Those of you that have followed my blog and various social media accounts know that I love it here in China. The thought of returning to America sends shivers down my spine.
I fear being killed by police, nignogs, Hispanic gangsters, or vigilantes. Returning to a place where I have no social value does not appeal to me in the least. To top this off, jobs in America are incredibly scarce for the Black man.
On the other hand, I do not want to be a career Charisma Man.
What is a Charisma Man?
People that have been to Asia for a long period of time probably know about Charisma Man. Some of you might even be Charisma Men.
Charisma Man is a comic strip character that appeared in The Alien, a magazine published for expatriates living in Japan. The eponymous hero was masculine, suave, and debonair, so long as he was dealing with Japanese women. As soon as a Western woman appeared, he would lose all of his strength and become the babbling nerd loser that he was back home.
This implies that Charisma Man preferred Western women, but took advantage of his super-duper White guy status to run through Japanese women. This character is based on people that exist in real life that use their foreignness to get by in Asia, especially with the women.
I am certainly not a Charisma Man in the traditional sense. As a Black man, I am certainly not appealing to the degree that the “super-duper White guy” is. My preference is also for Northeast Asian women. Western women have no appeal to me so they would not be a “sexual Kryptonite” in my saga.
However, I have found it easy to find employment here in the Middle Kingdom, while it is nearly impossible to get a decent job back in the States. Hustling is also much more fruitful since being a native speaker of English alone is a marketable skill.
To be able to work and live in China is something that I am grateful for. Life here has boosted my confidence and shown me that I am capable of success. Love is also something that can be grasped, whether it is eternal or temporary. These are stark contrasts to my life at the bottom of the sea of misery that is the United States.
Still, according to the Fourteenth Amendment, at least, I am an American. My family resides there, as do many of my assets. A return to my land of birth is likely in the near future. For this reason, I have begun spending time trying to develop other skills, and I encourage other expats to do the same.
Work on Soft Skills
Unless you plan on being a teacher in your home country, teaching in Asia is not likely to add much value to your resumé. Even if you are going to be a teacher back home, being the happy-dappy foreigner is an entirely different animal from teaching a class of thirty in the States.
There still has to be something to take away from teaching abroad, however. Use your time in Asia to develop soft skills. Back home, we were nerds. In Asia, some of us become stars, or at the very least, people capable of being marketable. Since the classroom in China is an unorthodox place for the foreigner, it is a great testing ground to develop people skills and marketing abilities.
Develop Hard Skills
Soft skills are great, but most careers will require concrete abilities. Hard skills like coding, being able to converse in a foreign language, or being able to fix things are necessary in a difficult environment such as the United States.
Learn and develop hard skills in your time off from the job. Working at an English mill like EF may make this difficult, but I am sure that you can take a few hours out each week to work on your skillset.
Do Not Box Yourself In
Most of you reading this are probably English teachers or will become English teachers. This is an honest profession (or at least one that makes honest money), so I will not knock it. However, there are other opportunities that foreigners have access to that can be used as a side hustle, bring in more money, or develop skills relevant to your career path.
In my case, transitioning from an oral English teacher to an IELTS instructor and math teacher brings in more cash and will look better on my resumé. Find things to do that will keep your mind active, especially if you are teaching the same lessons day-in and day-out.
China is a wonderful country for many reasons. One of the main reasons is the relative ease of finding gainful employment as a Westerner. However, true freedom means the ability to support oneself anywhere on earth. The fact that obligations arise means that while life in China is appealing, it may not be a permanent thing.
Wherever you may be, do your best to develop a variety of skills. A plethora of marketable skills equates to a greater potential for mobility and versatility. This is freedom that the Charisma Man does not have. When age or shifting trends catch up with him, he is left assed out. Don’t let that be you.