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General Career Advice

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      18.11.2009 13:18
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      Career is very important

      Career plays a major role in our lives as its all about the future job we want or what we do. My advice on people's career is always find the job you are good. There are jobs we like out there but the hours are horrible and the same applies for the pay.

      My ideal job was being a administrator but how many people do that these days? Too many to say the least! You need to find a job that is unique in some way because them jobs offer better pay. Less people take options such as being a plumber or a web designer to name a few for a job. These are the jobs that pay you the most money!

      My advice would be always choose a good career that pays you well. You only realize the mistake later on in life like me! Go to college and go to university as it will only make your chances of finding the best job much better. The trick part is choosing the career that is good in pay. If you can manage to do that then you will be fine in you career.

      Other options include using training schemes to start off with to look for work for a while before getting a permanent job. I am doing my course now which I should have done years ago. Is it worth for my career? Of course it is because my chances of finding a better job are through qualifications.

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        12.11.2009 15:22

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        Do all you can for your career!

        I would like to give some of my advice to those looking for work if you are out of work you need to do something about it fast. Looking for work then take options like joining with a bunch of recruitment agencies this gives you a big chance of landing your self a temporary job! The next thing you can do is look for some apprenticeships a lot of companies offer them but you do not get paid well still you could land a full time job from the company say 6 months after working for them.

        The last option would be work for free "Voluntary" a lot of companies do take people on. If they do not pay you they will obviously take you on it just keeps your CV up to date. Even though you are not getting paid this is a good option just to make your CV stand out and kept up to date.

        The other options do include heading of to do a course at college and even better heading of to university. From all the options I would say take university you can only get a better paid job by doing the right course for you.

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        21.05.2009 22:00
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        great prospect

        Pick up any newspaper , listen to a radio station and watch the news and you will have realised that during the 'economical downturn ' , unfortunately there have been a vast amount of job losses . Now this got me thinking , if I was to go down a certain career path , I would want to make sure it was secure and reliable one that would be hopefully sheltered from the current climate . So I decided to do some research , it didn't take me long on the internet to find a helpful list of 'jobs for the future ' . Of course it had the things I expected your public sector work such as teaching , nursing , emergency services and airport work which is predicted to grow . But then there was a profession that escaped my original brainstorming - Accounting .

        Now according to my research , the worse the downturn gets , the more work for accountants . The reason for this of course is more and more people looking to cut costs , therefore if you choose accounting for a career your going to have a job for life because companies and organisations will always need you , especially at times like now .

        Then I decided to explore the more important things that people consider when they are looking at career prospects , the wages ? The opportunities ? Working conditions ? . Now accounting is a well respected and even better well paid profession , the starting salary for a qualified accountant ranges from $35,000 to $60,000 and these have potential to double and triple as you have many opportunities to progress your career . At a recent careers fair , I was informed that most of an accountants work was communicating with clients , which isn't too daunting is it ?

        Another subject I chose to look into was how to actually become an accountant , and I found something very interesting and attractive indeed , an apprenticeship/internship in accounting . Why is this attractive ? The traditional way of becoming an accountant in the UK is to study either Finance or Business in university , therefore having to pay rising university fees .This is the reason I found the apprenticeship so exciting , a earn as you learn opportunity , and possibly securing a job in the process .

        Recently I was looking on the trades that are valued for emigration into Australia and accounting was listed left , right and centre . So not only is it a secure , highly paid , well respected job the opportunities are definitely endless .I see no reason why a secure job with a high salary and fantastic opportunities would not appeal to someone in the current climate .

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          15.02.2009 08:46
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          Career advice

          I guess there are always times or periods of our lives where we are not sure what career we want to follow or perhaps wonder where the sparkling career we had planned has gone to as you take a customers order in the restaurant that was just a stop gap job however now you have just got your two year service bonus award.

          Fortunately while there has been the odd period of inactivity and duff jobs in my relatively short life I also have learnt enough to know how to plan my career and to try and take advantage of the opportunities that come along.

          The best bit of advice that I can offer is to network as much as possible, it does not matter what job you do often the secret to getting the next job is not what you know or what you do but who you know. Networking is not a random activity it is something I consciously do as an activity, it is made a little easier by internet sites but I actually have a system in place and I ensure I contact certain people who I know could be helpful in my career on a regular basis just to chat or meet for coffee or lunch. It works both ways as also I can occasionally push opportunities in their direction as well.

          Alogside this it is important to be able to embrace change and to take opportunities and risks rather than opting for the safe option and then finding yourself in a rut after staying in the same job too long.

          Good luck in whatever career you choose to follow.

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          21.12.2008 15:23
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          Find a skill whihc you are intersted,Hone your skills and master it.

          You've finished school now what? This is a difficult decision that one has to make at one point in life it is further complicated by external pressure from parents and peers , choosing a career is a very important decision that requires a lot of thought as this is what you will be doing the rest of you life . There certain things that need to be taken into consideration we will take a look at some.

          * Interest: first of all you need to have an interest in the area you don't want to be stuck doing something you don't like.
          * What qualifications are required: education is the key to success, so find out what qualifications you need in order to be qualified in your profession.
          * Remuneration: find out how much others in the same field are getting, money is an important motivator there is no point in doing something that doesn't pay.
          * talent : some careers need talent for example if you are going to be a footballer then you need to be talented at football so identify your talents , know your strength s and weaknesses before choosing a career .

          when choosing a career you will have to do some research on how best to how best to achieve your dreams , speak to people who are already established in that field and find out how they did it then you will be in a position to make informed decisions.

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          27.07.2008 12:17
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          Reasons for changing jobs

          This review looks at resons for leaving your job and how these can be turned to your advantage as part of your overall career startegy.

          Reasons for leaving your current place of work can fall into two broad categories, those that you have control over and those that are out of your control. There certainly does come a time in anyone's career when it is time to move on to pastures new and this can vary depending on the type of industry or occupation that you are in. What is certain is that at some time or other we will all find ourselves looking for a change of job, sometimes within the same industry and others as part of a complete career change.

          Managing your career is important throughout your working life and as such it is a good idea to ensure that your CV is kept up to date and relevant to your current circumstances and your career aspirations. A number of times I have encountered business people at conferences or even in social settings where they have asked to see my CV and having one ready to send off straight away has been a great benefit and helped facilitate a couple of job changes.

          So let's have a look at some of the reasons why you might want to change job however initially I'm going to look at some reasons why you may find yourself forced to change jobs.

          1. Redundancy

          Redundancy is something that can happen to anyone and with an economic downturn the potential risks become greater. While redundancy can be a traumatic experience it can also be viewed as an opportunity and is also something that can be planned for in the sense that there are income protection policies available that can protect your income if you are made redundant. In my own case I was in a job that paid really well but did not motivate me at all however I found it hard to match my salary if I moved within the industry and hence was in a self imposed employment trap as I found it hard to walk away from the salary and share options however redundancy when it came, gave me the chance to change my career and move in a different direction, one that may be lower paid but certainly far more rewarding.

          2. Fired

          Similar opportunities can arise if you are fired however this can also close some doors depending on the reason behind your being released, my advice is to always try to negotiate an option for you to resign and agreement to get a neutrally worded reference rather than being fired, sometimes you can achieve this if the employer is worried about any legal fight they may face if you claim discrimination or intimidation of any sort. Outsourcing of your job can also involve an enforced job change particularly if your work location also changes, again all of these can be seen as a chance to assess hw you want your career to progress.

          There are also a host of reasons where the decision to change your job may be under your own control in that they provide the motivation for you to move on to something new.

          3. Motivation of the role

          Everyone has a number of factors that will provide them with the motivation to work; Maslow identified a hierarchy of needs that must be satisfied for individuals to be motivated, at the most basic level there is the need to survive while the high order motivators are things like self actualisation. Whatever you motivation, be it money, power or doing something you love when that motivation is no longer enough then it is probably time to move on and try something new.

          Even some high powered jobs can become repetitive at times, a friend who is a conveyance solicitor often moans that much of their highly paid job is without challenge and something they can do with their eyes closed half of the time. The answer for them is that they are about to move into the corporate world from the small family run business they have been in for the past five years.

          4. Needing a challenge

          Sometimes people feel the need to take on a challenge and as such a career change is in order. Changing jobs can be a way of achieving this particularly if the move is into a totally new field.

          5. Personality Clashes

          Most work places involve some interaction with work colleagues and as such they can be a hot bed for gossip and back biting, the worst of this can be found when it is motivated out of malice and a desire to stab someone in the back to gain career advancement. When faced with this problem you basically have the option to fight or flee and you need to ask yourself some important questions before making a decision. The type of person you are may have an influence here particularly if you are someone who does not like confrontation with others. Whether to fight or flee will depend a lot on the particular situation and whether you have the support of the management in the company.

          This situation can be made even more intolerable if it spills over into bullying particularly if a line manager is involved. Then you may need to be strong and take your grievance to senior management or your union representative if need be, having worked for a vile bully my own personal experience is one where those of us being bullied took a stand and managed to get the individual moved and ultimately they were sacked but it was certainly not an easy situation to be in and the option to change job was one I carefully considered.

          6. Career Advancement

          Probably the number one reason to change jobs, particularly if your career has stalled and needs a new injection of life. Certainly it pays in the early years to develop a range of experiences in your career and in some areas it is almost expected of you, I currently work in education where it is very common for people to move about particularly to take on new challenges and to also experience how different schools work.

          Sometimes this can be motivated by the need to be your own boss and run your own business. Being answerable to no one but yourself can be very appealing for some people however this is not a venture that should be gone into lightly as while the rewards can be great so can the risks.


          7. Culture Issues

          A company's culture can change over time and sometimes this can be at odds with your own ideas of what a great work place needs to offer. I started my working life in the banking sector and after a couple of years my own company changed the focus of its branch managers to one of being a very hands on sales role and this change of culture did not suit many of the more traditional senior bank managers and most of these recognised the culture change and took the decision to leave while others managed to adapt and stay.

          A company's culture can have a big impact on its employees and as such any change in culture can provide the catalyst for you to start looking elsewhere, what is important to assess is whether the change in culture is company or industry specific as it could be a case of going from the frying pan to the fire.

          The most important advice is to make sure that it is you that manages your career and not your job that is managing you, sounds like American psycho twaddle I know but too many people allow their current job to define their future expectations and never make the time to take stock and evaluate what they want for their work place and to then take the steps to do something about it.

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            02.05.2008 16:16
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            JOBS

            Employment Advice in General

            I work and have worked for many years with people who are trying to return to the labour market and are having problems in doing so for a variety of different reasons. Over the years I have gained experience in just how to get the job that you want. I have put together some very general information below and I hope it is helpful.


            Where to look for jobs-
            Try and have an idea of what job will suit your circumstance before you start jobseraching; how many hours can you work? What days and times suit you? Where can you travel? What wage do you require? This will save a lot of wasted time. Only apply for jobs that you will actually be able to do.

            Be realistic, don't apply for jobs that you are not experienced or qualified enough to do.

            Don't underestimate yourself either. Realise your self worth and apply for jobs accordingly

            The Jobcentreplus Internet site is very useful www.jobcentreplus.co.uk

            The S1 jobs is also very good www.s1jobs.co.uk

            There are so many jobs sites available so if you are having difficulty finding a suitable jobsite simply use a search engine imputing the type of job you are looking for.

            Daily/Weekly newspapers.

            Company's own websites. Fancy working for a particular business? Simply visit their website and search for current vacancies.

            Word of mouth is also a very good way to find word. Ask around.




            Application Forms-
            Firstly always read the form and guidance notes thoroughly before putting pen to paper.

            Take a copy of the completed application form, this will help you prepare if you are offered an interview.

            Read the job advert and note down the key skills the employer is looking for. Think about your skills and abilities that you have and then in your own words describe the matching skills you have.

            It is always helpful to give examples of times you have used these skills effectively.
            Try and keep in the space allocated, if absolutely necessary add an additional sheet but try never to leave large blanks spaces.


            Always sound positive even if the information you are giving is negative
            Example- I have unfortunately been out of work for some time but I am very keen to return to the labour market and have the skills that you require
            Rather than just- Unable to find a job for the last two years.




            C.V.'s-
            As with application forms this is your chance to sell yourself so you CV must be up to scratch.

            It is often useful to get someone to help you with you CV as often there are skills and abilities you have that you do not recognise as so.

            It is useful to think back to an average day in every previous job and note down the tasks you did, the responsibilities you had etc.

            An ideal CV layout-

            C.V
            Name
            Address
            Tel No-
            E-mail address

            Personal Profile
            Give details here of the kind of person you are and the skills and experience you have to offer
            For example-
            A hardworking and experienced customer service advisor with excellent interpersonal skills..........

            Key Skills
            Bullet point the Key Skills you have to offer
            E.g. Excellent Team Player

            Employment History
            Usually the last 15 years.
            Include the name of the employer, your job title, the dates you worked and a brief outline of you main duties


            Education/Qualifications
            All qualifications and training

            Hobbies/Interests
            Very brief details ideally maximum of two lines

            References
            Should simply state available on request




            The Interview-
            Do a bit on research on the company so you can answer any questions that may arise about it

            Be confident and remember the interviewer is just an ordinary person like you. They may be nervous too

            Always be prepared for an interview, never just go in blind and hope for the best.
            Always know exactly where you are going and who to ask for.

            Best to be ten minutes early

            Think about why you feel you would be good at the job and have this clear in your mind. If you do not get a chance to tell the interviewer in your replies to questions then make sure you let them know at the end.

            Always dress as smartly as possible. If you have a suit then great, if not then dress as smartly as possible. Try is possible to ensure your clothes are well fitting as this gives a good impression.

            No matter how nervous you are always try and smile, as no one likes a glum face, try and let a little (and only a little) personality shine through

            Body language is important so stand tall, sit upright in the chair, do not fidget and try to relax.

            Have answers in you mind to general interview questions for example- why do you want this job? What could you bring to this company? Etc. etc.

            If there are any questions you are concerned a potential employer will ask then try and have a very positive answer ready.
            For example- I see you have very large gaps in employment, can you explain this
            Possible answer- Due to my line of employment my work was mainly short term contracts meaning there have been gaps in my employment. I am now seeking more permanent employment and I have the skills and abilities to do the job you are advertising.
            OR
            I see you have a criminal record
            Always seek professional advice about this before an interview; there is an entire process about how to Disclose criminal convictions
            In general always be truthful as stating you can do things that you cant generally catches up with you

            Always have a few questions that you want to ask, this shows an interest.
            Good questions are very general, what about holidays etc


            Hope this information was useful and good luck if you are Job searching

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              15.04.2003 23:45
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              • "Can't think of another one!"

              Why accept the 'employment system' offered by so many companies and job agencies? By applying a few simple concepts used by the best professional recruiters, you might be able to get the kind of job you thought was unattainable. The 'system', which has brainwashed you into accepting its methods, is run by people who have absolutely no vested interest in your goals. It chews up and spits out job descriptions, job announcements, CV's, candidates, interview appointments and rejection letters. When you post a hundred CV's and get no replies, and when a hiring manager finds a pile of five hundred CV's on his desk, the system has failed. When a company trusts personnel clerks or recruitment agency consultants who know nothing about Engineering to select the Engineers the company needs to hire, something is wrong. Very wrong. Often people aren't being hired and jobs are not getting filled while good people stay unemployed or in jobs they're not happy with. So, how does the system seduce an otherwise intelligent professional person into compliance? Because the system asserts itself at a point in your life when you're most vulnerable. When you need a new job. There's just too much at stake for you to challenge the people who seem to be in control, so you politely answer questions like "where do you see yourself in five years?" when all you really want to answer is "does this company actually keep people for five years?" But perhaps the main reason you accept the rules is because there seems to be no other choice. The good news is that there is. Be your own recruiter. Take responsibility. Bad recruiters will place any person in any job. And sleep at night. Good recruiters understand that the hiring process is two way - that the job also has to match the candidate's requirements. This is why good recruiters don't allow a candidate to sell him o
              r herself into a job that is not best suited to their skills. So by the same rationale, why go after the wrong job just because you're unemployed or unhappy in your current job? Chances are you'll be in the same position a year later. Good recruiters understand the needs of both the employer and candidate. So do the same. Identify what your best skills are, what job(s) you can do best and then put them in the various versions of your CV. And be specific. List your achievements in previous positions. For example, the fact that you implemented cost-cutting measures that reduced your departments expenses by 10% is far more meaningful to a prospective new employer than simply saying that you managed a budget. Then be brave enough to say no to any job that isn't going to make best use of your skills. Because isn't it true that we're happiest when we're doing things we know we're good at?

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                18.07.2002 20:25
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                • "You need ambition and character"

                The unclear war Earth. A spherical prison where we all serve a life sentence. Rant and rave about miniscule details like the weather and perambulate aimlessly with brief interactions with others in a falsely humble and sometimes, but very rarely, meaningful way. We were all put here for a purpose, but yet we choose to wither our fragile lives away by becoming slaves to a system we do not control, and know very little, if anything, about. Corporate franchising, global economies, conglomerates and governmental bodies with power beyond our wildest imagination brainwash and control civilisation like cattle. Cattle led to market and being sold short of our true worth and stripped of any fragment of decency we may have left. 65 years (60 if your female) after birth, we get a golden handshake, a pat on the back, a pension that a church mouse wouldn't look at and sent off to continue deteriorating in a wee-infested home that puts living in a caravan look like a penthouse suite in Mayfair. Is this humanity or insanity? Work your whole life for someone else, pour your heart into a dream that is not yours and be thanked by a minimum wage and the ability to keep your job for another month. Sound good? If so, please don't read on, get back to your reality that isn't really yours and make the boss another coffee with cream, two sugars and give him one of those nice biscuits you bought last week from petty cash. The rest of you out there should now realise that I am giving you a wake up call to follow your dreams, realise your true potential and stop being force-fed the system. Stop working for someone else if you think you can make a go of it yourself. Find your niche market, find your ambition and most importantly: find yourself! The unclear war we fight every day is against ourselves as much as the "system". The reason it is unclear is that we never realise what we could have done until it is too late.
                At the time where something can be done about it, it is unclear and we never stop to figure things out and grasp our chances to make a change in our life. But then again, we don't like change. Change is bad. We have security in our jobs (for this month), we have no risks and we have enough money to get by on. I'm happy where I am. I will conform. ------------------------- follow up if you want by emailing me at: steelavenger@hotmail.com

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                  17.06.2002 23:10
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                  So the Government tells us only a million unemployed and a million vacancies unfilled, do the maths! So there shouldn't be any unemployed right? Wrong, the Government manipulation of the figures is legendary, it doesn't include unemployed under 18, unemployed partners of those in work or on benefits (usually women), those not able to claim Job Seekers Allowance, those on Income Support who don't want to be there and more. So as one of those unemployed partners of one in work AND the fact that even if I was single I wouldn't be counted as unemployed as my uni course doesn't finish till the 29th June! Anyway this isn't a slag off the Government tirade, its a terrible attempt on advice on how to get that job. There's 1000s of reasons why you may be looking for a job, you have finished school, college, university and decide its finally time to venture into the world of work. You may be coming off benefits deciding you want to put something back into society, you may have been made redundant and a hundred reasons more. So what do you want to do? Well there's another teaser, you may want to continue the work you have done all your life, take a complete change of direction, do what your qualifications enable you to do or veer right off that course. If its the change of direction you are looking and you aren't qualified I suggest you get the prospectuses out for the local colleges and take a gander. Or indeed look for trainee positions with the following advice, obviously the pay will be lower but you will get there and with training. So we're all settled, have a fair idea of what we want to do? Okay. Firstly, if you want to work in your local area buy the local paper, these usually run a jobs section on a particular day. They often have hundreds of jobs on them, from the local councils, hospitals, etc but also from smaller firms. They are usually divided into sections pertaining t
                  o each job and usually carry information such as hours, pay etc. If you find something you like take a careful read. If you have to phone for an application form, do that, if you have to write for an application form or send a C.V. do so. Don't bother sending a C.V. if a) they don't ask you to, and b) if they say not to, its a waste of your time and effort and will probably just go in the bin. Oops forgot about the C.V., never mind I will write an op about that later, just assume you have one! The dreaded Employment Office is next, if you claim JSA you will be used to this place, if not it just looks like a library with loads of postcards stuck all over the place! UNLESS your office has upgraded like ours and has swanky computer to do local and national searches on. Of course the downside is that they only have a small number of these machines and you might have to wait a while to use one. All the faffing around is also a lot more difficult than just wandering around checking out the boards. So you might see a job you are interested in you note its number and take it to a bored looking person on a desk who checks the number and tells you all about it. Inevitable it is usually an agency position so after mucking around the Office you then have to go to the agency. But if you are already there..... Ah, Agencies, I hate agency work, yes it can be well paid, but there is little or no job security, you usually have less rights than other worker and they are quite within their right to tell you to go home because they don't need you and you wont get paid. But if its temp work, or you need to get a job quick an agency can be just the place, most agencies deal with particular careers, these can be in the hospitality trade, office, IT or care work. You pop in your C.V., have a quick interview, take typing tests if necessary and sit back and wait for the jobs to roll in But has anyone else noticed how the massive amounts of job
                  adverts they have in the window are usually full or out of date? Free job papers, usually lurking around the entrance to your local supermarkets these are usually very small and full of agency vacancies, but hell its free right? In many retail outlets they advertise jobs in-store where you can usually fill out a job form, there and then. Make sure you have a nice pen with you at all times. On spec, particularly useful if you are looking for a high qualified position or big companies, just send your C.V. off, mark it to the personnel person and cross your fingers! Of course there are people out there who will have difficulty finding positions, these are usually lone parents, disabled, ex-prisoners, young people, etc. The good news is there are usually people to help out. For those on benefits there are advisers available, usually coming under the title of New Deal advisers they can usually help construct a C.V., fill out application forms, ask companies to give you work experience, find appropriate positions, etc an make sure you sure you get the right tax credits, etc. The Probation Service is also good for those who have convictions, they can do the same as the above and liaise with companies who have no problems employing ex-prisoners. For young people there are organisations like Connexions who will advise on getting a job, training or returning to education, etc. Look on the web, particularly good for specialised positions or for graduates, there are various websites such as Doctorjob, monsterjob, gojob and others. So there you go, several places to look, but its not easy, oh no siree. I've been unemployed since April having done just my degree, filled in at least 25 application forms and not even a 'you have not been successful' letter. I've even had to go right to the bottom of the pile and apply for clerical work which I did when I left school with only 8 GCSE's and cant even get an
                  interview for that. Seems I'm stuck in the not qualified/overqualified, too much experience/not enough experience trap. Still I've got to keep going, my ultimate goal is to be a social worker but I have to find someone to sponsor me. I've always wondered though after wading through masses of community work vacancies which want loads of experience how you get the experience in the first place if you cant get a job in that field. Comprende? Still massively long op, thanks for staying with me, wish me luck and good job hunting. I'm off to check the post!! P.S Did you know the average graduate fill sin 40+ application forms before they get an interview and even a job!

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                    21.05.2002 08:01
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                    • "grass isnt always greener"

                    This opinion attempts to outline some important information you may need of you plan to go to live and work in Australia for a while, or even forever. It is based mainly on my own experiences of working over there, and the processes which I looked into, when deciding whether to go on a more permanent basis. (Note you will probably think that I am not of sound mind, and you probably shouldn't take any notice of this opinion, as the writer gave up the opportunity to live near Sydney Harbour, so she could come back home to Irvine Harbour!) Crazy Woman, Moi. Visas ------ Best to start with one of these. Note you cannot get into Australia at all without some kind of a Visa, even if you are just going on holiday. The process for me was quite straightforward. My company in the UK had established a Joint Venture with a Company in Australia (Telstra, as it happens). This allowed the company to be able to apply for about eight Four Year Business Visas Sub Class 457. These are temporary Visas only, mine hasn't quite run out yet, but it clearly states in my passport "Not To be admitted after November 2002". Hmmm. That said, it should have been straightforward but my application wasn't. I had been going out initially on the short term business visa's which only allow you in the country for ninety days. However my visa hadn't come through, and I had had to overstay my welcome. I did manage to get everything sorted on the Visa front before I left again on an imminent trip home, however to cap it all, I had just lost my passport. So there I was, having overstayed my welcome 12000 miles from home, and I didn't even have a damn passport. Eventually after I don't know how many phone calls and recorded messages to the British High Commission Offices in Canberra, I was able to get my passport a plane seat for a staggering cost, and it was reunited with me, so I could leave the country, complete with
                    my new Visa. There are some lessons in there for you all. Believe me spending your whole day down the immigration offices in the Rocks, is not the most attractive of days out in Sydney either! ~My visa did not cost me anything, but unfortunately the days of the £10 passage to Australia are long gone, and it will cost you typically around £500 for a visa application. Note you pay the fee whether you are accepted or not, and therefore it pays to check whether you think you have enough points or not. You can check this by telephoning the Australian High Commission in London for information. Generally speaking, if you have a reasonable education i.e. degree level, and are English speaking, you will be well on your way. You may have to get certification of your "Trades" against an industry body. Another point to mention is you do need to be out of the country before a permanent visa is issued, i.e. you cannot go there on a temporary visa, hoping to be approved. As long as you can get to An Australian Commission Office somewhere in the world, though, this will be adequate. You will need to have chest x-rays too, although that was the only kind of medical examination I had to undergo. This is to screen for Tuberculosis. You will also need a police statement saying you are of good character, so if that rules half my readers out, I am sorry! As well as Skill Migration Visas, you can also apply for Family Migrant Visas, as long as you have a relative living in Australia who can sponsor you. Alternatively you could just find an Australian partner and marry them, or failing that a New Zealander, as they are eligible too. In 1997-1998 a total of 68000 visas were issued. The quota is set for the year by the Federal Government. Once the total is reached, no more applications will be processed for that year, but they will be processed for the following year, if eligible. If you are applying under t
                    he Family Migrant Visa, the family will need to pay a bond to cover against you claiming for any welfare for the first two years. Younger travellers can apply for Working Holiday Visas, although employment can only be incidental, to supplement the funds you must bring with you. Getting a Job ---------------- It's pretty difficult to find a job, when you are 12000 miles from home. However, like everything these days, the internet and lower cost telephony makes this a lot easier. You should certainly ensure that if you cannot get some employment lined up, that you at least have made plenty of contacts with Job Agencies, and perhaps search the websites of the major newspapers, to get a realistic feel of what work is out there. The workforce in Australia is about 8.5 million people, and the largest conurbations of people are around the Sydney and Melbourne areas. Perth is a fairly large city and popular with a lot of Brits emigrating to Australia, however depending on what it is you do, you may find that the more high flying jobs are over in the east. That said, the house prices are much more palatable in Western Australia, and like all things, it is a balance. Like anywhere else in the West, the days of a job for life are gone, and Australia is moving to more of a 24/7 culture with flexible working arrangements. Industrial relations have generally been poor, and many industries are gripped by the Unions. Centrelink is the Australian Equivalent of the UK Job Centres. You will find one in every town, and they fulfil a similar role, including access to a national database for jobs. Employment National is a kind of Job Agency. It is government owned, but it tries to compete with the private Recruitment Agencies also. Big recruitment names include Adecco, Hays, Manpower, Drake, Kelly Services, Julia Ross - lots of names you will recognise there, I am sure. Many Job Agent web sit
                    es will allow you to search for opportunities in Australia. Like here, there are also plenty of temping opportunities and casual jobs. Agencies are required to deduct tax from you, and you will need to provide them with your Tax file number, similar to the NI number over in the UK. Terms and Conditions -------------------------- Typically, the average Australian works about 37 hours per week, although a few firms do have a 40 hour week (including the one I worked for, unfortunately!!). Salaries are not necessarily better than here, so be warned. On average, I felt the salaries we paid in our Australian company came out just under the rate we paid in the UK, if you do the conversion purely on the exchange rate. However, if you are emigrating, you will need to get out of this habit pretty quick, or you might depress yourself! Different industries in Australia have "Award" rates of pay. There are about 5000 different Federal and State award for all kinds of jobs. An employer offering you a position must offer you a package which is equivalent to these "Awards", i.e. you should not be disadvantaged. If there is no award, Australia does have a minimum wage rate, again similar to the UK. Overtime is typically 1.5 times the hourly rate or two times on the weekends. As well as the Award systems, there is a new system in Australia called the Australian Workplace Agreement. These are effectively three year contracts and need to be approved by the Industrial Relations Commission. During this approval, the commission will check the terms and conditions of the AWA, to ensure that once again you are not disadvantaged if there is an award you can be compared to. Phew, whatever you do, don't take a job in HR, it will drive you nuts. You will be entitled to a minimum of four weeks holiday. On top of these you are entitled to the Public Holidays, and depending on the State there are 10 -
                    12 of these. You even get a day off for the Queen's Birthday, and if you live in Melbourne, the Melbourne Cup Day is a national holiday! Most awards cover employees for up to ten days sick pay every year, although many will pay much more than this. Maternity pay is quite low in Australia though, with ladies receiving two weeks pay, and then nothing! Companies must pay into a superannuation fund for you, and this runs at 9% per year, based on your basic salary. Other terms of employment, such as notice periods, redundancy, disciplinary, and acceptance of gifts etc, are almost identical to the UK. You will pay a Medicare Levy on your income, and the top rate of income tax is 47%, so quite a bit higher than the UK. Happy Job Hunting! Helen Bradshaw May 2002

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                      08.05.2002 17:38
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                      • "No Money"

                      We have all seen these advertisements, whether in the local paper, across the internet or on a bright pink piece of paper in the newsagents window. "If anyone is looking for extra income or a business opportunity, then I can show you one that is NOT a rip off."SIMPLY THE BEST" NO BOSS, NO STRESS, BIG INCOMES, TEL: ********* OR VISIT www.gullibility.CON for free information. nothing to lose, plenty to gain". In the spirit of dooyoo review i have gone undercover to look into one or two of these get rich quick schemes. Oh...and the worst ones assure "this is NOT a get rich quick scheme". Scheme 1. - The Envelope Scheme ------------------------------- What do you have to do? *********************** Basically you have to send off £15.00 to the organiser of this scheme and they will give you an information pack. The information pack gives you a handful of ads like the one you replied to and asks you to put them up in newsagents and shops (at your own cost). People will then send you a self-addressed envelope to get more information. You then collect these self-addressed envelopes together and post them on to the organiser who pays you anywhere between 30p to £1.00 for each envelope. The person that sent you the SAE will then receive an offer for more information at £15.00 per pack. If they accept they will be doing what you do. Once you reach a certain target you get your £15.00 back. The way they make their money ***************************** Because there aren't as many gullible people in the world as you would think, very few people send you an SAE. It usually costs you £1.00 for four weeks to put an Ad in a shop window and you could expect an average of two replies in that period if any at all. So you spend £1.00 plus printing costs for every £2.00 you make minus postage costs. net profit for four weeks work for me was about £1.20. The way the company
                      makes their money is when you get bored before reaching the target where you get your £15.00 back. They then get to keep the £15.00 as profit, they won't complain if you reach the target because you will have brought them hundreds of new homeworkers by that point all paying £15.00 then giving up. Scheme 2 - Networking ********************* Pyramid selling is a big no-no - give it a name like "networking" and that's ok. When you initially contact them you could make the mistake of thinking they originated in switzerland the amount of cheesy stuff they send through. You will either get a video or an audio tape. It will tell you a little bit about the business. Mainly highlighting on the money you could earn and the potential on paper seems even to the most sceptical person - me, to look good. Some will charge you for the starter pack, for the order slips and advertising. You could expect to pay between nothing and around £25.00. Some companies will ask you to attend a seminar so you can meet a few billionaire couples that have worked their way through to be head cheeses. You have to pay to attend the seminar. How it works ************ They want you to start off by selling to your families and friends. After that anything else you can give them is a bonus. If you just sell to your family and friends and then give up, they don't care they have sold some stock. You lose your deposit, more profit for them and you have to give all the stuff back. If you want to get on the fast track to big money....snigger...you have to get yourself some agents so your not at the bottom of the ladder. When you start you get paid a tiny commission of the cost of the goods so you have to sell thousands of pounds worth of goods to even see £10.00. This is where the networking comes in and because the organisers are so serious about it, I find it hilarious. Networking ********** This is whe
                      re they assure you the real money is. If you get six people to work for you and they sell stuff, you get a commission on everything they sell. If each of them introduces six people well then you might as well book that holiday because you have your original six plus another thirty-six agents under you and you get a commission on all their sales. But wait......what if each of those six gets another six people working under them ? Yes that's right you now have 6 + 36 + 216 = 258 agents working for you. So why not get greedy and start off another six, so they can get six and so on, you could then have 258 + 258 = 516 agents working for you and because they are all finding new agents all te time sooner or later the whole world will be working for you.......ow.....i just hit reality and it hurt. Reality ******* Again, most people you will find have either heard of this or someone they knows will have heard of it and they just aren't interested. They can put as many different slants on it as they want but it will still retain the essence. Now with the age of the internet, it has been reborn. They have a new legion of freshly shaved area managers some of whom are from America because you really need that evangelical atmosphere to get folks stirred up. They will sit you down and ask you questions like; "how much would YOU like to earn, Johnny?" "erm, maybe an extra £250.00 per month?" "aha, yup, aha what about a new car, wouldn't that be nice?" "ooh yes, that would be lovely - yes maybe £500.00 per month?" "a NICE car" "ermmmm....£750.00 per month?" "Now you're talking Johnny - do you think that's realistic to earn in a month?" Johhny looks at his feet "dunno" "Well it is Johnny, would you like me to show you how?" "errrr, yeah?" "you can be sat here in three months" "but i have to pick the kids up at.....oh sorry i get it" "All you have to do Johnny is get six suckers just like yourself to come here and be patronised by me for an hour and then sent on their way with one of these cheesy almost hypnotic tapes to promise them the earth...if they then sell these cheap an nasty goods for us for every pound they make the company you will get 3p....does that sound good Johnny?.....Johnny..Johnny? ......a car door slams in the distance. Summary ******* I know a person whom got involved with these people and although wasn't too gullible, though that with his strong sales background he could actually make it work. He wouldn't sell anything, he would concentrate his efforts on recruiting new agents. He spent six months of his spare time putting ads up and in the papers, he got twelve responses, four dropped out after they had seen the video, another four didn't want to attend the seminar costing £15.00 a head and dropped out and the remaining four went the whole way. They sold to their family and friends a combined total of £28.50..worth of goods in two months and my friend made around £1.50 then gave up.... He was as enthusiastic as they come and could easily sell ice to an eskimo, but even eskimo's won't go for networking. The companies that run these "not get rich quick schemes" count on the quick in and out people. If you join them and then leave, they don't lose anything apart from a little reputation. But in a business that's reputation has hit rock bottom anyway they don't really mind...my advice stay away...tell six people to stay away and ask them to tell six people and in time, we will have told the whole world.

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                        11.04.2002 08:49
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                        Having found myself recently seeking alternative employment I found the following help to be invaluable. Agencies want to get you a job as they make money from it. It might not matter to them all that much if the job does not suit your goals directly. The money will be the pull for you. The ethos of the company may not! I left a major retailer, yes the No.1 as a Manager and opted to join a DIY retailer, not the No.1 as the money was better. I was chased by the recruitment consultant and pampered by them! I got the salary I wanted and hey a challenge was what I wanted. The management culture at my new employment was not as I had thought. The job had moving goals and no set structure. Hence, less than a year later I left... It's now April and I've been looking for another opportunity since December....The agancies still beckon.... Look at the statistics for employment though... About a quarter of the people who go to agencies get a job from them, less than 10 % of people who apply through a job ad in a newspaper get the job! So how do you get a job?????? I studied a course in Computer Networks and am still doing the CCNA in my time as a hobby and a potential job role. Whilst on that course I met a girl, no not that way! Who gave me an insight into getting a rewarding role, not for charity either... Her idea was simple : Human resources Departments exist to cut the number of candidates down for a role for whatever reason! People who got the job were more often than not on talking terms with the new boss... Statistics show that about 68 % of people are successful in getting a job which they have networked with someone in the organisation, a friend of a friend etc... The best way to get the role you want is to talk to people, don't be afraid to say what you want and blow your own trumpet loudly! Don'
                        ;t be afraid to talk to the cleaner or the director as both have a role to play in the organisation and both can potentially get your CV to the people who count. Also high up is targeting the companies with the needs for your expertise or knowledge! As yet, yes I still seek another role, so why will my advise be good for you? I know what I need to do and yet somehow I shy away....I can talk to anyone I managed a team of 60 people and spoke to directors periodically so I know the lingo...truth is that I'm not sure retail is where I want to be! All the people I know are in that field and I seek something new...IE Computing roles with no direct experience just certificates and knowledge! Good luck in your search and trust me it works talk to people, network!

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                        25.02.2002 14:14
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                        I recently came out of work due to my contract ending, so naturally I have been applying for allsorts of jobs. When I look through my local paper I usually skip any job ads that either require you to write a letter or require a C.V, because I am useless at writing a letter and I didnt have a C.V and I didnt know how to make one. But that was then and now I have a C.V that I am quite proud to send away to potential employers. C.V's are pretty simple to put together once you know how, so due to my success at making my own I thought I would share my tips with you, so here goes: There is no perfect way to write a C.V but you can make sure that the one you write is as effective as possible. A good C.V makes an imediate impact on the employer. Employers are busy people and the first impression they get when they look at your C.V should be one that will make them want to read on. An effective C.V draws an employer in by having: *Good quality white or cream paper. *An easy to read type-face. *An instantly attractive design and layout. *Straightforward and simple language. *An uncluttered layout with well spaced out information. *Information in easily identifiable sections (e.g. use bold, italics or underlining to make your headers stand out). *Information in the order of Importance (I will explain this further on). *Correct spelling and use of English. *Word-processed text (this looks better than a hand written C.V and also demonstrates information technology skills). In a standard C.V (which is the one I have done) you will need firstly at the top in the center your name, address and telephone number (make your name stand out in bold). Your first heading should be PERSONAL INFORMATION. Write this in upper case letters and make it stand out again in bold. In this section you should include: *Date-of-Birth.
                        *E-mail Address. *Driving Licenses Held. Your next heading should be PROFILE. This section should include a career aim or job goal. A brief resume of your qualities and attributes that you have to offer. The next heading should be KEY SKILLS. This section should include skills acquired in previous posts, relative to the position applied for. This section is optional. Next comes the one that you have to get your thinking head on for and try and remember dates, EDUCATION/QUALIFICATIONS.Each entry in this section should include: *Dates you started and left each School or College. *The name of each School or College you attended. *The names of the subjects taken. *The grade you recieved for each subject taken. Next we have another tricky one, which is EMPLOYMENT HISTORY. The details included in this section should be: *Name of the company you worked for. *Dates you worked there. *Your Jobtitle. *Your main duties. *The key skills you have used and developed. *Your key achievements in that role. Your most recent job should be at the top of the list. Your next heading should be ADDITIONAL INFORMATION and this section should include any information which you feel, the prospective employer should be aware of that may assist in your application, but that has not been included above. Next your heading should be HOBBIES AND INTERESTS. This section is quite self explanatory but dont include things such as: *Smoking. *Drinking. *Sleeping. *shoplifting etc. Useful things to include are: *Reading. *Writing. *Playing Sports. *Meeting people (but not at the pub!). Next you will need a heading that says REFERENCES. You should include the names addresses and phone numbers of 2 people that your prospective employer can contact to get more information about you. Or if you prefer you cou
                        ld just write References available on request. I hope this has been of some use to someone, if not then I apologise.

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                          14.01.2002 22:36
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                          I graduated in 1997 with a degree in English Studies and absolutely no idea of what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. After drifting down the usual employment routes for graduates in the North East (retail and call centre work) I decided to try my luck overseas. Teaching English seemed like a good excuse to travel around the world for a year or so on the pretext of using my degree until I decided on a ‘proper’ job back home. But, like many before me, I found the work to be challenging, constantly rewarding and tremendously addictive. Teaching English abroad can be an extended holiday, an excuse to travel and see another culture, something you do for a year to enhance your CV or a career that you’ll never want to give up. Britain currently supplies more English teachers than any other country-including the USA-and most wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. QUALIFICATIONS AND GETTING STARTED Some people find jobs without a degree or qualifications. Some of those jobs are in reputable schools and some of those people turn out to be very good teachers. However, as with any other job, the best jobs go to people with qualifications and experience and many of those with neither find themselves out of their depth. I’ve seen teachers ‘die’ in a classroom and it isn’t a pretty sight. The basic qualification is the 20 hour Introduction to TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Intensive weekend courses give you pointers, a brief experience of teaching a lesson, ideas for further reading, a little career guidance and a certificate to prove that you attended the full twenty hours of tuition. While the course provides little more than a brief introduction to methodology, and the only teaching experience you’ll derive is a 5-10 minute mock lesson given to your fellow students, it does provide a useful foundation and something tangible to impress prospective employers. I
                          TC run courses-costing £170 in early 1999-at venues around the UK throughout the year. Contact them on tefl@compuserve.com. During my first year of teaching I realised how much I enjoyed the work and also how much I still had to learn in order to be a really good teacher. Initially confused by the plethora of teaching courses and certificates on offer, I canvassed opinion from more experienced colleagues and decided to take the RSA CELTA course. Probably the most prestigious and widely accepted qualification for English language teachers, the CELTA (Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults) is administered by Cambridge University and costs around £1000 for a four week course. Unlike the 20 hour certificate the CELTA is graded, though not many people fail once on the course due to the stringent pre-course tasks and interview you need to pass in order to enrol. I opted for the full time course, which requires five days of study a week for four weeks with seminars and class observation in the morning and teaching practice and feedback in the afternoon. The course runs from 9am-5pm, though class preparation and four written assignments usually mean that students work until at least 10pm at night and arrive at the school before 8.30am. Each trainee teaches ten observed lessons-five to a lower-intermediate level class and five to an advanced class-to a mixed bag of students including asylum seekers, professionals studying at British universities and students from the local language school. If this all sounds a little to strenuous you can take the part time course that spreads the workload over three months. While the CELTA is probably the equivalent of an international driving licence for English teachers the Cert. TESOL (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) is by no means its poor relation. Administered by Trinity College, Cambridge, the Cert. TESOL is now accepted just as widely as the CELTA du
                          e to an increase in the number of observed teaching practice sessions and an increase in course standardisation due to pressure from Trinity. Costs for the Cert. TESOL course used to vary according to each individual centre (one of the strengths of the CELTA is that each centre is strictly monitored to ensure uniformity), but now they’re usually standard at around the same price as the CELTA. Another option worth considering is the Cert. TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). The basic difference between this certificate and the two listed above is that that the CELTA and Cert. TESOL are catch-all qualifications enabling you to teach in the UK as well as abroad, while the Cert. TEFL is not widely accepted by UK schools as it is perceived to instruct more about teaching pupils who are in a non-English-speaking country. Although this attitude has altered a little recent years the CELTA and Cert. TESOL are, in my opinion at least, still by far the best options. It is also possible to take these courses in countries other than the UK, with Cert. TESOL course centres in cities like Barcelona, Prague and Budapest offering cheaper course fees and some assistance in finding accommodation. www.europa-pages.com/uk/tefl.htm lists course centres for all of the above in Britain. www.cambridge-efl.org/teaching/celta/index.cfm has more information on the CELTA and a full list of course centres. I took my CELTA at International House Newcastle-upon-Tyne. I.H. is a non-profit foundation with more than 120 schools in 30 countries worldwide. Second only to the British Council in terms of prestige, I.H. only accepts teachers with a CELTA/Cert. TESOL or equivalent initial qualification. Take a CELTA here and you’ll not only have an impressive name on your CV but also access to their huge internal recruitment programme. More information can be found on www.ihworld.com. Higher level qualifications forthose seekin
                          g a career in TEFL include the DELTA (Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults), a DTESOL or an MA in TESOL. The DELTA is an intensive eight week course open to holders of a CELTA with three years teaching experience. Some teachers go on to become teacher trainers, director of studies (DOS) at schools or write coursebooks. IMPORTANT POINTS If a course doesn’t have outside monitors and observed teaching practice then it’s not going to be accepted by many employers. You only get what you pay for. All those $250 certificates on the internet aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. It is possible to get a job without a degree or qualifications. However, your options will be severely curtailed and you’re reliant on simply being in the right place at the right time if you want to get a decent job in most countries. If you’re only going to teach English for a year then the 20 hour certificate will give you some idea of what to expect. It might be advisable to wait until you’re sure that teaching is for you before spending £1000 on a CELTA course. FINDING WORK The world is truly your oyster if you decide to teach English abroad. I had job offers from Saudi Arabia, Italy, Poland, Kuwait, Colombia, Belgium, Germany, Taiwan, China and Japan before I decided to head back to South Korea last week. The big job markets are currently in the Far East and Central and Eastern Europe where demand for teachers far exceeds supply. The best places to go if you want to save money or pay off bills are probably South Korea, Taiwan, Japan or oil rich countries in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The first three are undoubtedly easier to get jobs in, especially if you do not have any qualifications or experience. British and Irish nationals dominate positions in the E.U. as it’s very, very difficult-though not impossible-for non-E.U. passport
                          holders to get work permits. In contrast, most jobs in South America (ditto Central America) go to North Americans simply because the majority of students study English in order to attend universities in the U.S. and Canada. There are a number of British schools throughout the continent, but those that I have come into contact with ask for CELTA or equivalent. A friend of mine got a job in Quito, Ecuador by booking a flight and then knocking on language school doors until he found a position, which is probably the easiest way for unqualified Brits to find work. Asia is split between British and American English. Most countries will happily accommodate both, though there is a definite trend towards American English in North East Asia. A basic knowledge of the differences between the two is a definite advantage. Countries in Central and Eastern Europe tend to have a mix of British, American and Commonwealth teachers. There is a bit of a backlash against American English in the Czech Republic at the moment so now might be the time to try for a job in Prague. There are minimal opportunities for unqualified teachers in the UK. The best chance of finding work is from July to September-more than half of the 600000 students who come to study in Britain each year arrive then. www.tefl.com had a list of summer school positions last year. London has the reputation of the McJob capital of Europe. Lots of jobs pay as little as £4-£5 an hour. SALARIES I was offered three jobs in Italy that required a CELTA plus two years of teaching experience. The salary for each was about £580 per month, with deductions of around 20% for rent, extra for utilities and travel expenses of under £100. Standard contracts in Korea offer a return air ticket, a rent-free flat, about £1300 per month and a completion bonus equal to one month’s salary at the end of your contract. The cost of living in Korea is even cheaper than
                          in southern Europe and all you need to work there is a university degree. I saved over £6000 in my first year in Korea as well as visiting Hong Kong and Beijing. The job I was offered in Saudi Arabia paid $2000 a month tax-free. A flat was provided as well as paid holiday time amounting to two months. A CELTA and teaching experience was required. One of the jobs I was offered in China paid £570 a month with a flat and free meals in the school canteen. The average wage in China is less than a tenth of that. CELTA and experience required. Don’t expect to get rich in Europe, Africa, South East Asia or South America. The best salaries are reputedly in Germany and Scandinavia. NEWSPAPERS The Guardian has a TEFL section with jobs and teaching courses in its Tuesday and Saturday editions. The Times Education Supplement also has listings. WEBSITES www.eslcafe.com is the most famous job site. There are some lively job discussion forums, teaching ideas, a great selection of links and hundreds of job advertisements from both schools and teachers. The site specialises in Korea and the Far East. www.tefl.com is probably my favourite site. You can register as a jobseeker for free, select the four countries you are most interested in working in and complete an online CV to send to employers on the site. Worldwide vacancies. www.vso.org.co.uk lists opportunities in developing countries. You won’t make much money working for the VSO but you’ll certainly feel good about yourself. www.britishcouncil.org lists opportunities in British Council schools around the world. Positions with the British Council are much sought after as you are always paid in sterling and you can transfer to different schools around the world. Required qualifications are usually a CELTA/Cert. TESOL with at least three years of teaching experience, though some lesser-qualified teachers manage t
                          o find work with them in Israel (a lot of people won’t work there as an Israeli stamp in your passport is enough to deny you entry to a number of countries). www.saxoncourt.com is the site of one of the largest EFL recruitment agencies. Most jobs are in Peru, Poland, Italy, Spain, China, Japan and Taiwan. www.bucklandgroup.net offer contracts ranging from one month to a year in any of 22 language schools throughout China. You don’t need a degree or any previous experience. www.education.guardian.co.uk has a few job listings and a brilliant TEFL section. EFL teachers have also submitted some excellent articles on opportunities in Mexico, Vietnam, Germany, Argentina, Korea and Japan. There are also good job listings on www.jobs.edufind.com , www.esl.about.com, www.chinatefl.com and www.eslcareer.com. POINTS TO CONSIDER BEFORE ACCEPTING A JOB How and when will your salary be paid? What is the Income Tax rate? Any other deductions? What kind of arrangement is made for social security contributions, health insurance and pension contributions? How stable is the local currency? What is the local cost of living? Working hours and organisation of your timetable. Are you required to work weekends? Are there split shifts? Teaching materials and types of students. Are you teaching kids, adults or both? Are coursebooks provided or do you have to make your own teaching materials? How big are class sizes? Holiday entitlements. How many sick days are allowed? Legal status-who sorts out your work/residence permit? Accommodation. Deposits? Rent? Bills? Is it provided free? If not, will the school help you find somewhere? Travel expenses-who pays for your flight? How good is the support and in-service training? Can you get testimonies from current or former teachers? What kind of English are you teaching? <br> The last question may seem a little strange. However, it’s possible to teach Conversational English, Business English, ESP (English for Special Purposes), exam preparation classes etc, etc. The most popular exam for learners in Europe is the Cambridge First Certificate. Highly advanced students take the Cambridge Proficiency Exam. TOEIC (Test Of English for International Communication) and TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language) are popular in Asia as they are accepted by North American universities. In my opinion, both are dreadful with an over-emphasis on grammar at the expense of functions and contemporary usage. See www.toeic.com and www.toefl.org for further details. IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is fast gaining popularity, especially in China. ESP can be very interesting. I once taught a group of Koreans who were studying for a Tour Guide certificate and probably learned as much about their country as they learned about our language. I also made a lot of money teaching private lessons to Koreans who were planning on studying or living in Britain. Teaching Young Learners can be an extremely rewarding experience or a complete nightmare. Having taught kids of all ages, including a class of ten three year olds, I can honestly say I’ve frequently experienced both ends of the spectrum. Are you sure you can cope with tantrums, constant pulling on your shirt, fights, sulking, ink marks on your most expensive clothes, ‘accidents’ and a lot of communication difficulties? Consider the strength of the local currency carefully. I know a few people whose salaries decreased in value by 50% during the economic crisis in Asia. I shudder to think what is happening to teachers in Argentina at the moment. SOME TEACHING TIPS Remember to grade your language in class. Use clear, simple expressions appropriate to the level of your class.
                          Talk slowly and clearly. Be careful not to overdo this and patronise your students. Always check instructions before starting an activity. Ask the students to describe what you want them to do in their own words. Never ask the students “Do you understand?” as chances are they’ll say yes simply to avoid looking stupid. The board is best used for short phrases and words. Move around the class, don’t just stand next to the board writing all lesson. Native speakers have an unconscious knowledge of grammatical systems. Could you explain to a learner why we don’t say much more better or I have flew to London? If not, buy a good grammar book. Try to anticipate potential problems before the lesson. You’ll wish you’d prepared some visual aids when a student asks you what that new word in your handout means. Always present new vocabulary in context. Write your own text if you have to. Let the students work things out for themselves if they can. Encourage peer teaching by putting students into groups. It’s not necessary for you to be the centre of attention in a lesson. Don’t talk too much. Set activities up, make sure the students understand what they have to do and then let them get on with it. Monitor the students but don’t interfere unless they really need your help. Create a friendly atmosphere. Start your class on a light note. Try to see things from your students’ perspective. Plan activities accordingly. Recall your own experiences as a language learner. What techniques did you find helpful or boring? Lesson preparation outside the class is as important as teaching in it. Don’t be frightened to stop an activity if it isn’t working. Plan how much time you’re prepared to spend on each activity. Think carefully about your aims for each lesson. Cultural awareness is very im
                          portant. A trainee on my CELTA course thought he was on safe ground asking the students to describe their childhood, but some of the Kosovan asylum seekers didn’t really want to think about their family being murdered in front of them. A Canadian colleague of mine tried to have an open discussion about drugs with a group of conservative Korean businessmen. I inadvertently wrote a student’s name in red ink-in Korea this means your parents are about to die. HOW NOT TO TEACH Ron had no teaching experience but he was sure he’d learned everything he needed to know from “the university of life”. I observed a few of his classes, which usually went something like this: Play a cassette recording of a sentence about ten times. Get the students to repeat the sentence a further ten times. Talk at the students for 20-30 minutes. Write everything on the board. Periodically stop to shout at any students who are talking or falling asleep. Assume that everyone has understood your lengthy explanation. Tell the students to take out their workbooks and complete two pages in total silence. Shout “wrong” in a loud voice every time you mark an incorrect answer. Ron has been talking for 95% of the lesson; the students have merely repeated a few sentences. Ron ended up hating his students and they hated him in turn. He thought they were rude for talking while he was writing on the board and stupid for not knowing the answers in their workbooks. On the other hand, the students thought his lessons were confusing and boring. The few who managed to concentrate for the entire time he was at the board left baffled and frustrated, while the majority grew to hate English with a passion. There was no learner autonomy-Ron assumed that he knew everything and the students nothing. He failed to challenge the strong students or help the weaker ones. Ron’s finest moment was probably t
                          he time he tried to teach a class of six year olds the meaning of the word cryogenics. He had chosen this, along with crayon and cry, to practise the ‘cr’ sound. He was fired a week later. RECOMMENDED BOOKS The following books should all be available from Waterstone’s or www.amazon.co.uk. www.keltic.co.uk is the largest ELT book shop. Keep Talking by Friederike Kippel (Cambridge University Press) Communicative practice activities for intermediate and advanced level students. Grammar Practice Activities by Penny Ur (Cambridge University Press) Over 200 practice activities. Five-Minute Activities by Penny Ur (Cambridge University Press) Lots of brilliant ideas for games and filler activities. Basic English Usage and Practical English Usage by Michael Swan (Oxford University Press) The best grammar guides on the market. Grammar In Use and Essential Grammar In Use by Raymond Murphy (C.U.P) Grammatical explanations and written practice activities. Learning Teaching by Jim Scrivener (Heinemann) Full of tips and great advice on teaching English and recommended reading on all CELTA courses. TEN REASONS TO TEACH ENGLISH ABROAD It looks great on your CV. You can experience life in different countries and cultures. Romance. The ratio of male and female EFL teachers is roughly 50/50 and relationships are not uncommon. Lots of teachers end up marrying locals. It is possible to make a lot of money if you choose the right country. Improve your foreign language skills. You get to make use of your natural language ability. Just remember the difference between teacher and native speaker. Make lots of new friends. I’ve taught students from Africa, Europe, Asia and South America and worked with teachers from the UK, Canada, the USA, South Africa and New Zealand, man
                          y of whom I keep in touch with. No two days are ever quite the same. You can escape the English weather. Get paid to meet fascinating people, live in another country and do a job that’s challenging, rewarding and extremely interesting. THE END I’ve written another opinion specifically about teaching opportunities in Korea (plug, plug). If you need any further advice or assistance my email address is listed on my profile page. Feel free to contact me anytime.

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