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How to transition out of teaching

March 25, 2014

So you are thinking of leaving the teaching profession? But how do I go about changing careers after investing years into it, you may ask yourself. I’m not going to even pretend that I have all the answers for teachers, but I can share what works for me. Last week marked a whole year from the last day I stood in front of a classroom adorned with the tile of teacher. I’ve written a few times about what factors played into my decision to walk away from the blackboard jungle. In the year since I left the world of public education I have been asked by several former co-workers on how I did it and what advice I could give them. This past weekend one of them was a teacher who I last remembered being so passionate about helping her students and showing enthusiasm in the classroom. Sad to think that she is also thinking of leaving the profession.

  1. You need to wrap your head around the fact that this is not an easy or smooth process. 

I had thoughts about transitioning from classroom teaching for 2 years before actually deciding that I was going to move forward in the process. You need to ask yourself if you are just having a tough school year or if you really want to walk away. Only you will know when you are ready to move on and find another job.

   2.  Revising the resume is a must to get a non-teaching job.

The resume you use in the education world is just not going to get you noticed outside of it. Unfortunately to many employers they will just see teacher on your resume and think that is all you can do. Unfair, but it is the harsh truth. Personally I invested a little money and had a career counselor help me update my resume for me. It was completely worth it. You want to have a skills-based resume that highlights all the great skills that come with being an effective educator. Remember to sell yourself!

3.  Make sure to let everyone know that you are looking for a new job.

Keep your mind open to all career possibilities. Teaching has many transferable skills that would make you good at a variety of positions.

4. Realize that you probably won't start out making the same amount of money in your new job.

The hardest part of making this decision is coming to terms that to make a change you will more than likely have to take a pay cut. Only you will know if this is something you can comfortably handle with your finances. For me yes I'm making less money, but my work-life balance has never been better. 

5. Be patient with the process.

It is not easy to successfully change careers. I went on lots of interviews before landing the job I have now. You constantly have to sell yourself as more than "just a teacher."

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