Once TEFL qualified, many of our graduates go straight to their desired country in the hope of finding work in person. However, doing so can seem quite a daunting task at first, so here are a few tips to guide you on your TEFL journey.
Looking respectable is very important when you go to apply for jobs. It may seem tempting to walk in with your beach shorts and a casual tee shirt, but don’t let the easy-going travel bug completely over-ride common sense. Dressing smartly equates to a good first impression which is something you do not want to mess up. When you go to hand in your CV, dress as if you were going to an interview. That will immediately create a positive impression and put you in good stead for your actual interview.
It’s always worth remembering only a small portion of available jobs gets published online or in adverts. So, it would be very wise for you to learn about as many jobs as you can by networking. Acquaint yourself with teachers at local schools and other expats so that you can find out about job opportunities through word of mouth. Your newly made friends may also put in a good word for you to their employees. Be sure to have a professional-looking social media account – so no nasty photos of all the nights out with you and your friends – where you may even be contacted. Also, if you have any friends or family currently living the area you want to work in, ask them to scout out any possible schools or work placements for when you arrive.
Sometimes, finding a job abroad, like at home, can take time. Don’t be disheartened if you still haven’t landed yourself a place within a few weeks or even months. Work small jobs whilst you wait for your dream TEFL position. Being prepared to wait also means make sure you’re financially capable of being without work for a few weeks. Bring enough money with you to last until you finally bag yourself a position at a school.
Always keep an eye out for local advertisement either in newspapers or online. Job openings can disappear quickly, especially in popular TEFL destinations, so you need to be ready to pounce on a vacancy as soon as it appears!
Value for money wise, staying in a hostel is probably your best bet for accommodation, at least until you start making money. Pretty much all urban centres will be able to provide rooms for budget prices. In fact, most towns and villages will also be able to do the same. Of course, if you happen to have friends or family living in the same area you plan to teach then stay with them!
Keep Your Options Open
In many countries, private TEFL tutoring is just as popular an option of employment as school placements. It also tends to pay more as you can be the boss of your own salary. So, market yourself as a private tutor if you prefer the sound of that instead. Another interesting aspect of TEFL is Business English, a bustling section of the industry. No matter what country you go to there will be businessmen and women looking to improve their English so as to better their chances of the world stage. Therefore, tapping into this goldmine of an industry could really boost your career.