International marketing talents recruitment: special session
Marketing Talents - China Opportunities
Helping Chinese companies locate international talents
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The Best Times to Apply for Teaching Jobs in China
You may be wondering, "What is the greatest job I can obtain if I want to teach in China?" To what extent am I able to negotiate my salary? Please tell me the steps I need to take to get a job in my preferred city. The most important factors in determining your employment and compensation potential are your education and years of teaching experience, but when you apply may make a great difference as well. Timeliness of application may be the difference between a mediocre job and a fantastic one, and between a good income and a wonderful one. Keep reading to learn about the ideal time of year to look for teaching positions in China.
Public and private schools, international schools, and private language academies are not the only kinds of educational institutions in China that employ foreign instructors. The majority of them have two terms every year. The majority of hiring takes place during the autumn semester, which starts in late August or early September. The spring semester often starts in late February or early March, however there seems to be fewer job openings around this time. Of course, this isn't always the case; for example, certain private institutions may have employment agreements that span many months.
The colleges I contacted recommended that candidates apply for teaching opportunities in April/May for the next autumn semester, and in November for the following spring semester. As at this point, most instructors have informed their schools of their plans to return for another year of service, and the recruiting offices have a good idea of how many new teachers they will need to recruit. It's feasible to start looking for a job much later than three or four months in advance, and some people do, but if you want to take your time and locate the best match for you in terms of location, income, perks, and prospective negotiation, you'll need as much time as possible. You shouldn't automatically accept a contract from the first company that extends credit to you. Reviewing potential contracts and learning more about the role and the organization are also important steps in the process.
After all, clarifying details and asking questions about a project might sometimes go well, while other times can take weeks. Once, I spent about a month on the process of applying, interviewing, and then meeting to negotiate a few specifics for a teaching position at a university. To my surprise, the recruiting manager didn't reveal until our most recent meeting that the majority of courses are taught at a different campus located within a single hour's drive. This was obviously not what most instructors, myself included, would like, and I was relieved that, while we were talking about their offer, I had been giving serious consideration to applications from other schools. The next week, I received an offer from a competitor and declined theirs. I could not have done it if I had been under pressure to act quickly and had exhausted all other possibilities.
Even more so than the regular school system, big academies recommend starting the application process four months in advance. This is important not only for determining whether or not you desire the job, but also because, if you work for a school that is part of a multi-franchise network, you may choose the location in which you will live and teach. All of those cities may be available to you if you planned your trip out four months in advance. The pickings tend to dry up around six months in advance. There are also opportunities to work at academies during the six- to eight-week summer and winter holidays. There is a shortage of instructors at academies since many local educators opt to travel over the summer.
While the time it takes to look for employment and apply for positions is certainly a consideration, obtaining a work visa is also crucial to being hired. This is often done just before the start of the semester, however certain institutions may provide assistance in obtaining it sooner. The renewal process usually takes no more than a week if you are already in China and it is only a renewal. In any event, you should give yourself at least two weeks to complete the visa in case there are any hiccups with the paperwork or if a national holiday occurs on the day you need to submit it (as it might during Spring Festival). One month is the average processing period for a first-time Chinese work visa. It usually takes between two and four weeks to complete at home. Check that public holidays won't shorten the number of business days, making it impossible to get it processed in time, and make sure you have time during this period to visit the necessary offices (most of which are only open during work hours), to avoid overstaying or other problems while acquiring your visa.
In certain cases, having a visa can allow you to negotiate a better salary when applying for a job at the last minute. The lack of time will also cause the university to accept contracts they would have rejected a few months earlier. This strategy is risky, particularly when it entails a relocation, and may lead to visa issues.
Starting the job search process from scratch might be intimidating, but any head start is appreciated. The earlier you begin your teaching career, the more possibilities you will have, regardless of how much experience you already have. Plus, you'll have the time to look at other institutions, go through additional contracts, and evaluate additional deals. You may already be highly self-assured about your qualifications, but with the extra benefit of timing, you are in a prime position to obtain the perfect job and the highest possible compensation.