Staff Spotlight: Justin Hough

Community Manager


Justin grew up in the UK before taking a gap year in Asia. Or at least that was his plan… he's been living and working overseas for 8 years now, and has never looked back.

After spending several years teaching and developing English language courses for schools in China, Justin joined the Let’s TEFL team.

What is your favorite travel memory?

There’s too many to choose from! I was once teaching in Beijing and over Chinese New Year, the weather was freezing cold and everything had shut down for the holiday season. On a whim, I decided to book a flight to the Philippines and go snorkeling.

24 hours later and I was on a beach with a San Miguel and a snorkel. The water was crystal clear, full of fish and I even got to swim with a sea turtle. There was something that felt so free about being able to just grab your passport and go do it.

The only problem was that when I flew back to China at the end of the long weekend, my class found my snorkel-mask sunburn especially amusing, and decided to feature me in their drawings. The pictures were not flattering, but the trip was great.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

My previous jobs have mostly been in rather heavily structured companies with clearly defined hierarchies. I had some creative freedom, but it was always within very concrete boundaries.

With Let’s TEFL it’s much different. We’re encouraged to work on our own projects, and let our ideas come to life. If anyone has an interesting thought then we’re free to discuss and go for it.

In fact, I just got back from a trip to Guangzhou last week… that’s one of these projects that we discussed over coffee last month, and I’ve been able to go and put it into action. But you’ll have to wait and see what that was!

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

I was just talking with one of our course graduates this weekend and I couldn’t be happier for him. He landed in China a few days ago to do some traveling before starting his job placement.

Eight years ago I was in his shoes, and it was great to hear his first impressions - the people, the lights, the size of Beijing, the street food, the supercars, the rickshaws, etc. It’s hard to explain, but it’s a complete wave of new sounds and sights that you get to soak up.

There’s so much he’s going to learn in these next few days, weeks, and months. It’s such an exciting time and I know he’s going to love it.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Our team brings over 15 years of teaching experience together. We’ve taught all over Asia, we’ve helped to develop classroom content used by schools, and we’ve been involved in the recruitment process for new teachers.

With Let’s TEFL we get to apply all of this experience to our course and job placement service. We’ve actually lived and breathed the teaching life, and have put our knowledge into a package which really gives new teachers exactly what they need.

We didn’t want to follow the trend of offering a range of different course lengths such as 40/60/80 or even 150/200/300 hours as we feel they’ve moved away from the essence of what a TEFL course should be - a complete package which provides new teachers with the skills and know how needed to give fun and educational classes to students of all ages.

I’m really proud to say that our course does this - in one concise package.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Without a doubt, it has to be hiring people who have a deep passion for what they’re doing.

If people are passionate about their job it shines through in so many areas. The company will be able to achieve so much, they'll be able to bring innovation to their industry, and it'll be a lot of fun at the same time.

I'd say that this also works the other way around - as an employee if you’re not passionate about the company you work for, and if you’re only arriving each day to collect a paycheck on the way home, then you need to go find something you can really contribute to. We all deserve more from life than that.