Stay or go?

Post Reply
gatorade2020
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:51 pm

Stay or go?

Post by gatorade2020 »

I was really excited to start my international career this fall, but am now re-evaluating everything in light of COVID-19. I'm looking for some advice.

Here's my situation:
-Accepted a position in South America via Search.
-My assignment begins in late July.
-Currently living in the US in a state with a strict (and indefinite) shelter-in-place order.
-My current school in the states is actively interviewing to fill my position, but has indicated they would retain me in a heartbeat. I probably have about a week to let them know.

My concerns:
-Having a VERY short window of time between the ending of the shelter-in-place order and my departure, leaving me with little to no time for some logistical aspects of moving abroad (selling all my possessions including a car, medical appointments, etc).
-Moving to a region that will very likely be more unstable than it was in terms of economy and safety due to massive unemployment. I'm very concerned about rebel groups uprising.
-Devaluation of local currency, which is what my salary is paid in. The currency had been more or less stable until COVID-19. I'm concerned that it may continue to drop in the coming months/years as the country's economy struggles to recover.
-extended travel restrictions in the region -- traveling South America was a MAJOR draw for me to accept the position in the first place (in addition, of course, to several other positive aspects of the school)
-the overall unease of moving to a developing region in the wake of a global pandemic... The US will no doubt have a LONG road of recovery post-COVID-19. I can only imagine what recovery will look like in a developing region.
-Overall uncertainty of what life will actually look like come late July. Will I even be able to enter the country? most countries are banning all incoming international travel right now... I can foresee ongoing travel restrictions for people coming from hard hit countries like the US. Will curfews and movement restrictions still be in place?

I am somewhat concerned about the fallout of breaking contract, but I can't see Search or the school really faulting me for changing course in light of a pandemic. But on the other hand, it's April and that puts everyone in a tough spot.

Would love to hear opinions -- Stay or go? Is there anything else I should be taking into account? If I break contract, would that crush my chances of making my international debut in 2021?

Pardon me if any of this has been covered in other threads. First time poster here.

Thanks!

lucy430
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:10 pm

Re: Stay or go?

Post by lucy430 »

I'm also curious to hear others' thoughts on this, as I am in almost an identical situation. I'm suppose to be heading down to Latin America from the states for my first international job. Like you, I've been told by my current district (whom I really enjoy working for) that they will hold off hiring my position for another week and half at this point, if I want to stay. In addition to your concerns, my background check to get my visa has been held up and they've told me they have no idea when that process will be able to move forward and how long it will take once it does.

At this point I think I am leaning towards saying; however, I also need to figure out what to do with my contract. I was hired directly through the school.

fine dude
Posts: 533
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:12 pm
Location: SE Asia

Re: Stay or go?

Post by fine dude »

Someone wiser than me said, "If you can't decide, the answer is, No."

Heliotrope
Posts: 765
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Stay or go?

Post by Heliotrope »

As some of you might remember, I once said "If you can't decide, the answer is no."
In this case I would repeat that.
Who knows if the policies that keep you from doing what you need to to do before leaving will end when they are now scheduled to end, and will not be extended instead? If so, you would have a problem.
If travelling is a major draw for you, next year might be a lost year in that respect anyway.
I'd wait another year, and see how things are next recruiting season.

fine dude
Posts: 533
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:12 pm
Location: SE Asia

Re: Stay or go?

Post by fine dude »

Someone wiser than me said, "If you can't decide, the answer is, No."

I quoted an angel investor from silicon valley.

Heliotrope
Posts: 765
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Stay or go?

Post by Heliotrope »

fine dude wrote:
> Someone wiser than me said, "If you can't decide, the answer is,
> No."
>
> I quoted an angel investor from silicon valley.

Obviously I wasn't really trying to take credit for that quote.

Herodotus
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:16 am

Re: Stay or go?

Post by Herodotus »

You know the expression, " a bird in hand is worth two in the bush." Government bureaucracies in the best of times can take forever to process paperwork. Having taught internationally since 1979, I would second/third other recommendations here. You don't even know if the school that hired you will keep your position if enrollment plummets. If they liked you enough to hire you in the first place, they may well want you in the future.

shadowjack
Posts: 1937
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:49 am

Re: Stay or go?

Post by shadowjack »

At my school we have teachers who have taken jobs elsewhere whilst new hires are onboarding for next year. Currently we have 3 scenarios: full physical opening, partial physical and partial online opening, and full online opening.

In all scenarios our teachers are needed. We will go with our new staff and provide summer training in how we do online learning. But they will have jobs and eventually, when things are settled, will have to come in-country for physical teaching.

You are not alone, but understand - if you can't get there, schools won't expect you there. But they do want you onboard and ready to teach at the start of school next year. If you ARE going to void (I won't say break) contract - do it NOW. Give the school a chance to find someone else. But if you wondering about your job - you are hired to replace someone who left. You are likely needed. If it is a big school which might be cutting back because of enrollment decline, then reach out to the school and see what they are thinking now. If they are like every other school around the world, they are in the middle of seeing which families are going and which staying, as well as dealing with new students coming in. I know we have a few dozen new students coming in for September and a couple of dozen leaving.

In the end, whatever you decide to do, do it sooner rather than later!

PsyGuy
Posts: 9567
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Response

Post by PsyGuy »

Do you have any positives associated with going? Im not hearing anything that would motivate you to want to go.
It sounds like youve already laid out the plan for staying, and admittedly there are a lot of very serious and solid negatives, and associated costs.

You should absolutely wait to inform the ISs of your decision until later. You have no idea ho things are going to develop, an having more options is better than fewer options. There is no benefit to you in providing your IS with notice sooner rather than later.

Heliotrope
Posts: 765
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Stay or go?

Post by Heliotrope »

shadowjack wrote:
> In the end, whatever you decide to do, do it sooner rather than later!

Agree

Post Reply