“If things get much worse, I might have to sell my boat” said a fat man on the TV news a few weeks ago.
That is hilarious on so many levels, but it goes to the root of why most people get depressed spending months looking for a new job like their old job instead of dropping it all and choosing door #3 instead—the exit door.
I’m a parent with a house and lots of stuff, so I get the concept of being tied to your possessions. But if you are young, single, and renting, why stay home when you’ve lost your job? Go take a one-month TEFL course in a cheap country and start teaching English. You may make lots of money or you may just scrape by, but it won’t be an ordinary year in your life. I did it at both ends of the scale. In Turkey I was making just enough to get by (and drink beer) in Istanbul while working a pretty slack schedule. In a suburb of Seoul in Korea we worked our butts off but made so much money that we saved 30 grand without trying very hard. In both places our apartment was paid for and we didn’t need a car.
It wasn’t always smooth sailing, but it was still a lot more fun than the demoralizing process of looking for a new job during a recession. In general you make the most money in Korea, Japan, and the Middle East, where it’s not uncommon to pull in few grand a month and have your apartment paid for. In other spots, like China, Russia, and Latin America, you may only make a few hundred dollars a month and be struggling to scrape together enough hours to be full-time. But of course your cost of living will be a fraction of what it is in Europe or the U.S. and you’ll probably have more fun. If you are from an EU country, you can teach elsewhere in Europe very easily. For Americans it is much tougher. I’m generalizing here, so pick up the book pictured above if you are really interested. The 10th edition is about to come out. You will also find enough articles to keep you reading for weeks on the subject at TransitionsAbroad.com.
Yes, I know we’re in a worldwide recession and that means expenditures for English classes are down just like everything else, but there’s still plenty of demand. I walked by three English schools in Mexico City this month and all of them had openings posted on the front door. Same thing in Lima the month before. Talk to people who are living in Seoul or Hong Kong and they will tell you there are still slots open for qualified teachers.
Again, get one of the two world-recognized ESL certificates if you want to be secure in finding a position with decent pay. Here’s one place to check out: TEFL Corp. But here’s a good rundown of ESL training courses. Bye, and don’t forget to write!