I have mentioned a few times on this blog about how lost I feel at this stage in my life. To be honest it is the reason I started the blog, writing helps me get through difficult times and I wanted to connect to people who feel the same as me. Right now I am afraid for the future, I want a good career but I am not sure what I want to do. I want to have some sort of 5 year plan that I can follow, because the last one is just about up.
When I came to Korea I was only 22 and thought that living overseas would help me work out what to do with my life. I really did believe that as I worked and traveled this would just unfold and come to me. Well so far it hasn’t. I have no strong desire to do anything and am getting really worried about this. We have agreed that in march of 2015 when we go home to get married that will be it for Korea. neither of us want to be here for a really long time and want that time to study, find a house and set up a life before any babies come along (we are talking 30s here though people). After many worried conversations and sleepless night I have decided that only I can turn things around. I need to be productive!
I know people talk about fate and how things always work out, but too be honest I see this as a really dangerous frame of mind. I remember watching Oprah years ago and she was talking about luck, how everyone looks and her and other famous people and says ‘oh you are so lucky to live this life!’ Her argument was that there is no such thing as luck, she worked extremely hard to get to her position and so did everyone else with a great career. If we want something we need to push ourselves in the right direction and make sure that things do always work out.
So what am I doing? I looked at the things that are stressing me out the most, having no career and no money when i get home. Then I looked at what skills I have and how they can be used. I have teaching experience and a TEFL qualification which can be used in NZ to make some money and perhaps in a full time job.
I emailed a bunch of English schools in New Zealand to ask them what they look for in a teacher, and have enrolled in some online courses through Corsera.org (awesome website, go there!) These are basic grammar and teaching ones but will help me brush up on my skills and make my CV look good.
Emailing these schools now also gives me the chance to network and make contacts in NZ, and lets face it this is really important when looking for work. If in a year I interview with someone who remembers me then it gives me a little boost and shows that I am serious about it.
To help my experience I am registering to teach English online through Skype. This gives me a little extra money, gives me much more teaching experience in a range of fields and will also provide me with more references when interviewing in the future. Plus these are online contacts so I can continue to teach this way when in NZ. Overall these things are basic but will help separate me from the rest of the English teachers.
The money and job issue aside, I have been thinking about what I loved doing when I was younger – you know that whole thing of what you liked doing as a child is reflective of what you should do. I used to be a big writer, busting out stories on a weekly basis. Somehow this fell back as I grew older and more self-conscious, being a writer means putting yourself out there and it is hard. So I have decided to just write. Write to make me feel better, write to tell stories and, at some point, try to get these published where I can. It is scary, but sometimes we really need to just go for something. If i get a million rejection offers it isn’t the end of the world, and I can say I tried.
These steps are basic, but being productive like this has made me feel so much better and in control of my life. I no longer feel like I am floating through the years, now I have something to grasp onto and work towards. By taking the situation into my hands, I do feel like I am setting myself up for some sort of success. I am determined to stop my future from being scary, and make it awesome instead.