Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Part Time Work Abroad

by AJ

I'll be honest. Many full time jobs abroad (and at home) are terrible. My first teaching job, in Korea, was horrible. The school was sleazy. The hours were long. I hated the job. And as a result, I got a very bad impression of Korea.

My two jobs in Japan were bad too. They were better than the Korean job, but not pleasant. Luckily, my life outside of work was good and so I have a very good overall feeling for the country. But I hate working there.

The point is, while living and working abroad seems, and certainly can be, romantic and adventurous... its also possible that such an experience will be gruelling, boring, monotonous, stressful, and generally terrible.

But there is an excellent way to bypass this-- part time work. With a part time job, you are not subjected to the same gruelling hours. You have time to explore the country and settle into your life. Even if the job is bad, its bad for a much shorter time and thus effects the rest of your life less.

Of course, this is not an option for those needing or wanting to save lots of money. But for those who are focused on having an interesting and rewarding cultural encounter... part time work abroad is an excellent strategy.

I love my current teaching position in Thailand. While the students and staff are great... the main reason is that my hours are reasonable. Im officially employed full time, but my schedule is very relaxed. As a result I have time and energy to both enjoy the rest of my life and plan my classes well. Therefore, both are rewarding.

If you are thinking of living and working abroad, consider the part time option.


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