Life lessons kinda suck.

You know how everyone always says life lessons make you grow as a person?  Yeah, well, what they don’t say is that before you can look back on things as with positive perspective, things kinda suck.

I have just realized over the past two weeks that I’ve really screwed up my job planning here in Istanbul.  And I’m not really thrilled about it, even though I’m confident something good will come along.

Before arriving, I had read in countless places that it was EASY for a native English speaker to get a job here.  You can’t throw a rock without hitting a language school.  And they are always hiring, and usually a college degree is qualification enough.  So, I wasn’t worried at all.  But upon arrival, people in the know all told me to stay as far away from the language schools as possible; the hours were terrible, the pay was dismal, they treated you badly, etc.

So, I thought, I’ll go my own way.  I started to pick up some private clients, which was great.  And then I was referred to a man who runs a language consultancy business.  I had an “audition” week and feedback was great.  The job looked ideal – I’d make good money working 25-30 hours a week, my schedule could be flexible, and I’d be teaching adults, which I think I’m good at.  I was promised that after Ramazan, I’d start full-time (fasting and learning do not mix).  In the interim, I’ve had a lot of down time, but didn’t try to find any new private clients, so I’d be sure to have plenty of time to give priority to this opportunity.  Well, Ramazan has been over for several weeks, and I can’t get the boss to give me the time of day.

So, boo to him for false promises, and a big, fat boo to me for trusting him.  And now, I have just a few private clients, and no source of dependable income.  Sigh.

But, I’m doing something about it.  I’m getting a teacher certification called the TEFL (Teaching English to Foreign Languages).  It’s a 120-hour online course.  I’m waist-deep in it right now, with verb tenses swimming in my head.  This certificate will qualify me to teach at a private school.  Problem is, school is starting now, and most have all the teachers they need.  However, I’ve been assured that after a month or two, teachers will decide teaching isn’t for them, Turkey isn’t for them, that school isn’t for them.  So, I’m hoping to swoop in on one of those opportunities!    Wish me luck.

And now, back to the past tenses…..


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jennifer Mathis
    Sep 17, 2011 @ 05:54:28

    Dang it, I’m sorry to hear that. I had hoped it was different in Turkey. 😦
    It’s tough to get a (good) gig as an English teacher in Germany as well. I knew that before we got here, but I didn’t think I’d have to deal with it, as it wasn’t part of our original plan. That’s what I get for thinking!

    Cheers to us for being flexible? [sheepish grin]


    • houstonchick
      Sep 19, 2011 @ 05:34:38

      Big cheers to us for growing! Or something…

      And we’ll both be so darn smart with our TEFLs. Watch out, Germany and Turkey!


  2. mom
    Sep 17, 2011 @ 07:48:03

    My motherly advice: “Remember that not getting what you want can be a wonderful stroke of luck” (Dalai Lama). My actual feelings: That crummy SOB! How dare he string you along??? My common sense says: If anyone can do it, YOU can. And the success will be even more sweet.


  3. nonsequiteuse
    Sep 17, 2011 @ 09:06:01

    Some day, let me tell you about working in London. The teasers: RIF’d before I even started my sure-thing job; cash under the table so I had to hide when the police walked by, which happened at least 4 times a day; hired for my boobs & not expected to actually KNOW how to operate the equipment; quite possibly sharing office space with a bookie; only able to afford one meal a day; drought with hose ban while house-sitting for a landscape architect’s prize roses; the cat ran away; the goldfish died. It was overwhelming … and I spoke the damn language!

    You are going to find something – don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Go after the TEFL, but consider picking up work for families affiliated with the British and American embassies. Babysitting (and I think we all know how I feel about kids in general) got me into some awesome homes, got me fed, and gave me some interesting connections to a new network of people.


  4. Kim
    Sep 20, 2011 @ 14:40:33

    Uh…are job-seeking language teachers supposed to use words like kinda? Clean it up, lady! BTW, I ran into a fortune-telling squirrel earlier today, and he assures me good things are indeed moving in your direction. But his cheeks were crammed full so he might have just been trash talking the dog. You know squirrels, they never enunciate. I’m pretty sure it was about you, though. Chin up!


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