Downsides to VIPkid

No job I’ve ever had is perfect, and though overall VIPkid is a great gig and honestly has improved my quality of life, it’s still no exception. Here are some of the most prominent downsides I’ve found… though obviously, in my opinion, the good outweighs the bad.

Hiring process is arduous: “Non-negotiable” requirements (degree + North American citizenship/residency), classroom or ESL experience is highly preferred, there is an interview and demo lesson, and then two mock lessons as well as a background check.

Being Independent Contractor: Self employment is a double edged sword – you get to be your own boss… and you have to be your boss. Sorting our your taxes (potentially for more than one country), making a schedule that suits your financial needs and also your well-being, making sure you don’t isolate yourself from the world – it can take some adjusting to.

Constant change: VIPkid is swiftly growing and if you don’t keep up to date you may miss crucial changes to their curriculum or policies. If you do end up hired, reading their official weekly newsletter as well as joining informal Facebook groups can help you from getting left behind when they’re rolling out new incentives or key changes.

Push to Promote on Social Media: Maybe it’s easy for some folks, but I dislike the tendency of VIPkid to push it’s teachers so frequently to recruit for them. Ironically I say this in a series of articles which, essentially recommends them – but my compromise to myself is to be totally forthright. The company uses it’s considerable legion of teachers as a pool of potential sometimes-unpaid marketers. It’s the unpaid portion that gets to me, which is why I’m pursuing referrals – I’ve already helped people get hired and given out lots of advice and recommendation for free. I might as well get something in return.

It’s Still Teaching!: Only a downside if you don’t like teaching – don’t think because it’s online that the pitfalls of being a teacher are somehow avoided! You will get a huge variety of students, and some of them will inevitably cause a headache or two. But overall the students are very sweet and I’ve become quite fond of my regulars – luckily, the ones that are difficult tend not to become your regulars.

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