Back to reality; I’m not a rich kid who can retire at the grand old age of 29, so now I’m back in England I have to bite the bullet and go and find a source of income. I have a few options:
- Work on a farm on a volunteer basis in Portugal
- Swallow my pride and find a job here in England, most likely something basic as I haven’t got the qualifications to walk into a well paid job
- Go and teach in another country again
Option 1 was my first choice; working on my friends farm learning about… well… farming. Which would give me the time to write a book and learn a new life skill. A skill in my opinion that is seriously undervalued and something all people should have a basic education in. This would also expand my knowledge in terms of writing books with new, diverse characters with different back stories. However this is not a permanent thing; not only is it voluntary (so I will still be eating into what little savings I have left) but it depends on when they have friends/family/other volunteers over as to when I can stay there. I still like the idea of going there, it just seems far less secure than I anticipated…
So I went with option 2. I’ve got a place to stay for one more month. Then I have to be working full time and earning enough to sustain myself including rent and bills. This may seem very simple for most people but I have only ever rented outside of England. I’ve dealt with renting abroad with minimal fuss but in England I always had a job that came with some sort of lodgings so believe it or not I’ve never actually rented my own place here which means it feels pretty daunting for me to do for the first time…
I went to the job centre, said hi-de-ho, stole their computer and proceeded to write two CV’s, one for working in England and one for abroad aimed specifically at teaching. The people there were surprisingly helpful. I say surprisingly because I can imagine that kind of job can drain you seeing people down on their luck full of doom and gloom not knowing how they are going to get out of it. That kind of negative energy can linger in the air and its only a matter of time before it becomes contagious. In fact when I first went there they kept telling me in a monotonic voice that I wasn’t entitled to benefits because I’ve only just returned to the country, to which I kept replying I’m not LOOKING for benefits, I just want to know if there are any local jobs that would suit my skills and personality. So I guess once they realised I wasn’t just walking in with no intention of trying to find a job, sticking my hand out and hoping people would throw money at me like a half naked twenty year old girl in an American strip club they were more than happy to help.
The next day I printed off the English CV’s and started spreading them around to various shops and pubs (considering most of my experience in England is bar or restaurant work, I felt that would be the easiest place to start) then I ended up at Morrison’s talking to some woman behind the counter who was an absolute winner.
Me: Hi! I’m new in the area and was wondering whether I could drop off my CV?
Absolute Winner: <looking me up and down as if I’d just told her kids that Santa’s fingering the Easter bunny whilst maintaining eye contact with their father…> WE’RE CLOSED!!!
Me: <Looking confused, as they were clearly open> Erm… OK. Well shall I just hand in my CV online?
Absolute Winner: WHAT???
Me: <Repeats the question, but does a little twerk at the end to lighten up the situation>
Absolute Winner: We’re CLOSING!
Me: Well, can’t I just… Oh wait, you mean the branch is closing?
Absolute Winner: YES!!!
Me: Oh OK. Sorry to hear that. Thanks for your help…
Handing in CV’s isn’t fun nowadays. I know I’ve been away for a while but surely that isn’t the norm? I hope it gets easier the more you do it…
What about teaching? can’t you go back to that schizzle?
Well this evening I have been sending off CV’s to schools online hoping that I’ll get a bite. Sadly I don’t have a degree, which is meaningless unless (a) you want to go into a specific field i.e. Law. or (b) you want to teach English in a foreign country.
I have a TEFL degree, and I have four years experience teaching, mostly academic classes, so I’m hoping that common sense will prevail and the experience will outweigh a piece of paper (especially since I have my teaching qualifications, just not a random degree from a university) but we will see what happens. Some countries MUST have a degree to comply with their visa regulations.
I also have a friend who is now teaching in Northern China. He has recommended for me to go over there and work, as they are treating him and his wife very well. So that can be another option. I’m considering booking a flight over there as a tourist and seeing if I can find work out there, then converting my visa to a tourist one. Whatever happens I have a month to decide. By now I would have been in Northern China anyway on my round the world trip, or in Mongolia or Southern Russia on the Trans-Siberian train, so maybe that part of the world is calling me? Whatever happens, I’m sure it was meant to happen. Even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. Wish me luck!