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Leaving Teaching

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by ak0344, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. ak0344

    ak0344 New commenter


    I am looking for some advice and guidance.

    I'm 30 and have been in teaching for just over 6 years, working mainly in the FE sector. I have a Computing degree and an FE PGCE. I enjoy aspects of teaching, as I'm sure many of us do, but find the 'red tape' and 'audit' culture extremely frustrating and demotivating. There has also been continuous redundancy talk at every place I work, which does not offer any more job confidence or security.

    As many of us often do, I find myself working well into the night, either marking or prepping for teaching of new content (mixture of A-Level and BTEC's, with forever changing subject specifics). I find it frustrating that I am unable to focus on a particular aspect of the subject, to improve my overall quality and confidence with my teaching, and feel like I am doing a lot of surface learning, which doesn't benefit me or the students. The anxiety that is paired with this often leads to sleepless nights and unenjoyable lessons.

    I am sure I could go on...

    Anyway, I would like to know if anyone has any advice RE options outside of teaching.

    Two things are important to me: job satisfaction and money. Unfortunately for the latter, it really does take more of a precedence that I would like it to, but bills need to be paid. I would like to earn a reasonable amount of money, but it is not massively important.

    I have a good range of technical skills, specifically related to programming and feel like I could confidently approach a job along those lines, but wonder what my opportunities for success are?

    My teaching salary is around £30k (I'm based in the North), so ideally would like to at least be able to earn a similar amount within a reasonable time frame, and obviously have opportunities for more earnings; which frankly are limited within teaching.

    Would I be welcomed into the private sector? Would I be an attractive hire within the IT sector? What opportunities would be there for me generally, if at all?

    Many thanks for any advice or replies that are given!
  2. Mic100

    Mic100 New commenter


    I felt the same as you and thankfully I found a way out. I now have a much better quality of life and I certainly don't miss 'working at night'. I worked with a career coach company and they helped me re-train in the IT sector. It's run by ex-teachers so they know their stuff. https://www.mycareerswitch.com/careers/career-coaching/

    Best of luck
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2019
    agathamorse likes this.
  3. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Nobody can tell you what your opportunities for success are because we don't know you and don't know how well you would sell yourself as an applicant or at an interview. However, you are confident that you have the skills to take on an IT or programming job.

    It may sound banal but the only way you're going to find out how successful you will be is to start applying for jobs. Get your CV brushed up and post it on line on one of those job forum things. Go through the local job sites and start applying. Why not e-mail or write to local businesses and companies saying your looking for work and do they have anything for which you would be suitable. Put the word around amongst your friends and social media that you're looking for a new career.

    One thing's for sure, you're never going to find what your opportunities are by asking on here (unless you're lucky). You are umming and ahing and seem reluctant to take the steps needed to move your career on without advice and reassurance. You need to make the decision as to whether you are going to look for a new career or not. If you stay, your future career will be pretty much as it is now with all the uncertainty about redundancy, frustration and demotivation. Things ain't going to get much better. However, a change of career could give you something to get your teeth into, provide challenge and increased rewards both in terms of pay and job satisfaction.

    If you want to make a change for the better then YOU have to make it happen.
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. ak0344

    ak0344 New commenter

    Thanks for your feedback and your advice.

    I would say that I am well aware that when I begin to make changes, I need to be proactive. I am also not looking for specific opportunities within this forum, and understand what steps I need to take when considering alternative jobs. The reason I posted this was to see what other people's experiences were and whether anyone had any advice, based on what they'd been through or where they were coming from. I have also been having conversations with friends and relatives, again to learn from their experiences.

    Changing careers is a decision I don't want to take lightly, so I want to reflect upon any advice or similar experiences others have had, so I can make a more considered decision of my own. I wouldn't misinterpret consideration for reluctance or lack of action.

    I hope that clears up anything you may have misconceived from my post.
    agathamorse likes this.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    Its very tough to get out of this profession, and I think you have to be prepared - really prepared - to swap your standard of living for quality of life.

    It's not likely that you are going to find a £30k+ job if you leave teaching. Of course those jobs exist, but they require specific skills, and there are fewer in number than education. This is a huge sector.

    So - whats the lowest wage you can accept and still function without getting into debt?

    If you are single and have no dependents, that can be quite low indeed. If you have a family, it's harder, and no one likes saying to their spouse 'look - if I was to earn 1/3rd my current take home, how could we manage?'

    Ask yourself this question - if you only had 50% of your current income, what would you have to change? Don't discount it before you complete the exercise. Seriously - if you were on take home of about £1000 a month, what would you have to do to survive? It might look horrible, but would you then be able to find a job which brings you the satisfaction you need to make up for the physical discomfort?

    I was once complaining that I couldn't write because I was too busy earning a living teaching. My head of department told me that I should take my family to Greece and live off tomatoes or something because that was the only alternative and why not go for it? Not that I did. But I did work as a supply teacher for a while which cut my hours immensely. I wrote two novels, did lots of photography and got to travel. It wasn't a bad life at all. One day I may be brave enough to go back to it.
  6. ak0344

    ak0344 New commenter

    Thanks Sebregis. You've posed some really good things to consider there

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