Let's face it: the job market in the United States is not what it used to be. People with education and skills are constantly being overlooked. Benefits are not what they used to be either, with many firms electing to hire multiple part-time positions in order to avoid paying for health care, retirement plans, and other goodies that previous generations took for granted.
Is the American Dream dead? It certainly isn't, at least not for some. However, job markets are incredibly competitive with many people having to settle for years of part-time employment and underemployment. This is not what we spent all of that time and money in college for.
There is a solution to our employment woes, however. Some groups complain about immigrants taking jobs from American citizens. This is a legitimate complaint, and it is almost like a slap in the face to work hard, pay taxes, and see others taking jobs that you thought you would be working. It is a major letdown, as if the government and corporations do not care about the country that they supposedly serve.
Well, what we can do is turn that around and become immigrants ourselves. If our country's government and the corporations operating within our borders do not pledge loyalty to us and meeting our needs, then we must be proactive in getting what we want, seeking opportunities anywhere that they may be. Of course, I am not advocating treason, but rather seeking dreams outside of our home countries.
This is where teaching English in Asia comes along.
There is a growing need for English education in the Far East. Many times, schools in Asia are willing to hire native English speakers as long as they have a bachelor's degree. Some schools require experience, but this can be made up by including any babysitting experience or small-scale tutoring experience that one may have. Sometimes, just having light skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes is enough to get in the door!
Can Black People Teach Too?
People with darker skin tones do face more of a challenge than fair-skinned individuals in Asia. It is unfortunate, but that is the way it is. Do not let this deter you, however, as many Black people may find getting a decent job easier abroad than in America.
For instance, I am a Black man and I did very well in the job market in China. I was appreciated for my skills, clear voice patience, and of course, being a native speaker from America. However, I have worked with people from African countries and countries that do not use English as an official language. Yes, a White person from a country where English is the native tongue has a definite advantage, but other types of people can still find employment.
But I am Not a Teacher!
Whether you have teaching experience or not, finding a teaching job overseas is not extremely difficult. In some cases, the best teachers are those that do not come with experience or preconceived notions of what it means to be a teacher.
Limited training is provided to help newcomers become masters of the classroom. Some companies offer extensive training that can help their employees develop skills that will follow them back home. Even if you are nervous teaching at first, your confidence will naturally develop.
Personally, I had quite a bit of experience in the field of education, but teaching in China helped me to develop my people skills and presentation skills. These are things that can help me ace those interviews and become more competitive back home in the States.
It should also be stated that once you get to the country of your choosing and establish yourself, side-hustles such as tutoring kids or providing conversational practice can earn you some easy additional income.
Living the Life Abroad
Aside from landing a stable job, teaching in Asia can help us to broaden our horizons. How many of us are tired seeing the same old things and people day-in and day-out. Granted, over time, we may begin to take our new surroundings for granted, at least we can get a fresh perspective on things, and learn about new cultures.
Foreign men also have an advantage in Asia that they likely do not in their home countries. White men in particular are practically worshiped, and while we might not be first pick, Brothers can still get around. If you are a man with little luck in the dating department back home, you will be shocked at just ho many cute girls will want to take your number (or add your WeChat). Sorry ladies, but for once, the ball is in the man's hands in Asia.
I for one felt more appreciated by both employers and females when I lived in China. Even though I decided not to stay forever, the confidence boost of knowing that there is somewhere that I am appreciated has done wonders for me.
Is Teaching in Asia For You?
Honestly, teaching in Asia might not be for everyone. Those that do not do well in strange new environments, and those with thin skins might want to stay home and tough it out. People that are intrepid, curious, patient, and willing to seek their dreams will do well.
There is much to explore in Asia, and China in particular is a hotbed of business and manufacturing. One may begin as a teacher, then end up building the business of their dreams in a far-off land. It is also possible that a person may find themselves and decide to pursue the path of becoming an educator back in their homelands. Teaching in Asia is not just about phonics and grammar; soft skills will be developed in the classroom that can help a person succeed in just about any job or business.
The American Dream is not dead at all. If America is a nation of immigrants, natural-born Americans may need to become immigrants themselves to make their dreams become realities.