Wednesday, June 25, 2014

likely not

A coworker of mine, mentioned in the previous post, apparently got contacted by the university in question, so he'll be going to Seoul for an interview. Notification came yesterday. Since this didn't happen to me, and since the interviews are set for this weekend, I think it's safe to say I didn't make the cut.

As I discussed with my buddy Tom, my lack of credentials is likely killing me. Although I did go through a certificate program for foreign-language instruction while I was an undergrad at Georgetown, this isn't the same as having some sort of TEFL-related certificate or an MA TESOL. The job market, these days, offers stiffer competition; you can't expect to just waltz into a position.

So let's skip ahead and explore the worst-case scenario. In all likelihood, if nothing pans out here, I could go back to America, but even that might be problematic if I can't afford a plane ticket back, plus the money to ship all my possessions to the States. If I find myself stuck in Korea, I could whore myself out and return to hagwon work for a year, but I'd see that as a major step backward. Then again, maybe that's what needs to happen before things can improve.

Neither scenario—being stuck in Korea or going back to the States—is particularly tragic. My previous job would probably be happy to have me back, and I could go back to living cheaply in Front Royal again. It'd be a shame, of course, given all the effort I've put into getting back to Korea in the first place, but life doesn't always go the way we want it to go. And it wouldn't be tragic to be stuck in Korea and saddled with hagwon work; I could endure that for a year.

In the meantime, I'll keep combing through the job ads, looking for a plum position. I still have certain deal-breakers (no nights, no weekends, no split shifts, no teaching children at "camps" or anywhere else, etc.), but I haven't set my standards impossibly high. If I get closer to Seoul, or into Seoul itself, that'll be fine. That's a start.

UPDATE: Just saw an ad for Dongguk University in Seoul. Will definitely try there (despite a little clause about "unpaid work," which seems relatively minor). Given my interest in Buddhism, I think Dongguk would be an interesting place to work. As to how clement a work environment Dongguk actually is, though, I have no idea.