"Real" Jobs (Not Teaching) Pros, Cons, General Info

Don’t feel dissed about me calling teaching a not real job. I’m just saying teaching is surreal. :wink:

So I may have the opportunity to take on a real job. I’m not sure if I’ll go with it or not (because of things like pay and hours). But I thought I’d start a thread to glean some information to help with my decision and maybe be informative to others.

Without beating around the bush, the job I speak of said 7USD/hour. This was after I was asked about how much I wanted per hour and me going “I have no idea what the going rates are for things like this. :S”

This position is a customer service position. My experience back home relates to the job, but the biggest thing their looking for (judging from the conversation on the phone) is someone with customer service experience.

This is a foreign owned company as well.

To state things frankly, how much could I squeeze out of them as a hourly rate? :laughing:

Some pros I can think of are…

Ease of job (teaching aint exactly easy). Having a job where I pay “the piper.” Though lower pay, bigger hour chunks. Using Chinese in the office and not being told “No Chinese” by a bunch of 6 year olds. Teaching jobs are easy to come by if I wanted to stop. Possible end-of-the-year bonus. Plus, I’d still be able to keep my morning job.

Uh… I guess that’s about it. I think I just want to discuss this with someone, so I’m going to you guys.

Found this semi-informative site whilst googling ( pacificbridge.com/Publicatio … an2001.htm ). Now I gots to go to work.

I moved from teaching to tech writing for a few reasons…

Main reason was to keep my CV relevant to I.T. for if/when I go back to the British Isles.

Secondly, you don’t get arsed around as much as you do when you’re teaching, you know… this class has been moved to this time. This person isn’t turning up, etc.

The company is MUCH more reliable wih pay/taxes, etc. I know many teaching jobs are completely above board, but many are anything but.

I no longer have to work late evenings or weekends. :smiley:

Although my pay appears to be slightly less, it’s worth it for the lack of stress, plus I get unexpected bonuses from time to time, like for Chinese New Year and other times (got given 2 months’ pay’s worth of bonus about 7 weeks ago, and I don’t even know why).

The job’s a lot more “stable” in many ways.

I had reasons to move away from teaching though. Many others are quite happy to teach for the rest of their lives.

best reason is that when and if you move back home i (personally, others may disagree) think you will have a better transition into working life. selling teaching english to folks back home is tough.

Difficult to give a ‘going’ rate for a customer service job when we don’t know your exact job content, level of experience, management level, etc…

It really depends on what you are looking for in your life and if teaching is something you really enjoy. If you’re in it purely for the $$ and cos you couldn’t get any other job in TW, then you might as well move on to something that pays less but ultimately enjoy doing better.

And, my gut feel is that you already have it all figured out and you know what you want… Go for the job, chances like this don’t come by often. Like you said, if it doesn’t work out, you can always fall back on your trusty old job.

Yeah, if it works out I’m probably going to go for it. Doing something other than teaching English seems “exotic.”

I’m hoping it’d be a job where I sit in front of a computer surfing the net all day :slight_smile:. I figure it could also lead to other things (it’s sort of IT related so…)

sounds like you are up for the “real job”. But i would hate that thing in Taiwan where you have to be seen to be working hard. Which basically means hanging around your office all hours when you could do the same work in a 9-5 day. That sucks!! Dont know if it would apply to foreigners!! I love the quantifiable (possible spelling error!!) nature of teaching. You always know what you will be doing at each point in the day, it is well structured. Rather than the ad-hoc nature of office work. I suppose i am biased and just love teaching and working with the kids! And remember real crappy office jobs i have endured in my life (which would be all of them)

anyway, hope you make the right decision!!

Yes, I would rather work somewhere that judges you based on your ability (like English and etc) rather on your race/color. I find that when you’re teaching, you only get the 500 per hour IF you are white. If you are Chinese you will get much less. I am trying to see if I can get tech writing or whatever, probably much better than teaching English because I really like playing with hi tech toys…

I came here to get away from the 9 to 5, so-called real job existence. I would hate to start living such a life here. I suppose if you’re burned out on teaching, go for it. There’s no harm in trying it. As you say, you can always go back to teaching.

Me too. :slight_smile:

I won’t leave teaching. I’ll still be doing my morning job (which is my main teaching job).

Thanks, the comments yous guys made helped a bunch. :slight_smile:

It’s normal for Taiwanese bosses to demand all kinds of unpaid “overtime.” We’re talking multiple 12-hr workdays in a row, without extra pay. I don’t know if a foreigner can get out of that, but if not, gimme teaching every time.

Yeah, like you can’t go home at 7 pm because the boss is still at work. :unamused:

I don’t understand. Why work a crappy job in customer service in Taiwan for 7 dollars an hour, when you could be doing the exact same thing back home for more pay?

Do you really love living in Taiwan that much? Doesn’t make any sense. Either you are here in Taiwan for earning money or for learning Chinese. If you want to save the money, teach English, forget about the lower paying “real” jobs. If you want to learn Chinese, then sign up as a student at university and work 12 hours a week as a teacher to support yourself.

Now, if you really wanted a job to exercise your Chinese skills, apply for a position at 7-11. You’d only earn 80 NT an hour but your Chinese would come to near-fluent levels overnight, as you’d be speaking it every minute of your day on the job.

The point is, if you want a “real” job, you might as well just go back home. Any job other than English teaching is going to pay you substantially less, working more hours, than the same job pays back in North America.

Not if you enjoy your work. And not if you receive good pay. Both of which are true in my case. I work long hours here, but I’m very happy.

Although I’ve been a lawyer for 15 years, a few years ago I needed a break and came here for something different. My first job here was teaching kindy, which I enjoyed. I then taught conversation classes for a while, which was also good, in part because it gave me time for Chinese lessons and going to the gym.

So when I received my first offer of FT employment in Taiwan I was at first unsure whether I wished to accept it. But it sounded like interesting work (teaching writing and law classes at Taiwan’s largest law firm) and the pay was very good. So I took it. Regrettably, that was a few years ago and I haven’t studied Chinese since then.

But my career took off starting with that job. After that I worked as an attorney with a local firm and a major US tech firm and I’m now Senior Mgr of the law dept at one of Taiwan’s top tech firms. For me, the career opportunities in Taiwan have been far greater than I would have had back home – lots of multimillion dollar commercial and corporate deals and litigation and all kinds of fascinating issues involving technology and intellectual property. As a US-educated native-English speaker, my talents are in extremely high demand here – moreso than back home.

I believe the same opportunities must exist here for native English speakers in many professions. I agree with modlang that $7/hour sounds like too little, but on the other hand (a) maybe they pay more than 12 months salary per year (most FT jobs do), (b) it includes less commuting in crappy traffic and weather than working multiple jobs does, (c) it may well turn out to be more than you’re presently earning and (d) it might be a good first step to better career opportunities down the road. I say go for it. While teaching kindy is fun, unless you want to do it for life you’ll need to start doing something else eventually.

Dude…$7 an hour. That’s just a tad more than minimum wage in the States. I personally couldn’t take it on principle.

Misleading statement. I am doing a real job and based on bonuses, package, salary and tax rates I am making loads more $ in Taiwan.

Keep teaching English and then try and return home to a career - good luck!

Misleading statement. I am doing a real job and based on bonuses, package, salary and tax rates I am making loads more $ in Taiwan.

Keep teaching English and then try and return home to a career - good luck![/quote]

Does English teaching give you a seven month bonus? Private health insurance? Normal and commemorative paid holidays? The chance for real advancement?


I would try this new position and see what the “vibe” is. You could find it rewarding and an interesting balance to your teaching position. Or you could hate it immediately – but you won’t know unless you try it.

Well… I suppose because it’s not the exact same thing when I’m doing it here. I will be asking for more than 7/hour, but yeah, it won’t touch English teaching dollars.

For a clearer why, I make enough money for living from my morning job. I really only want to make 10-20 thousand more a month for saving/whatnot. The job would easily clear that, it’d just take more time than teaching. Plus I can see this job being a connection to other kinds of jobs, by meeting other kinds of people.


An even better move is to sign up at the University, get the scholarship/s, and support yourself teaching. I won’t be taking Chinese in a University again until I’m an actual University student here. Studying Chinese in the classroom sucks (to me).

I’ve thought about that in the past, but my Chinese is already past 7/11 fluency.

Yes but… the building “guanxi” thing seems like an added benefit. Though this exact job isn’t all that much, the way Taiwan works I could probably find myself in something that pays a little more relatively quickly, and maybe in my industry of choice (IT). Plus, teaching jobs usually have a lot of unpaid things that need/should be done that brings the actual hourly down pretty quick.

The bosses would technically be a foreign run company. Hopefully that makes it better.

I definitely wouldn’t be taking the job with money as the main reason. It’d be a grass-is-greener/maybe-it-could-lead-to-bigger-things thing. If the only con is money, well…

There’s another pro that I’ll post about either after I get the job, or after I decide I’m not taking it, but it’s basically the equivalent of a person working at Mc Donald’s to eat the Big Macs for free.

Are you going to be working for a brothel?

Yes, this is exactly what I’m talking about.

Are you going to be working for a brothel?[/quote]

No, but now that I think about it, maybe I should submit my resume to a couple of “barber shops.”