I’d pay good money to go back to the start of university with the knowledge I have now about being a TEFL teacher. It’s one of those graduate jobs that they never tell you about at school or university, but it should be, high on the list, but why?
Maybe you have just finished your degree and are thinking, what the hell am I going to do now? What graduate job could I possible do? I remember that feeling well. It’s one of the worst. You have just said goodbye to some great mates and perfect way of living, only to be thrown back in your miserable old bedroom with no real job prospects and a deep desire to continue that free feeling of being able to do what the hell you want, when you want. So what do you do next? Maybe go travel the world and teach English.
But how the hell are you going to travel the world with so much debt, and when your parents are on your case about getting your first job? It’s simple. By doing a CELTA you can get the hell out of wherever you live, find a graduate job, and starting making your dreams become a reality.
Uni is done, dusted, yeah it was a great fun, good laugh, some good nights out and maybe you even learnt something, but now it’s time to change that rubbish adjective of ‘good’ into bloody marvellous. Do you want to see the world, enjoy your job, and even find your vocation in life? Then get on the TEFL train.
Why listen to me? I’ve been out of the UK for 13 years now. I’ve taught English in 5 countries, had a great experience, and am now settled in Seville, Spain where I am married with two kids. I still think about my Uni days and miss them a lot, but I also know that becoming a TEFL teacher was the best thing I ever did.
I worked in London doing IT Recruitment and internet sales for about 3 years. It was crap compared to teaching English. Working for money, money, money focussed roles, meetings with targets and pressure and bullshit. Teaching is so much better, you get a real buzz, are helping real people improve their lives, and get real job satisfaction.
Here are my top reasons why you should try to get into TEFL after leaving university.
Put off getting a proper job
An ex-colleague of mine once asked me when I was going to come home and get a proper job. This was after 2 years travelling and teaching around the world, and I said “What makes you think I haven’t got one?” Of course, TEFLing, doesn’t have the same status, responsibility and career progression as a public school teacher, and I know because I was offered a job to get on a GTP programme, but as far as I’m concerned, any job which involves helping people and improving people’s lives must be a proper job. And you get real money that you can spend on whatever you want…if you have any left after paying the bills (at least in my case now).
Remember that first day at Uni when you asked people you met about their A Level results and the feeling of having so much in common? Well, if you do a CELTA then you’re more than likely going to be with like-minded people who have just finished university, and want to work around the world and get paid for it. So, you won’t be alone, which is one of the biggest fears I had when I did my trip. Even when you get your first job you’ll probably find people with a similar age to you and similar interests: travelling, learning a language, finding a career with an honest, satisfactory goal.
Travel the world
Yes, it’s cliché. But when you get to 37 years old and your two kids are running you ragged on a Sunday morning throwing water at you and pulling each other’s (and your) hair out, at least you can sit back (when they are asleep) and think back to those days when you were on the road trying to find a job teaching English, learning about new cultures, and seeing the world while getting paid for it.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about when I travelled the world. I do a lot less now, but mainly because I have other goals in life, but even as I’m settled here in Seville, I still feel as if I’m on some giant holiday.
Unless you’ve already met the Dalai Lama or climbed Everest, then best way of finding yourself is by travelling and teaching. Sure, if you win the lottery, or get a load of cash from your parents for getting a decent Uni mark, then just travel the world, get pissed up and have a laugh, but for those normal people who want to push and get to know themselves, then TEFL is a great way of doing that. I’ve learnt loads about myself since teaching, mainly that I do love helping, I do have a great job, and I do hate people who can’t pronounce comfortable properly. Joking aside, on a deeper level, TEFL will push your boundaries and with the travelling you’ll be able to see yourself in as many rivers as you can.
Continue getting laid
Did I really put that as a title? God, how shallow. But it’s true, if you did it at Uni, then you can continue doing it. Despite the stories in my book, which I mostly cut out because I knew my grandmother was going to read, TEFL will open your mind, and also your shagging possibilities, whether male or female, come on, I’m talking to everyone here.
Put off paying your student loans
You have to be careful with this one, because I think they changed the rules, but I still haven’t paid my loans back. And it’s all legal, I’m not screwing the system, just following the rules.
TEFL isn’t the best paid profession in the world, in fact that is one of the most frustrating parts of the job, so if you want to get rich, then fugetaboutit, but I still owe a few grand on my student’s loan and because I’m not earning over the threshold then I don’t need to. So check it out. I graduated in 2000, yeah, when you were just coming out of nursery. Damn that’s a scary thought.
So there you are. Have you finished Uni and looking for a graduate job abroad, somewhere to teach English and make some cash so you can travel the world? For a real insight then check out my book, first-hand experience of travelling the world while teaching English. Enjoy. Any questions just let me know. They’ll be more blogs to follow for Uni graduates too, so keep following.