Expats are jealous, when I tell them about my work. I met some last night, when buying my noodles. They’d asked me, not really caring about the answer, if I was ‘an English teacher too?’ When I told them I was a tour guide – what I get up to, and where – they were surprised and really jealous. They were right to be jealous – my work for Newman Tours has been extremely interesting, and extremely good experience.
I’m the resident guide in Xi’an. I regularly go to the Terracotta Warriors, the Muslim District, the Great Mosque, and Great Wild Goose Pagoda, and go cycling on the Ming-dynasty City Walls. I’ve come to know these places like the back of my hand – and I’ve had the chance to do so much research, I can feel like a genuine expert.
I’ve come to really enjoy the performance involved in being a tour guide. Delivering speeches, making them dramatic, dynamic, and fun is not something I had done since my last school play, aged c. 12 – but I’ve found it extremely enjoyable, and a skill that was lying dormant that has come back to life. Newman Tours is the perfect place to develop this skill, and Daniel the perfect person to teach it. I now have no problem with public speaking. I positively enjoy it. Whatever I do in the future, this is a skill I’ve learnt which I know will be extremely useful.
I’ve interviewed lots of people for jobs. Right from the first few days of my time at Newman Tours I’ve been doing them, helping select new staff, and recruiting others. It was a weird experience, at first. Only weeks before I’d been on the other side of the table, being interviewed myself. But now I’ve learnt lots of skills in interviewing, which has made me a lot more confident both in being the interviewer, and I know it will help in the future when I’m an interviewee again. I’ve been published. My article on Xi’an for Shanghai Talk was published and I was credited as author. I’ve done a speech, for around thirty people, in Beijing. I’ve had lots of chances to market and promote our tours and plan how our marketing can be smarter and better targeted.