Parenting is the most difficult job on the planet. It doesn’t come with a manual and you learn as you go along. As a parent, you put your dreams and aspirations aside to dedicate yourself to the new life you are responsible for and love so much. Spending time with your children gives you the best feeling in the world as you build a unique and special bond with your child.
However, as they grow, children develop new relationships and the one you formed over the years with great effort, patience, and love changes. You suddenly find yourself parenting a teenager, not a child anymore. This presents a new set of challenges and you need to develop a whole new range of skills.
On the plus side, this gives you the opportunity to (partially) shift your focus back on yourself and work on exploring areas of your life that had been put on hold. It’s time to pick up the guitar or hit the gym again or to find a more fulfilling and meaningful career. The financial obligations that come with raising children might have left you stuck in a role that doesn’t fit you anymore, or in a sector that no longer interests you.
Having access to technology can help you combine your passions with a lucrative activity from anywhere in the world. Have a look at some ideas below:
- Online surveys: Sharing your opinion on items you regularly buy and love is one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to earn some money. Just for a few minutes of your time, you could earn up to $5 per survey and there’s no limit to how many surveys you can complete.
- Affiliate marketing: Through your social media page, blog, or website, you can promote products you use and trust and get paid for it. This activity doesn’t require door-to-door sales or cold-call emails and phone conversations and, as it is all done online, you won’t have the hassle of buying and storing stock.
- Custom-made T-shirts: If you are creative and have an artistic flair, you could collaborate with a printing company to create the patterns for t-shirts made on demand. The company sends you the commission, you do your creative work, and they print and send the items.
- Freelance writing: If you have a way with words and enjoy talking about a range of different topics, you could write articles and posts for other people’s websites and blogs or even for online newspapers.
- Online teaching: This job is ideal if you are looking for a more stable source of income without losing the flexibility that working from home can offer. You could be teaching employability skills, school subjects or English with the help of established online schools through their portal. Here are some examples:
- If you are new to teaching and want to give it a go, try teaching English conversation classes with Cambly.
- If you are fluent in a foreign language, you could teach it at Lingoda. They have a great support system in place and offer ready made lesson materials.
- If you want to teach school subjects, such as Chemistry, Maths, or Marketing, try LatinHire to reach an audience of South American learners.
- If you need security, Topica Native guarantees a minimum of 20 hours a month to teach English to students in South-East Asia.
- Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) abroad. With more time on your hands, this would be the ideal moment to retrain as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language. This is a career that you can pursue on your own terms: it can be a new experience for the short term, like a gap year, or it could become a long-term profession. The skills you have acquired through parenting would be your strong point and would define the kind of teacher that you could become: a caring and conscientious one. If you are interested in this option but don’t know where to start, read on.
Getting into TEFL teaching
Changing your career path or going back to work after a long break (like after raising children!) is an important decision and it’s necessary that you equip yourself with all the tools that can set you up for success.
As a first step to your new career, retrain by getting your TEFL certificate. Although there are courses that you can attend in-person, you can also study online at your own pace without leaving your home, so you can still have plenty of time to spend with your children.
Obtaining a TEFL certificate is fundamental if you want to step into teaching English, as it will give you an insight to teaching abroad as well as the subject matter knowledge required to walk into a classroom with confidence from the first day.
Choosing your destination
Decisions, decisions! With so many countries with a high demand for TEFL teachers, choosing where to relocate can be tough. Find some inspiration from the options below:
- China: Despite the government’s changes to the regulations regarding employing international teachers in 2021, China remains one of the biggest employers for TEFL teachers. Your salary very much depends on your qualifications and previous experience, but higher salaries are usually in larger cities, and this country has plenty of them!
As is often the case, private language schools offer better salaries and working conditions than public schools, but their courses usually run in the evenings and at the weekend. The advantages of teaching at public schools are long and frequent holidays and a stable flow of work. On the downside, the classes are very large, with up to 50 children.
- Japan: This is one of the countries that offers the highest TEFL salaries in the world. The best way to find a teaching job in a Japanese language school is to apply through one-year programmes run by the government, which are specifically designed for international teachers – perfect for your gap year teaching abroad.
If your application is successful and you are offered a place, you will work alongside a local teacher as an Assistant Language Teacher, where you will have the opportunity to learn about Japanese culture and share yours with teachers and students. For any other information about teaching English in Japan, check out this guide via The TEFL Org website.
- Kuwait: Another country where TEFL teachers are sought-after is Kuwait. Many business professionals, especially in the oil industry and in banking, are keen to improve their English language skills with experienced teachers of English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and Business English (BE).
Given the niche area of teaching, salaries in this country are among the highest in the world, and they are tax-free. In addition, teachers here can benefit from generous perks such as housing and household bills allowances, paid transport to/from work and return flights to their home country.
Ready, steady, go!
Now that your children have grown up and have become less reliant on your support, you can finally focus on yourself. Whether it is learning a new skill or picking it up where you left off, you have more time to do what you enjoy. If you decide to spend your free time making some money, see if you can turn your passions into a source of income.