The best summer break side hustle for teachers? Helping others from home

May 9, 2019 | Virtual Agents | Blog


woman talking on corded phone

School’s out for summer! Enjoy time off and extra cash on your terms.

Teachers looking to make extra cash when school’s out have lots of options. However, there’s one that probably doesn’t normally come to mind that happens to be a great fit for educators: Customer service agent. 

Don’t assume we’re suggesting you spend any time commuting or sitting in a contact center this summer. Given the teacher skill set, most could easily step into a gig providing customer service—especially given the hot economy and a bounty of customer service opportunities. A quick online search for jobs in a few major West Coast metro areas uncovers upwards of 100,000 postings for customer service. However, you can also work in customer service or sales from the comfort of your own home—and during the hours you choose. 

With that in mind, if you’re still wondering if your skills as an educator transfer well to engaging with customers, patients, etc., just keep reading. 

What makes teachers great with customers? Here are four of many reasons:

1. Experts at simplifying the complex.

On a fundamental level, educators are trained to teach lessons by simplifying a topic or idea into easy-to-understand chunks of information. Being able to distill and explain complicated information also happens to be the foundation for customer service, which usually involves a great deal of problem-solving in order to help someone.

2. Unmatched ability to build rapport quickly.

Think back to your favorite teacher and we’re sure you’ll be overcome with a sense of ease and comfort. The best teachers know how to make connections quickly with students in order to create a comfortable environment for learning. They do this by assessing the needs of their students and making themselves relatable. Highly attuned customer service agents also know how to do this and are able to subtly build a rapport at the outset of any call. It builds a level of trust and sends a message that the agent cares about the caller.

Liveops agent and teacher, Kathy Surcey, is highly skilled in this regard. She shares her tips for building connections over the phone. 

3. The patience of a saint.

In order for children and other students to be able to open their wings and soar, they need to learn from a person with endless patience. Teachers not only give the same lessons over and over throughout their entire career but they are asked the same questions day in and day out. Just like customer agents! The higher degree of your innate patience—which correlates with compassion—the more you can enjoy helping customers. Even when they bring their biggest challenges.

4. Passion for making a difference.

The profession of education calls people who want to make a difference. They know that by being a caring, engaged teacher they can change lives, whether that means shaping the life of a child or helping an adult reach their potential. Although customer service agents aren’t always asked if they feel the work they do changes someone’s life, we all know the ways customer service can impact our mood. Yet, when a person calls and reaches a caring, skilled customer agent who helps them, it often brightens their day. 

Possibilities to explore

Liveops, in fact, has opportunities for people with the professionalism and skills of an educator. And, thanks to technology and workforce trends, it’s easier than ever to find a customer service role aligned with your interests and expertise.

Liveops is looking to grow its nationwide force of independent contractors. The company works with some of America’s best-known and respected brands in industries such as fashion retailing, healthcare, roadside assistance and property and casualty insurance. Agents not only choose the type of work they support but they also set their own hours. Want to learn more? Find all the details on our website.  

If you’re a teacher looking for a summer job with the right fit, know that you already have the abilities that would make you highly successful in customer service. That Mediterranean vacation or down payment for your next home isn’t such a distant possibility! 

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Shelly Strom

Shelly Strom is a writer for Liveops. With a background in business journalism and corporate communications, she specializes in researching the call center industry to uncover key trends, news and analysis.

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