Greetings Barbarians! Long days and pleasant nights!
Welcome to another edition of Honey, What You Do for Money!
Back when the pandemic started, a lot of us took a hit. Some lost their jobs, while other businesses closed. A lot of us started looking for other means to make money.
Today, I have a delightful chance to interview one of my dearest friends about her work. She is a Business English Communications Trainer. She is also a blogger and a video game content creator.
Please give a round of applause to my perky friend, Michelle Ricafrente!
Mr. A: Hi Michelle! How are you? Would you mind telling us a bit about yourself and what you do?
Michelle: Sure! Like the majority of us, I am making the most out of quarantine. I am working as a Business English Communications Trainer, but you may consider it the same as an ESL tutor.
Mr. A: Yeah, the quarantine is rough for business, and most of us have to deal with working from home. What exactly is a Business English Communication Trainer? For how long have you been doing this?
Michelle: We assist professionals with their communication needs. We help in improving their conversational vocabulary and prepping for a business presentation. It has been my bread and butter since 2017.
Mr. A: Wow, that is quite a serious time! During the heat on the mandatory lockdown, I tried working as an ESL tutor. Is it the same with an ESL tutor where you work-from-home or is this a setup until the pandemic is over?
Michelle: This one is a 100% work-from-home setup. The company has been in the business since 2012.
Mr. A: That is outstanding, given the pandemic we are having. Is the money descent? Does it have the same benefits as working in an office?
Michelle: Hmmm. For one, the money is equivalent to your every single effort. In essence, it is no work, no pay. Whereas in the office, you can slack off, and your salary remains as your basic pay.
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Now, let us hear more from Michelle!
The downside is you have to handle everything as far as the government benefits and HMO is concerned. It is not ideal if you wanted peace of mind. But if you value your time, working from home is the way to go.
Mr. A: I see! That is marvelous. So, what does it take to work as a Business English Communication Trainer? What skills do you need to have? Is there any specific equipment required?
Michelle: First, let’s start with the basics – your skills. People think that you need to have an above-average vocabulary, which is helpful. Yet, so as far as your choice of words is appropriate in the workplace, it’s already enough. The nice thing about this job is you get to share your knowledge while you learn new stuff along the way. That may also include your vocabulary.
Another skill that would come in handy is your computer/keyboard navigation skills. It certainly helps if you can type at the same time, browse several windows as you talk. Lastly, a selfless heart is necessary as you have to be patient with the other person 95% of the time. While you’re doing this job as a source of income, your impact on them is priceless.
As for the equipment, a basic laptop, decent webcam, and headset, you are at an excellent start. I’m still using the PC I bought in 2015. I would call it “Jurassic” compared to my other laptop, but if it works, then I might as well use all I have. You can choose to upgrade along the way. As for me, I have upgraded my webcam and headset after a year.
Mr. A: So it is more on productivity skills when you think about it? How does your typical day at work go?
Michelle: Home-based jobs rely on their employees; rules are in place to ensure that we are all set for the day. For instance, before I do anything else in the morning, I log in to the system to confirm my attendance. It may sound basic, but it has a lot of gravity with all the clients I’ve worked for remotely. It shows your actual involvement daily. Then I do an equipment check so that I will not have problems the moment I start working. After that, I do my rituals. I drink a glass of lukewarm water, brush my teeth. I take a generous shower and read the profile of my students for that day. Preparation is remarkably essential.
Mr. A: Your internet must be consistent. Have you experienced any embarrassing moments on the job? Mind sharing it with us?
Michelle: That is a proper observation. I do have a backup connection in case my primary fails me. It’s not the usual “amusing” sort, but more of a compliment. You see, I use my nickname ‘Miki” as my trainer name since it would appeal to my Japanese students. So when they ask me why my nickname is Miki, I explain to them that it is about a dish comparable to yakisoba. They were surprised; because apparently, Miki is a favorite female nickname in Japan.
Mr. A: Hahahaha, a handful of Miki (egg noodles) in a hot beef broth (Mami) is excellent on a rainy evening! Any advice to our reader who considers becoming a Business English Communications Trainer?
Michelle: My advice would be to always, always be open to learning. A lot of people venture into the industry, thinking that it would ease commuting. In reality, it is an entirely different field since you are on your own. You are managing your time, clients, equipment, and taxes; it can get overwhelming at first. The learning never stops. It is a matter of how we make ourselves bankable since the competition is increasing!
Mr. A: Solid advice Michelle! Are there any parting words you wish to tell our readers?
Michelle: If you are looking to jumpstart a work-from-home career, I urge you to start with ESL jobs. For the most part, you already have the essential amenities. Instead of worrying about what you lack, focus on what you have and make the most out of it. As Jill Shalvis told in Animal Attraction: You’re only as strong as your greatest weakness.
Mr. A: Thank you, Michelle! It has been a great interview. Thank you for spending a bit of your time with us and for sharing your thoughts!
So there you have it, that is how a Business English Communication Trainer makes her money!
Please check out Michelle on Twitch.
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Maraming salamat at mahal ko kayo!
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To Courage and Freedom, and Michelle!
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