I love travelling. But who doesn’t?
In fact, I love travelling so much, I choose my day-job based on this. From working on cruise ships as a photographer, teaching English in Vietnam, photographing hostels in Cambodia and teaching English online, I’ve done it all. Now, let me tell you what I find is the best option and let me help you do it too!
What is the best work to allow for travel?
Well, if you want to work insanely long hours, have no freedom, have absurdly sore feet, and an illusion of travel then go for the cruise ship option. If you are keen for a wonderful culture change and want to teach English in a new and exciting country, Vietnam is an amazing option and the earning and saving potential is really high. However, if you want to have real access to mobility and flexibility of work and travel that is sustainable, teaching English online would be the best option.
After four years of trying out many different jobs, I have chosen to become an online ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher and I love it. And after seeing how many other people were eager to dive into this industry and being asked tons of questions, I started to help others take this leap too.
What exactly is online ESL teaching?
In a nutshell, it’s teaching English to foreigners but all online and from the comfort of your own home, and potentially in your pyjama pants (shh, pretend I never said that).
It may sound a bit strange, but you would be rather surprised at how popular this method of learning is. The e-learning industry is booming and it is becoming increasingly more appealing for people to learn online after school, rather than to commute elsewhere.
But who learns this way?
The biggest powerhouse in the online ESL industry at the moment is China. They have so many online ESL schools popping up, I wouldn’t be surprised if this outgrows actual language centres in China. The desire and need to learn English is so high, that they start from as young as 3 years old! Now, with a simple click, they have access to ‘Native’ English speakers from around the world giving them quality classes, without even leaving their bedroom! They aren’t the only country that is embracing this, with many people from Eastern Europe, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and even the Middle East opting for learning English online.
How does it all work?
Firstly, you would apply to work for an online English teaching company. Once you are hired you would submit your availability schedule to them, and they fill your time-slots with students (Some companies provide you with a fixed schedule, so there are options). You log into class 5-10 minutes before lessons start and teach the students (children or adults) through the company’s platform software via webcam or audio. The best part is that you don’t even need to create the lesson plans, the companies do that all for you, and the material is included (phew)
There are tons of things I love about the job but let me give you a few of the top benefits I have found since becoming an online ESL teacher.
- You choose when YOU want to work. You are in control of your work hours.
- You are paid in dollars. Great when travelling or living in countries with a cheaper exchange rate.
- Earning potential. You make as much as you teach. You can earn $1000 -$2500 working from home!
- You have more free time. No more 8-hour days. What a pleasure!
- You work from home. YES to comfy pants and NO to traffic.
- Meet people from different cultures. Chatting with foreign students from your living room is pretty cool.
- One on one classes. No more classrooms full of 40 excited and sometimes uncontrollable kids!
- Low administration. Besides doing a follow-up memo/feedback after class for each student, you do very little admin. Your job is simple; to teach.
- Low-stress environment. Bon voyage rat race, I want none of you.
It’s got a lot of awesome perks, no doubt about it.
And if you are slogging away, miserable in your current work or you’re an ESL teacher in a foreign country and would like to move around more; the online ESL world could be right up your alley. Heck, even if you just wanted an additional income, teaching English online is a great way to do that.
What are some of the requirements?
It's not all sunshine and butterflies, not everyone who simply speaks English can do this job and there are thousands of other people applying, so the competition is real.
If you are a native English speaker (meaning your mother tongue is English and you were brought up in an English-speaking country) and have a degree, you are already very close to being able to enter the online ESL industry.
Companies would like you to have a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certification, and some would like previous teaching experience. There are places that will hire you for simply being a native speaker with a TEFL certificate and a degree but no teaching experience is necessary. Some companies do also hire non-native English speakers who are proficient in English. There really is no shortage of options or jobs out there.
If you meet their requirements, put in a solid application and show them what they want, nail the interview and demonstration class, then you are a contract away from online working!
The Honest Truth.
I don’t think everyone will love this job. In order to enjoy this type of work, I truly believe you should be passionate about serving others, helping others learn and genuinely find reward in teaching others. If you are impatient, dislike conversing with many people or hate smiling for hours then this work will be more emotionally taxing rather than rewarding.
How to start?
Becoming an online ESL teacher can be incredibly daunting and with all the masses of companies out there and information, it is hard to know where to even begin. That’s what I am here for. I have been the guinea pig, and am here to share the insight I have learned with you all so you too can have access to this wonderful world of flexibility and mobility!
Now you can finally escape the shackles of the 9-5 cubicle life and take a step in earning an income online from the comfort of your own home. If you are a Native English speaker who thinks this is up their alley but you don’t know where to start, you are going to want to Click here to download my FREE cheat sheet on HOW TO START: The First Four Steps to Becoming an Online ESL Teacher. You will receive this summarized cheat sheet and tons more content sharing insight and guiding you in the right direction.
P.S. At the moment, I am coaching native English speakers in into the online ESL industry. In the future I will extend my services to non-natives as well, so don't worry!