explain if there is a possibility to negotiate a pay offer in South Korea?
If there is, I would let the new employer know that you are interested but that you have difficulty accepting because of the low pay. This means not deciding yes or no yet, but exploring the possibility to get more pay or other benefits. Perhaps you could make a better decision based on the extra information you would get this way.

Agree with this advice, and I'd also add that this gives you a little more time to see if something else comes along.

Hard to advise between bird in hand versus bird in bush.  I'd probably consider likelihood that you'd get a job where you are paid better AND have the other intangibles.  If it's not super high...I'd probably go with the offer. 

jess

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Re: Seeking Advice on Whether to Take a Job...
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2013, 11:25:38 AM »
I would negotiate for more pay. Tell them you are enthusiastic about the job but that based on your skills, experience and the GOING RATE, that you were expecting more. Tell them what you would like and again reiterate your enthusiasm for the job and that you are confident that you can work something out.

Do you sign a contract stating how long you agree tow ork there?

nikki

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Re: Seeking Advice on Whether to Take a Job...
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2013, 06:12:14 PM »
Great suggestions to attempt to negotiate pay. I'll try that! I think I'm just doubly nervous because I don't really know what the culture is here for negotiating pay increases. They can't really retract the offer because I ask for more, though...

Once I accept the job, I'd sign a one-year contract, which can be renewed each year depending on the university's need and my performance. Unless positions are being cut, they generally like to keep the same people around because it's cheaper.