Wednesday, November 10, 2010


It's been so long. I know. I don't really have an excuse, except that I didn't want to be writing disheartening posts full of complaints. I'm just not that type. I don't believe that there's any point to criticizing things, as what cannot be changed is simply not worth it, while if I can do something to improve things it just feels so sad to be complaining about them. So instead I set to work.

Well, work is a key issue here, because since my last little ray of hope has been drowned in the pessimism of the ORP people, I have been busy finding myself something to believe in. Teaching English to adults is not as easy in Switzerland as it might be in other parts of the world, as I'm planning to explain in a post as soon as I can bring it up without swearing (only to myself, of course ;-]). So that made me think about what I wanted. Did I really want to teach English or was it something I was just doing because it was convenient? Would I want to try my hand at something else, given the chance? Where did I see myself in 5/10/20 years?

Well, the answers were really interesting. The ORP people told me (during that fancy introductory presentation, right before slamming the door in my face) that sometimes it was important to look for latent or not so latent competencies that just haven't been exploited as yet. I really did like that idea and spent some time outlining my skills etc. Truth be told I can be quite frank with myself and I don't shirk from admitting my faults and mistakes. I guess it's all that psychology training I've been through, but I don't see any point to denials, for they might make one stronger momentarily, on the surface, they don't really help me. Having a good insight and being terrible at lying, I don't think I could actually fool myself. So I came to some conclusions.

First of all, I'm all competencies. =] OK, of course I'm not perfect or even close, but neither can I say that I am good for nothing. I just haven't decided how to use them - yet. And the funny thing is that though I don't think teaching would long be my primary occupation, I can still see why I love doing it. Its requirements fit much of my skills and qualities and develop them in a way. In the long run, of course, I can see myself rising higher than these requirements. But that just gives me higher goals to focus on.

I took that knowledge with me jobhunting. Much of what I've been doing is actually "passive job seeking", meaning cold calls and the world wide web. Although many claim that only a small fraction of the positions available are advertised, I believe that if you really look you can find the right one. Besides, while the Geneva market has been quite unfriendly (meaning literally unaccepting) to some professions, blaming that for a lack of success is a weak excuse. I do know that I'm sorely needed somewhere, I only have to find the place.

So I've been looking. And I know I'm getting closer. I teach more and more for my current employer. There are more and more positions that fit my profile. Sooner or later the pieces will come together. I know. Till then I'll just keep working and looking. And I'll keep reminding myself of all I've learned through these months. About myself and about my goals, both short term and long term. I'll keep them ahead, like guiding stars.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Fleur, is there any way for me to reach you via mail regarding the subject of chomage? I may be in the same situation as you were a while ago and I want to understand what the ORP said or did. As a foreigner who doesn't speak French, this is definitely not easy. Please point me to a contact page if it's available. Thank you!