Applying for US non-profit jobs while living in Korea.
December 7, 2010 11:27 AM   Subscribe

I'm in need of advice on (non-profit) job searching in the US while located in Korea.

I'm finishing up a year of teaching ESL in Korea, and I'm starting to try to line something up for when I get back State-side. My scheduled departure date is the end of February, 2011. I am looking to find work at a non-profit - ideally something to do with education, but I am flexible so long as I am on-board with the NPO's overall goals. Most likely I would be looking to enter as a fairly low level analyst (either Policy or quantitative), as my only non-Korea, post-college experience is 2.5 years as a data analyst at a large law firm. In a perfect world (ha!), I would have something confirmed before I leave Korea. I am working with what personal connections I have, but I am also starting to scour sites like Idealist to find other opportunities. For these sorts of publicly advertised jobs, I guess my overall questions are thus:

1. Should I start responding to job postings with resumes/cover-letters now, even though it would be impossible for me to start for 3 months? It seems like these types of positions aren't likely to be ones that would be willing to wait for li'l ol' me given their likely glut of qualified candidates. Is it really even worth it to exert much effort until I'm closer to leaving... or even until I'm in the country?

2. If I'm lucky enough to get into the interview stages with an organization, will I be able to complete the process while I'm abroad? I would obviously be more than willing to have as many phone/skype interviews as I need, but will organizations need to meet me in person before making a decision? In other words, is my perfect world scenario impossible because I'd pretty much have to be in the US to lock something down? (Flying Korea->US->Korea for an interview, while tempting, is impractical to put it mildly.)

3. [EconomicDoomFilter] What are my chances even like these days? I've got a little experience and a degree from a NameBrand(tm) school; I also know that there are millions of people just like me already struggling to find work - and these people are in the US, ready to start on Monday. Can I expect to have any leads before I get back? If I send stacks of resumes into the aether and nothing comes back by February, is my best bet to suck it up and pound some pavement as a newly unemployed repatriate... or should I extend my Korean contract for a few months and keep looking from here?

Obviously any other advice you have for someone in my situation would be more than welcome. Apologies for the length already, but please let me know if there's any info I left out that would be pertinent. Thank you, oh mighty hivemind!
posted by Someone has just shot your horse! to Work & Money (2 answers total)
I don't see how it would hurt to apply and explain in your cover letter your return date and that you are available for interviews over the phone in the mean time.
posted by JenMarie at 12:16 PM on December 7, 2010

1. I would not start looking, unless it's for government jobs, until about a month from your return. If you find something you really like now, you could always email HR and ask if it's immediate need or if the start date is flexible.

2. I did some hiring at our non-profit, and we tried to interview someone who was coming out of the Peace Corps... it didn't work out, but long story short, it is possible. Likely? Probably not at the level you're looking at.

3. My guess is that continuing your Korea contract is only going to prolong the job search. Don't forget to use the alumni network from your school to look for job postings.
posted by emkelley at 1:51 PM on December 7, 2010

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