If You’re Trying to Escape a Toxic Job Learn to Teach ESL
I needed a back-up plan…bad.
I thought I was doing the right thing by staying in a job I hated for financial security. The environment was toxic, and I was severely undervalued.
So, when I was desperate to find some cash flow, I naturally scoured the internet for an escape route.
And that’s when I found my love for teaching, and the thing that would allow me to start living my life, for myself, once again.
Teaching ESL online.
And if you need to hit the abort button on your current career trajectory too, teaching ESL might be the parachute you need to get you through…even if you’ve never taught a day in your life.
I Wasn’t A Teacher (But Soon Learned I Was, At Heart)
Online ESL companies are sprouting up all over the world. And the more popular ones reside in China.
The good news is, you don’t even need a teaching license to teach for the majority of the well-off, reputable, ESL companies.
In fact, some of the programs will actually teach you how to do it once you’ve been hired.
To get hired?
Usually, it consists of an application, a quick interview, and a demo lesson.
You need a clean background, a bachelor’s degree (for most companies), and most likely an English as A Second Language Certification (which you can often obtain through the company that hires you or for a small fee online).
Aside from that, you gotta love kids, and show up with a smile on your face.
The Pay Was Enough to Get Me Through
The pay isn’t going to make you rich, but once you’re in a good routine with your new ESL company, you can make an honest wage from $16 to $25 an hour in most cases.
This was enough for me to pay the bills and start rebuilding the life I wanted for myself.
Once hired (and I had a fairly regular/predictable booking schedule) I quit my toxic job…cold turkey…no notice—because I didn’t care if I never worked in the higher education field again.
I wanted to work for myself.
Teaching ESL Allowed Me to Become A Freelance Writer
I taught early mornings (because most companies are halfway across the world and in a completely different time zone from me) and wrote for clients in the afternoon.
After about a year, I was tired of teaching early mornings, but I was able to scale my freelance writing business into my main gig.
Teaching online gave me a purpose, and financial support, so that I could re-create the life I wanted to be living…even though I felt trapped in the path I had laid out for myself.
And I Still Teach Online ESL
Now that I have a full-time freelance writing business, I don’t teach as much as I used to.
But the thing is, teaching has become a part of who I am, and ESL taught me that I was a teacher at heart…and I will always teach a class or two when I need to reenergize with some darling students.
While ESL probably won’t be the thing that makes you boatloads of money, it is a way to provide a financial base so that you can pivot in your career.
And in the meantime, you may just discover that ESL is a passion of yours and decide to build a career out of online or in-person teaching—it’s a thing…and the job opportunities are endless.
Whatever happens, you can’t go wrong with a solid backup plan to help get you through the tough times and help you rewrite your story. And teaching ESL online did exactly that for me.
Want a few more non-slimey ideas to make money between jobs? Grab my guide here.