Leaving Teaching – is it possible to quit?

Leaving Teaching often seems so appealing, but the reality of making the leap out of a role you have established is really hard. Changing careers in hard for teachers; you might struggle to see how your skills as a teacher are transferable. They are! I made this website to support people like you, who want to leave teaching; I really hope you find it useful and supportive in your quest to quit teaching.

The dream

You are thinking about leaving teaching for the same reasons as the 1000s of colleagues across the country who are also trying to figure out their future; workload and life balance. You are jealous of friends who are able to switch off from their jobs once they arrive home, don’t seem to be spinning the plates your role demands, and talk positively about their workplace experiences. Maybe a recent interaction has left you drained of the love you once had for your career. At this stage, you might have envisioned your dream career or maybe you want to some guidance on alternative careers for teachers.

The reality

Leaving teaching is a tough decision and one that is filled with guilt. When I decided to leave teaching after a decade in the career, I felt guilty. I felt guilty that I was letting my students down, my colleagues, I even felt guilty that I was going to lose holidays and consequently financially impact my family time; when I might take Daddy duty to avoid childcare fees. I wondered how we could afford to live, without my reasonably stable salary. I felt anxious and couldn’t find anywhere that would reassure me. I built this website to be a support network, a reassuring friend who has followed the path you want to. I hope you find time to comment on the articles in order to encourage others to join the conversation.

The reality is that there are lot’s of transferable skills that teachers possess that make them valuable to a range of employers. My articles about alternative careers for teachers should help you think about your place in the employment market and provide some links to jobs sites I found useful in my quest to leave teaching. Your main obstacle is the teacher resignation dates, as this massively decreases your flexibility. Employers will accept a longer notice period for the right person; so make sure you are the right person.

Before you quit teaching, think!

The temptation might be to apply for every job that arises, this is exhausting and might lead to another unhappy experience. Take the time now to consider the following key points:

  • How much money do you actually need? (mortgage, childcare, expenses, holidays, treats etc.)
  • What working hours do you require? (do you want to pick your child up from school?)
  • What commute are you willing to commit to? (based on the working hours, how long will it take/cost?)

The answers to your above are the things to keep at the forefront of your mind when you are searching for jobs that could lead to you leaving teaching. If a job doesn’t tick ALL the boxes, move on, keep looking. If you are planning ahead, you will have plenty of time to filter out the unsuitable roles. The danger of not filtering, if you are desperate to leave teaching, is you will find reasons to compromise. Stick to the priorities chosen above and don’t compromise.

Soon enough, you will identify some job roles that seem intriguing. The moment you see something that intrigues you need to apply. Your lack of confidence will be the only thing stopping you. If you find a role that sounds cool and fulfills your three priorities – APPLY!

Find a suitable job now!

 

4 Replies to “Leaving Teaching – is it possible to quit?”

  1. Thank you so much for this. The way you describe your experience seems to be the exact process I’m going through. I want to leave but am scared of letting my young family down financially, everything you say makes sense and I am witnessing it all first hand. I hope I can can find something soon and make the jump.

    I can’t seem to find any jobs that interest me yet and I need to take time to think about what I really want. Your advice here is going to be very helpful with that process, so thank you!

    It really helps that you have created this website, it’s made me feel so much better knowing that it’s not just me asking these questions of myself and getting anxious about the same issues you have described.

    Thank you so much

    Lee

    1. Hi Lee, thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I am so glad you have found some reassurance here and hopefully feel a little more empowered to make what can be a challenging decision. I took a financial hit so had to plan ahead and make some changes but it was so worth it. Take the time with the career change ideas as ideally you will step straight in to the perfect role but if you are really struggling send me a DM on Twitter and will try my best to help.

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