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How do I apply for new jobs without losing my current post?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by MyLastDuchess, Jul 12, 2015.

  1. MyLastDuchess

    MyLastDuchess New commenter

    I'm staying at my current school for the next academic year, but I'd like to move on after that. However, my current school gives contracts for the next year early, and we have to sign and return them before December holidays begin.

    Last year, a couple at our school signed their contracts in December and then interviewed with other schools anyway, and one of those schools called our director, who "voided" their contracts for the next year AND gave them a bad reference so that they didn't get the jobs where they'd interviewed. So I can't "quietly" send out CVs to other schools without letting my current school know, but if I let my current school know, I won't have a job there the next year (December is so early!). I have to sign my contract for the next year in December, and there is no "maybe" option. I'm afraid that if I declare intentions to leave in December, I won't get a job for the next year, and then I won't have my current job, either. I don't have the resources to take a year off, unemployed.

    My current school/package is good, and in Europe, and I want to move to another European school: no Asia or Middle East, and I know the job market in Europe is tough right now. I would like to go to the London fair in January, and my school will give me leave to go...but only if I declare intentions to leave rather than signing the contract in December.

    Does anyone have advice or input on the situation, or personal experience? Realistically, how likely is it that I can land another solid Europe job rather/how big is the risk that I would find myself with a low paid option, or no option if I decide to go ahead with the job search?

    Do most schools ask teachers to sign contracts for the next year as early as December, or is this unusual?

    Thank you!
  2. pgrass

    pgrass New commenter

    Good schools hire good candidates in November and December via Skype.
  3. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    in my previous school in Europe i had to sign in December, and my last school in Asia it was end of November to sign, and show intent in September. It seems as if this is becoming common place. I have also always secured all my jobs before December. My only advice would be to get prepared. Get your CV in order and get applying. Not sure what subject you teach, but if its a shortage subject then you will always pick up a job at a fair. Good luck
  4. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    From the school's perspective, they need to know who is intending to stay and who is intending to leave, so that they can hire the teachers they need for next year. It wasn't fair of your colleagues to agree to stay and then interview elsewhere. If they had secured a post elsewhere, your school would have been left in the lurch.

    From your perspective, it is obviously nerve-wracking not to sign up for next year when you don't have another job lined up. But as you say, December is early, so you have plenty of time to search for a new job. There are still positions on offer even at this stage of the year, as there are always people who drop out, and schools (even good schools) who don't manage to recruit someone to fill a post. It's a gamble that you might end up somewhere not quite as good as your current school, but I think if you want to move on then that's the risk you take.
  5. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    Yes, it definitely is a case of needing to leap before you know where you will land. In your case though, there is really very little alternative. You are going to eventually leave your current school, so it is not likely to change in the near future.

    The only way to try and avoid this dilemma is to secure a position before you have to commit. You can try to make this happen by a executing a targeted search/application process very early in the recruiting season, making use of every possible connection you may have or create and/or attending a fair before the holiday break. You may not find an early fair that is as good a fit as the one you wished to attend, but it may be worth the trade off.

    Ultimately, you may need to leap and then work like mad for an acceptable landing. Be ready with a list of Plan B schools and countries that you would accept if you cannot land a suitable position in your most desired countries/region.

    As we say in our family, it always works out. Of course there was that time we didn't find new jobs, went on summer holiday, ended up living with my in-laws for a few months and taking jobs and living in a place I didn't really want to be for two years...

    But it had it's rewards, personally and professionally (Such fun!). We eventually found good overseas jobs and the next time we had to leap we landed in our dream school/country.

    So, consider your options, come up with a plan (and a plan B) and then execute it with confidence and dignity.
  6. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    It also depends on what country you're in. After your third year in Spain, you become "fijo" and the school can only fire you if they pay you compensation. So, if I fill in that I'm staying next year and then hear of a really great job going in, say, February, I can apply for it and give notice when (and if!) I get it. The school couldn't "void" my contract unilaterally if I decided to stay after all... It might be worth checking with a trade union as to exactly what the legal position is in your country.

    Having said that, you should do all you can to fit in with the school's schedule. It does take a long time to hire good replacement teachers and so the school is reasonable in asking for more than the legally-required notice of your intentions, but the management also has to realise that such consideration is a two-way-street and that they also need to be flexible.

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