Long-Term Job Security in TEFL

Is some sort of job security possible when teaching English overseas?

I get this question a lot and I usually answer…’yes and no’.

Job security mainly depends on your employer and the country in which you decide to work. The shady employers are out there, but their are good ones too, you’ll find the same type of characters just like in your home country.

Be careful when you are choosing your employer. You need to take your time and weigh all the options before selecting your employer, just like back home.

Take control of your future

Take some advice and listen to all the people in this business: consider yourself a ‘private contractor’. You are working for yourself and building your own future. Don’t count on an employer to assure your future.  You will only be disappointed if you do.

Take a good friend of mine for an example: He worked for a university in Korea for over ten years with promises of being permanent in his position, only to find that they had decided to implement a new policy in which foreigners would be limited to working only for three years.

He gave his all to the students and the school; he was settled and comfortable in his town and in his job but the reality was that he had to leave! Bags packed, out of the door.  Bye bye!

One-Year Contracts

In this industry you will find that one-year contracts are the norm. With a one-year contract you should be prepared to go job hunting every year, even though you don’t actually have to do that. If you do a pretty good job, your school will renew your contract. A lot of people work for many years at all kinds of schools. You can also find longer contracts – they are not rare, though they are not common either – it depends on the job and the country.

It’s a great idea . . .

Creating your own security and learning how to do so, will be one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself! You will be highly content and satisfied if you are building your own employment and financial world that is completely independent of your employer(s).

Take care of your future – don’t follow in the footsteps of the WorldCom, Citibank and Bernard Madoff employers or even those who relied on defined benefit retirement plans from some of the largest corporations in the world. Your future is in your hands!

TED’s Tips™ #1: Taking care of yourself is a GREAT idea! Do it!

Maybe you just want to spend one year abroad, or two, but it is possible that you might surprise yourself and stay longer than you ever planned for. If this is the case, get educated for your long-term financial security.

I bought and paid off several rental properties to provide for my old age. I am not rich, but I don’t have to stress and worry about a former employer going bankrupt or not paying my salary! You too, can prepare for your old age while teaching English and seeing the world!  Enjoy life and seeing the world are not incompatible with financial security.

TED’s Tips™ #2: Get information about medical plans independent of the minimal plans offered by your employer.

It is always wise to prepare yourself for life’s curve balls and surprises that may come at inconvenient times – even while you are young and healthy and when a medical plan is not your focus.

It is possible to find a good quality insurance for a good price because the cost of good medical is so much lower than in Western Countries.

If you have your own insurance, you are more likely to be covered even outside the country in which you are working (be sure to ask!). Usually, you will be covered while traveling and the portability can also mean that you are free to change jobs when you want. You will likely even be covered between jobs. You most likely won’t get these benefits with an employer provided insurance benefit.

Teaching Internships in China

Author: Ted

Semi-retired EFL teacher/teacher-trainer working and living abroad since 1989 in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.