When I was in Scotland between graduation and going out to Vietnam, I would generally stick in a job for 8-14 months before picking something else up rather easily. The length of time I spent unemployed had been completely up to me. So when I was hearing from my mother (the ultimate pessimist reactionary) about the dearth of jobs available even for those emerging from uni with quality degrees, I dismissed the situation as problems concerning graduates with no experience battling it out with each other for the select few top jobs.
I'll at this stage admit that the truth lies close to what my dear old mum intimated when I was still in HCMC. Seemingly the majority of people are suffering joblessness for somewhere between 2 to 8 months before finding gainful employment.
After working for the Edinburgh International Festival during August, it took exactly 2 months for something promising to crop up for me. Admittedly I could have been trying harder and applying for more menial tasks (I would like to think that Pizza Hut would take me back in a heartbeat - but I think that era is best left behind).
It didn't take long for us to start thinking about where to go to find ourselves valued and receive offers for our considerable talents. Japan of course was the first place that cropped up and we almost immediately agreed to try and find an 'in' sometime after our lease ran out on the flat here in Edinburgh. However, Hana's Japanese teaching contacts painted a not too dissimilar picture to that of the UK and we started opening our minds to alternatives.
Costa Rica had been second on my preference list of TEFL course locations back in 2007, an interest which had been built on the back of my research into a potential second animal care volunteer project after returning from wrestling with African penguins. Since then only the glowing reports from semi-regular visitor Florian, and a passing mention of the allure it also held for Hana had really brought Costa Rica to the forefront of my mind. When it emerged that Hana knew a current IH Costa Rica employee and was about to get in contact with the DOS, it very quickly became a lead that should be followed up.
If only to see some Ocelots.
Basically, we both had a Skype interview which was short and sweet, contained no tricky questions and inferred that our CV's spoke for themselves, and a few days later had received offers for contracts starting in May of next year.
What a contrast.
Until that point, I had not heard a single word that hadn't been an automated email response (apart from that painful Bank Of Scotland phone interview) and following a 15/20 minute chat here was a guy 8500kms away who was prepared to offer me a job based on the very same CV.
Which would enable me to see three toed sloths crossing the road as we travelled the ridiculously small distances from San Jose to the beach.
Subsequently, I have had an interview here which sounds tantalisingly like a nice little driving gig to fill the intervening months before I fly West shortly after my 30th birthday.
However, neither of these are more than words at this early stage.
The situation in general is not much of an inspiration to return to these frozen shores any time soon.