Jack Ma, China's richest man, once said, "Before 30 years old [and after 20 yrs. old], it’s not which company you go to, it’s which boss you follow." I arrived in China at 25 yrs. old, young and still very much impressionable. On the opposite end of the world and on my own, my new journey could have went any direction. I could've complained lots here, could have got into tons of trouble there, or I could have hated every bit of it.
However, Eunice, a small, well-educated, Taiwanese woman, whom was also the manager at my first ESL school, Kid Castle, did a great job guiding me on my grand adventure, exchanging with me local culture and traditions, inviting me into her home, helping with business and travel paperwork, training me on the job, and opening up China to me.
She was smart, funny/goofy, professional, responsible, nurturing, and most importantly, always positive and optimistic. Over the years (roughly 4 years), I helmed a very close relationship with her, so much so that much of her management style and outlook on life had rubbed off on me during my own stint as ESL manager and young-boy-turned-to-man while living abroad.
I can agree with Jack Ma. Looking back, it's important that you expose yourself to and develop close relationships with terrific leaders, role-models, bosses, mentors, and people whose skills and traits you greatly admire over being a drone apart of the 'big machine'. This hold well especially during 20yrs. old to 30 yrs. old, when you're at a bright age in your life when you're most eager, most hungry, and most willing to learn, develop, and take on the world.
If you are young and potentially venturing on to a new chapter of your life teaching English abroad, or working abroad in generally, do yourself a favor and make sure that the leaders at your job are people that you'd want to follow and grow with!
By the way, this video was made as a gift for my leaving the company after 4 years. Yeah, I think I represented well!