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Pulled in Many Directions: Priorities

At this point in my life and career, I feel like I’m being pulled in many directions. A large part of it is that I’m actually quite good at organizing things like groups of people and arranging big events, as well an online stuff like blogging/social media which are skills that many people don’t have. Plus, I can teach quite literally anything that would possibly be offered in the realm of “English” at Korean unis. I get a lot of emails and calls and if I said yes to everything, my head would probably have exploded by now. So what do I do?

1. For teaching extra classes, I will say no to anything under a certain amount of money per hour (usually $40/hour). I will also say no if it’s something I’m not really interested in (like a basic conversation class), or it involves teaching children or unmotivated people.

2. I will never make a decision on the spot, unless the answer is for sure a “no.” I ask people to email the details and then I’ll let them know in a day or two. Most people rarely email. They just want an instant answer to their problem and want to dump it on someone else.

3. When people actually do send an email, I’ll think about whether that opportunity would advance my own career (I could learn a new skill perhaps), help me make valuable connections, allow me to help people in a meaningful way, or allow me to promote my online ventures. If the answer is no to all 4, then definitely not.

4. I think about how I will feel about doing this thing months down the road. If I anticipate ridiculous amounts of stress for almost no reward, I will always say no. Extremely well-paid teaching opportunities mixed in with a terrible administrator is a recipe for disaster and not even worth the money.

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