Older but embarking on new career.

Discussion about jobs in Asia inc. Middle East

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Older but embarking on new career.

Unread postby AlanTed » 21 Jul 2011, 19:35

I am about to take a TEFL certificate course at a well respected Boston language institute. Upon completion, I'll be looking to start a career as an ESL teacher in Asia. I am a good bit older than most teachers starting out(M, 46) and I'm aware that it may be a bit more difficult to get that first teaching gig. This is a mid life career change for me and not one I've taken lightly. It's something I always wanted to do and through changes in my personal circumstances, I now have the chance, albeit at an older age.

So, I'd like to hear from some of the older teachers and the challenges they have faced. I'd also like to hear some opinions about the countries I am considering and the ability to get a job in these countries

1. JAPAN. This is my first choice by far and the country I really want to spend a good many years living in. It was my desire to live in Japan that led me on this path. However, from what I have read, it is a bit more difficult to land that first job, especially at an older age.

2. TAIWAN. My thoughts are that Taiwan may be an easier place to get that important first job which I can use for some experience for a move to Japan in a year or two. I have also heard that the people are super friendly and a good place to teach.

3. SOUTH KOREA. Similar to Taiwan, in that it may be easier to get that first job, and at a decent salary.

Thoughts please. Pitfalls that I should be aware of. Any general advice would be greatly appreciated.
Also, my career to date has been in the business world. Does anyone think that this may benefit me during interviews where teaching English to adults/businessmen may be part of the curriculum.

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Re: Older but embarking on new career.

Unread postby pmcguire » 24 Jul 2011, 22:57

I first went to Taiwan ( in 1996 ) when I was in my early 40 and had few problems with age. 5 years later the situation was different and it was very hard to get started. I would guess that it was a combination of my older age and the economy in Taiwan.

Depending how you hold your age things may be ok in Taiwan, but do try to get a 60 day multiple entry visa in your home country before you go.

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Re: Older but embarking on new career.

Unread postby clipton » 10 Aug 2011, 22:26

Japan is a great destination. Not only are there plenty of job opportunities but Japan is one of the most intriguing, entertaining, and impressive nations in the world. I personally spent five years teaching EFL there. It was one of the best, most rewarding, and unforgettable experiences I have had overseas. I do not foresee you having any trouble getting a job. With your business savvy, a four-year degree, a TEFL Certificate, and a winning attitude, there is no need to worry. In my experience, the Japanese are extremely hospitable, patient, and help make the transition to life overseas very easy, regardless of your age. It is important to be flexible wherever you go. There are cultural differences that can be a very challenging so it is important to be aware of how you are acting, feeling, etc. in relation to where you are. For me, the hardest part of living in Japan was having to leave. I often consider returning. If you have any specific questions about Japan please feel free to email me at info[@]teflflyer.com. I am a regular contributor at teflflyer.com/blog so I encourage you to check it out for more information about TEFL, travel, and finding a TEFL job.

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