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I'm at a Sticking Point in my Life - What should I do?

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I'm at a Sticking Point in my Life - What should I do?

Postby rudder » May 28th, 2014, 9:56 pm

Worse still, because I found the love of my life in a foreign country.

What should I do in my life? I have an Associates degree in Horticulture, a useless, liberal arts Bachelors degree and a TESOL certificate.

Currently, I teach English part time at a local language institute here in the foreign country. It isn't enough to make ends meet. I have been looking for English teaching gigs from online schools in other countries for a while now, and it still hasn't given me any income. I do enjoy teaching, though. I must say, it's a fairly rewarding line of work. It feels good, and the pay is actually a bit more per hour than the average local job. On the whole, however, I have just been slowly burning through my savings.

I'm wondering if I should leave my wife and go home for a while and work towards something at home (e.g. the cliched passive income) before planning my eventual return. I certainly don't want to separate for any length of time, especially since we haven't been together very long, nor would I be thrilled to move back to the USA.

I really need a solid long-term plan. Do I start some small business here abroad, such as a laundromat, or something else that doesn't have very high startup costs? Should I get another degree related to Horticulture, and then look for relevant jobs locally and compete with the locals for local wages?

Should I pursue a CELTA certificate and see if I can gain enough experience to travel with my wife to live somewhere like Saudi Arabia in order to make a decent income?

One thing is that I feel very insecure about my future career-wise. For that reason, I don't feel like narrowing my options down to any one thing, but I'd like to have various options. The flipside of that coin is that I spread myself too thin and don't get the necessary experience whereas if I just applied myself to one thing.
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Postby rudder » May 31st, 2014, 8:18 pm

hammanta wrote:Something that hasn't really been touched on that much is working for an overseas American Company or International NGO. Though difficult and not instant for those without degrees and significant experience but still possible. The U.S offers opportunities with the Embassies, NGOs like World Bank and U.N., or non-profits like World Vision, WWF, as well as international corporations like IBM and Apple. If you are a younger guy with a degree like myself why not grind it out for a few years at an average but relevant job and a part time gig. Making 35k a year you could easily save 10-15k a year and a part time job saving 3-6k a year. In 4-6 years time you could save 40-80k. Take that income go to grad school and/or travel to the country of your choice and volunteer or intern with a company of your choosing. Make connections and gain experience. By the time you are 30 or early 30's you could be living overseas with a nice steady income and good benefits. By the time you are late 40's or 50's you could probably retire with a nice pension.

ADB starts junior analysts (32 and below) out at 70K USD a year living in Manila with housing assistance, 2 free plane tickets home a year, good pension and health care, and a few other great benefits. Of course your resume needs to stand out but its not impossible with hard work and dedication and there are other companies doing this to. I've heard of companies like IMB sending employees over to Manila for stints of 6months to even years and putting them up in apartment complexes and nice hotels like The Pennisula and Shangri La.

Of course it takes education, hard work, and maybe a little bit of luck but definitely possible. Probably a little easier and more secure than gambling with the real estate market. At least you will have an education and work experience to fall back on if it doesn't go that well. I know several people who have done similar things. For those older this might not help but for younger guys in teens to mid 20's its definitely possible.

Yep, I'm in my mid-twenties and just started an internship with a branch of the government in one South American nation researching and experimenting with new crop species. I'm somewhat of a specialist, and have some relevant work experience, yet I don't even have a relevant Bachelors degree in the field, just a relevant Associates degree. According to my supervisor this could definitely turn into a decent, paid, research assistant position by the end of the year. All that for just making a few contacts and following up with them at an opportune moment.

There is one thing to be said about working abroad if your first language is English. My coworkers see me as a valuable asset, because most scientific articles are published in English, and thus I am able to help translate and interpret information. That's why they are eager to have me as an intern as opposed to a more "qualified" local. Just try to find some backwater, off-the-beaten path place where hardly anyone bothers to learn English, and position yourself as a specialist in whatever field you have some experience.

After having picked up my first month's measly paycheck from the English language institute, that is exactly what I intend to do. As long as you are fluent in the local language, I think there's a decent shot at finding something other than teaching English.

Many proponents of passive income and entrepreneurship site having a boss as one of the drawbacks of a job. Well in many other countries work environments aren't nearly as nasty.

I like Hammanta's suggestion for working for NGOs as well. The economy of the future is just going to be governments and rich people giving handouts to projects that they deem proactive and practical.
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