Friday, September 18, 2009

Duxbury, Massachusetts

Here I sit in my dining room in Duxbury, plugging away on ESL websites. Last night, I had several shy Korean women calling to ask if I received their emails. They were a few of the recruiters that I've contacted in my job search. As I fill out more applications and send more emails, I expect to hear from more by the day. Mother says that I'm only doing this for the phone calls but I can assure you I'm not. While they are very friendly, the conversation is sometimes awkward and confusing since their English is good, but not great and there's not a whole lot to talk about.

Korean lady (oh so softly and thickly accented): "Hi this is _____ from ________. Can I speak to Keith?"
Me (at first): "Who?"
Korean lady: "_______ from Korea...South Korea."
Me (owing to the confusion feeling obligated to make small talk): "Oh right, this is Keith, how are you?"
Korean lady: "Er...gooood, how are you?"
Me : "Great....uh...what, er...yes?"
Korean lady: "Did you receive my email?"
Me: "Yes I did, thank you (totally lying, not at all sure which recruiter I'm talking to)"
Korean lady: "Do you have any questions?"
Me: "Not at the moment."
Korean lady: "Oh?"
Me: "Yeah, looks good."
Korean lady: "Well if you have any questions..."

And I think you get the gist. They seem to be pretty attentive and helpful so far. For most ESL jobs in Korea, recruiters have some involvement. Especially for an entry-level teacher without a base of contacts at schools in the country, they are the easiest route for finding a job, getting a visa and flying over. Periodically, they send along job postings and information as they find jobs that match your stated preferences. From there, you express interest or not and then they set up an interview with a director.

This all began when my friend Barbara from the TEFL course (who is in Korea already) put me in touch with her tag-team recruiters, Winnie and Wonnie. I'll let you make your own joke.

If there was any lingering uncertainty, South Korea is a definite go, so the question mark must go. Still not sure of a new title. I'm aiming for a late October/early November departure, so I do have some time.


  1. Hi Keith,

    Finally got to read the whole So. Korean update. Sounds like the Lee family have taken you into their family. Nice people and beautiful children. Glad you are settling in so well. Miss you and keep the info coming.


    Ethel & Pa

  2. Hi Keith,

    My partner and I are currently looking for jobs in South Korea. We came across your blog and love reading about your experiences! Was wondering if you know of any good recruiters and if you have any advice you could pass on?

    Thanks, Lyndsey :)