So it’s officially been a month since I’ve decided on becoming my own boss. Let’s do a recap and see how things are ACTUALLY going.
So I started this solo journey with a lot of optimism. In reality, I wanted to work one more year at an academy and then go on my own. However, due to some unexpected events, things took a turn and I began this process one year earlier than I’d planned.
I received the news of not being able to come back to work while I was on holiday. I decided to wait until I was back home before I started panicking. I returned and thought of a plan: I would email some of my old students and for sure someone would want to come with me. Additionally, I would also publish myself on various websites as an online teacher and on top of that, I would look for a job in the meantime, just to have a plan B.
Very quickly I realized that maybe my plan wasn’t as foolproof as I’d imagined. First of all, most of my students decided to either focus on different things this year (university, driving lessons, last year of high school) or had some financial issues and just couldn’t afford it this year. I tried being respectful and think logically – I understand that 1:1 lessons are a bit more expensive than being in an academy with other people. However, at the end of my past students campaign, I managed to get only one positive response.
Student count: 1
I lost confidence and hope. I started looking for some job openings. Last year I was commuting one hour one way, so I decided that this year, I wanted to forget about the car and limited my searching radius to 15 km. This covered the biggest cities around me, which satisfied me. I received an invitation for a job interview at the beginning of September. To be honest, there are days when I like to send my resume left and right, and that was the case. I forgot that I’d sent my CV three weeks earlier to a company in a city nearby. I decided to give it a go, so I went for a job interview. It was a true disaster. Working up to 16 hours with VERY young learners and using limited English because they are too young to understand.
Student count: 1, Failed job interviews: 1
This motivated me enough to publish myself on different websites to find my own students. As I was slowly losing hope because my announcement was there and yet no one wanted to speak to me, I did a crazy thing – I paid for more visibility. And guess what? It worked. Within 10 minutes I talked to three different people and booked three trial lessons. I was nervous, but prepared. All online lessons were successful and I secured three more students. Just like that! That being said, if you live in Spain and need students, invest in tusclasesparticulares – you (shouldn’t) regret it!
Student count: 4, Failed job interviews: 1
At the beginning of September I also found a job opportunity in the same town I found the other academy. I loved everything about it, the name, the fact that they are brand new and that they are only 7 km away from my house. So naturally, I applied. I had nothing to lose. Some time passed, I found and secured 4 students and three weeks after my application, I got a call to come for an interview. I will never turn down a job interview – I like coming to academies, seeing what they look like, hearing about different students – the whole experience is a blast. So I went. The interview was great! It was everything I was looking for. Unfortunately, I’ve already had some of my own commitments and decided to not go forward with it. I think it would be unfair for them to have me all over the place, running like a maniac from my own classes to the academy and then back home. However, I hope to see this academy prosper and will be following their journey.
Student count: 4, Failed job interviews: 1, Great job interviews: 1
So here I was, teaching one of my new online students when I got a message from my very first Spanish boss – Joanna, do you know anyone who could teach in your old village? Unfortunately, I couldn’t help them, but we got to speak for a bit. I explained the current situation I’m in, and wouldn’t you know it, they may have some online classes for me starting October! On the same day I got a message from my ex co-workers who asked around and gave my phone number to two more people! Sometimes things really do fall from heaven.
Student count: 4, Potential students: 2, Potential groups: ??, Failed job interviews: 1, Great job interviews: 1
Then yet again, I hit the wall. My online announcements didn’t bring any more attention and I’m limited to the same number of students as before. There are days when I just want to give up, but then there are moments that motivate me and I spend hours developing my online presence and preparing lessons for my current students. I actually had to turn down some of my potential students as they lived a bit too far away and it didn’t make any sense for me to teach them in person. That was a real shame. I also woke up one day and saw a perfect job offer to teach two B2 groups online and I applied. The salary was quite good and it was only 8 hours a week, which was just perfect. I am yet to see the outcome of that job application.
I also created a profile on superprof and messaged my old students once again. This time I asked them to write me some recommendations. And oh boy, did they deliver. They were so sweet and gave me some more motivation to develop my profile on that website. So far, I didn’t get any messages on there, but let’s hope that with time it’ll change.
Student count: 4, Potential groups: 2 + ??, Failed job interviews: 1, Great job interviews: 1, Positive reviews: 2
So I leave you with this final score to finish my first month of being on my own. I promised myself that once I reach about 8-10 students, I will get up and go to gestoria to register myself as a freelancer. I didn’t want to do it before, just in case, it was a total failure. I don’t want to jinx it but so far so good! As we say it in Polish Co nagle to po diable! (ENG. Haste makes waste!), so I hope that this slow start will have a great long term outcome.
October – here I come!