Time to crunch down on some amazing positives you will experience when you become an online ESL teacher. I will be talking about the benefits that emerge from doing this as your full time job and primary source of income.
This is not me lying to you or painting a beautiful idealized picture of sunshine and butterflies. I am going to tell you some real and legitimate positive benefits to doing this job. I am also going to write a blog post stating ten negatives about the job to give you a balanced and honest overview. (Because I am not selling you on a dream that doesn’t exist)
Teaching online is fantastic if you have a certain personality that can enjoy it, and if you really value the benefits I am going to discuss here.
You can work from home or from anywhere in the world (This is the most obvious and appealing aspect of the job to people) It affords you an opportunity to have a lifestyle whereby you can be mobile, travel and still earn online. Digital nomads for the win!
#2: Flexibility- You choose when YOU want to work.
You can choose the hours you want to work. Yes, that’s right. If you work for a flexible online company then you choose when you want to teach for them. Sometimes you have to meet a certain minimum number of hours a week, but you still get to decide when you want to work. Finally you aren't being told to go to the same cubicle everyday and the exact same hours. #thatofficejoblife
#3: The pay
Majority of online ESL companies pay in dollars which is very appealing to countries that have a weaker currency. If you earn dollars and live off, for example the Thai Baht, you will be able to work a whole lot less and live with a whole lot more. The pay can go up to $25 per hour, and for those of you who aren’t native English then you can still look into getting $10-$14 per hour. Pro tip: To really enjoy this job, live in a place with a weaker currency so you can work less but live with a lot more :-)
Yes, the most underrated and overlooked currency of them all. Time is precious yet we spend about 40 to 60 hours a week in jobs we don’t even like that stresses us so much that we breed illness, anxiety, depression and all sorts of ugly things. When you teach ESL online full-time, there is a high chance that you can reduce your working week to 25-30 hours and still live pretty well. Of course, this is dependent on multiple factors, but it is truly possible for a whole bunch of you. I worked 27 hours and lived off my online ESL salary entirely. I then had so much more valuable time to devote to my own projects (like Digiteachesl) and family and travel. If anything, regaining back this time has been my biggest reward.
#5: No traffic or commuting.
This sounds small, but I must tell you that waking up and not dealing with the chaos of the roads is such a blessing. You can wake up, start your morning how you want. You can set your schedule to work a bit later and go for a good walk, or do a morning ritual every day. Taking away traffic and long commutes to work reduce your daily anxiety and stress in a substantial way.
#6: Low stress work environment.
Teaching online is not stressful. The biggest stress you will have is a technical problem or being late for a class and potentially having your contract terminated. If you are on top of your time management, your punctuality, your equipment and the technical side of things- then you are going to sail through this type of work. Why must we stress so much in jobs for other people? Stress is a leading cause for disease and illness, so reducing this is actually a massive gain for you and your well-being.
It sounds silly, but when I became an online ESL teacher, all the benefits that I am mentioning above just lead to a general higher level of happiness for me. Now I am not saying that the job will make you happy. What I am saying is that if you value mobility, freedom of work, flexibility and things I mentioned above then doing this job will lead to more “happiness” in your day to day life. If you are miserable in your current work, then for the sake of your own sanity MOVE! Try something new, whether it is teaching online or something else, just make a change. Take a leap. Being miserable should never be where you settle.
#8: Meeting people from around the world.
This is something I really love and enjoy and it is primarily what attracts me to travelling so much. It’s the different people and cultures we have in this world that are so interesting. I don’t understand why people love to stick to socializing with just their own cultures. How boring! Speak to someone from a totally foreign country, learn about the world and other people. Teaching online gives you access to conversations with people from all walks of life and all different cultures. You will likely learn a thing or two, I assure you;-)
#9: Your students.
If you are an in-classroom teacher in your country or overseas, then you know how tiring managing a class of 30 wild students can be. There is nothing calm or relaxing about it. When you move into the online space, you can choose to only teach one student at a time. ONE! So no more discipline, no more shouting over other students chatting away, no more telling kids to stop talking to each other. One on one lessons are awesome and significantly less stressful then managing an entire classroom.
#10: Playing a part in education and serving others all over the world.
This is the most profound part of this job. A lot of people are learning English to open doors for them. They need English to find jobs as well as to get into good schools and universities. They need it to travel and have access to the world. It affords people invaluable opportunities. And you can be a part of that. You can teach someone English and make a real difference to people and all from miles away! Education is one of the most fundamental things we need in this world, and being an online ESL teacher is incredibly rewarding in that you are giving people a chance to learn your language from all over the world.
So there you have it. Ten very awesome positive benefits that automatically comes with the job. I would like to add a little disclaimer here: Teaching ESL online may not be the right “fit” for you. You may be attracted to the sounds of these benefits, but then once you start doing the actual job you may dislike it and so none of these benefits would even matter to you. It’s important to know yourself and your personality to be able to identify if this line of work is suited to you.
If you feel you can enjoy this job and you are interested in starting your journey in becoming an online ESL teacher but you have no clue where to start? Don’t worry! Everyone starts somewhere and I have developed an awesome free cheat sheet giving you the first 4 fundamental steps to becoming an online ESL teacher. Download it here.
Remember, there are also drawbacks that come with this line of work. I am all about balanced and realistic views so keep your eyes peeled for the release of my next blog - 10 negatives you may experience as an online ESL teacher.
Ultimately, you want your positives to outweigh your negatives. So be sure to make yourself aware of both!