Have you heard of the expression 'don't put all of your eggs in one basket'? This is one expression that I firmly believe in when it comes to working as an independent contractor. For those of you that have been following my journey, you know that I work for Outschool, Vipkid, and Cambly. Now, that's a lot of baskets but as a full-time online teacher who is employed as an independent contractor, it is critical to have multiple revenue streams. Working for multiple companies gives me the security I need to continue doing this full-time. If bookings on one platform slow I still have other avenues to count on!
Although I suggest working for multiple companies I am not suggesting that you immediately rush out and apply to five companies simultaneously. There is nothing wrong with easing into one platform, getting settled, and then adding new ones once you become familiar with the platform, students, and booking system. Once you get into a groove that's when you can expand your schedule! For tips on how to schedule multiple teaching platforms click to read my blog "Things to Consider When Working and Scheduling Multiple Teaching Platforms".
Reasons Why You Should Work for Multiple Online Teaching Companies:
1) Working for different companies exposes you to a greater variety of students. Depending on which companies you choose to work with it may also give you access to students from different geographic locations. This gives you more security and consistency when particular holidays, school vacations, or exams prevent students from booking classes on any particular platform. For example, my VIPKID students live mainly in China and often take time off during the Chinese New Year. Therefore I anticipate lower bookings on VIPKID during this holiday season. With this in mind, I increase my hours on other platforms and am confident that I can rely on students from other areas of the world to continue classes during these times.
2) One of the main reasons I began working for multiple companies was it expanded the hours that I could teach. I first began teaching with VIPKID. It was great, except I was limited to Bejing peak hours since the majority of students on this platform live in mainland China. This meant I could work early mornings and evenings but not during the day (for EST--- times will vary depending on your time zone). This motivated me to explore other options and led me to Cambly. Cambly's students are from all over the world including which meant I could open my teaching schedule during the day and work more hours.
3) Different companies have different opportunities for growth. Although each platform I contract with focuses on teaching, some have space for teachers to move into leadership positions or change the type of classes they offer. After meeting a number of requirements VIPKID teachers have the option to apply to help create curriculum, become mentors to other teachers, or lead workshops. These opportunities not only add variety to one's schedule but also increase earnings. VIPKID also has multiple levels that teachers can certify in as well as supplemental courses (writing, singing, phonics, etc.). Certifying in supplemental courses and different levels increases the number of students who can book you and adds variety to the content you are teaching.
Outschool is a teaching platform where teachers have total control over the content they teach. You can create and teach the same class over and over again or you can teach a variety of classes to keep things interesting. The choice is yours but the ability to have total autonomy over your classes and mix things up when you want is one that you do not always find on every teaching platform.
4) Variety is the spice of life. Working for multiple companies allows you to meet new people, work with different populations of people (adults, teenagers, children), teach different content, and in some cases create your own. This variety helps me stay engaged and excited about the work I do and I hope it will do the same for you. I find teaching a few hours on each platform every day allows me to avoid burnout since each class is slightly different.
Working for multiple companies has allowed me to learn new skills, grow as an educator, and say with conviction that I absolutely love what I do! If you aspire to teach online or are already doing so I highly recommend having contracts with multiple companies!