Gosh, there’s a lot to unpack from the title of this blog post. “Quit your job”, okay, but how and why? “Tropical paradise”, which tropical paradise? “New career”, I’m interested, but what new career? Will I earn enough from this ‘new career’ to live a comfortable life? “Within 42 days”, even if the ‘quit’, ‘move’ and ‘start’ suggestions are not fanciful, is the timeline achievable?
Each question in the paragraph above deserves a straight answer, no ‘weasel words’. You’ll get straight answers in this post. In addition, I’ll provide you with a ‘Three-step Roadmap’ that will take you from where you are now to that yet unnamed tropical paradise and a new career – within 42 days. Whether you’re a Member of Parliament, a ‘Sparky’ or a Product Synergy Specialist (you work on the drive-through at Maccas), if you crave a quintessential expat lifestyle that most people only dream about, read on.
Roadmap – Step one: How to quit your job
This will be the easiest or the most challenging phase in the three-step roadmap. It will be easy to quit your job if you don’t like it – and the people you work with. It will tough if the people around you are besties. Good mates are hard to find, and if you’re in a ‘nightmare’ job with besties, all of you will have endured the same horrible experience. Serious bonding with your mates will have occurred in the face of adversity. Hard to walk away from? Yes! Impossible? No! With this kind of scenario, if you quit your job, you’re walking away from a horrible experience, not your besties. They’ll always be there for you.
Let’s run with the ‘I dislike my job – and the people I work with’ idea. How can you quit your job with minimal fuss? I’ve gone through this a few times in my working life, and the best approach is a simple letter typed on your desktop or laptop. It should be: 1. dated, 2. addressed to your employer, 3. include the words ‘I want to let you know that I will finish up at (name of company) on (day and date)’, and 4. signed by you. It’s that easy. You’re ‘out of there’! Bye-bye. No regrets.
If you like the people at your workplace, the quitting process should be similar, but take steps to keep in touch with your mates and organise a ‘pub night’ to say goodbye. You may choose to cover the bar tab, or at least a round of drinks as a parting gesture. So, there’s no need to get stressed about quitting. People do it all the time. Who knows? Your besties might join you in the yet unnamed tropical paradise when they see how successful you’ve been.
Let’s do a time check. Most folks would say that seven days’ notice is ample when you quit your job, regardless of whether the position is highfalutin or run-of-the-mill. Keep in mind that this roadmap provides for a total timeframe of ‘A to Z’ within 42 days. We are now at day seven.
Roadmap – Step two: Move to a tropical paradise
I know you’ve been waiting patiently for the name of the tropical paradise to be revealed! The time has come. You’ve quit your job. You’re heading to the promised land on day 8, 9 or 10 of our ‘roadmap’, depending on your commitments. My version of the ‘promised land’ isn’t Jerusalem, although it’s a lovely place to visit any time of the year. My promised land is Vietnam, specifically Ho Chi Minh City. While all roads led to Jerusalem in biblical times, in this post-Covid era, the hot tip (literally, it’s 30+ degrees Celsius pretty much 24/7) from smart people who know about these things is, get to Ho Chi Minh City – and set yourself up as an English teacher. Why Ho Chi Minh City? Why set yourself up as an English teacher? Fair questions, like those in paragraph one of this blog post that warrant straight answers, but first, let me share a quick, personal story.
In 1852, my great-great grandfather, Henry Goudge, threw caution to the wind (literally, he travelled by sailboat) and moved from St. Teath in Cornwall, England, with his first love ( Jane Spear) to Loddon in Victoria, Australia. Why? He was a skilled miner, there was a gold rush in Victoria at that time, and his future in Cornwall looked bleak. In addition, Henry wanted a better life for himself and his missus. Seemingly, it was a classic ‘push, pull’ scenario. Henry went on to have 14 children (and two wives) and, by all accounts, lived a productive life.
Now, back to the two questions: 1. Why Ho Chi Minh City? 2. Why set yourself up as an English teacher? I will deal with the two questions simultaneously.
Henry was a skilled miner. He knew his skills were in demand in Loddon. You have ‘half-decent’ English language skills, reading, writing, listening, and speaking, either because you were born in a country where English is the main language or through nothing short of hard work. Either way, your skills are in demand in Ho Chi Minh City. Henry wanted a better life for himself and those around him. Teaching English in Ho Chi Minh City will provide you with an expat lifestyle, a 20-to-25-hour work week and a savings capacity that’s not available in your home country. If there’s a Holy Grail for teaching English abroad, ‘Ho Chi Minh City’ will be prominently etched on it.
True, Vietnam (and Ho Chi Minh City in particular) won’t be viewed as a paradise by all comers. It’s certainly ‘paradise status’ to me and I can point to plenty of other people who hold the same opinion. I’d wager that you’ll also love the place.
Step check and time check time! You’ve quit your job. You’ve moved to a tropical paradise. Let’s say you’ve been in Ho Chi Minh City for three days. This means you’re now at day 14 (ish), including travel time. “Bring on the next Step”, I hear you say. Just like old Henry Goudge in 1852, you have the wind in your sails!
Roadmap – Step three: ‘Get paid to make the world a better place’
This is where the serious fun starts, and you reap the rewards from making a conscious decision to quit your job and repurpose your life.
Through good luck or hard work, you have the English skills that are needed to nail down a brilliant job as an English language teacher in Vietnam and contribute towards plugging a noticeable service gap. But, there’s a problem. What is it? Is the problem insurmountable? Should this roadmap be repurposed into confetti? You have the English skills to teach the language, but you don’t have the teaching knowledge, skills and government-regulated certification that are central to pursuing your new career path in Vietnam. The solution … Do the in-class, 27 days (+/-), Australian Government-accredited TESOL programme at AVSE-TESOL in Ho Chi Minh City. Problem solved!
AVSE-TESOL is a one-stop-shop for teaching knowledge, skills, top-shelf certification and, most importantly, as a newcomer to teaching English in Ho Chi Minh City – job placement at a quality school. Complete the Aussie Government-accredited TESOL programme at AVSE-TESOL, and they’ll have you in an ESL teaching job in Ho Chi Minh City or elsewhere in Vietnam within days of completing the course. You’ll be in a tropical paradise (as promised) and you’ll be pursuing a new career path (as promised). Moreover, you’ll be: 1. teaching 20-to-25-hours a week, which is a typical workload for a foreign English teacher in Vietnam, 2. making the world a better place by shaping the next generation, 3. earning a decent income that will allow you to save a lot more than you could in your home country, and 4. living a quintessential expat lifestyle. Seriously, it doesn’t get any better.
Let’s do one last step check and time check. You quit your job – seven to ten days. You moved to a tropical paradise (day 14ish). You acquired teaching knowledge, skills, and quality TESOL certification – and a paid teaching job with help from AVSE-TESOL in Ho Chi Minh City – add 27 days. Here’s the math: 14 days + 27 days = 41 days. You did it with one day to spare.
In 1852, Henry Goudge risked his life by travelling in an overcrowded boat to a place he’d never been before because he thought he could have a better life. Four generations later, there’s ample evidence that Henry contributed to making the world better. Henry’s family tree in Australia includes elected officials x 2, doctors x 2, nurses x 2, first responders x 3, a university lecturer and a bunch of other folks who have made a positive contribution to life in Australia. I see Ho Chi Minh City in this ‘post’ Covid period mirroring the goldfields that captured Henry’s attention 171 years ago. It’s the land of opportunity.
So, when will you quit your job, move to Vietnam and start a new career as an English language teacher?
About the writer: Peter Goudge is the Managing Director (and founder) of AVSE-TESOL in Cairns, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Phnom Penh. For more than 17 years, AVSE-TESOL has been creating pathways for people from around the world to teach English in Vietnam and Cambodia. Check out the AVSE-TESOL website: www.avse.edu.vn