Will I have trouble
finding work when I return home from overseas?
How can I prevent that problem?
Whether you intend to spend three months, six months,
one year, or the rest of your life - overseas - keep
networking with your friends and former coworkers back
home. Keep in touch with them. Maintain your
When you go back home on vacation, visit with your
former coworkers - go to lunch or out for a beer with
them. Exchange e-mails. Send them photographs of your
travels and of your life overseas.
them know you are doing REAL work - not just
traveling around on a lark. And you will, btw, be doing
real work (you may be surprised just how hard you
end up working!). You never know when you might need,
or want, their help to transition back home again.
Yes! Even more so than back home, networking is
critical in the EFL business. In the last 16 years I've
only done a couple real interviews! Of my last two jobs
- one was completely arranged by a long-term friend, and
the other was with a former employer I kept in touch
with and went out for a beer with whenever I was in his
town. And I bought more than a few of those beers to
keep our relationship equal - though he is a far
wealthier man than I am.
After 16 years in the TEFL world, I now keep in touch
with friends in several countries, all of whom would be
willing to help me find a job if I needed their help.
And, I would be willing to do the same - and they know
Networking is even more important in many foreign
cultures than back home, so keep those contacts solid at
home and everywhere you work overseas. You'll be amazed
how important they can become. In many cultures
introductions are just as important as, often more
important than, qualifications and experience.
Okay, but WILL I have trouble going home?
Just because you are overseas - living big maybe -
doesn't mean you can forget about the world back home.
You need to keep your contacts up to date, continue
educating yourself in your previous occupation - and in
your new one.
Depending on your previous career and the skill level
required, and how fast that career field is changing -
it DOES become more difficult to return home into the
type of position you held at the time you left.
This is true particularly after about five to eight
years of being away (in my opinion).
last worked in my chosen profession back home (social
work administration) in 1989. Though I have maintained
many contacts in the field, I do not think I could
return to the level of job I had when I left. BUT! I
don't think I would have trouble returning to that line
of work - due to my contacts. I might have to start a
little lower down the totem pole.
last went to lunch with a former supervisor about a year
ago. I really believe that she would help me land a
quite decent job if I asked, and she is certainly in the
position to help as her responsibilities and abilities
have moved her high up in such organizations (CFO and
CEO of large non-profits) in the time I have been gone.
Twenty-one Years Later
I wrote this page, I was preparing for the visit of a
friend with whom I worked in Africa in 1989 (a fellow
Peace Corps Volunteer)! Good friends, great experiences
over all these years, no doubt we would be happy - and
pleased - to help each other if we needed.
You will develop the same type of relationships. It is
a very special world out here! It really is.
Here's the directory for this section:
Planning for Your Eventual Return Home
Should I continue to network – even when I am away from
my home country?
What should I do about my aging parents?
Should I keep a webpage?
How do I budget the transition back home?
How can I keep up my qualifications while I am away?
What is “reverse culture shock” and how does it work?