5 Tips on acquiring high paying teaching job in China.

Yes, it’s that time of the year again. The schools are out, students and teachers alike are enjoying a well earned break as the 2015-2016 academic year comes to an end in China.

Tip 1: Don’t underestimate your value!

Too often I see skilled teachers with years of experience accepting salaries way below their potential. Even if you weren’t a teacher back home, it doesn’t mean you don’t bring highly needed skills and knowledge into your potential future classroom. Never under sell yourself, because Chinese recruiters and schools generally aren’t as generous as they should be (especially since you will be the main reason why most parents will be willing to send their kids to that particular school).

Tip 2: Do your research thoroughly!

This is another very common mistake first time teachers make in China. Training centers and recruiters do their best to convince us that 6,000 – 10,000 RMB is a huge amount of money (especially since local teachers are getting paid less than you *the pity card*). The fact is, as a newcomer to China, everything will cost you more than it does for the locals, even other expats would have found ways to save money over the years. Do you research on forums, join Facebook groups of the region your interested in going and ask around what is the average salary for someone like you (don’t go on what recruiters tell you).

Tip 3: Negotiate and Negotiate Hard!!!

Business in schools is very much the same as in class discipline. If you come across weak, desperate for a job, willing to accept any salary they offer you. You’ve already lost. After your probation period, it won’t be long they will make excuses to pay you less, make deduction from your salary because you were 2 minutes late to class, etc. By negotiating a higher salary from the get go, you are telling your employers that they need you more than you need them.

Tip 4: Know when to accept a job.

If you play it safe and accept the first job that comes your way, the chances are you won’t be receiving the highest possible salary that you deserve. Think about it, when are schools most likely to make the highest offers? When they are the most desperate of course. The trick is to not be desperate to be hired yourself. Let me share a personal experience with you all.
This time last year I was living with my parents in Turkey, after searching and applying to 100’s of jobs I was getting desperate to find a job and get out of Turkey (away from my parents, hehe). It was so bad that I was considering training center jobs that paid as low as 10,000 RMB. But, you see I had already done my research and based on my experience and qualifications, I knew I wanted 20,000 rmb after tax (because that’s what I deserve). It was then that a recruitment agent put me in contact with an international school. Before long the school offered me 22,000 RMB after tax plus free accommodation on campus. Eventhough I hadn’t negotiated a higher salary (since it was the highest offer I had received). They tried to reduce their offer to 20,000 RMB at a later date and I refused. I told them they would either higher me at 22,000 or I wouldn’t work for them (that was a very risky bluff), they accepted to pay 22,000 RMB.

Tip 5: It’s a numbers game!

I’m sure you have heard of this line many times before in many other topics. It also works true for finding your ideal job. If you apply to enough jobs, if you have done your homework and your salary expectation is within reason. Then you will definitely find that high paying job that you’re looking for, there’s no doubt about it.

Pokemon GO! Just another Pay-2-Win game!

After a quick skim of the article whether Pokemon GO was P2W on Forbes.com I quickly realised that the person who wrote the article wasn’t a gamer (especially not in competitive games). The fact is the gaming industry has transformed. Transformed from an industry where people used to pay X amount of dollars to attain X amount of awesome, in-game entertainment. Whereas these days, games have become “casualized” to the point where winning games are more about how fat your wallet is rather than how skilled or knowledgeable of a player you are.

The Good Ol’ Days of gaming will be missed!

PokemonGOOne might argue, that there is an alternative path to playing Pokemon GO. If you wish to simply catch as many pokemon as possible at a relaxed pace, well you can do that. Here’s the thing though, it’s a very limited experience where you don’t get to battle your pokemon or interact with other players. So, what if you did want to fight in gyms and do your best to win battles. Well, unless you’re willing to fork out real world $$$ you’re tough out of luck.It has only been a few days and my friends in USA and Australia are reporting that they are struggling to win gym battles or maintain them (eventhough they have already spent some $$$ buying items). So, what do you need to do to win more gym battles and become strong enough to hold onto a gym? The answer is simple, fork out more cash. More $$$ you spend in-game = more items = more Pokemon = stronger Pokemon.

Our childhood dreams are being sold to the highest bidder!

The original Pokemon game was about the story, it was about the good guys and the bad. It was a story that millions of kids could relate to. It’s a damned shame that Nintendo has Tarnished Pokemon’s name in such a way. I feel so sad, reflecting back at the times I would mash those “A” and “B” buttons of my gameboy.

Goodbye Pokemon! Goodbye the world of games.

Maybe it’s not all Doom and Gloom. Maybe there’s a glimmer of hope that Virtual Reality can bring gaming back to its former glory. Until then, I will continue to refuse acknowledging anything that has in-app purchases to be a game.

How economies effect a foreign teachers salary.

In this article I will discuss how economies effect a foreign teachers salary and I will also touch on why it’s important for you to be aware of it.

Okay, let’s say that you signed a contract early August 2015, you flew out to China by September and you have been teaching and saving your money (for whatever purpose; paying of debts, funding your next trip abroad, saving up for a business venture). Early August 2015, the conversion rate of Chinese RMB to US Dollar was: 1 USD = 6.3 RMB approximately. At this point, you might be saying, what’s the point of all this? Well my friend, you’ll see soon enough.

Now, again let’s assume for the sake of the argument that you are a qualified teacher in your home country and you accepted an offer for 19,000 RMB over a 10 month contract. Now this is the part how economies effect a foreign teachers salary. When you signed up over a year ago, you did your math and calculated you would be getting paid $3K USD per month, giving you a net pay of $30K over a 10 month contract, Great! Fast forward to today, as I am writing this article (6/July/2016, 10:55 AM) RMB hit a record high: 1 USD = 6.959. It’s a record high, that’s great right? NO!

How economies effect a foreign teachers salary.
The graph of Chinese RMB losing value over a period of 12 months.

What this means is that over that period of almost 1 year, the money that you have saved has just lost value be 10%. So, in reality, you didn’t accept a job for $3K per month, you accepted a job that was paying $2.7K per month.

There’s a similar story if you had accepted a job in Malaysia. If you had signed up for a 2 year contract around July/August 2014 where $1 USD = 3 RM (Malaysian Ringgit), you would be surprised to find out for the past year, it has been floating around $1 USD = 4 RM. So last year, all foreign teachers received a 33% pay cut (unless some were lucky enough to renegotiate their salaries).

How economies effect a foreign teachers salary.
The graph of Malaysian RM losing value over a period of 24 months.

So, before you accept your next job offer, consider the state of your target countries economic state and negotiate well accordingly.