I strongly believe that there are two kinds of working paths in life. Both equally rightful and valid. The one that leads you to being an employee, and the one that leads you to being an employer. People often feels more comfortable in just one of them paths. In my case, it’s obvious which one. Sometimes we have no choice but to be forced to choose one or another due to many possible issues: necessity, money, culture, lack of means... It may be easier or it may be harder, but on the bottom line, if you want it you can make it.
I was probably around my 20s, I needed some cash so I decided to look for a job to be able to finance some of my daily student expenses. I remember it was hard to find a summer job by the end of June, so I ended up working in a factory, and to make matters worse, it was during the night shift. OMG! It was terrible, I was so exhausted by the end of my shift that I decided that from now on I was going to be the one leading my own working future and I resigned. Although I was still studying and I had no idea what the future held for me, I did not want to leave my future in somebody else’s hands.
I decided to start teaching English while I was studying at University to get some extra cash. English was easy for me and I pretty much enjoyed it a lot, so I started giving some tuition lessons at home and soon enough I rented a flat with a school friend of mine and started teaching more and more people. I love teaching and I particularly love teaching English. I have never studied an English degree at College, but I managed to combine my Human Studies degree with getting all the English Certificates possible that allowed me to teach the language, and keeping up with my English through traveling around and staying away as much as I could, even if that meant asking for a bank loan. The business got bigger and due to partnership differences, after some years, I finally flew solo. I am used to being me alone, setting my own timings, as well as making my own decisions and running my own path, in life and at work. So, 20 years later,
here I am, still teaching and having fun with what I do to the most. And, of course, still flying solo. For me, managing alone, without a partner, makes things easier, and trying to make things easy for oneself is very important in any lifework. I don’t manage team work so well.
There were difficult times. There still are. It’s a huge responsibility to have the education of people in your hands. They count on your professionalism to teach them English for school, for work and for life. In general, your job is going to matter for others and that is a tremendous duty. Any public service has ups and downs, which are usually related to clients’ relationships. Dealing with other human beings is never easy, nevertheless, it opens a wide range of possibilities which are wonderful to explore. But BE PATIENT!! I truly believe that the best part of my job is interacting with my students, some of which have become friends over the years. Just this makes it special and worth it!
Money doesn’t always come easy. Sometimes it’s hard to make ends meet. In my case it’s about the summer months. Once the school year is over, July is the month I must reinvent myself and work in many new different activities: summer camps (which I love, btw), intensive courses, English trips away.... Schools where I live start in September and end up in June, so it’s 10 months of stability, 1 month of craziness and 1 off-work month in August when I don’t work and I have to live on savings. It’s definitively not a piece of cake, but I have managed to get along efficiently. The worst time is by May when I have to start organizing my July calendar, and the best is, no doubt, starting September, when lessons begin so that means that I know that for the next 10 months my income would be stable. It’s also the time for my tax payments
A piece of advice? In case you need help, ask for it. When in trouble, find solutions fast. Do not let a problem become bigger and bigger. Try to find efficient solution to any problem, and ASK FOR HELP.
My expertise calls for perseverance, patience, responsibility and formation, which leads me to the last of the issues I wanted to mention. Formation. It’s essential. Be good at what you do. Work to become one of the best. Learn, study, be open to many kinds of knowledge. Your mind must be in a constant willingness to take up information. Only when you learn, you can teach; only when you take in, you can offer. Trust on yourself. I’m sure you can be your best supporter. But be careful, you can also become your worst hater. And do not forget to take care of yourself, it’s mandatory! When you run any business you cannot afford to get sick, so remember to rest, eat and sleep!!!