CEO of HBC
Will I be able to start anew again?
I completed my MA in English literature at a prestigious university in Hong Kong, and with a PGDE majoring in English on hand, I should be qualified to teach English in local secondary schools. Nevertheless, from May to October 2013, I have been sending out 100 more applications for teaching posts (CM and GM), I hear none of them back. I felt like I was a fool to leave my previous work as a teacher in order to pursue my MA study...in fact, now that I am unable to find a full-time teaching post, I can only rely on doing part-time tutoring, which is sad. I have no other specific skills for the commercial field except teaching english and literature. Nevertheless, as it seems that I will never be able to go back to the full time teaching world, I consider that I should change field and start low, so I have been looking for lowly paid, jobs that require little or no experiences. What else can I do? I am nearly losing all my savings as I continue to be unemployed, and I am not able to further study again when I have no money. Will I be able to start anew again in other fields besides teaching? Is there still hope for me to begin a new career track despite my mistake in choosing a not-so-useful master course in HK? What frustrates me the most is that when I was interviewed by those in commercial fields, I was being rejected merely because I was told that I did not have related working experience. I think it is very tough for an English teacher (who is a Hongkonger non-native speaker) to find another field of work. I desperately need good advice, in times of the lack of money and hopes!
Sidney Yuen - Career Doctor
Posted Thursday 21st November 2013 04:57:00 PM
Dear Miles, I understand that you have found a part-time job teaching English, and persistence always pays off. One should not assume that being qualified means you can land a job. The key to remember in job hunting is that we must adopt a customized approach; sending out hundreds of applications without understanding the job requirements and employers’ expectations is like shooting an open target. Miles, I want you to do the following. Ask yourself what matters to you most. If you didn’t need to work for a living, would you want to be an English teacher? Or is there something else you would rather do? Be honest. Once you have some clarity about what this is, you will create a path to achieving what you are longing for, and money will come your way. This exercise will help you to recover your own wisdom and work in ways that bring you joy. You also mentioned that you would like to consider going to Taiwan for possible employment opportunities. If you enjoy living abroad, this would be a good idea. I had been interviewing hundreds of executives, and most of them have qualifications that don’t match their current jobs. People who have studied sociology end up working as operations managers; others who did Asian studies become HR managers. The examples are endless. There is no such thing as a permanent position. The increased use of contract positions means that we are all project managers now; once you finish a project, you go on to another. We need to do an excellent job at the project so that the “customer” will continue using us to do another. When others tell you that it is tough for an English teacher to find another field of work, do not listen to them; trust you inner voice, tell yourself that everything is possible, and have faith and confidence that you can find a job that you love, provided that you have done an exercise to sort out what you want in your career. I read an article recently that stated that there are at least 20 new jobs that have not existed before. There are opportunities out there if you are aware of them. Stay open-minded and, with a lot of curiosity and persistence, I am sure you will find a career that you love.
Posted Friday 1st November 2013 07:56:00 PM
Hi Career Doctor, I have been thinking a lot about my career choice and recently begin to feel hope again. I have got my part time tutoring going on, and at the same time I am considering seeking jobs abroad, such as Taiwan, as a nearby country. Perhaps it will be a nice experience and better to settle earlier than later, when I see quite a gloomy future here in HKG. Thanks a lot! Best, Miles Bee