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Desperate to leave. Has anyone changed careers and left teaching?

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by sicilia, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. sicilia

    sicilia New commenter

    Hi. I'm desperate. I need to get out of this profession. Classed as an outstanding teacher I am good at my job but I hate it and feel trapped. I've lost all confidence due to school politics and spend hours filtering aimlessly through job sites trying to grasp at anything that might get me out of this situation. Im too scared to risk another school and just want to call it a day and try something different. But I find I'm either over or under qualified for anything that isn't teaching. I have previously worked in administration, retail and child care roles.

    I was wondering what professions people have gone into after teaching? Did you find it difficult to make the jump? I'm now in my 7th year and worried that the longer I'm in this rut the more difficult it will be to get out.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you

  2. ingonito

    ingonito New commenter

    I dont know, I'm the same there was a thread on here a while ago and I saved the documents that give ideas to teachers so I'll attach haven't used them myself yet. I have been teaching internationally for a while but returned last year to UK for family reasons. I hated it. so I'm back out overseas teaching . I did briefly try to go it alone and get a different career in UK but was really hard . I tried to get back into retail but it was not good. Contracts that make you do 4 hours per day so you dont get breaks and pay more for petrol and parking than you earn, ridiculous bully managers. I went back into teaching for the 2 terms of the year. Then I'm back out overseas , it's a better life you do bleed for top schools(as in work hard but its a better kind of work hard - child focused not pen pushing for sake of it ) but lifestyle and pay much better. It's bought me a couple of years(I have to come back this is a limited get cash thing ) but I wont be teaching in UK no way not ever again. Im hoping I'll work it out between now and then . So if you can't find anything else to do maybe try overseas to give yourself a financial boost and therefore freedom to try something new? Pick wisely , go for top schools and some of them have really substantial cash pots at the end of a contract - I know one do a 3 year contract and walk out with about 30 grand bonus. Competition is fierce now as so many are fleeing UK but if you are an outstanding teacher you will do just fine. If thats not an option for you hope the documents help !

    Attached Files:

  3. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    I left teaching to become a TA, because I like the work hours and the lack of pressure, and am currently retraining in the evenings to change careers and leave education ll together once my children leave school themselves.

    For the time being though, I am happy to tke the pay cut, because it gives me time to retrain, and spend weekends and holidays with the family
  4. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    Two major problems people face when leaving teaching seem to be:

    1) Trying to make a life decision while distressed, exhausted and depressed
    2) Looking for things which will pay the same as the profession in which they spent x years getting to their current pay level

    For those who do jump into something while running away from teaching instead of towards a new career, further unhappiness often follows.

    In my view it is of paramount importance to have properly "dealt with" the end of the teaching career first. That means recovering your sense of self, identity and confidence, getting over the effects of stress, anxiety and depression (often), genuinely celebrating the positives that came out of your teaching career and being ready to firmly close the door on it to move into something new. Not easy, many people go through an in-out-in-out cycle on the way out which does them more harm than good in all ways but financial.

    With all that squared away, the focus is on researching and identifying a new field and a career path within it which is going to work better for you in the longer term than teaching did. This takes time, possibly a return to training and likely a start from near the bottom in terms of salary and seniority. Also not easy.

    It does depend to an extent on your personality type and what makes you tick - some people will happily just "work" at anything for the rest of their lives - but your post speaks of professional ambition so I suspect you're not so straightforward, which is why it is important to really put the time in and get it right. Good luck!
  5. cb324

    cb324 Occasional commenter

    Left teaching and have a job lined up as a trainee general practice surveyor. No idea how it will go but similar feelings to yours, I felt trapped in teaching and couldn't stand the heavy timetable and workload.
  6. nervousned

    nervousned Senior commenter

    I finished at Christmas and will soon start as a trainee actuary. It took a couple of years to get everything into place as I am the breadwinner of my family. Reduced outgoings where possible and did a ridiculous number of exam contracts to substantially reduce my mortgage so that we could afford the lower wage. I passed a couple of exams to get my foot in the door and the more I pass the higher my wage will be.
    lmm23, henrypm0, agathamorse and 4 others like this.
  7. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    Hi Dunnocks what are you retraining as? Are you planning to completely leave Education?
  8. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    yes, I'm slowly accumulating OU units towards a masters degree in n entirely new subject, and have been looking round for paid internships I could go for in this area
  9. ingonito

    ingonito New commenter

    Has anyone got any practical tips on how they chose their new career path ?- I find I can read a lot but what I really want is someone to talk to about it and help guide me - how have others who have decided on what path they will next follow actually come to that decision? what was the process? The possibilities seem so overwhelming . I should have also added that when I tried to break out of it I had had the death of a parent - diagnosis to passing was only 3 weeks (out of the blue) and had to leave my life overseas, come home and pick up financial and emotional responsibilites for all in an instant. When you have those big awful events is really when teaching can break you- hence why for the first 6 months after I couldn't face it . Wish I had had the time to research it all but instead I knee jerk blundered into other things (certainly couldnt have been teaching at that time though) and so now Ive bought myself a couple of years of more financial freedom and time out of UK to try to work it out more methodically . I Would also, like sicilia, appreciate any pointers people have on how they got to where they are( away from teaching )?
  10. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    Sounds similar to me, although I'm snagging an extra degree.
    Shedman and nervousned like this.
  11. Fizzbobble

    Fizzbobble Occasional commenter

    I escaped. I made a plan and started a new job recently. Increase in pay, better conditions by far and the people seem to appreciate my skills rather than set me impossible and ever changing goals. If you want to discuss, OP, send me a message.

    It would help us to know your subject/qual areas, I guess. My advice to a science teacher would be a bit different to that for an history teacher.
  12. cb324

    cb324 Occasional commenter

    You should include what you do etc. This might inspire others or give anyone else an idea of what they could choose as an alternative career. I think a lot of teachers struggle to see any career options outside of education.
  13. nervousned

    nervousned Senior commenter

    Started with the National Careers Service skills test and then booked a telephone talk with an advisor. The website was prettier back then.

  14. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

  15. MisterW

    MisterW New commenter

    Hi @sicilia

    It sounds like you're unhappy and that it's time to leave. Take the decision now that you're going to leave but accept that it will take time. Don't rush the process and accept it could take several months. You don't want to step from the frying pan in to the fire. Research possible new careers - speak to an expert. As suggested you could try the national careers service or you could make an appointment (usually for free) with the careers service of your former university. There was a good piece of research published recently which looked at the destinations of teachers who leave the teaching profession. Many stay in education related jobs although a few do something else entirely. Very few end up unemployed. You can read it here:


    Good luck with the process and try to make decisions as rationally as possible, even though you may be feeling stressed out and demoralised. Teaching demands a huge work ethic - if you take this in to another career there's no reason why you won't succeed. The book School's Out! The Definitive Guide to Leaving Teaching and Rebalancing Your Life has some useful suggestions for how to leave teaching and can give you ideas about other jobs.

    Good luck!
    Baggie, henrypm0, agathamorse and 2 others like this.
  16. MissBee741

    MissBee741 New commenter

    I left and although it was scary, it was the best decision I made. I looked on the local council's site and found work in a Virtual School supporting looked after children - maybe research and see if your local authority has a Virtual School and see if they have vacancies? My work involves supporting looked after children 1:1 either at school or in placement.

    I have been in your position - it does get better x
  17. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    Returned to industry after 23 years in D&T and recently had to watch the subject be diminished by an Ebacc obsessed government. Now my creative and technical skill in design are actually valued and in demand.
  18. RedBedHead94

    RedBedHead94 Established commenter

    I left in November, 2 months in to NQT year. Found it very hard to find another job. Went on supply books for a bit, and paid for some online courses in HR and Admin, then started doing admin temp agency stuff. I managed to secure a job with a lovely teacher recruitment agency, and until that starts i'm an admin assistant for a large accountancy firm.

    It's taken a lot to get out, when you swerve out of a career in this way you have to be able to convince employers that you're not going to run away from them too. If you can sell yourself properly or retrain like I've started to do, it makes life easier.

    Not knowing what to do next is crushing too. I felt bereaved when I left - you lose your entire being. Even today as I sat scanning, cross referencing and compliance checking tax returns I wondered how i'd gone from a career where I was constantly challenged to one where I was hardly having to think. It's a big shock. So try to have a plan for what you want to do instead - it means you can see the way out, know how to get there, and it's more attractive to employers - if you don't know what you want out of the potential new job, you look like you don't care about it and just want out of where you are now - I lost a lot of jobs because of it.

    Is supply an option? Could do that to top the bank balance up whilst you figure out what you want to do next.

    There is a way out. You have an amazing set of skills. Don't make a rash decision like I did, I regret it so much as it has been hell on earth. Get your head in the game, plan your escape and do it without causing yourself more pain than leaving what was once a beautiful life-calling will be.

    I'm always on the end of an email if you want to talk xoxo
  19. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Teaching is a wonderful profession, but do not attempt to teach in the UK. There are so many things that make life difficult for teachers. My advice would be to get a teaching job overseas. Since leaving the UK, I have taught in Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Romania, the UAE, Qatar and now China.
    tallpoppy71 and missteach2005 like this.
  20. hardyfan

    hardyfan New commenter

    Which country did you enjoy the most, hippo?

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