This question is one of the most common asked by TESOL course trainees and one of the most difficult to answer as there are so many variables that can affect it. The main thing to realise when considering this question is that the vast majority of our TESOL course graduates go on to find a teaching job either at home or overseas within a reasonably short space of time.
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Your choice of destination is one of the most significant factors as demand for ESL teachers varies from one area to the next. In countries such as China, the demand far outweighs the available teachers in many places which is great news for first-time teachers who have no experience to put on their application form. The simple fact is, if you are TESOL qualified and would like to teach in China, you will have little trouble finding a job. Elsewhere in Asia, there are several other countries where jobs are relatively easy to come by such as South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. In contrast, certain countries in Europe are so popular with foreign teachers that those without experience might struggle to find a well paid job. This is particularly true in certain parts of France, Italy and Spain. The bottom line is, if you are flexible about your destination and prepared to go where the demand is high, you should be able to secure a job quite quickly. If you are set on one particular location, you might need to be patient and work that much harder to find what you are looking for.
The timing of your job hunt can certainly have an impact as many countries have specific hiring seasons when demand is concentrated into a few weeks or months. The deadline for applications for government programs such as the EPIK Program in South Korea and the JET Program in Japan is well in advance of the Autumn term so you should check their websites long before you plan to leave home. In much of Western Europe as many as half of all ESL teachers leave their jobs at the end of the school year, which is typically in June or July. If you are in your country of choice before the start of the next school year you will be in a great position to secure job interviews at multiple schools. In contrast to government run schools, private language schools are less likely to have hiring windows and jobs are often available at any time of the year.
The teacher can have a big impact on their own employability in many ways. By completing a TESOL course you will have taken a big step towards potential employment as it demonstrates a level of commitment to employers and a level of knowledge and skills specific to this field of education. A good TESOL course provider will also provide their graduates with a wide range of assistance in the job market such as CV/resume preparation, interview techniques and potential job leads. Ultimately though, it is the attitude of the individual teacher that will determine how successful the job search is. By adopting a positive and professional approach to applications and interviews you will give yourself a great chance of success. However, if you miss out on the first job you go for don?t let it get you down as persistence will usually prevail in the end.