Attempting to figure it all out.

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Attempting to figure it all out.

Postby clint » 24 May 2012, 01:13

Hello everyone!!

I have been here for about 7 months now. I live in a small town, and am employed by a franchise buxiban. I have really started to like it here and am beginning to think that I will stay for a much longer period than originally planned. Because I am in a tiny town, I have not met tonnes of foreigners who have been here for a long time or made any serious career sort of connections, so I have no idea what else is really out there. I have started studying Chinese because of the aforementioned change in plans, and I figure that it will be very, very beneficial. I have perused some of the posts on here regarding long term living, but they all seemed to be from a while ago. So I was wondering if any of you long timers had anything to add or wisdom to pass on to a young (well not so young...30 ish) green grasshopper.

Quesions:

Masters degree first, then Chinese?...or vice versa?
Would it be completely disasterous to think about starting a business here?
Stay in a small town? or move to the city? (Want higher earnings, but also have to consider cost of living)
Resources for further education...?
Basically any advise that experience has earned (I know this is a very broad request...anything you feel might be pertinent.)

thanks in advance!
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Re: Attempting to figure it all out.

Postby creztor » 24 May 2012, 15:38

I am going to go all doom and gloom on you.

I wouldn't bother looking at anything long term here, unless you had absolutely NOTHING to go back home to, and by that I mean not even a tin can on the side of the street. Staying in a cram school means you'll see your hours slowly dwindle over the years as the number of children in Taiwan plummets and you'll have to face the fact that one day your boss will say that you are just too old to throw a sticky ball anymore. Learning Chinese will open up golden arched doorways that lead to jobs that pay less than what you'd get in a cram school with the added benefit of working twice as long. Getting a Master's degree brings the good fortune of working part-time in private universities where students are more interested in updating their facebook status than listening to you, and you'll be told that if only you had a PhD you'd be working full-time, which after spending 4 - 8 years to get will again open up another set of doors leading to more disinterested students. Starting your own "cram school" is like creating your own blackhole machine, which will magically suck any money you ever managed to save over the years from working in a cram school away, as you'd be competing against TW bosses who are happy to hire Filipinos to work illegally in their "Happy Zebra Dragon" school (I am not joking about the Filipino comment). Starting your own business here is the absolute BEST thing you could ever do, as long as it wasn't a cram school, but if you've ever gone into business yourself then you will know how hard it can be.

OK, that's enough doom and gloom from me. I think I used up my quota for the day.
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Re: Attempting to figure it all out.

Postby tommy525 » 25 May 2012, 00:39

Dont worry in about 25 years on taiwan you will perhaps have figured it out.
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Re: Attempting to figure it all out.

Postby tomthorne » 25 May 2012, 00:45

It all depends on what you eventually want to do with your life here. Once you've figured that out posters will be able to give you advice on how to get there.
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Re: Attempting to figure it all out.

Postby PigBloodCake » 25 May 2012, 10:59

tomthorne wrote:It all depends on what you eventually want to do with your life here. Once you've figured that out posters will be able to give you advice on how to get there.


The main issue is that he's 30-ish, the age where a person should be able to figure out what to do with his or her life.

OP, you really should sit down and figure out whether Taiwan is right for you or not (and quick). As you age, you'll see opportunities dwindle.
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Re: Attempting to figure it all out.

Postby tommy525 » 25 May 2012, 14:09

yeah seems its either

1. your in your 20s . TEach english. Hv tons of fun and get out in five (no more then ten years unless you go to point 2).

2. u are hitched to a taiwanese spouse. Hv to bury roots into Taiwan one way or another.
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Re: Attempting to figure it all out.

Postby TheGingerMan » 25 May 2012, 22:36

PigBloodCake wrote:
tomthorne wrote:It all depends on what you eventually want to do with your life here. Once you've figured that out posters will be able to give you advice on how to get there.


The main issue is that he's 30-ish, the age where a person should be able to figure out what to do with his or her life.

OP, you really should sit down and figure out whether Taiwan is right for you or not (and quick). As you age, you'll see opportunities dwindle.

:p
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Re: Attempting to figure it all out.

Postby clint » 25 May 2012, 22:58

Thanks for the replys folks...

I realize that I have to decide if Taiwan is right for me fairly soon, mainly because of the age factor (im 33). But that decision cannot be hurried, because I still have "the shine" for Taiwan, and that has to wear off before I can make a decision in a sober light. Hence the reason for my post. I'm trying to get as many different opinons as I can to speed along the process. At this point, right now, I do have options back home, but, as mentioned by pigbloodcake (doesn't taste as bad as it sounds), they will dwindle with time. And the same goes here. I know what options I have back home, but I have no idea what options I may have here...other than teaching English, of course. Basically, I just want to hear stories and thoughts about their career paths from different people who have made a life here be it negative or positive. So keep those opinions coming, and thanks once again.
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Re: Attempting to figure it all out.

Postby clint » 25 May 2012, 23:00

Mr. Ginger, please do tell about your rocketing opporunities.
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Re: Attempting to figure it all out.

Postby CraigTPE » 26 May 2012, 05:58

clint wrote:I have not met tonnes of foreigners who have been here for a long time or made any serious career sort of connections, so I have no idea what else is really out there.

Quesions:

Masters degree first, then Chinese?...or vice versa?
Would it be completely disasterous to think about starting a business here?
Stay in a small town? or move to the city? (Want higher earnings, but also have to consider cost of living)
Resources for further education...?
Basically any advise that experience has earned (I know this is a very broad request...anything you feel might be pertinent.)


I'm also going to go a bit doom-and-gloom.

Career-wise, there is nothing out there. Teaching EFL in Taiwan is a dead-end job. The pay and lack-of-benefits has not improved in 20+ years. If anything, it's going backwards.

There is no financial ROI from continuing your education. If you want to get a Masters or study Chinese, do it because you want to. Personal fulfillment, or a better job outside of Taiwan.

I'm a bit pessimistic on the idea of opening yet another buxiban. The market is already saturated, especially considering the low birth rate. Schools are struggling.

Live where you are happiest, be that a small town or big city.

That is not to say that there aren't a few cherry jobs out there, or that a new buxiban couldn't succeed, but chances are small.

My advice is find your fulfillment outside of the job. Go biking in the mountains. It's Taiwan's best feature, IMO.
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If we would only give, just once, the same amount of reflection to what we want to get out of life that we give to the question of what to do with a two weeks' vacation, we would be startled at our false standards and the aimless procession of our busy days -- DOROTHY CANFIELD FISHER