Looking at this blog, I see it’s a looooong time since I last posted. About a month, in fact.

Why is that?

A little over a month ago, I quit my job and moved back to the U.K. I had been working in China for about eight years, and at the same job for about four and a half.

China was pretty good for my career and I was making good money, but ultimately I decided it was time for a change. I had been standing in front of giant groups of students (mostly disinterested business students) for a long time, and it was tiring. I badly wanted to teach small groups and make more of a difference in their lives.

Some people feel that teaching ESL is a deadend job with no future. In fact, I hear it a lot. There is a good reason why people tend to say that, but it’s not always true. There are so many different jobs in this industry, and places to go, and so many organizations looking for qualified, hard-working people. It’s easy to get trapped in a shitty job and feel that ESL as a whole is deadend, but it isn’t.

Getting ahead in ESL is just like any other field of work. You need to be able to work hard, improve your skills, and network. It’s easy to fall into a trap of doing only the bare minimum, especially if you find yourself surrounded by that sort of person.

My dilemma was that wherever I go next I will probably make less money. I had spent a long time building my career in China, and it will be hard to go elsewhere and make the same sort of salary.

But money isn’t everything, and very few teachers get into the job for the cash.

For me, after a long time looking at the situation, I decided to take a little step back, aiming to keep moving forward in the long run. China was bad for my health, and the education system there is… well… “problematic” is a nice way of putting it.

So now I’m focusing on my business (that’s TED-IELTS) for a few months while I look around at options elsewhere. It’s a big world, and people in every corner of it are looking for English teachers. Poland, Columbia, and Japan are calling, alongside a hundred other countries!