When One Door Closes…

If you read my last post, you’ll know that I’ve been on the job hunt. Well, guess whose luck has finally turned? That’s right, this girl!  I scored a job as a Social Media Moderator for a start-up travel company here in Prague. Isn’t that the funny thing about life? It knocks you down then builds you back up.

As you already know, I’ve been incessantly searching for job leads for the past month and a half. Two weeks before I landed my new job, I made a deal with myself. If I was still unemployed by the upcoming week, I’d start searching for teaching jobs. Although teaching kids was basically soul-sucking, I didn’t mind teaching private lessons to adults. In fact, I had picked up two students as a side job and was actually really enjoying it. And here’s the thing: with my certification, finding a teaching job was pretty much guaranteed. There are countless language schools searching for native English teachers and I knew that I could find a job without too much trouble. I wasn’t thrilled with the thought of teaching a class of adults (cue anxiety), but what was the alternative? Sitting in my flat, broke and searching for the “perfect” job because I refused to teach? With that sentiment in mind, I swallowed my pride and the search began.

By Monday, I had applied to a few languages schools to teach either private students or small group classes. Unsurprisingly, all the replies I received asked me to prepare a 60-90 minute lesson. Okay, so here’s the thing…I actually forgot how to create a proper lesson plan (very different from preparing a conversation lesson). I finished my TEFL course over two years ago and I threw away all my resources after moving into my new flat (in my defense, the papers were collecting dust on the shelf for almost two years). I asked my fellow TEFL friends for their resources and slowly began relearning the methodology of teaching English. Preparing a 90-minute grammar lesson was painful, to say the least. I was getting more and more frustrated with every passing minute as I tried to create a comprehensible lesson plan. In the midst of my concentration, I had nearly forgotten about the upcoming interview I’d scored with a hostel. Although the position was only part-time, I was holding on to the hope that it’d get me out of teaching as much. I hopped on the tram en route to my interview, abandoning my lesson plan and promising myself that I’d finish after.

Fast forward to an hour later. I’m leaving my hostel interview, replaying the events of the past hour in my head. Although the job was basically offered to me, the atmosphere was odd and the whole thing just felt a little off. Knowing in my heart I wouldn’t take the job, I slowly walked to the tram, absentmindedly checking my email along the way. I had been expecting an email from the travel company I interviewed with a week back with the old “we regret to inform you” line. I spotted a new message from them and almost skipped over it, when a few lines made me do a double-take. The words “we would love to cooperate with you” popped out at me through the screen. Wait, was I reading this correctly? They wanted me? The interviewing process for the job was definitely the most demanding one I’d experienced recently. The interview consisted of a 30-minute “test” of sorts creating hypothetical content and responding to mock customer enquiries. As I was leaving that interview, I vaguely remember my potential boss telling me that “many people” applied for the job. That pretty much made it clear (to me, at least) that I was not getting the job. So to receive this email solidifying the fact that they wanted ME was a huge shock, and that’s putting it lightly. Rejection after rejection and I’d finally received a big fat yes!

It’s been about a month since I’ve taken on my new role at the company and I couldn’t be happier. The exhaustion I feel at the end of the day is welcome and oddly comforting. I walk through the door at the end of each workday to see that unfinished English lesson plan sitting on the table, beckoning me. A reminder of what could have been. A commemoration to the phase of my life I can finally leave behind. And maybe I’m a just sucker for a good cliche, but I can’t help but to feel that the lesson plan is a sentiment to the past. A chapter that I can finally leave behind.