Friday, July 18, 2014

How to get vacation work

Ahhhhh vacation.  After a usually somewhat grueling 16 week semester, 10 weeks off is kind of a welcome relief.  Back in the years gone by when I first started working at Korean unis, I would take the entire 10 weeks off and take fabulous vacations for the entire time.  Except now, I have 2 cats who, although they are cute, nobody wants to look after for months at a time and I'm also trying to save more money so I can retire early.

So what do I do?  I usually take a short vacation of 2 or 3 weeks (I was just in Malaysia, so no updates on the blog!) and then work for at least a few of the remaining weeks.  How to get this sometimes elusive extra work during the vacations?  It can sometimes be tricky because there are often lots of teachers and a limited amount of OT.  Here are my tips:

1. Cultivate good relationships with colleagues.  At my 2 unis, it was amazing the amount of OT that got passed around amongst the "inner-circles" and never reached the email everybody stage. 

2. Cultivate a good relationship with the department secretary.  It's amazing the amount of OT that gets passed around to his/her favorites and never reaches the email everybody stage.  It's helpful to stop by the office quite often.  Bring small gifts. 

3. Cultivate a fabulously stellar reputation as a solid, responsible, and well-liked teacher.  Admin and colleagues know who the good ones (and the terrible ones) are. 

4. Put the word out.  Drop the hint with the people in power that you're looking for vacation work.  You'll bump yourself up on the list of people they'll call when something comes in.

1 comment:

magdaayuk said...


I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog. I read that the CELTA enables you to teach at the University level. Since I saw that you took the CELTA course in Seoul (which I plan on doing), I was wondering if it opened doors for you.