do I check the reputation of an overseas employer?
Is your overseas
contract worth the paper it is written on?
important to check the reputation of your employer. You
can ask directly on discussion boards on the Internet,
but they can't know every employer in the world, so your
best bet is to talk to the other employees where you
intend to work.
than one person's opinion
everyone has a different experience while overseas and
that experience often reflects problems or situations
away from work. Even at work one person can love
the job and employer, others may not. Ask more than one
person. Ask specifically what they like or don't like
about the employer.
Pay - do you
employers, in some countries, are well known for not
paying on time, or paying less than was originally
agreed to. Be sure to check this issue with the current
A friend of
the author once worked for a school with these problems,
but stayed there for three years, knowing from
talking to others and over time seeing it - that the
employer always made good on amounts owing, at the end
of the contract. Problem? Yes, but she loved the job.
So tolerated it, knowing the money due was coming. And
she was paid in full at the end of her employment there.
not always written in stone . . .
Know that in
some parts of the world, particularly in Asia, contracts
are often looked at as being "flexible"
instruments, quite a different understanding from how
we view them in the West. Once again, ask the current
employees if the contract is followed and if it is not, why
and how it is violated. It may, or may not be an
issue that matters to you - so do ask for specifics.
not always be the kiss of death for a potential job.
Some small issues are not so important in the big
picture if you really like a job, its location, what
you will be doing and are well paid on time.
On the other
hand . . .
probably 95% of employers pay on time, treat their
employees fairly and follow the contracts that have
signed. You just don't hear about them.
There is a
vocal 5% on the Internet who spend a lot of time talking
about "scams" and "unfair" employers.
will, sooner or later get to work with a few of these
people and you will probably wish the employer had
gotten rid of them even sooner than they did.
There is, often, two sides to the story and one side
usually does not get told.
the author worked for in Saudi Arabia was excellent
about following their contract and in five years I was
never treated unfairly. But there were a few
teachers who were fired during that time that raised
holy h*ll on the Internet. If you had read their
posts you would have thought the place was run by Satan
. . . It wasn't.
need for more than one - preferably several - opinions
about your potential employer.