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Published on March 3rd, 2011 | by Paz

7

How to quit a job & find a job in 10 days in China

At the end of the day I am happy to write about how to accomplish quiting a job and finding a job in 10 days in China, however in the middle of all of it I have to say I was not so happy. Please keep in mind that all of this was done with two kids under five, which as you can imagine brings in a  extra level of complexity. So lets discuss why to quit and then how to find a new job on the ground of China when you don’t speak Chinese. This is good.

Why quit? I decided to quit my job (really before even starting) due to many inconsistencies. I am looking to teach, not be a babysitter or to work for a company that can’t keep things straight one day to the next. When you are looking to teach English Abroad there are many schools that are not legitimate and take advantage of both the teachers and the parents that are paying you to teach their kids. Even though we had been in discussion with our employer for almost 4 months and did many Google searches and reference checks things still did not go smoothly.

1. Inadequate housing. (if you are single this may not be as important for you) We received very poor housing and it was not safe for kids. (broken glass & tiles, a kitchen that didn’t work) They knew we had two kids under 5 with us. We refused to stay in the apartment and went to The Holiday Inn. After 29 hours of traveling a nice bed and shower was what we all needed.

2. Inconsistencies in information once you arrive. Once we were in China our start date changed, the location of teaching facilities changed, and work schedule changed. My one week training turned into 15 minutes. These were red flags as to how the next 10 months were going to be. I can be flexible, but when there is no reason to falsify information why do it? Everyday things became more sketchy.

Roughly 32 hours after landing I didn’t want to deal with these people any longer. That was a sign that we needed to quit. We  now found ourselves homeless and jobless.

Now what?

We were in China after making a million life changes to make this year happen, do we pack things up and call it quits? I won’t lie and say that we didn’t have that conversation a few times. After deciding NOT to take the job we found ourselves without an apartment and without a job in China with two kids. Since we were in China we needed to at least have one day of sight seeing. So we went out and explored Guangzhou. We saw a few temples and ate some amazing food. This made us realize that we couldn’t leave, we could make this work.

We needed a job.  Everything will fall into place, it had to.

1. Find a job.

We needed a job, not only for income but for our visa as well.

I modified my resume to show that we were currently in Guangzhou and sent it out to everyone that had made offers to me previously. Before deciding on this one school I had roughly 10 offers throughout China for jobs. A few of them got back to me and they had already filled their positions. I had declined their offers so they had filled the positions with other teachers.

I started from the beginning all over again. Since I had gone through the steps of applying before I knew what to do, but I won’t say that it wasn’t frustrating having to do it again. So I looked on all of the forums, www.eslcafe.com, www.ef.com , www.expat-blogs.com, and used google to find other ESL teaching jobs in Guangzhou. I sent out roughly 10 e-mails with my information. Send them everything that they need in your first e-mail (resume, cover letter, degree, and passport) this will speed up the process. If you don’t send it they will just reply that they need it before proceeding.

Within 12 hours I had 3 interviews set up. One was not in Guangzhou, so we declined that interview. I needed to perform a demo of my skills. This included a 20 minute lesson for kids 4-7 years old. Not bad, but one more thing to add to our to do list. I spent the morning doing that and then off to my interview. The school was in a beautiful building and everything is brand new. The interview went wonderful and they offered me the job. I was scheduled to come back in 3 days to sign the contract and negotiate salary.

Although we had an offer I still kept sending out my resume and received another 3 interviews that I later was able to cancel. We wanted to have as many offers on the table so that we could pick and choose, anything could happen.

I signed the contract and was able to get a 32% pay increase over my previous job. Once you are in China, the schools are willing to offer you more money.

I am working in a brand new facility that uses interactive whiteboards and all the students age 6 and older get i-pads to use as part of their interactive curriculum. Zeek and the grandma’s met my new bosses and they have been great to work with so far.   We are now working on getting our work visas and resident permits. I start next week.

Our ability to be flexible was stretched to the max and our patience was tested. We kept our heads up and are very grateful for all the lessons we learned and our new place of employment.

 

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About the Author

Paz is an avid adventurer in life and food. Traveling across the globe with her family they enjoy cultural immersion and checking out the local eateries.



7 Responses to How to quit a job & find a job in 10 days in China

  1. Fran says:

    Hi there

    Glad to hear it all worked out! I can only imagine how stressful it was for a while there…

    Can you explain how you dealt with the visa situation? Did your original/first employer issue you a work visa BEFORE you arrived in China? And if so, what happened to that visa after you declined their offer upon arriving? And if not, did you go in on a tourist visa, with the understanding that your visa would change once you started/accepted a job?

    Thanks!
    Fran

    • Paz says:

      Fran-
      This is a great question!! Yes…it was a bit stressful, but with the power of the internet and flexibility anything is possible.

      My first employer did offer to issue us a visa while still in the US, however once I tried going through the entire process and figuring out how much it would cost it seemed a bit crazy. Especially since my employer would pay all of those costs in China but not in the USA because of how expensive medical expenses are in the USA. You have to have a foreign medical exam done and sealed and approved by the Chinese Consulate before you can begin the application. Guangzhou is also 1.5 hrs from Hong Kong. So we could do all of our exams and then exit in Hong Kong and complete the visa paperwork there and then re-enter on your new work visa. They would pay for all of my paperwork, visa, exam, but we would have to have paid for Zeek and the kids. So we entered China on a tourist L visa…it is good for a year (multiple entry) and each entry can be for 90 days. For a US citizen the L visa costs $140.00 per person at the moment. This is what we came in on and our new place of employment just submitted our paperwork last week for our Z visas. We have to make a trip to Hong Kong shortly. I am not sure on what it will cost for Zeek and the kids to get their resident permits since they will be on my Z visa which is paid for by the school, but I will let everyone know.

      This may be too much information, but I thought I would share. If you do have a school issue you a Z work visa and you decide to quit or leave there are a couple of options.
      1. An employer can transfer your Z visa, but they have to write a letter of your good standing with the employer and that they are willing to let the other employer pick it up.
      2. If you leave mid contract, your employer has to write a letter of release saying that you are able to work for another employer and that you have not breached your contract.
      3. If your employer is not willing to do either, your new employer has to get you a Z visa from scratch…basically start from the beginning and if your previous employer may have written a letter about your abandonment of employment you possibly could not be issued another work visa until that is cleared up. (I am not sure how much they actually check into that…but we found it online)

      So given all of those reasons we decided to quit before we even started. I don’t think I ever would have gotten a letter of release. I hope this was helpful and clear. If you have questions please feel free to contact me. I am more than happy to help.
      Take Care, Paz

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  4. Francisca says:

    Hi Paz, I stumbled on your website. I’ve been in and out of China (business and pleasure; living and traveling) for the past 26 years. After browsing a while, I WAS wondering how you handled the visa/residency issue with your whole family. Your answer to Fran’s question is all I’ve found, and I’d say worth a blog post of its own. ;-)

  5. Tetyana says:

    Paz, after reading this article and your reply to one of the questions posted here, I have another question. How did you get a tourist visa for a year? We plan to go there on a tourist visa and have enough funds to live for about 3 months while looking for a job but it seems like I cant find enough information on what are the requirements for multiple entry tourist visa ?

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    We are a family of four: dad, mom, sister, brother, who decided to leave our job, home, and community to live life in China. After a year abroad we decided to become permanent nomads. We road school our children and try to enjoy every minute.

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