If you are studying at university or have recently graduated, money is likely to be one of your main concerns when pursuing a part-time job. In fact, our generous rate of pay might even be the reason you've landed on this page! However, whilst tutoring may be one of the most lucrative part-time jobs for university students, the financial incentives are not what I am focusing on today. In this post, I will be drawing from my two-plus years as a tutor to talk you through three of the skills you will gain whilst working with The Tutor Trust. I strongly recommend that both prospective and existing tutors read this article, as I will also be explaining how you can evidence these skills in an interview situation in order to help propel you to the next stage of your career!

 

No plan survives contact with the enemy students

Let's get this one out of the way. When you think of teachers/tutors, the first skill that comes to mind will likely be planning or time management. From your first session, you will realise that entering a classroom armed with a quality, flexible plan will vastly improve your confidence and make you less likely to be caught on the back foot during a session. The timings you embed in your plan allow you to refine your time management skills every time you work, and that's before we even consider taking the time to make the plan itself, mapping out your public transport route and arriving at the school in time to deliver your session. Or, while we’re tutoring virtually, making sure you have everything loaded onto Vedamo.

Because planning is an integral part of any role within the education sector, by the time they have read your CV your potential employer already knows that, as a tutor, your planning and time-management skills are exceptional. This gives you an excellent opportunity to push any planning-related questions to the next level when interviewed. During your tutoring experience sometimes, you will have to change plans mid-lesson, so you will be able to show that you are capable of adapting to changes at the drop of a hat as well as anticipating changes in circumstances before they actually happen (for example a sudden change to your group size which alters the dynamic of the lesson). This high level of flexibility is essential for careers such as law, journalism, or filmmaking, meaning that you can use your tutoring experience to leverage yourself into just about any job you can think of!

 

Becoming a social butterfly

Unfortunately for students, being able to say "I'll talk to anyone when I've had a drink" does not count as evidencing interpersonal skills in a job interview. Whilst most part-time jobs involve interacting with a wide range of people and personalities, these experiences simply cannot match those gained from tutoring in one of our three cities. Our city centres and the surrounding areas are hotspots for ethnic, cultural and social diversity, meaning you will be pushed out of your comfort zone as you interact with various students, parents and teachers including fellow tutors and Tutor Trust staff. These varied interactions will contribute massively to your personal and professional development, putting you miles ahead of peers who work in roles that mainly involve interacting with other university students. On top of this, what really sets tutoring apart for developing these skills is that you will be encountering the same people on a regular basis. After spending a full term in a student's company, your understanding of your differences will enable you to discover mutual interests and common ground which can be applied to more than just education or customer-facing roles. Your top-notch interpersonal skills will allow you to fit in seamlessly in any working environment, as even a few months of tutoring will provide you with a wealth of practice in making students feel at ease in your sessions and comfortable enough to open up with you.

On top of building confidence, Tutor Trust tutors develop high levels of empathy as they work with students from some of the most deprived backgrounds in the North West. As a tutor for disadvantaged children, you will begin to recognise and understand the societal injustices that may be holding your students back and preventing them from achieving their full potential in life. Working with the Tutor Trust to combat the attainment gap will allow you to develop great compassion and determination as you help your pupils overcome the
obstacles that are in their way.

Unsurprisingly, these skills are becoming increasingly important to employers who aim to increase the wellbeing and sense of morale within their workforces. This means that it is no longer enough to be qualified for a job; you will also have to prove that you are happy and able to support colleagues and clients through difficult times (especially after the year we've just had!). Luckily for you, tutoring is a great way to gain experience helping others whilst also building your own emotional resilience.

You're on mute…

Yes, I'm going here. Like it or not, the current state of the world means that a large proportion of the population are working from home, online. Although I can't tell you when this situation will improve, one thing that I am sure of is that online work will likely take up a larger proportion of our time after the pandemic than it did before. The benefits of online work from a logistical point of view alone mean some companies are already considering moving aspects of their work online permanently. As this transition takes place, employers may place a larger emphasis on IT and online communication-based skills when considering who to appoint for new roles. Luckily for you, our online tutoring opportunities will provide a perfect opportunity to hone these skills. As your online sessions progress, you will learn how to maintain a level of professionality whilst also trying to engage your students in sessions (I'm sure everyone enjoys your Zoom quizzes, but you can't exactly cite them in an interview!). In addition to this, you will gain experience tackling technical problems online in a safe and encouraging setting. In my opinion, these skills may give you the edge over an equally qualified applicant if you are applying for a job in the next few years!

 

More to come

My final tip for today would be to include varied experiences when preparing answers for interview questions.

Being a tutor puts you in an enviable position because you will have more than one example to demonstrate most of the skills employers commonly look for. Use this to your advantage; wherever possible, include experiences from outside of tutoring so employers don't assume that your part-time work isn’t the only string to your bow!

Thank you for making it this far! In this post I have tried to summarise three important skills you will develop as a tutor, hopefully giving enough context to get you started on updating your CV or preparing interview answers.

Of course, tutoring provides many more skills than these, so keep your eyes out for a follow-up post in the future!