Balance is what every single person seems to be striving for, even more so in these uncertain times. Yet it truly does appear to be more difficult than ever to achieve. There are work obligations, children’s wants and needs, as well as everyday tasks that come up around the home. And all that is before one considers the desire to take a holiday to sunnier climes, or the longer-term renovation projects that might make the house feel a touch cozier or more up-to-date.
Thankfully, help is at hand, in the form of working from home. Recently, there has been a surge in the amount of opportunities to combine parenting and employment, with a whole host of benefits that come along with this career choice. First off, it can be friendlier on the wallet, as less time and money is spent on the dreaded commute, and the exorbitant petrol prices that go alongside that.
In addition, there is less time needed in the morning spent getting ready for the day, or traveling from place to place during the usual work day, as is the case in many positions. Last, but by no means least, there is the chance to spend more time with the kids, of any age, whether that be giving more care and attention to the little ones who are not of school age yet, or helping the older ones with their university applications.
All of these are advantages to working from home. Here are three tips for balancing working from home with maintaining a career.
As with any job, it is necessary to understand that there are specific requirements to achieve when preparing or applying for an online job. Online recruiters need to see evidence of the candidate being suitable for the role. This could be in the form of previous experience, educational qualifications, or even an extra-cuuricular activity that shows off some of the skills needed for the job. In fact, the expectations in the virtual sphere are just as real and exhaustive as the offline sector, with proof and evidence of either previous experience or the intent to go the extra mile to get caught up.
A great example of this is TEFL, or Teaching English as a Foreign Language. As with all other online opportunities, it is imperative to know the requirements for teaching english online, as well as the specific ins and outs of each type of work.
For one thing, many recruiters are only in the market for a TEFL teacher who already has their qualifications up to date, and is ready to start right away. Furthermore, these courses provide the basics of teaching online, covering a range of issues such as the type of programs that can be used, as well as tools to assist with factors like lesson planning and student assessment.
In any case, finding the right course is the first key ingredient to getting started in the right manner as a TEFL teacher.
Find the right audience
Once the TEFL teacher-to-be has found the right course and become qualified, the next step is to evaluate the type of students that would be ideal to teach. For some parents, working with students the same age as their own kids makes total sense, as they can transfer seamlessly between their day job and the responsibilities that parenting entails.
For example, if the TEFL tutor has teenage children, they might well understand the pressures that go into passing A Levels, and be able to offer advice and guidance that is as relevant and understanding as possible. By contrast, those with smaller infants perhaps could lean on their own learning journeys with their little ones, to provide content that is stimulating and current for other kids of that age.
Either way, understanding the appropriate audience is key for any TEFL teacher. This way, they can bring their best energy and performance into every single TEFL lesson.
Set up a realistic schedule
While it may seem obvious to say that many parents have become used to the idea of working from home, the reality is that the last couple of years have been an exceptional anomaly in the workplace routines of most people. To put it another way, the mere concept of working remotely was not a feature of the majority of people’s lives before 2020, so it was not something that was routinely offered by companies to their employees.
As such, it should not be a surprise that many firms are now asking workers to come back to the office, especially to complete tasks with customers that previously were done from home.
For parents looking to maintain the ability to work from home, teaching TEFL online does not place a burden on adults in terms of where they work. All that is typically required is a reliable internet connection, an area relatively clear of outside noise, and a teacher that is well-prepared and willing to commit to teaching to the best of their ability.
However, a note of caution for the TEFL instructor who wishes to jump in with both feet. It is often easy to underestimate the amount of time it takes to plan, deliver, evaluate and assess lessons, and the progress that students make, as well as satisfy the conditions set forth in the contract signed with the online teaching organization.
To combat this, it is prudent to set aside a specific time period in the day where teaching can be done efficiently and effectively, and then a separate period for all the planning and lesson prep that is essential for classes to run smoothly.
By doing this, and then keeping the other time slots in the day available for the children, it is possible to avoid the anxiety of leaving children in a childcare program, and ensure that the spare time away from teaching TEFL is spent on building bonds with their own children instead.