I have been working from home as an ESL teacher for almost 3 years now and here are some mishmash of thoughts and experiences:
- It's an easy peasy job, but it gets boring. No career growth, no promotion. So if title matters to you, then being an ESL teacher isn't for you.
- The highest salary that I got was Php 30,000 and the lowest was about Php 18,000 (when I was still new). My average salary is about Php 25,000. You can earn as much as Php 45,000 if you are working full time. Kaso, hindi kaya ng beauty ko 'yan. Too lazy to be working full time.
- I work 6 to 7 hours a day five times a week. If may pangangailangan, I add more slots. Depende lang talaga sa mood ko. But my usual target is Php 22,000.
- There's five percent tax being deducted from my salary.
- No SSS, PhilHealth, insurance and all those benefits.
- No work, no pay.
- I can wear decent t-shirt lang.Sometimes (I mean, most of the time) I don't wear bra! haha! Basta shirts lang na may print sa harapan and hindi mahahalata ang nips, okay lang yan. Besides, they will only see your shoulder area.
- No 13th month pay, but my company gives me bonus naman. Last December, I got Php 7k as a bonus. Not bad na rin.
- Getting in is difficult, but if gamay mo na ang industry, it's easy to stay na. My demo was a disaster but I'm glad my company gave me a chance. Now, I'm one of their popular teachers kasi na pupuno talaga ang slots ko and they have been asking me to add more slots but no can do. Too lazy for that.
- Brownout and poor internet connection are your enemies. I'm thinking of investing on a generator. I checked sa Ace Hardware. Mga less thank Php 20k lang ang isa.
- You have to invest in your own equipment. Mahal din ang mga earphones and all that gadgets.
- Japanese people are very polite. You have to be respectful though. They don't mind talking about sensitive topics, like religion and politics, just as long as you are polite about it.
- As in, since I have been teaching online, I have become aware of current events. You have to keep up with current events kasi my upper intermediate to advance students ka then if you are talking about North Korea or territorial problems of Japan and wala kang ma share, nga-nga!
- I prefer adult students than children. Good thing is 90 percent of my students is adults.
- Company matters to me. When I was searching for a company three years ago, I wanted to be a part of a small and growing company with good staff. My company is growing, all right. They now offer free accommodation for office-based ESL teachers.
- It gets boring. Example, when Kim Jong Nam was assassinated, I had to talk about it almost every hour and every day for two weeks. So if may major world events, be prepared to talk about it endlessly.
- No officemates. It's a pro and a con. Pro kasi no more office politics, Con kasi it gets boring. Buti at my dogs ako.
- Not having to deal with traffic jam. I didn't realize how bad the traffic here sa Cebu until I got here, especially sa my old bridge (Mactan-Cebu City). Almost anywhere, traffic na din dito sa Cebu.
- I can enjoy my house and my dogs and I can choose when I want to work.
The advantages outweigh the disadvantages so I'm sticking to this industry for a while.
Some people ask me, do you feel tired working online? I always answer them: Tanang trabaho kapoy, that's why they call it "work". Duh.