a real job?
Can I take it seriously?
supporting yourself while living overseas and
experiencing another culture is a goal, then yes you can
consider TEFL a "real" job.
the possibility of saving substantially more money over
a year than you could back home is your goal, then yes
you would like to live overseas for extended periods and
travel extensively, all while making a decent living,
then yes, yes, yes, you can consider TEFL a "real" job.
Like any real job
Just like any "real" job back home, you can expect to
start out at the bottom in EFL teaching. You will need
to learn the ropes and should plan some study to improve
your skills. You will also need to network to improve
your job possibilities and can expect periods of
frustration and a difficult boss or coworker from time
to time. The "real" world doesn't go away overseas.
can expect that your employer will want you to make a
serious effort at providing quality instruction for your
students and will want you to represent the
school/company/institution in a positive manner.
Employers will not see your job as a "lark" or a chance
to see the world - they will want you to produce.
You will be expected to groom yourself, dress, and
behave in a professional manner. An
out-of-the-ordinary personal appearance
such as tattoos, piercings, oddly colored hair, etc.
will make getting and keeping a job much more
Unlike jobs back home
might be hired without meeting your employer, might do
just a telephone hiring interview, might have shorter
work hours, fewer work days, longer vacations, free
housing, airplane tickets to your new location,
transportation to and from work and other "perks" that
are not common back home.
Some things that are common in overseas hirings that you
might not like include the need for a photograph
accompanying your resume, interview questions about your
marital status, family members and/or other non-work
related issues. Every country will be different in this
regard, but you can certainly expect some surprises.