As you all know I’m looking for jobs in Seoul. I literally apply without fail to four or five positions + a day (excluding the weekend). Well, a recruiter replied back. This is what they said:
Thanks for your email. I’m a former black teacher so whenever we get black applicants I like to cut right to the chase. At the moment we only have one position in Ulsan that is open to hiring black teachers. You’ve been here a while so you know the discrimination that exists in Korea. Once in a while we get Seoul positions for black candidates but it is a rarity. It looks like you’re looking for a Seoul position and so I’m afraid we don’t have anything to offer you at this moment. In the event that something pops up I will be sure to let you know. Best of luck in your search.
Everyone I’ve met in this country has been very kind, and most people I encounter want to know where I’m from. I’ve had nothing but good people approach me and wave. And for that, I’m lucky and grateful. It’s really sad that as you say, Seoul isn’t very open to black applicants. When someone says they’re looking for a female teacher, I think that’s me–I’m female. Without question, I think of my qualifications, love for teaching and having professional references on my resume is what really matters.
Such selectiveness creates a bad image for schools who think that way. But I also wanted to say thank you for “cutting to the chase.” This is the first time I’m hearing about this and I really appreciate your being honest. I’d like to take a look at the Ulsan position for sure.
Too bad for me, the position in Ulsan was ASAP… Good news: The recruiter will keep me in mind if anything opens up for Seoul.
After reading this, I had to do my own search. I mean I was a bit jilted because I’ve been fortunate enough to not have ever experienced racism. Upon my search, I found a blog called Korea Diva, an EPIK teacher (who I met during EPIKs August orientation) who blogs about her life and happenings in Busan. I found her post entitled “Seoul Versus Busan,” you can check it out at this link:
I’m glad I got that email. The truth about Korea on race is out in the open for me. I’m just happy not everyone feels that way. I continue to stay positive about my job search…
The truth doesn’t have to hurt after all.