Lately, Ive been looking into new career options and I keep coming back to this idea of being a Digital Nomad. Somebody who lives out of a backpack and can travel and work from essentially anywhere that has wifi! The reason this has me so intrigued is my dream of traveling the world. Ive never been one who aspired to make a ton of money, as long as I was paying my bills and had a little left over, I was content. Now the problem is that I don’t have any real online skills available. My entire career has been face to face sales at brick and mortar locations.
Recently I came across the option of getting a TEFL/TESOL certification to teach English as a foreign language. With these certifications you can travel abroad to almost anywhere to teach, or even do it online via Skype. In most countries it doesn’t require a college degree and the certification takes only a few weeks to attain. From what I can tell it doesn’t pay incredibly well, but it could be something to provide me the freedom to travel and have some of the experiences Ive always dreamed about. And who knows what kind of doors that might open up?
The last five years I’ve spent my time working in the retail sales side for some of the largest communications companies in the world. While it was a pretty decent living with benefits and all that, it was more a farce for me than a real career opportunity.
Once the initial novelty of making good money without a college degree wears off, you quickly realize that it is a soul sucking dead end job with very limited career advancement and an extremely high level of pressure with little pay off. There is no work life balance as most positions require you to work 8-9 hour shifts, usually including holidays, weekends and evening shifts. Typical for retail, I know, but it gets old real fast. Outside of getting a degree and moving up into the corporate side of the company, there isn’t any promotion opportunity above store manager and that only happens if you politic and kiss all the right asses. Once you’re there, the pay increase is not that substantial even though the pressure and responsibility is cranked up.
After four years of swallowing my happiness and sticking in there for the money, I just walked out one day. A few months later I unfortunately took another retail oriented job for another major communications company, but this time I’m a technician who works on the devices instead of sales. The hours, and pay are still very much like the sales positions, but Id have to admit the stress level is waaaaaaaaaaay less and the job is very easy. That being said, its still retail and the work/life balance just isn’t what i need it to be, and the same issues with upward mobility exist here as well.
So to wrap this all up, id love to hear from anyone who has any experience or knowledge on TEFL/TESOL or any other ideas to travel and work!! Thanks!!