A most rewarding job
(This essay placed second in a writing contest sponsored by 51Talk among its online English language teachers for students in China. To know more about how to be an English e-educator, visit 51Talk.com/ph.)
My son and I are almost inseparable. As a single parent, I assume the responsibility of raising my child by multitasking—being father, mother, spiritual guide, teacher, doctor, finance specialist, cook, housekeeper, laundry woman and friend to my only son.
Juggling those tasks every day has been a constant challenge. And earning a livelihood, too, can be very tough.
Six years ago, when my son started school, I had to take a job in a call center and work the graveyard shift. For almost five years, I managed on sleep of less than three hours every day, six days a week.
I tried to get some sleep in between caring for my son, sending him off and picking him up from school. At the time, my grandmother was still well enough to stay with him at night.
The job paid well, so I thought we were fine. But the stress and irregular hours took a toll on my health. I developed a myoma and realized my son’s welfare and well-
being were at risk, too.
I sent him to school at 5:30 a.m., more than two hours before his classes started, so I would not be late for my shift at 8 a.m.
One day, I came home to find my son’s wet school uniform and bag at our doorstep.
That was it for me. Just as I was about to be promoted, I resigned. I chose motherhood over my career and decided to work at home.
A close friend told me how glad she was to be able to manage her own time at 51Talk. I immediately asked my friend for a referral.
The 51Talk recruitment team contacted me. I went through a challenging yet enriching string of interviews, demonstration and training.
I never thought it was possible to have the best of both worlds. Now, I no longer have to feel guilty about not being able to take care of my son the way I should. I can also truly say I have a totally fulfilling job.
Working for 51Talk is not just financially rewarding but also makes me feel good to have made a difference in someone else’s life.
I never give my students a simple “thank you for coming to my lesson.” When I say it, I actually mean, “Thank you for giving me a chance to make a difference in your lives, as you did in mine.”