Part-time or Full-time?

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Photo by Abby Chung on

I am at a crossroads. I’ve been working for my school for almost ten years now. I started teaching English to these kids in 2009 and working for this company is still going well. I love teaching. Watching my students grow up is the best part of this job. I’ve had some of my students since they were babies. Now they are spunky little pre-teens.

However, despite being with the company for a long time, I am still a part-time worker. And let’s be honest, that is all I’m ever going to be if I stay at this school. Even with that, though, I still make a decent income. I stress decent. For the three days I work a week, I’m probably getting paid the same amount a Japanese full-time worker makes.

Since I’m really only working two and a half days, I love the extra time I have. This is the time I spend working on my blogs, writing, and studying. I consider this just as important as my job. It takes a whole lot of effort and a whole lot of time, but I am not getting paid for it. I wish I could be, but I am getting other benefits from it. I feel like I am sharpening my skill as a writer and learning more about the world and myself.

Recently, though, I’ve been thinking that I need to make more money in order to get to my dream of financial freedom faster. The more money I make, the more money I can invest if I keep our expenses the same. This means I will have to work more hours or find a full-time job.

The thing is, I’ve already done this when I had to pay off my student loans. Though I was a part-time teacher, I was teaching at two schools. At one point, the combined total of my classes in one week amounted to 42. Yes, count that, 42. Most American teachers average 30-35 classes a week. Again, that’s only teaching.

But, I was making a lot of money and I know I can still do it. However, do I really want to do it? It was stressful and physically draining. I barely had time to take care of myself and my husband, but I was desperate to earn money so I can pay off my student loans.


Just thinking about going through all that again makes me shudder. I don’t really want to do that again. Being a teacher is hard work. I may have been teaching 42 lessons, but the prep work behind all those classes is unpaid. There were papers to be corrected, lessons to be planned, students to be counseled, parents to be talked to, and a whole lot of work that teachers do behind the scenes. I eventually had to quit the other job because I paid off my student loans and didn’t need to kill myself anymore. I stayed on at the kids’ school because I love the workplace and the people.

I don’t really want to quit and start from scratch again. I’ve become too comfortable with this lifestyle–unfortunately. I have gotten complacent at my job. I am still doing my best, but it’s become easy and rote. Frankly, I’m also a little bored, but I stay because I am addicted to the monthly paycheck.

I think the best solution would be to find other ventures. I can keep this job as a “security” and try other things part-time. While the paycheck from teaching is steady, I can try to learn new skills at other jobs–though it might not pay as well. This might be something that I can do. In any case, it might be that spark that will jolt me out of my complacency.

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 10.56.41

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