I’m writing this post on Saturday 27th December in the car on my way down to Devon, and am already amazed at how much easier this blogging malarkey has become since my two previous token blogging attempts: using Tumblr during my year abroad in Europe from university, and a private WordPress site in final year (which, let’s face it, was almost exclusively a procrastination technique from final year work!) There is now a shiny app for my phone for WordPress and I can add all sorts of clever things into each post, so fingers crossed this third attempt might actually be halfway interesting!
I’ve had ‘start a blog’ on my giant To Do list for a while, because, without wanting to sound like an obnoxious gap-yah type, I’m aware that 2015 is probably going to be quite an adventurous year for me.
For those of you who didn’t know before coming to this blog (which I’m sure is very few people, since I don’t plan to publish any posts publicly until the forthcoming fact is common knowledge), the reason for the previous potentially obnoxious-sounding statement is that I am quitting my job in the fantastic publishing company that is Routledge / Taylor and Francis at the end of March.
Then, I will be taking a short trip to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia with my bestie Siân to visit the lovely Becca Morley for 10 days – but this is not the reason behind my decision to leave a job I have been doing since April last year.
That reason is quite simple: I want, and have wanted for a long time, to move to Berlin. There, I’ve said it. That makes it real now, right?! Eep!
The story is that I tried to move to the German capital after graduation around June 2012, applying for a variety of publishing apprenticeships and jobs, but nothing worked out. Fate then swung in favour of my staying in Britain, because thanks to the brilliant Sarah Johnson I ended up with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work at the 2012 Olympics in hospitality, helping over-excited South Americans find their way around Olympics London. Around the same time, I met this guy called Alex who was pretty great, I thought, so I snuck out of my Olympics job on various occasions to meet him on the South Bank and, as I’m sure you will know if you know me or care enough to read my witterings on other social media, we are still together.
Immediately after the Olympics wrap party, I started a work experience placement at Routledge academic publishing house on the Language Learning list in Humanities Editorial, and the rest, as they say, is history.
(And that ‘history’, for those who might still be awake enough to care by this point, was that I ended up with a permanent job with an incredible first boss on the English Language and Linguistics list, which I did for 18 months before moving one floor downstairs to be a Digital Product Manager within the newly-formed Digital Publishing and Development team.)
I want to take this opportunity to point out that I’ve not taken the decision to quit my job because I don’t like it. Quite the contrary, in fact. I have been given some fantastic projects to work on, offered experiences I deemed far above my pay grade and most importantly, have met even more brilliant people from across what is a pretty great company. But I’ve known for a while now that I need to do the Berlin thing, to ‘get it out of my system.’ I’ll never feel settled unless I’ve given it a go. The plan could go completely to pot, but I need to know I’ve tried. It’s for that reason that I decided to take the plunge and hand in my notice, which I’ll have to do around the end of February.
Therefore, the aforementioned plan is thus:
– Move to Berlin on Sunday April 12th and stay with the endlessly kind Sabrina, who I have had the pleasure to know since she lived around the corner from me in Hannover on my year abroad
– Spend four weeks studying my socks off to pass the Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults, aka the CELTA, at the Berlin School of English…
… And this is where the blind hope comes into play…
– Hopefully get a job teaching English to adults, either in a private language school or in-house in a company – I shan’t be fussy! This could be a totally naïve expectation but I am hoping my (ropey) knowledge of three languages besides English might help me swing some interviews at least and then, well, we shall see. All I can hope for at this point is for a good grade in my CELTA!
– Stay in the German capital for a substantial enough period of time to really get to grips with teaching and teaching pedagogy (as well as of course going in all the museums I haven’t yet visited, joining a German badminton team and generally ‘living the Berlin dream’…) Also work hard to improve my German as much as possible.
– Return to the UK to my amazing boyfriend (you may roll your eyes at my soppiness, but I am more grateful than he will ever know for his support of my German disappearing stunt)
– Get a job in the English Language Teaching (ELT) publishing industry, where I can hopefully put my newly acquired teaching knowledge into practice, as well as being closer to using and working with the three languages I slogged my socks off to master at university.
And then maybe, just maybe, my flighty, itchy feet syndrome might be cured. Watch this space!