Let’s face it, teaching is bloody great and I can’t imagine ever wanting to leave this profession to do something else. Yep, the post title was an attention grabber; I’m not planning on leaving TEFL any time soon. Nevertheless, not everyone is me. While teaching can be a satisfying and stimulating career, it can also be fatiguing, dispiriting and mentally draining. Today’s post is dedicated to all those of you who are thinking of calling time on your TEFL career.
What the hell is your problem?
Your job might well be the cause of your current despondency. Before you make the great leap out of language teaching, think about whether it is your specific job, your job in general, or maybe other aspects of your life that are bringing you down. Consider this very carefully; your job might be causing your unhappiness, but equally it could be the one thing holding your life together while all else falls apart.
Things you can do to make your way forward…
Depending on where you’re living, of course, try to seek professional guidance. Naturally, this might not be possible if you’re away from your home country, but check out your options as this is an important first step, especially if you’re changing careers. Here’s a good website to consult.
Ask yourself the really big questions
What would you do if you only had one year to live? What would you do if you were made redundant or were forcibly removed from your current job? What would you do if you won the lottery and could chase your big dream? If you looked back on your life from your death bed, would you regret anything or regret not doing anything? Is there anything you would do if you knew you couldn’t fail or if money wasn’t an issue?
These are all major life changing questions which, although they may seem remote or unachievable, will help you to put some perspective on your current situation.
Ask a friend or even a trusted colleague to question you about your hopes, dreams and aspirations. Get them to tell you when you were genuinely excited about something while you were talking. This is what you really love.
It’s never too late or too early to build a network of contacts. These can include people you might like to work for, people you like who can set you off in the right direction or who might just be generally useful.
Get a support network
Find people who really believe in you. Obviously, family and cloze friends should be a part of this. Keep them in the loop, regardless of whether you decide to make the big leap.
Even if you’re not thinking of getting out of TEFL, keep your CV up to date, and review / revise it on a regular basis.
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