Why Do I Still Teach ESL?

Sep 27, 2016

Before teaching English in China, I was working in Chicago. I had a good sales and marketing job in the industry of my choice building a name for myself. Also, I was making good money, heading towards $70K the year I quit, in a world famous city. But I noticed after achieving this job, my interests started to change, and those who inspired me moved away deeper into their passions. And worst of all, I was becoming bored of the city routine.

Teaching English was my way of fulfilling points on my bucket list: traveling abroad and learning a foreign language.
Teaching English was something I never considered for a long-term career decision. I knew of people who’ve done it before but always returned to their lives in the states. I signed up for a year and assumed I’ll return home shortly after.

Why I like teaching English:

1. You connect with real people who want to better themselves.

2. You’ll network daily – I wasn’t teaching teenagers or primary school students but established professionals. From doctors, engineers, bankers and more; I taught them all. Since moving from group lessons to 1-on-1, the caliber of students has also risen. I’m working with an COO at a tech start-up and another CEO who’s recently received Round B funding.

3. Not a sit at your desk job – I dreaded working 40+ hours weekly and watching the day pass from the 25th floor window. I felt I wasn’t making a difference, just collecting a check.

4. Using new skills and learning new things everyday – I used my sales skills in a new way. Instead of trying to have people buy from me, I taught others how to communicate clearly which is something I took for granted.

5. You’ll always have job opportunities. Currently, I’m tutoring English in China but I’m interested in seeing new countries. Being able to have options such as the UAE, Vietnam, or Spain, it makes it easier to pursue my travels without stressing if I will be able to find employment.

After receiving an offer for a potentially dream job, B2B marketing specialist, I thought this was ‘IT’. But after going through the probation period (90 days), I quickly realized my interests and goals have changed since being abroad. Upon my probation review, I knew I had to quit. I wasn’t just quitting because I didn’t like the job or company’s culture but I felt my sanity was on the line. A 9 to 5 just cannot offer me the perks, benefits, and opportunity to learn as with teaching English. I wasn’t satisfied with sitting in one place for over 9 hours working on computer and surrounded with people who are all relatively in the same range. Now, there’s nothing wrong with working a 9-to-5 that you like or love, but at this time, it’s just not for me.

I reflected on this situation that if you are so focused on the destination, you’ll miss the journey. I’m living in Shanghai, miles away from everything that’s familiar and I don’t want to turn this once in a lifetime opportunity into the same situation that caused me to leave.
Now I’m back teaching English for corporate clients and training staffs. I’ve taken my teaching into a more corporate direction focusing on digital marketing, social selling, and presentation skills. Now, if you’re looking for change, I would recommend teaching English as a second language.

Follow me on twitter @Deshawnwashere and visit my personal site: www.deshawnpeterson.com . Send me a message if you’re interested in discussing more, send me a message, cheers.


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