I use an Agent or Recruiter to find my Overseas Job?
Are they all crooks?
issue. The author used one for his first overseas job.
And this was back when many recruiters charged as much
as US$500 for placement. (pre-Internet they could get
away with that!) Even though I had been in the Peace
Corps, I was not an English teacher in the PC, I still
had no idea where to start. So I used one and it
Was my first
placement problem free? Hell no! I lived in eight
places in the first eight months (from literally a
closet to a shared apartment, to finally - a nice new
apartment). My first school got out of the English
language teaching business and left me essentially
unemployed in a strange land. But, my recruiter handled
it all and actually got me upgraded to a college job.
All of a sudden I went from one week of paid vacation per
year to four months paid vacation! Wow!
Was I Lucky?
Yes and no.
I was patient and dealt with my recruiter in a
reasonable way. I asked for their assistance. I
didn't demand it, swear at them, call them crooks and
criminals, or demand an investigation! Many others
who experienced similar problems did
react in such ways. Because I was reasonable and
behaved in a culturally appropriate way, my recruiter
tried hard to solve my problems and - in the end - did a
Assertiveness - (this IS important!)
assertiveness an be your greatest downfall. Other
cultures deal with problems in different ways. Try to
learn the most appropriate way to get things done -
to get the things done that you want done. I always
knew what I wanted, what I needed, but I learned and used the
cultural behavior of my host country to get it done. Overassertive
behavior would not have worked. I got what I wanted,
many others didn't. I don't care who is right or who is
wrong. I just want done what I need to have done.
Period. Follow the cultural rules. They work.
What did I
say for getting things done even when it wasn't my
fault and I knew someone was jacking me around? "I'm
sorry I am such a problem, can you help me with this?"
Another one that works well is, "What would you do if
you had this problem?" Swallow your pride. Life
overseas is more like a fun cultural game. Learn how to
play it so YOU win. It is fun and challenging to
figure it out.
would you do . . ." question got me a driver's license
in Taiwan, only seconds after the same clerk told me
it was impossible - as my USA license had expired a
few days before. I asked her the question - she stamped
the forms - and gave me my license! Getting angry and
assertive would not have worked. She was right, she was
following the law and had every right to refuse my
request. But because I asked for her help and advice -
she gave me a license.
Up to you.
Check them out, ask on the discussion boards. BUT
check out the employer just as you would if you had found
the job yourself. Because a recruiter finds you a job,
does not mean you have to take it! Check out every
Would I use
a recruiter or agent again?
Sure, if I thought it would help me find what I wanted.
people overseas agree with me? Probably not. But why
not take every advantage you can to improve your
situation? You don't have to take the job they
offer you. But if it looks great and everything
checks out - why not? They often have connections
and can find jobs that you would never have found.