How Teaching in Thailand Can Help You in Your Professional Field
While teaching abroad is an amazing opportunity to travel and have a wild adventure, time spent teaching abroad is not wasted in as experience for your professional field. Just because you aren’t directly laying the foundation of a career doesn’t me that you are gaining good experience. Teaching abroad can actually benefit you professionally.
First, this job gets your real experience working job. After this teaching abroad, you will be able to list that you have worked as an English teacher. Regardless of your desired career path, working as an English teacher makes your resume look more professional because working as an English teacher is a worthwhile and respected position across most professional fields.
Second, employers will see that you are flexible. Traveling or living cross-culturally requires flexibility and working in another culture makes you even more flexible. If you have a year of teaching experience in Thailand, most employers will see that you are willing to learn and face challenges.
Third, our world continues to grow more and more connected. In the age of globalism, gaining experience overseas is critical. Seeing that you already have work experience abroad will reveal a mindset broader than many other people. While others may claim to think globally, you will have lived it and have work experience to prove it. Teaching overseas can also open you up to connections which may benefit you later in your career.
It will also show that you have a cross-cultural experience. The world is growing more and more diverse and working with people from different backgrounds is crucial in the workplace. Working in a different culture proves you are able to learn how to adapt to other worldviews and be sensitive to other ways of living and thinking.
Finally, and I think most importantly, teaching in Thailand will shape your character. In a world of degrees and certificates, more and more employers are looking for people of character. Anyone can get a degree, but not everyone is a person of good character. Teaching overseas will develop your humility as you struggle to order dinner and help strengthen your confidence as you learn to exist in another culture and workplace. Employers will see that you chose the road less traveled, giving you a unique life experience that sets you apart.
How it’s Helping Us:
The next step for me and my wife is moving to Southern Thailand, where we will be teaching at an international school. Before making the final decision, we were considering other countries but decided to stay in Thailand for consistency. It was really encouraging to be hired by an international school. These are much more competitive but between our teaching experience, TEFL training, and interview, we were accepted. Even a year of experience gave us enough of an edge to move forward teaching in Thailand. And the year of experience can open up a lot of other doors teaching around the world when a school sees you have prior experience teaching English.
In the future, when we return to the states, we anticipate being involved in non-profits and ministries working with people transitioning to America and learning the language. We definitely want to incorporate our training and experience working with language learners in the U.S. whether vocationally or as a volunteer!
At the end of the day, you are more than a degree or your resume. Any good employer knows that and will respect your decision to do something different. Taking on a new job in a new country gives you experience no course or development program can give you. You will stand out because of your experience.