March 2016 marked two years for me in Korea. two years and my third company in the same field.
While I have said this on multiple occasions, this time I am fighting the urge to quite my job and move on. But if only life was that easy. Every day, I feel more and more trapped in my work place and the tiny room that I should be calling ‘home’.
I know, you are probably wondering “what is stopping you if you are that unhappy?”. It’s pretty simple. Contract.
Being an ESL teacher in Korea means that you have to get an E2 visa which is bonded with your employer. Once you want to stop your employment with the company you have signed a contract with, you have to get a ‘Letter of release’ and you can transfer to another visa (D-10 or another E2).
Sounds simple, right? Wrong.
Most companies refuse to give you a letter of release if your contract is not finished. Honestly, if you have completed your one year contract, there is no need for you to obtain a ‘letter of release’ anyway. The only people who need a ‘letter of release’ are those who wish to finish their contract earlier than one year or, those who have been fired and wish to stay in Korea. But when a company refuses to give you one, it is almost impossible to do anything about it.
When I signed my contract, I saw that there was a section which said that I will not receive a release letter if I end my contract before the 1 year mark. Even if I give the requested 3 months notice before leaving. I know I shouldn’t have signed the contract if I didn’t agree with that term. The problem was, I didn’t want to face another hard time of trying to find a new job. It took me three months the first time, I wasn’t going to go through that again. So when I was offered a job on the second day of unemployment, I went for it. It was a reputable company funded by Seoul government, what could possibly be wrong? Honestly, I love this company. The staff, the fun classes, my students, but teaching just isn’t for me.
When I came to Korea, I came with the hopes of teaching English for a year and either start my career as a journalist/editor or go back to university here to get my masters degree. My first job was a disaster. For my second job, I got promoted fast and I loved it, but then management changed and it was a nightmare. So, when I hit my two year mark in my third school, I couldn’t stop thinking about how I have wasted two years of my life. Two years where I could have been doing other things to do with my degree and my dreams.
So, next Tuesday marks three months until my contract is finished. Within these three months, I will be searching for jobs and blogging more in order to get back in the flow of writing. I will try to write blog posts at the least 3 times a week. If I fall behind, scold me guys!!
This week, I have already posted twice, so I will post another on Friday. I am going to try something new so, keep an eye out!