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Rejection after rejection!

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by Lisa1812, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. Lisa1812

    Lisa1812 New commenter

    Hi all,

    I have applied for multiple jobs in Singapore and HK. After hearing nothing from schools, I finally got through to a video interview stage for a very well respected school in HK, but once again, I received the dreaded ‘rejection’ email.
    I’ve been teaching for 5 years in UKS2 in the UK so I know that I don’t have the international teaching experience.
    I’m getting worried that time is ticking and I would love to be teaching abroad in September.

    Any advice or support would be appreciated!
    Many thanks.
  2. jacks_wasted_life

    jacks_wasted_life New commenter

    I want to be fair and balanced here, Lisa, so please forgive me if at times I appear blunt.

    You have five years of KS2 experience, but absolutely none of that is international. If you set aside your feelings about rejection for a second, would you employ someone who was an unknown quantity (i.e. might do a runner because they are homesick or unable to cope with the pressure of living in an international context)? Some people do manage to land a coveted spot in these locations without international experience, but they are exceptions to the rule. My apologies if you have worked/lived overseas in another capacity, but you did not give this information in your OP.

    You are applying for jobs in two of the most competitive regions in the world. The 'circuit' is awash with people who have plenty more experience, both in the classroom and in international schools. You are also competing with people from all around the world. The fact that you made it to 'video interview stage' of a very well respected school does speak volumes about your capabilities, but you may need to set your sights a little lower if you want to be out teaching in September either in terms of quality of school, or location. Dumbbells should be along shortly to reaffirm how many other places on the planet exist beyond 'Dubai/Singapore/Hong Kong'.

    Rejection is something you're going to need to learn to live with in the international sphere. I've been teaching internationally altogether for around 11 years and I've spent hours on applications, listening to the old adage that we should 'adapt our CV to the school' but not even received an email of acknowledgement. I have had interviews with schools where it's unclear how the person on the other side managed to get into their role and they then have the temerity to ignore any follow up discussion by email regarding my application. This is part and parcel of teaching internationally and it's best to get used to it right now.

    The good news is that there are plenty of jobs out there for teachers around the world and looking beyond a British Curriculum school or in different regions will open up plenty of opportunities. Sometimes working in a place you never considered before can be a fantastic experience. Are you signed up with Search or any other agency?
    topgirl1, mm71 and WatchYourTongue like this.
  3. Lisa1812

    Lisa1812 New commenter

    Thank you for your wise words! I studied in Finland for 5 months as part of my degree in Education and taught English in Africa for a month, but appreciate this experience wasn’t teaching in an international school. I absolutely agree that I need to get used to rejection - I think I was just having a wobble as I’ve been trying since November and my partner, who is in finance and is sure he will land something in HK, is putting pressure on. I have just signed up to Search.

    Many thanks for your time in responding - much appreciated.
  4. tony110704797

    tony110704797 New commenter

    Hi Lisa,

    I am in a very similar position. 5 years teaching in Ireland (no international) and have been involved in curriculum development also the last two years. Funnily enough same scenario as yourself, loads of applications to Dubai/Thailand and HK. Only bit of positivity was a video interview with well established HK school also, but also rejection letter. I think Jacks wasted life perspective is a very real one, and I too was getting worked up but I have said if I do not get something this coming year I am willing to wait another year as have a family and don't want to rush to a decision. All the best with your aplications
    Lisa1812 likes this.
  5. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Lisa1812, I am sorry that you have been unsuccessful. Sometimes you have to accept a job that is not everything that you would have wanted to be and then use it as a stepping-stone to something better in two or maybe four years' time. Yes, rejections are hard to take, especially when you have put a lot of time and effort into your applications. On the plus side, it is only January and there will be many, many more international jobs popping up over the next few months. Hong Kong is a popular place and therefore competition for teaching jobs is pretty fierce. It really would be a good idea to widen your net and try for jobs in a wider range of countries.
  6. Lisa1812

    Lisa1812 New commenter

    Ah fingers crossed for you. All the best for the future. Lisa
  7. hs9981

    hs9981 Established commenter

    1. Money
    2. Family connections
    3. Blackmail
    4. Political connections
    5. Race/Religious orientation
    6. Ability + qualifications
    7. Luck
    8. Wit and charm
  8. Lisa1812

    Lisa1812 New commenter

    Thank you - I appreciate the advice. Lisa
  9. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    If you take out the last few weeks with Christmas/winter vacation when schools are not recruiting, (even early December with trips, shows, Christmas staff parties) since November is not actually all that long a duration.
  10. willow78

    willow78 Occasional commenter

    HK and Singapore and two of the more sought after locations,also a lot of the top schools advertise before Christmas so the competition for these posts will be high including lots of established International teachers. My advice would be don't give up, the more the year goes on the less competition for jobs there will be.When I first went abroad I found it hard to get a job, but eventually got one in Thailand, the school had an Ok reputation and package was average, I did 4 years there and look back on it as the best 4 years of my life, so broaden your options when looking at schools and countries.

    Good Luck
  11. Lisa1812

    Lisa1812 New commenter

    Thank you so much
  12. jacks_wasted_life

    jacks_wasted_life New commenter

    I don't want to dive into relationship advice, but a question that does arise here is: does your partner have a job yet? If not, it is more than a little unfair for him to put 'pressure on'.

    Due to the clarification you added, maybe you can both get married and you would be provided residency in HK through his job. At this point, you could then consider submitting your name forward to schools when you have boots on the ground and do some supply, which would inevitably lead to other opportunities like full time work.

    What other posters have pointed out is also true: this is the busiest recruiting season and the most competitive schools are searching right now. When some of this dies down, schools are more open and, in some cases, have incoming staff dropping out of contracts for various reasons. This could open up a spot or two which you would be in a great position to capitalise on.

    Best of luck. Living internationally can be challenging, but is undoubtedly worth it.
    lindenlea and schmedz like this.
  13. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Even though i am not a geography teacher, im pretty sure there are other countries out there;)
  14. schmedz

    schmedz Occasional commenter

    If your partner is set on HK and doesn't secure a job, what will happen if you accept an offer and he isn't employed? There are often good vacancies advertised as late as May/June for August starts, so while the major schools are recruiting now (or have finished), sometimes circumstances change and other good options come up.
    Recruiting in IT is NOTHING like in finance sectors.
    What if your ideal job appears in another country - what are the chances of your partner trying to secure work in your country of choice?
    Also, are you married? It would be rare for any organisation to provide dependent benefits to an unmarried partner. You can live quite easily on one salary in many places, but the non-working partner will have to find something to stop them getting bored, or find work in 'creative' ways once in the country and without a work permit/visa. This is possible.
    Teachallover likes this.
  15. jacks_wasted_life

    jacks_wasted_life New commenter

    Wait, wait, wait! There are OTHER countries out there??? :D
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
    sabrinakat and lindenlea like this.
  16. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    This might come as a revelation to some people on here, but YES, there are one or two other countries out there PAST the ones that always get asked about...... i know, it blew my mind too when i found out :p:p:p
    sabrinakat and lindenlea like this.
  17. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    If you land an expat teaching contract in HK and you are married to your partner and he is in finance, then he will be allowed to work and WILL land a job there. How well paid that job is will depend on his experience, qualifications, the colour of the wind, etc, etc, etc. but it is a given. There are also opportunities in Singapore but the situation is a little less clear - but I'm sure someone on the ground can chip in with some insight. The problem is you getting the job so I would just keep applying for everything available but, as others have said, it is VERY competitive and your CV (as of now) is a con rather than a pro. This doesn't mean you should give up, you never know - strange things happen in the world of international schools.

    If on the other hand your partner is absolutely sure he can land a job there then he should do the running. When he has an expat contract in HK or Singapore, you will easily secure a locally (but well) paid position as a teacher or supply teacher.

    My guess is that there is some tension at the moment between these two positions/strategies and that you may well end up enduring the grey skies for another year before you open up to a wider range of locations.

    Choose carefully but don't be choosy.
    Lisa1812 likes this.
  18. I was in the same position as you last year. Rejection after rejection. Half of the time, the reason I didn't get the job was because I didn't have any experience with the curriculum the school was teaching; or, I lost out to a candidate who was more experienced.
    The best thing to do is to keep trying and be open to go anywhere for your first international post.
    Lisa1812 likes this.
  19. Xtinelove

    Xtinelove New commenter

    My partner and I have both been applying during this season and have landed positions in China. Admittedly, my position isn't ideal as I'll be teaching outside my specialism and I'll be giving up my HOD role here in the UK. However, I know it will still be an amazing cultural experience and a chance for me to get onto the international circuit.

    We received rejections from Singapore and Korea and were getting somewhat disillusioned before we got offered the jobs in Guangzhou, China. We are overjoyed that both of us will now be working at the same school and I see my role more as the beginning of a potential role in my specialism that could arrive in the future.

    Everyone's got to start somewhere. Perhaps the role won't be ideal at first but the cultural experiences will make up for that. I'm also at the point where I'd just about take anything outside of the UK!

    But China will be amazing and it is a very big place will many schools springing up!
  20. VS400

    VS400 New commenter

    I’m a ‘trailing spouse’ (i.e. running around after my husband trying to juggle keeping up my career with looking after our child and making a home in whatever country my husband gets shipped to next) and if your partner can secure a job it is a great opportunity for you to do some supply work and actually get to know the schools in your area. I did this and found a job at the school I liked the best. With 5 years experience but none International you might find it easier to get an expat posting in the Middle East. As others have said Singapore and HK are very competitive.
    Xtinelove likes this.

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