what my immediate future holds...

8.30.2010

Some time has passed since my last blog entry and I think I owe you guys an update. Thanks for being patient with me :)

After our mighty road trip, my next plan was to teach English in Korea for an entire year. I had some offers but none of them felt right. After speaking with friends who did the teaching thing in Korea, I had built a pretty extensive list of what to look for in a job. Some of the non-negotiable conditions included 9-5 hours as opposed to 2-10, in Seoul, no Saturdays and start date in September. It may come across as a little too picky but I believe these are conditions that will ensure a positive experience abroad. I've traveled enough to know that as a foreigner, you can really be taken advantage of. Therefore, it is necessary to stand your ground with confidence.

That's not to say that I've been met with tons of challenges. I think I fooled myself early on in the process, assuming that finding a job would be fairly simple. Although I've had a few offers, I've had many more rejections. However, the most frustrating part of being rejected is the fact that it had nothing to do with my qualifications and everything to do with my ethnicity. Because I am Korean-American, many employers assume that I cannot speak English as well as Caucasians. And if employers are looking for Korean-Americans, they expect me to be bilingual, which, unfortunately, I am not.

The worst part is, I don't have a chance to change these employers' minds. A photo of myself is required in the initial email along with my resume. But from what I understand, my being hired depends more on my photo than my resume. Backwards, huh? This entire process has been a lesson in patience, to say the very least. There have been frequent moments of utter frustration, discouragement and anxiety.

I was beginning to question whether it was worth it to go to Korea at all. Why should I voluntarily go to a country that will treat me with such disrespect? Should I be taking the consistent closed doors as signs from God?

Well, I'm happy to report that there's a happy turn to this story. I found out that, as a Korean-American, I can apply for a visa that allows me to work any job in Korea, as opposed to Mark's visa, which only allows him to teach. His visa also requires him to have an offer letter from a school to even obtain the visa, whereas my visa allows me to go to Korea without a job and find one there. Although I was frightened by this idea of going to Korea without a job, I've come to the realization that this may offer many more opportunities for me.

Mark found a job in a great location in Seoul (5 minutes from downtown) and he leaves at the end of September. My father, who lives in Korea, plans to visit me mid-September and fly me back to Korea with him. With my airfare paid for and plenty of friends who have kindly offered their apartment to me, I don't see what I have to lose! I'm even thinking that I can apply for a job doing what I really love: writing! How awesome would it be to gain journalism experience in the international spectrum?!

I'm getting really pumped. All it takes is a little change in perspective and boom! a new opportunity arises!

Thank God for unconditionally supportive and loving friends and family. I wouldn't be able to do this without them.

I hope you all have a beautiful Monday!

3 comments :

Sharon.Mom.Granny said...

Very wise Liz - change in perspective...something I don't always remember. This post was just what I needed today! Thanks!

Gretchen Koppe said...

Yay! Is Mark working for a Hagwon or for EPIK?

yojamie said...

great post and very well said and I cannot wait until you arrive here. You are going to do amazing things here and im fortunate enough to be physically by your side when you need me. I love you and safe travels. See you soon love.