TEFL Career Ladder

After your first TEFL job – then what?

Another reader (in her late 40s) was wondering what she might do next when she wrote in with this question:

Any suggestions on the type of jobs to pursue? I even thought of joining the Peace corps.

I don’t know where you teach now, but as you get older and/or more experienced it is good to either specialize in an ESP such as Business English, Teaching Examinations like TOEFL or teaching Hospitality English in Resorts and Hotels; move up to university/college teaching and/or if you have enough experience, teacher training. For the ESP angle, some good options for learning more about them are over at TEFL Boot Camp.

Three good options – ESP, University, Teacher Training. I am not sure that the Peace Corps will help you with any of those. Now – I am a Peace Corps fan as I was a volunteer in Botswana 89-91 and I believe in service to your country and/or to humanity – so the Peace Corps option depends a lot on your motivation for joining. If it is to see the world, then you already have the tool – TEFL. If it is to serve and nurture the world a bit, then it is a good option.

One option I haven’t suggested is the position of DOS (director of studies) which is typically a supervisory position in many schools. If supervisory skills come naturally to you and you enjoy such work – then it might be a good option for you. But often the DOS position is the guy/gal who fills in at the last second when someone doesn’t show up and they also do a lot of hiring and firing. Those are three things that I don’t enjoy! So I left it out.

TED’s Tips™ #1: There are lots of options in TEFL, you don’t have to keep doing the same thing on and on and on – unless of course you are super happy with what you are doing – then keep on doing it!

TED’s Tips™ #2: College and university positions often require graduate degrees, but with a TEFL Certification (pretty much any kind) and a degree, you can land a good college level job in China these days.