Put this on another place but felt I ought to share here as well, despite it being a long time since I chimed in. As ever, having read through the threads, Theo, Middlemarch, sage advice as always. Still thankful for your inputs and advice from 3 years back. So, I joined this group a long while back. I had the notion of setting up my own car detailing/valet business post settlement agreement. Bought the van, all the gear, website, FB marketing, etc. A few jobs, but also got PT teaching job locally. Wife was FT that year so business was back burner. PT went to FT after Xmas due to a leaver. Things on the up. That year, Easter to Whitsun break, I had 14 interviews (many more applications) with one firm offer, that I turned down (that particular UTC is closing its doors this summer, short time, lucky escape) I concluded that being on UPS 3 was a curse and decided to ditch teaching. I got a post at a local defence industry engineering company as Electronics test technician (the degree is B.Eng Electronic Engineering), proved my worth and had some good pay rises whilst there, nothing close to UPS3 though. Lately had an interview at another company, they manufacture defence kit for maritime, which is the industry I was in before teaching. They liked the maritime stuff, they liked the recent testing electronic stuff, the liked the teaching stuff on the CV. And the pay is well beyond UPS 3! Summary. I was very fearful of leaving teaching. However, there is a lot of dross out there in the real world, even with people who are qualified and handsomely paid for some positions. Teachers, you are smart, you are dedicated, you have a LOT of skills that many don't have, you are independent and proactive. If you're in this group and worrying about making the leap, there is a future after teaching. Have belief that something will turn up.