Miscommunications and Misunderstandings When You are Looking for a Job
It doesn’t need to be a big deal. Pay attention!
If you remember last week’s post we talked about a misunderstanding between a new teacher and his employer. The misunderstanding came about due to some miscommunication when the employer – a non-native speaker – had some difficulty expressing urgency in her message, causing the new teacher to assume he was about to be fired!
Clarify Clarify Clarify
I want to relate another relatively similar story that says “New teachers – pay attention and clarify, clarify, clarify!”
Another newbie English-teacher-about-to-be in the middle of their visa process understood their employer to suggest that everything that cost money during the visa process would be paid for by the school, including things he needed to do in his home country. This, in spite of a contract that specifically said the expenses in China would be paid.
You are dealing with non-native speakers
Please understand, when you are seeking a new job teaching English in another country, that many times your communication will be with speakers of English who are NOT native speakers. And remember that even native speakers can have misunderstandings and miscommunications. So why would we expect our communications with non-native speakers to be problem free?
We should, in fact, assume that those communications might be problematic.
Whenever anything seems to be “too good to be true” or a rather surprising problem, seek to clarify the situation using the strategies suggested in the previous post (#3). Rephrase what the speaker said and ask if that was what was intended. You will often be surprised!
TED’s Tips™ #1: If something upsets or confuses you, ask a colleague to help sort it out.