Wednesday, August 18, 2010

i am running out of options here in korea.

was i foolish in thinking that with hard work, things would somehow work out for me here? was i irrational to think that i could move to seoul and establish some sort of life for myself? was i stupid to think that knowing i'm a damn good worker with lots of experience who busts my ass at any job would be enough to help me land some sort of employment?

i am in no way expecting things to be fucking easy and have everything handed to me, but there comes a point where i have to accept defeat and that enough is enough. my 90 day tourist visa is going to expire in a few weeks, and i thought by now i would've had some sort of job in korea.

i've come to accept that finding any job that's somewhat related to any sort of career is not going to happen at the moment. unemployment is already rampant in korea and since natives who speak proficient english are having difficulty finding jobs as well, i have to be realistic. i figured i'll just teach english or something like the countless other foreigners that are doing so in korea, but even that isn't panning out for a few reasons.

1) many schools and establishments i've applied to respond noting they want "caucasian" teachers only---discrimination against foreign born koreans and korean-americans is obviously rampant.
2) most foreign born koreans are eligible for a specific visa that allows them to live freely here in korea. having that visa basically opens the door to doing whatever they want, and they can work anywhere without worrying about getting any sort of visa sponsorship. due to certain reasons, i am one of the few korean-americans that are not eligible for this visa without serving in korea's mandatory 2-year military service---and that is definitely not fucking happening. for many teaching establishments who will hire foreign born koreans, everything is less complicated for them to employ people who already have that visa, thus i believe it pushes applicants like me to the back of the line.
3) a visa for foreigners who are working as instructors and teachers in korea does exist, but it needs to be acquired before you arrive on korean soil. meaning, since i am already here in korea, i have to go back on american soil to get the actual visa. this is problematic because i have not worked since i arrived, and my funds have all but dwindled. i'm finding out that no company wants to pay the expenses for someone to fly to american soil and come back to teach for them, and since i can't afford it at the moment, it just complicates my teaching employment even further.
4) on top of all issues listed above, i've been told that since i have no "teaching experience," companies are reluctant to hire me. even though i know i am absolutely 100% able to teach and do a good job at it, i accept it when i'm told this. however, i have met foreigners and korean-americans in korea who are working here as teachers and i have to say that a lot of them seem fresh out of college with no professional work experience whatsoever. sure, they might have teaching experience or whatever and i know this is generalizing, but when i see these people with teaching jobs, it just makes me wonder how they were able to find work and i question what is it about me and my resume that's such a turn off to companies? someone obviously decided to take a chance on them, and that's all i'm asking for as well.

i'm not taking anything personally, but after months of the same old bullshit, my optimism is waning. i'm still determined to make it for myself somehow, but determination alone doesn't give me a paycheck or a visa.

i'm writing about this today because a phone call with a job recruiter sent me over the edge. since i started applying for teaching employment, all the places i've sent my resume and cover letter to have had the following outcome: 1) no response 2) been told no because of my race, or 3) have been contacted by a job recruiter working directly with the companies stating they're the ones who set up the posting and they will be the point of contact to complete the application.

i've corresponded with a few job recruiters at some point, but nothing has resulted from it. i've been talking to this one job recruiter in particular for almost a month now because he said he could land me a job. i find work and he gets paid by the company for finding an employee, it's a win-win situation.

however, after weeks of trying to work with him, this certain recruiter has shown me no evidence that he's actually doing anything to help me. this guy is obviously a hack who doesn't know how to be professional and if i owned a company, i would never hire anyone like him. i've come to this conclusion by the emails, phone calls and all the other correspondence we've had. when we talk on the phone, all he does is feed me bullshit which is fine---sure, i see through it but he is the stepping stone in me finding a job and he claims to be doing all he can to help me so i just keep everything professional and do whatever he says i should do. i had a conversation with him earlier today because he hasn't kept his word on returning my phone calls or emails like he said he would. i was the one who called him and when we spoke, his tone and message was basically saying that he's working his ass off for me and that no one wants to hire me (many for the reasons above) and that he's had to work extra hard just to get companies to look over my resume.

what he said really pissed me off for a number of reasons. honestly, if he had shown me some credible responsibility in his work thus far and seemed to know what he's doing, i would believe him and be grateful. however, i am no fucking idiot. he was basically trying to make me feel humbled by all his efforts and just kept talking out of his ass about how he's doing this or doing that and his tone just really pissed me off. in his previous promises, he assured me that companies would send me to american soil on their dime to obtain the teaching visa, but now he wants me to lie to companies during phone interviews about my visa status so they'll unknowingly hire someone that needs to be sponsored? he sets up phone interviews and has me wait patiently by the phone for these calls that never even come and doesn't seem to do shit about it when i told him they never called. he doesn't respond to my phone calls or correspondences (which usually is me reaching out to him to ask why he hasn't contacted me at the times he stated he would) in a timely matter that indicates he gives a shit about assisting in my job search.

having to listen to this person talk to me today in the manner that he did and just accept it and try to prove to him further that i should be hired by these companies for whatever reason is just humiliating. having to pander to him really irks me and what pisses me off the most was that the phone call ended with him saying, "oh hey, i'm getting a really important business call---i'll call you right back in ten minutes!" i still have yet to hear back from him.

this entry sounds like a complete bitch-fest, but it's just more frustration in feeling like i have no control over what my choices in korea are. i also feel like in idiot for thinking that i could trust this recruiter with all his promises and now i'm back to square one with less time to figure out what the fuck i'm going to do about my visa.

whatever happens will happen and i'm adamant on making things work out somehow. i just need to let my current frustration subside and figure things out again. i have no choice but to succeed.


  1. Anonymous1:13 PM

    english teachers usually complain so much and hate their job so amybe stay away from it?

  2. Sorry to hear about the situation. That sucks!

  3. Anonymous5:37 AM

    should it be really in korea? why not Japan? or in South East Asia?

  4. Just this week my friend got invited to teach English at Kongju National University. I'm not sure where it is, but he said it's about an hours drive away from Seoul. He hasn't decided to take the offer yet because he already has a stable job here. You might want to try out there to see if they still have any openings.
    But if I were you, I'd try out in areas other than about a copywriting job in an ad agency?

  5. I am sorry hun, hang in there! Something will work out...


  6. Wow your blog is really agreeable to read. Entertaining, well written and all. I know exactly what you mean about the discrimination crap... It's very humiliating, makes you feel like crap. Couldn't you work as a private tutor, or for a magazine or something? I'm sure people would appreciate reading this as much as I do.