How to negotiate a contract

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Hello my wonderful tesol buddies,

Could someone please tell me how to go about negotiating one's contract? I've been referred to 2 public schools in South Korea by 2 different recruiters. I've been advised by one of the recruiters that I am legible for at least a 2.5 million won monthly pay given my work and academic background and because the public school location could be in a small town. The good thing is that my recruiter will be negotiating on my behalf but I am still curious as to how to go about negotiating things like your monthly pay or rural town bonuses, opting out of housing and getting my own, etc. I just want to prep more when I move overseas so that I'm not taken advantage of just 'cause I don't speak the language there yet and I'm new to the country.

Please reply, I look forward to your feedback.

you would need to hire an arbitrator
The only advice I can give you about that is to try and find a recruiter that you can trust. I know that's easier said than done, but I can just tell you from experience that it can be very difficult at times to get to speak with some school representatives.

However, if you do want to speak with them, ask your recruiter, or just call the school yourself and ask to speak with the director.

Also, if you do elect to accept their provided accomodations, make sure you get some info about it and some pictures of it to get an idea of the size and condition of the apartment. This tends to keep the employer more honest.

Anyway, I hope that helps you, Justine! Good luck!

Negotiations may seem scary for a culture that is not used to bartering, but it's important to stay confident that you have rights to determine what is acceptable for you and what is not. Remember that negotiation itself implies two members will come together to find a mutually acceptable solution to a dispute through discussion. This means nothing is set in stone until both sides agree. DO NOT sign a contract you will not be able to adhere to or believe will cause future issues for you if aided by.

When looking at a contract, think about your bottom line. Examples:
-bottom line I will not work more than 10 hours per day
-bottom line I need XXXXX amount of money to survive the quality of life I expect
-bottom line, I will not go unless my employer pays for at least half my flight
-bottom line, I need this style of accommodation even if I have to pay for it myself

When you are clear about your bottom line, you will be able to use that as a means to negotiate. Example:
-your employer is offering you a great paying position, but are not willing to pay for a flight. Your bottom line is one way flight. You approach them saying you will invest an extra hour per day to tutoring (or offer to pay 10% your accommodation, or something that will benefit your employer that you can offer) if they pay your ENTIRE flight. They might say yes! Better than you bargained for! They may come back and say no way. You approach again, always willing and positive that you would accept half a flight. They may then accept, or again say no. But if your bottom line is half a flight and they say no, find another opportunity that matches your bottom line.

To repeat, you have rights and should only sign contracts if you can abide by them. I also want to point out that it is important if you negotiate on your behalf to always OFFER before asking. If you seem stubborn or demanding, they could decide you would be too difficult to employ and seek to recruit someone else. Act professionally with kindness and belief that your bottom line is worthy of protecting!

I hope this helps!
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