If you have made the decision to quit teaching but you are struggling to identify your next career, it’s useful to take a moment to consider the transferable skills from teaching to other jobs. Once you have identified these, you can start to search for roles outside the classroom using our recommended jobs websites for ex-teachers.
Identifying which transferable skills from teaching you can bring to a new role is difficult for many teachers because it is likely you have never had to apply these skills outside of the school environment. It’s normal to doubt your expertise in leadership, conflict resolution, and communication when considering their use in “the outside world”. At least, that’s how I felt when I decided to quit teaching in 2016; I knew I was a capable worker but couldn’t quite figure out how to apply my expertise to anything other than teaching.
Transferable Skills from Teaching to a new career
Emotional Sensitivity (empathy & logic) – You have the skills to deal with challenging situations and listen careful to the difficulties faced by others. You are responsive to these issues; seeking logical solutions that allow the individual to succeed. Nurses, social workers, careworkers and front-line customer service operatives are just some of the professions that value this skill.
Time Management – No one manages time like an effective teacher. You respond to difficult timeframes daily with short/medium/long term success measures. You are used to managing your time and workload in an unpredictable environment. Every profession requires a level of time management and teachers are renowned for their ability to squeeze 36 hours into every day.
- Communication – You can communicate effectively with a range of stakeholders. You understand how & when to change your style of communication to create influence. Children listen to your words but so do colleagues and other adults. You know how to share information visually so that the message is clear whilst remaining detailed. Salespeople need strong communication skills to succeed and they’ve never had to settle Year 9 when a wasp enters the room!
- Facilitation – You know how to structure learning and support progress in the moment. You recognise when people are struggling and identify opportunities to support. Providing learning opportunities for adults is a large part of all major organisations infrastructure; roles in Learning & Development value the experience of classroom teachers who fancy a corporate role
- Collaborative Working – Compared to many jobs, you have the skills to work effectively with a range of different individuals in superior and subordinate roles. You know how to recognise expertise in others and support development in others.
- Data Analysis – All of those nights looking at SISRA and SIMS have paid off. You can read a data report and identify trends, outliers and ways forward like a trained analyst. Granted, the data-focussed roles might only appeal to a handful but the rewards are plentiful. Jobs in finance are a good place for you and I recommend eToro as a side income.
- Leadership – It doesn’t matter if you haven’t moved off the Main Pay Scale; you are a Leader. You have inspired people every single day and built a vision for your classroom that has allowed for a successful career. If you have experience of line management and performance management, even better, but simply recognising the traits of a leader will demonstrate you’ve got them!
- Administrative – From data entry, report writing, lesson planning and assessment. You have approached different administrative tasks with professionalism. Admin jobs are plentiful, and whilst you might not get the same level of job satisfaction they often provide more opportunity to socialise, improve your headspace and learn about a new industry “on the ground floor”.
- Project Planning – You are planning maestro! You can identify a range of goals for children, curricula and the school itself. You can prepare action plans, reflective reports and rationales. Many careers want people who can take ownership and meet outcomes; teachers are made for these roles!