Before you considered teaching overseas, you had very specific reasons for deciding. But as with any job, as you gain experience, your priorities and career objectives change, and you might now be considering whether or not you should renew your teaching contract for another year or move on to a new challenge.
But how do you know when it’s really time to move on? There are some tell-tale signs that taking on a new teaching job elsewhere – perhaps in a new country – might be the right decision for you.
You’re keen for new teaching experiences
Do you feel like you know your job like the back of your hand and want to challenge yourself further? Stuck in the same daily routines? Have you stayed at the same career level for several years now?
You might be ready for a change.
Take a long look at how a job change will enhance your job experience. The key word here though is experience – you shouldn’t only consider a job change because of salary. More money can be encouraging for a short time, but if you aren’t working in a city that you like or you settle for a new job that doesn’t challenge or excite you, you won’t be happy for long. Remember, learning opportunities can often be just as valuable as salary in the long run
Your interests have changed
Maybe you were a recently licensed teacher when you started out and was looking for something close to home. Maybe you’ve already taken the plunge and wanted to try teaching overseas and now you’re keen to immerse yourself in a different culture. Maybe you set some foreign language goals for yourself. Or maybe you’ve just always wanted to live in South East Asia.
It’s normal for your priorities to have changed over the years. Maybe you’ve just completed your year-long contract and now you have a newfound sense of wanderlust.
Whatever the case, if you find yourself daydreaming about new teaching abroad experiences, it might be time to look elsewhere. The great thing about signing a shorter contract is that you always have more flexibility: when your year is up, the world is your oyster!
You find your work-life balance is shifting
Teaching is hard work. But if you find that you’re burning out, beginning to have less ‘me’ time, and you’re perhaps not receiving the recognition and support you deserve, it might be worth considering moving on. Having personal time to yourself that allows you to unwind, reconnect with family, or get out and have fun are absolutely critical, wherever you are.
One thing worth doing is having a conversation with your employer before you decide not to renew your contract. If you like the city you’re living in and enjoy your co-workers but don’t feel challenged enough, mention it! Many employers will take your feedback to heart and might even work with you to adjust your role if they can. Otherwise, you’ll know that you’ve explored every avenue to improve your current job situation and now it’s just time to move on.
Whatever you decide, remember that making changes to your career is a way of initiating progress. Here’s to new adventures!