Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A negative review on Amazon: my response

University Job South Korea
University Job in South Korea
It has been pointed out in the first and only negative review over on Amazon that I've been really down on Korea as an English teaching destination lately while at the same time trying to sell my book, How to Get a University Job in South Korea: The English Teaching Job of Your Dreamsand also while making my own exit strategy. I do realize that it's kind of a mixed message, but life is full of grey, and black and white quite rarely exists in my world.

I'd like to respond publicly to the review because it seems "Ted Walker" reads this blog. And Ted, if you'd like to comment and let me know specifically which sections are particularly disagreeable in the book, I'll take it into consideration for when I update the book in a few months.

Let me start by saying that the situation in Korea is complicated and funding for English and education in general seems to change as often as the seasons. I feel like I've seen it happen numerous times during the past 10 years. Just because the current administration is serious about shutting down Korean universities doesn't mean that the next one will be too.  Nobody, probably not even the presidents at the top unis in the country can accurately predict what the landscape will look like in 5 years from now. I think it's unlikely that there will be more university jobs for English teachers in the future, but who can really say for sure.

Secondly, I'm leaving Korea for other reasons besides the reduced number of uni jobs that will likely happen in the next few years.  I've been here a decade and it's time to go home and change careers while I'm still young enough, along with spending more time with a niece who is growing up and parents and aunts and uncles who are getting older. 

Thirdly, uni jobs will still remain the prime job that they are now, in the future.  I just think qualifications to get them will be higher, but I think I'm pretty clear about this in the book by saying that it will be extremely difficult for those not in the "top-tier" of candidates to compete for jobs in Seoul, for example. If you can get the job (and I think the book will help you do that), you'll likely be pretty happy doing it for a number of years as I was (and still am).

Fourthly, yes...I do make money online through writing books and blogging and a few other ventures.  Lots of people do that and plenty of English teachers have left teaching and now make their living online. I think it's quite impressive and I wish I were as funny, creative, informative, helpful, tech-savvy, and motivated as they are.

Finally, I do not think the information in my book is outdated.  It was only written three months ago. I have been working at Korean universities for almost 10 years and certainly know the ins and outs of how the system works.  I, myself have been through 2 rounds of applications and interviews and I have also helped numerous friends through the process as well.

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