My situation

Old Jul 23rd 2020, 12:09 am
  #1  
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Default My situation

Okay so I moved to Toronto in January 2019. My main reasons were because I do stand up and wanted to get involved in a more vibrant scene than where I was before.

I got a job teaching English and made about 30 k last year by working 6 days a week and split shifts every day (horrible lifestyle)

Last year was intense., I was out doing stand up 4-5 times a week plus working 40 + hours a week, and I lived in a shared house with someone who became my girlfriend.

Flash forward 6 months. Girlfriend leaves the country. All stand up cancelled for near future. Job reduced to just a few hours a week.All housemates move out.

I am living primarily off benefits, but that runs out in September.

I messaged my brother saying I was thinking of moving back and he said, sure you can stay with me in Bristol. But even though he says that, I'd feel like such a loser being unemployed and living with my brother. This is all in my head! But that's how I think.

I could maybe get some online teaching work, but probably not earn enough to rent a flat in Bristol. The housing market there is about as expensive as Toronto.

I have a PR application almost complete, but I can't really see the point of staying here. It feels like a bit of a dead end to me. Before covid maybe I had the benefits of meeting lots of new people, but I didn't make any friends (my fault partly) and I live completely alone. Honestly, it feels like I'm solitary confinement right now. I try to remind myself it's not that bad. I DO work part time and I AM lucky to be paid 2k a month by the government.

But maybe I could use the necessity of covid to actively look for more/better work and maybe I could build a better life instead of 'giving up' and going back to the UK.

I told myself I was going to book the flight ticket today for September, but here I am. Posting this message. I am afraid to pull the trigger because I fear I might end up completely jobless and unable to support myself/needing to sponge off others. I guess this wouldn't be that bad, but it's shameful to me personally.

Of course there is a chance I stay here and I start blowing through my savings once the benefits run out! That's a real possibility.

So my ideas are:

1. Leave in September/ live with brother and job hunt online with intention to establish myself in UK. I am not very employable, so it will be scrimping away and shared houses for me.

2. Stay/get PR in Canada/job hunt here and try to ride out covid

Honestly, when I think about staying here, I hate the sinking feeling in my stomach like 'you're choosing an option you hate that has no future!'

But when I think about going back to the UK, the sinking is replaced more with insane fear. Aren't you going back to the asylum? Partly it's the fear of the plane and the bank and the nitty gritty of it all. But it's also the idea of going back to the place you have told yourself countless times you would do ANYTHING but go back to? Have you forgotten that because you miss your family and you're lonely? I guess ultimately it comes down to mental health. I have more of a support network in the UK than I do here. But it's weird cos I can still call those people on zoom? It's not like I'd be popping in to visit them every week? It's just in my head. It's security I want more than anything else, but I wouldn't really have that in the UK until I had a job and decent place to live, which is NOT likely with my employability.

So yeah I know I kind of posted about this in the Canada thread, but I thought I'd get more specific here and if anyone had any pearls of wisdom, throw them at me!. Tanks.


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Old Jul 23rd 2020, 4:54 am
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Default Re: My situation

Hi Zeppo

Sorry you’re feeling a bit lost.

Do you enjoy teaching? If so, have you considered training as a teacher? I don’t mean TEFL (which was a notoriously precarious profession even when I graduated from uni) but rather training as a primary or secondary school teacher. Your background in stand up would stand you in very good stead. And you’re obviously articulate.

Once qualified, you’d have a very marketable skill, solid job prospects and maybe a greater feeling of security.
Presumably it’s too late to apply for a PGCE course in the UK starting in September - you would need to check.
I think there are other routes into teaching these days but - if interested - you could research these yourself.
I’ve no idea how teacher training works in Canada but again, it would be easy to find out.

All this feels very scary now but I bet in a few years when you’re a stodgy old codger with your whole life mapped out to the nth degree you’ll look back on this as the most exciting period of your life.
Good luck!
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Old Jul 23rd 2020, 10:25 am
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Default Re: My situation

Sorry, I should have added, do not under any circumstances consider training as a school teacher unless you've genuinely enjoyed teaching so far.
As I'm sure you know, it's a very demanding job and not one that people should simply fall back on for want of something else to do.

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Old Jul 23rd 2020, 7:38 pm
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Default Re: My situation

Why exactly are you so sure that unemployment awaits you in the UK? There are plenty of low- and partly-skilled jobs available, or were until very recently. If your employability really is as bad as you say, then you're far from certain to be granted PR, so your dilemna may be resolved soon.
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Old Jul 24th 2020, 4:28 pm
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Default Re: My situation

Originally Posted by Helen1964 View Post
Sorry, I should have added, do not under any circumstances consider training as a school teacher unless you've genuinely enjoyed teaching so far.
As I'm sure you know, it's a very demanding job and not one that people should simply fall back on for want of something else to do.
You also forgrgot to mention that teaching qualifications are a pain in the **** to transfer between countries.

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Old Jul 24th 2020, 5:11 pm
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Default Re: My situation

Originally Posted by Zeppo595 View Post
Okay so I moved to Toronto in January 2019. My main reasons were because I do stand up and wanted to get involved in a more vibrant scene than where I was before.

I got a job teaching English and made about 30 k last year by working 6 days a week and split shifts every day (horrible lifestyle)

Last year was intense., I was out doing stand up 4-5 times a week plus working 40 + hours a week, and I lived in a shared house with someone who became my girlfriend.

Flash forward 6 months. Girlfriend leaves the country. All stand up cancelled for near future. Job reduced to just a few hours a week.All housemates move out.

I am living primarily off benefits, but that runs out in September.

I messaged my brother saying I was thinking of moving back and he said, sure you can stay with me in Bristol. But even though he says that, I'd feel like such a loser being unemployed and living with my brother. This is all in my head! But that's how I think.

I could maybe get some online teaching work, but probably not earn enough to rent a flat in Bristol. The housing market there is about as expensive as Toronto.

I have a PR application almost complete, but I can't really see the point of staying here. It feels like a bit of a dead end to me. Before covid maybe I had the benefits of meeting lots of new people, but I didn't make any friends (my fault partly) and I live completely alone. Honestly, it feels like I'm solitary confinement right now. I try to remind myself it's not that bad. I DO work part time and I AM lucky to be paid 2k a month by the government.

But maybe I could use the necessity of covid to actively look for more/better work and maybe I could build a better life instead of 'giving up' and going back to the UK.

I told myself I was going to book the flight ticket today for September, but here I am. Posting this message. I am afraid to pull the trigger because I fear I might end up completely jobless and unable to support myself/needing to sponge off others. I guess this wouldn't be that bad, but it's shameful to me personally.

Of course there is a chance I stay here and I start blowing through my savings once the benefits run out! That's a real possibility.

So my ideas are:

1. Leave in September/ live with brother and job hunt online with intention to establish myself in UK. I am not very employable, so it will be scrimping away and shared houses for me.

2. Stay/get PR in Canada/job hunt here and try to ride out covid

Honestly, when I think about staying here, I hate the sinking feeling in my stomach like 'you're choosing an option you hate that has no future!'

But when I think about going back to the UK, the sinking is replaced more with insane fear. Aren't you going back to the asylum? Partly it's the fear of the plane and the bank and the nitty gritty of it all. But it's also the idea of going back to the place you have told yourself countless times you would do ANYTHING but go back to? Have you forgotten that because you miss your family and you're lonely? I guess ultimately it comes down to mental health. I have more of a support network in the UK than I do here. But it's weird cos I can still call those people on zoom? It's not like I'd be popping in to visit them every week? It's just in my head. It's security I want more than anything else, but I wouldn't really have that in the UK until I had a job and decent place to live, which is NOT likely with my employability.

So yeah I know I kind of posted about this in the Canada thread, but I thought I'd get more specific here and if anyone had any pearls of wisdom, throw them at me!. Tanks.

Not sure that I can help, but one thing to remember is that moving around between countries and returning to one you left (the UK) should not be called "going back" in the negative sense. It isn't failure, it may just be the next best move for you. Just because that's where you started, that doesn't mean that going there again represents a regressive move. It can also be just "going on" to the next thing.

There is nothing at all wrong with going to the country where you feel most comfortable or where your next steps will be easier. It's not as though either staying in Canada or going to the UK have to be things that last a lifetime. With the girlfriend thing, plus a new culture to get used to and not quite fitting in yet, it's not surprising that you feel a bit lost. Zoom doesn't replace being there. Even if you don't visit people all the time, when in the same country you know you could, plus cultural familiarity is an accumulation of all the day-to-day experiences.

If you feel down, I would say that going where you feel happier will make a big difference in sorting out your financial and employment situation. Why was leaving the UK so urgent, and do those conditions still exist? Or do you see them differently now? If the thought of staying in Canada gives you that sinking feeling my thought is that won't be helpful when you are trying to sort out a future. Are you able to take a short holiday to the UK to see how you react to being there?

Also, stand up has to be one of the hardest ways to make a living. Any chance of getting work as a staff writer for a comedy show or some such?
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Old Jul 27th 2020, 2:39 am
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Default Re: My situation

Originally Posted by Zeppo595 View Post
Okay so I moved to Toronto in January 2019. My main reasons were because I do stand up and wanted to get involved in a more vibrant scene than where I was before.

I got a job teaching English and made about 30 k last year by working 6 days a week and split shifts every day (horrible lifestyle)

Last year was intense., I was out doing stand up 4-5 times a week plus working 40 + hours a week, and I lived in a shared house with someone who became my girlfriend.

Flash forward 6 months. Girlfriend leaves the country. All stand up cancelled for near future. Job reduced to just a few hours a week.All housemates move out.

I am living primarily off benefits, but that runs out in September.

I messaged my brother saying I was thinking of moving back and he said, sure you can stay with me in Bristol. But even though he says that, I'd feel like such a loser being unemployed and living with my brother. This is all in my head! But that's how I think.

I could maybe get some online teaching work, but probably not earn enough to rent a flat in Bristol. The housing market there is about as expensive as Toronto.

I have a PR application almost complete, but I can't really see the point of staying here. It feels like a bit of a dead end to me. Before covid maybe I had the benefits of meeting lots of new people, but I didn't make any friends (my fault partly) and I live completely alone. Honestly, it feels like I'm solitary confinement right now. I try to remind myself it's not that bad. I DO work part time and I AM lucky to be paid 2k a month by the government.

But maybe I could use the necessity of covid to actively look for more/better work and maybe I could build a better life instead of 'giving up' and going back to the UK.

I told myself I was going to book the flight ticket today for September, but here I am. Posting this message. I am afraid to pull the trigger because I fear I might end up completely jobless and unable to support myself/needing to sponge off others. I guess this wouldn't be that bad, but it's shameful to me personally.

Of course there is a chance I stay here and I start blowing through my savings once the benefits run out! That's a real possibility.

So my ideas are:

1. Leave in September/ live with brother and job hunt online with intention to establish myself in UK. I am not very employable, so it will be scrimping away and shared houses for me.

2. Stay/get PR in Canada/job hunt here and try to ride out covid

Honestly, when I think about staying here, I hate the sinking feeling in my stomach like 'you're choosing an option you hate that has no future!'

But when I think about going back to the UK, the sinking is replaced more with insane fear. Aren't you going back to the asylum? Partly it's the fear of the plane and the bank and the nitty gritty of it all. But it's also the idea of going back to the place you have told yourself countless times you would do ANYTHING but go back to? Have you forgotten that because you miss your family and you're lonely? I guess ultimately it comes down to mental health. I have more of a support network in the UK than I do here. But it's weird cos I can still call those people on zoom? It's not like I'd be popping in to visit them every week? It's just in my head. It's security I want more than anything else, but I wouldn't really have that in the UK until I had a job and decent place to live, which is NOT likely with my employability.

So yeah I know I kind of posted about this in the Canada thread, but I thought I'd get more specific here and if anyone had any pearls of wisdom, throw them at me!. Tanks.
Now is the time to be near family. We have no idea how long this pandemic will last. Many are in the same shoes and any future employer will understand. Don't worry about feeling like a failure either. You did not fail! A global pandemic disrupted the world and our lives as we know it. Since you are a creative, you need to be in a place where you feel safe and loved. Loneliness is your enemy. So, yes, I'd say book the flight and don't look back. I hope this helps
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