Beginning a career later in life



This is my first forum post. I graduated with a History degree in 2007, and have been teaching English in South Korea, and have recently returned from teaching in China. I love the experience of teaching abroad, picking up new languages, and meeting new people.

I am now 30 years old. I would love to go to Hong Kong, where I have been offered a good TEFL teaching position. Living and teaching there is what I would really like to be doing for the next year or two. However, the thing that’s holding me back is that I don’t want to be working as a TEFL teacher for the rest of my life, as although it’s a great way to immerse yourself and see different parts of the world, it seems to be limited in terms of career prospects.

I would be grateful if people could offer their perspective about the degree of flexibility for starting new career paths in their mid 30s. At this point, is it still possible to get on graduate schemes or enter an MA programme as a gateway into a new career?

I feel I’m at a point where I am deciding between what I would really love to do (head out to Hong Kong to teach English and experience the wonderful lifestyle that entails) and what I ‘should’ be doing ( getting a stable career in the UK in something aligned with my interests: Publishing/Marketing/HR). If anyone has any inspirational stories about people who began their careers later in life, I would love to hear them. Thank you!


This is a reply from someone that is not a recruiter nor from your teaching area.
But If I was you I would go to Hong Kong. for what you say, Hong Kong is the dream to you. You’d enjoy it much more and would give you a greater life experience, opposed to the “stable” career in the UK, that sounds a bit more strict, less challenging, less interesting.

If you are a teacher now and you know other languages I would see other opportunities for you as being a translator in great companies between China and US/UK if you would be fluent in Mandarin for example!

From your post the feeling I get is that you you be happier taking HK offer. And it doesn’t mean you can then change career path in HK or find something else back in the UK.

once again, this is just an opinion