Life After TEFL

Qualified English teachers please register with World of TEFL and we will contact you with relevant vacancies as they come in.
As discussed in another article, some English teachers stay overseas for the rest of their lives! But, assuming you do return one day, what kinds of jobs might be suitable for you after having spent several years teaching English abroad?

If you have enjoyed being a teacher and would like to continue then the obvious choice to become fully-qualified as a school-teacher in your home country. This generally means a year of extra study (for the PGCE in the UK, for example). Depending on supply and demand for the subject you wish to specialise in, there could very well be grants or scholarships available in your area.

Did you pick up any new languages overseas? If you were in one country for long enough it is quite possible that you have some skills that many translation companies would be willing to pay a considerable amount of money for. Given its growing dominance internationally, if you spent several years in China and developed intermediate skills in Mandarin or Cantonese then this should guide your new job search. Be sure to look into opportunities working at relevant embassies.

Living abroad may have given you plenty of time to gain perspective on your life generally. It is a great idea to use this time considering self-employment opportunities. If you are lacking in savings there are still options. For example, setting up a website can be done very cheaply. Do you have an idea for a website? If so, how could it be monetised and are you willing to spend several hours a day continually improving it and engaging with an audience?

It is crucial that you meet old friends and colleagues to ask them how they are getting on in their professional lives. It is likely that they will be able to offer you advice or even put in a good word for you at the company they work for. This is an especially attractive option for those who are so unfocused that they really don’t have any idea what they would like to do. Contacts can really turn a situation like that around.

Bear in mind that the effects of ‘reverse culture shock’ when you return to your home country differ from person to person but can be very strong indeed. Feeling ‘alien’ in your hometown is a very peculiar feeling. With this in mind, allow several weeks for you to discuss your plans with family and friends and for the effects of reverse culture shock to wear off a little. This time will help you make careful, informed decisions about the future with as much support from those around you as is possible.

If you’re still not sure, do some research into any training opportunities that are subsidised or wholly paid for by you government or local regional council body. If you are British or Irish then remember that you are allowed to apply for jobs and work throughout the entire European Union. So, for example, if your university specialisation prior to teaching English overseas is of little use in your home country, do consider the fact that the market for your skills elsewhere in Europe could be more favourable.

Have you returned home after teaching English overseas? What are your own tips for success?

Qualified English teachers please register with World of TEFL and we will contact you with relevant vacancies as they come in.


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