In this edition of How She Does It, we learn from Ella Prier just how easy it is to jump into remote work. Ella tutors people online while traveling the world. She currently lives in Antigua, Guatemala.
How did we meet? When I lived in Antigua, I had the pleasure of being Ella’s neighbor for a few months. We quickly bonded over a love of travel, cocktails, and living for the moment. I’m lucky to have learned many things from the way Ella lives her life, and now you can too!
Ella Prier, 23
Online Tutor, Cambly
When did you first make the decision to move abroad?
I went away for an OE (overseas experience) the year after I left school and had an absolute blast! I knew I had to go home and study but the moment I touched down on Kiwi soil I was desperate to go away again. After a while at home I felt that I had to leave again somewhat randomly chose a place to go.
How did you decide that teaching was the way to go?
I was always interested in teaching. When I went to Cambodia I wanted to do some volunteer work and teaching seemed like the best way to go about it. I’ve been working in a school or with students ever since!
How did you transition from physically teaching in a classroom to tutoring online?
To be honest I didn’t really go looking for it, it sort of just popped into my life at the perfect time. I loved my job in the classroom but I needed an additional income and Cambly was advertising. I was really attracted to the flexibility of being able to move around and travel as much as I pleased yet still have a steady income. I loved the idea of setting my own schedule and working as much or as little as I needed. I was also really looking forward to more variety in my work – I now teach people of all ages and nationalities who have different goals and purposes for learning English.
Were you nervous to start tutoring online?
I was a bit apprehensive about the transition in terms of rumors I’d heard about online companies bringing up lots of unexpected costs to use their resources etc but in reality I haven’t come across anything of that nature.
So now that you are fully remote, what does a normal work day look like?
I wake up early with Gabe [boyfriend] and do breakfast, then I check for any new reservations in Cambly and get myself organized for the day. Sometimes I clean up the workspace a bit or get out of the house for coffee. I try to start working around 8am. I have goals to reach every day in terms of work, health, and hobbies so I just start ticking them off and I’m normally done by 5pm but it’s so flexible it actually doesn’t matter. I’ll catch up with friends before starting on evening stuff. What I love is that if I need to change anything or something comes up during the day I can just do it in that moment. I’m only actually ‘work’ working for 5 hours a day.
What is one thing that working remotely has taught you about yourself?
I’ve learnt that I’m shit at sticking to a plan or routine and that this lifestyle is allowing me to treat myself way better. Mentally, I’m definitely the healthiest I’ve ever been. I’ve also learned that I have terrible self control when I work 5 meters from the kitchen, that’s been tough.
It’s nice knowing that I can motivate myself without having pressure from anyone else.
How have you found it working solo now versus working with/ at least in the presence of others in a physical office environment
I mean there is no way I could live and work alone. I live in a house with 5 really good friends which definitely helps. I have to make myself leave the house every day now which is hard to do for me without spending money on coffee and wine but I’ve found some favourite parks that I take my book to if I don’t have any other plans to get out.
What are you reading these days?
The Shoemaker’s Wife -Adriana Trigiani… such a good read!
What advice would you give to other girls thinking about this path?
Fucking do it.
It’s not scary, it’s totally liberating and teaches you a bunch of discipline as well as motivating you to start ticking off bucket lists and writing new ones!
This year, Ella plans to visit 5 new countries and start a blog!
Want to read more inspiring stories just like this one? Check out previous editions of How She Does It here!