When is it too late to get out of TEFL?

Too late to get out of TEFL

Somewhere between five and eight years, if your responses are anything to go by.

This topic drew a lot of heated debate over on the forum. Here are some of the things that have been mentioned:

The Prodigy:

‘I was in EFL for about a decade, went back to UK and did a couple of years out of teaching and realised I missed it, – the variety, the travelling, meeting loads of different people, partying, everything this lifestyle has to offer.’

Chimp Guevara:

‘I don’t think it’s possible for it to be “too late” to get out of ELT, but don’t expect the career switch to be massive – ELT to Investment Banking is a bit of a stretch for someone with a French Lit degree and a DELTA, for example.

However, education administration or even retraining within the education profession is clearly a possibility. The most important thing is the qualifications you hold and the transferable skills you have.’


‘I think you could apply it to any carreer path, I mean when is it too late to get out of the military, IT, insurance, banking, prostitution? Any reasonably specialised job is going to leave you less equipped to enter into another line of work.

I did test the 8 year mark and it went horribly but that was more to do with being woefully unprepared (especially financially) to make the change. I am getting out in a year or so and although I’m planning on going into education, there is every chance I could end up somewhere else.’


‘When is it too late to start over in a new country/ home country?

I know that a time came for me while in Japan that I felt it was now or never. I was in my early 40s and I thought, if I don’t leave now, I will be too old to start over again. Also, for me at least, my standards have changed since I was in my 20s. Then I would be happy with one bag and sharing a room. Now I would never dream of sharing and I have a family to think of. If you stay too long in one place, you can get “stuck” and like it or not, you have to stay because your options become limited. This is especially true if you have not upgraded your quals or you have not broadened your skill set.’


‘The first time one compares it to what they might be doing otherwise.

As much as I’ve heard some try and argue to the contrary, there’s nothing particularly difficult about the job. Mind numbingly boring at times, yes. But still very easy money.’

Check out what everyone else has said over on the forum.

Related Articles:

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
This entry was posted in bad tefl jobs, Forums, Good TEFL jobs. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to When is it too late to get out of TEFL?

  1. Val says:

    8 years should just about do it for any job, never mind TEFL.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>