I have a "real" job

If you follow me on my facebook page or on instagram you will have seen or read a few allusions to my "real job" or "grown-up" job. I've only really blogged about getting the job and that I will start the job.

I've had a few questions about what the heck I'm doing because I only briefly mentioned it in the post about actually getting the job and why do I keep calling it a "grown up" or "real job."

I'll address the second question first.

When I tell people I'm a writer or a freelance writer I generally get, "oh what else do you to?" or "is that a real job?" in response. Yeah people are jerks like that. I've spent that last 2 years justifying my choice to be a writer. I know it sounds weird but it's true. Being a writer is something most people don't understand. Heck, even I don't understand it sometimes. I don't go to an office every day. I actually have to beg people to hire me. I have to ask people to let me write for them in exchange for money. There is little to no job security. And when I'm not actively pitching or working on a specific piece I just write whatever I want. This is a hard concept for people to grasp. I get that. But it's a job. Pure and simple. In some cases I have to work harder at this than I have at any other "real" jobs I've  had in the past and remember my job before our move here was to convince people to donate large sums of money to the charity I worked more. Yes, this is harder than asking someone to give me $50,000.00.

So when I told people I started working at a job that 1) they could understand and 2) required me to leave the house and interact with people face to face I was met with a lot of "oh yay you got a real job." and "it's so nice that you're working again."

So that's how this new job got it's title as a "real" job.

Now what IS my "real" job.

Teaching English as a Second language. Many moons ago before I completed my degree I got my ESL teaching certificate and license. I did this mostly because as far as a BA in English Lit and History goes the job market isn't great unless you want to become a teacher or an academic or someone who lives in a box. So I figured I should probably obtain some sort of back up plan because I had no intentions of getting an Ed degree, a Masters Degree or trying to locate the much coveted refrigerator box domicile. I spent four days doing the foundation course with about 8 other people in a hotel conference room and then I did my specializations online. I specialized in teaching children and grammar.

We often joke that teaching English is basically every trailing spouses default career. It's what everyone assumes you'll do or have done if you follow your spouse to a new country. It's true. Most trailing spouses give up their careers to relocate and find themselves unable to pick up where they left off with their careers. If they can, that's awesome. A lot of us can't. If I was offered a job in non-profit I would take in a heart beat. And believe me, I've tried, but after 2 years of trying I had to find something else. ESL was it.

I teach one-on-one as of right now. I could have up to 3 students in a class in the future. The place I work for believes small class sizes are better for language learning. I agree. In a huge class it's easy to get overlooked...I think this is one of the main reasons I never really took to learning French in grade 6 through 9. I could have larger than 3 in the future I start doing corporate teaching which would be awesome.

Overall, I enjoy it. I get to natter on about the awesomeness of adverbial clauses and draw super cool charts of the 12 tenses of English on the white board.

Yeah...there are 12 tenses in English...and my husband assures me that no one cares that I have them memorized.


Kat said…
English has TWELVE TENSES?!?! I thought there were only three- past, present, future.

You just blew my mind. I just...I can't even. TWELVE TENSES? Seriously?

Jonathan is wrong. I care that you have all 12 tenses memorized.
Tatiana said…
YAY someone cares!! Yes there are 12 tense, Past, Present, future, present perfect (have or has), past perfect (had), future perfect (will or shall + have), present progressive, past progressive, future progressive, present perfect progressive, past perfect progressive and future perfect progressive,
I feel your pain and frustration. It annoys me to no end when people ask me what I do and I reply, "I'm a writer." They look at me like I said I drown cats for a living. However, I am presently looking for a 'real' job as well because the pay as a freelancer is crappy. Good luck to you!
Unknown said…
I just found your blog through a comment you made on Chimerikal's site.. consider me your newest follower. :) I've been bouncing around to a lot of your posts and loving all of them! Question: What process did you go through to get your ESL job? I realize you are living there but my "real" job is teaching in the States and I got a taste of teaching overseas in Asia and have been trying to tap into Europe but I keep getting stuck on EU citizenship bit. Any information you have would helpful, even it's just a reminder that it's possible! :)
Tatiana said…
Hi Ashley! Welcome!!

The process I went through is a little different then most. I have dual citizenship with Canada and Germany so I can work anywhere in the EU. However, Switzerland is not part of the EU but I'm here with my husband under a visa that allows me to work here. What I would recommend is looking for places that are willing to bring you over and apply for a work visa for you. This is the easiest way to get your foot in the door in the EU. Look at international schools specifically, they're use to dealing with teachers from all over. A lot of places will take you if you have a valid work permit however those can be pricey. Which is why I always tell people to get the job first where they will take care of that paperwork for you.

I hope that helps. Don't get discouraged. Keep looking.
Unknown said…
Thanks so much for responding, and for the follow! I will not give up. :)