Since we finally had an apartment we were free to start looking for jobs. We set about looking in the obvious places for expats living abroad, craigslist, the Beijinger, CityWeekend and other Beijing-specific websites with classified ads. In Shanghai in 2008 I found my job on Craigslist, proving that even legitimate,professional companies post on the plebeian forums. We began to stalk the classifieds in search of employment.
Harry, our British room mate, worked at a reputable English-teaching company across town. Andrew found one-on-one teaching gigs to fill his wallet. Mike and Lauren wanted to avoid teaching English if at all possible, having already experienced the joy of teaching in Beijing we were eager to try something new and also add a new skill set on the ol’ resume. They began to search for jobs in their desired fields, holding out for a decent paying opportunity. Lauren went to four interviews and turned down four jobs due to low pay or immoral practices. One job doing marketing for an online sales company was in the final phases of negotiating the contract when Lauren learned that the goods sold online were counterfeits being peddled as legitimate, she turned down a position paying $3,000 a month. Eventually, both found positions they could enjoy for a short time while refilling their bank accounts and learning new skills.
Teaching English in China is fairly simple and extremely straight forward. Most companies are seeking people who have a bachelors degree, though they will make exceptions. They are looking for native English speakers, though again, they make exceptions and are sometimes seeking Spanish, German and French native speakers. A TOFEL is not required, but it is helpful and in higher paying companies (like Wallstreet, Berlitz and EnglishFirst) it is a huge bargaining chip. You can find more information on our resources page about TOFEL programs.
To read how to apartment hunt in Beijing, check out our previous post on the issue!