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What's the Best Way to Find Jobs?


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Howdy Job Seekers,


I now work at a vocational college in Northern Guangzhou, and this is the last year of a two year contract. I could probably get a renewal but I'd like to eiher1) work at a more prestigious school, or 2) teach adults (businesspeople and so forth). My daughter is enrolled at China Southern University of Technology, and though I like to think that might help get a job there, I somehow doubt it!

Truth be known, I will be 55 next year, and by law that is the last age at which I can apply for a new contract, and we can only work until age 60 (if I'm reading that correctly). So I'm pretty darn sure I want out of the place I'm at now, and hopefully (no guarantees I realize) end up in a place that will renew me until age 60. I am an American citizen, have TESOL university credits  that no one cares about, sadly enough, and I have a TEFL certificate. I'm only a BA, not an MA, so I don't know how that will affect me.

So where should I go from here? Job boards seem like a bunch of spam and I've applied to universities directly in past years with never any luck. The jobs I've gotten so far in China have been through agents. Is that still the best way to go? Any reccommendations? Thanks!



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6 hours ago, LaoDing said:

I will be 55 next year, and by law that is the last age at which I can apply for a new contract, and we can only work until age 60

Is that really true?  I was told by an HR firm that you can still get a work visa up until you're 60.  


And according to this summary of the points-based system for work permits you're still eligible for 5 points aged 56-60.


btw I've no idea if they're worth attending but there's a job fair in Ghuangzhou in November. 

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Is that really true?  I was told by an HR firm that you can still get a work visa up until you're 60. 


That's what I've read. Forgot the source though. Could have been Chowdrow.

From what I've heard, it's not that you can't get the visa, you just can't start from scratch after 55. Don't take it as gospel.


And since I live in GZ, I'll be sure to check out the fair!

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Well, to work at a more prestigious school (in this case, University) without having connections would likely mean you need to up your qualifications. Even with connections you’d likely need some/all eventually. A generic “TESOL” isn’t worth much. You need at least CELTA or a Trinity TESOL. Then if you wanted to teach English (assuming you currently do) at a better University, having a MA TESOL or a DELTA would be very useful. I’m not sure what you mean by University TESOL credits but if this could go toward the MA it would be good. Some MA courses include a CELTA which would kill two birds. You can also consider using your BA but it depends what it is. A friend taught global literature at a top Beijing University for a few years. His BA and MA are both in this field. They also had him do a few “language” classes as well but this wasn’t his main job. 


If you just want to teach adults you could move to a training centre like Wall Street English. Again though, they would need a CELTA. 


Finding jobs... job fairs can be good. My experience with job boards mirrors your own in that they have a lot of spam. You could use agencies but personally I’ve had better luck and more helpful responses from foreign run ones in or out of China. 

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Thanks for all the tips, ChTTay. I need to work now as I'm sending my daughter to university (besides, at my age I don't think I'd want to get a TEFL MA!), so I guess I won't be getting hired at the better uni's. Still, I'd prefer just a standard 4 year uni over the place I work for now.

It surprises me that you need a CELTA to teach business English. A CELTA is not at all cheap, and I don't see how I could do it without my RP expiring and having to do everything over!

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Actually, Wall Street English (Jeez what a name!) doesn't really 'require' a CELTA. It is 'preferred':

  • Native English speaker from UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or South Africa
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 120 hour TEFL certificate; CELTA preferred 
  • 2 years of teaching experience (less experience possible in select cities for candidates with 120 hour in-class TEFL / CELTA certificate)
  • Outgoing, dedicated, professional

I have heard that there are 'in-house' jobs in businesses in cities like Guangzhou. I'm also a proofreader and a translator. Sounds interesting.

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International House have just started offering 4-week CELTA in Zhuhai, near Macau (first one March 2019): https://www.ihchiangmai.com/teacher-training/celta/course-dates/


Plus there are the previous options in Thailand as well which include nice accommodation... not sure of the impact on your RP of being away for 4 weeks though.



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4 hours ago, mungouk said:

could you elaborate please


In China, you are considered one year old the day after you are born. So, a person who is said to be 64 in the west, is said to be 65 in China. People in China who have an age limit on the work they do should be aware that the deadline may arrive one year sooner than expected.

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Yeah, they write “120 hour” TEFL so that this will include teaching practice etc. And mention that below. This just means they, in theory, won’t accept some piece of paper from any Johnny Foreigner TEFL school. 


In practice all depends on how desperate they are. 


Regardless, from what you’ve said, if you do actually want to move to more prestigious and better paid work, you’ll need better qualifications. A CELTA is bare minimum unless you’ve got a 120 hour equivalent with observed/assessed teaching practice. After that it’s MA or DeltTESOL/DELTA. 


Wall Street or EF wouldn’t be bad places to work in that, at least with EF, they have a lot of certified, accredited training available to staff. Pay isn’t amazing for the hours though. 

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  • 1 month later...

I think we've just been focusing on credentials and standing, but maybe not the quality of life. For me, Wall Street English is neither distinguished (it's a mill), nor does it offer a working lifestyle of high quality.

I have to rephrase. Forget the high ranking uni's (I can see that's quite unlikely for me)- the middle and even the lower uni's that offer a BA at least are fine. I'm working at a vocational college at the moment and, well, let's just say I want the heck out. I've worked at a lower ranked uni in Henan as well- MUCH better than here. So maybe there is a geographical equation to this. I personally LIKE the boondocks. I came to GZ to be with my daughter.

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