Thousands of Filipinos (including teachers), desperate to work and earn abroad, easily get their hopes up as they apply in a job fair like this (right) for work overseas… (photo courtesy of schm714)

I would like to share a part of a recent exchange of thoughts on our on-line teacher group discussion.  This is between two of my teacher-friends about working in the US:

Teacher A:

Meron ako friend nasa Baltimore na ngayon. He’s looking for work. Teacher din siya. Medyo confused nga ako eh, kasi they were interviewed here but then he said they are still going around on job fairs to look for work.. wawa cause hindi pala sagot agency nila housing kaya they’ve shelled out so much already. Kabado kasi baka maubusan daw siya ng pera. Normal ba yun, ganun ba talaga?

Teacher J:

...About your friend in Baltimore (listen everyone and pass this on to those who are applying for a job here in US), my heart goes out to him.  Mahirap mag job fair and ibenta ang sarili mo at higit sa lahat makipagkompetensya sa ibang applicant.  Iba-iba ang mission vision ng agency.  Marami namang vacancy sa Baltimore but i guess giving them (Filipino applicants)  specific placement in terms of the grade level, specialization and school is not the “responsibility” of that agency.  Baka ang trabaho lang nila is to process their papers and visas and the placement depends on the people who will take you.  The interview that was done there was probably an informal one.  Basically, to check your content knowledge, your diction, your over-all english and to see kung kaya mo bang magturo sa school system nila.  Yung survival mo, bahala ka na.  Probably, they were not given time to prepare on what to expect in Maryland.  Tayo pa namang mga Filipino, masaya na tayo pag may visa at job d2 and we tend to miss out what are the other things that we need to know and find out which is very vital to our own survival.  As an applicant,

  • scrutinize your agency
  • check the agency’s track record by interviewing their previous applicant who have been here
  • What is the scope of getting you a job here in US (if there’s a vacancy, will the agency place you as in put you in that school or will it be your job to find placement for yourself)?
  • is my money worth it?
  • compare diffferent agency in terms of services that they will do for you and your money’s worth
  • check the visa (H1B vs J1).  I suggest, think of a long term.  Yung peace of mind na mabibigay sa yo ng H1B and your money outweighs J1- that’s the truth)

Hope this serves as a warning to those teachers who apply in agencies that can lead you nowhere.  The bottom line is to be wary, and do some research please…Huwag padalos-dalos dahil ikaw din ang maaaring matalo sa banding huli.