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URGENT: Leaving teaching - advice, thoughts etc.

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by luvkat, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. luvkat

    luvkat New commenter

    Hello everyone,

    I have just been offered a new job outside of teaching but still within the realm of education. Finally, I have found somewhere willing to match my current salary in a job outside of teaching!

    Leaving teaching has been something I’ve explored for about 6 months now (after 6 years in teaching, currently as an AHT with 10% teaching timetable) but now it’s actually happening, I feel ‘stuck’ on a couple of things. In the grand scheme of things, I know they aren’t real deal breakers, but I just wanted some thoughts outside of my family and friends. They all think I should go for the new job (if I don’t take the leap now, I never will and I agree with that) plus the potential to earn significant money here is higher...

    The below points are my ‘stickers’ and are currently refraining me from signing on the dotted line and resigning. I do need to make a very timely decision soon though, by Friday at the very latest so any thoughts would be welcomed:

    - getting used to having less time off work. The annual leave is essentially halved (although I do know I now will have the flexibility to take it WHEN I want which is a huge bonus!)

    - sounds silly, but being able to leave at 3.30 on a Friday

    - maternity options: my partner and I are probably 2-3 years away from wanting to try for children (however at my current school the maternity policy is similar to most businesses as it’s a private school so either way I’d have to leave my current school to benefit from the state system)

    - I commute by car at the moment and would have to commute by tube when not working remotely (eugh), but I also have to consider the financial implications of this as I’m tied into a car lease.

    As you can see, it’s time I value the most. There are lots of advantages: gym on site, free (good) lunch, ability to work flexibly which teaching will never ever give me. I just need some more perspective before I make this huge leap.

    Thanks so much to all in advance and sorry for the mighty long post!
  2. defenceagainstthedarkarts

    defenceagainstthedarkarts Occasional commenter

    The money would sway me, especially if trying for a baby soon :D good luck with it all.
  3. BTBAM85

    BTBAM85 New commenter

    Holidays are everything for me, and being able to leave well before 4pm if I want to.

    Depends how important they are to you. I've resolved to stay in teaching until I cannot, because I love the holidays and the free time after the working day. If you aren't so bothered about that, then try something else. You can always go back!
  4. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Maybe it's different in your school, or maybe it's different because you're SLT, but few of my colleagues ever got their full holidays, and were able to stop work at 3.30. They generally worked every evening and at least one day at weekends, plus a good deal of their holidays (at least in the 21st century; in the 80s/90s most teachers did finish/have holidays as the general public expects) as I would consider this carefully, as I'm sure you have.
    Think about what specifically you'll be doing-is it the parts of education you love, or not?
    How does you family feel-it might or might not be important to you to go through any specifi issues with them?
  5. rmr09

    rmr09 New commenter

    I left teaching after 8 years to work in science outreach for a university. Less pay, longer commute and less holidays but still a much better work life balance. I work 9-5.30 but I have no work in the evenings or weekends. I would return to teaching but part-time. Full time teaching is becoming unsustainable. Definitely the right decision for me.
  6. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    If you have evenings and holidays free, then you are in a very unusual situation, and I very much doubt it would last anyway.
  7. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Think longer term. If you stay in teaching then you know what the future holds. More of what you're doing now with possible promotions to deputy or headship. Despite government promises of more money for education, we all know that things are unlikely to get better in the short term. This is a new start in a new career and who knows where it may lead.

    To address your sticking points:
    • Less holiday. People in non-teaching jobs manage OK. How much of your school holidays were spent working or just drifted past? You can also take your holidays when you like and save lots of money by going during term times.
    • You have a car lease but this isn't going to last for ever. Think of the money you'll save in petrol and wear and tear by using it less frequently. If you can't get out of the lease then just take it on the chin. Is that a good reason for passing up a whole new career?
    • Leaving at 3.30pm on Friday. Could you negotiate this with your new employer and offer to make up the time on other days - you say you have the opportunity to work flexibly. At least you'll get your evenings and weekends back. If you have to work to 5.30pm on Fridays well, there are millions out there in the same boat. Take it on the chin.
    • It seems you have some great perks, gym and free lunch and it's not a school lunch either I bet! What you save from that could cover at least some of the money of your car lease.
    I get the feeling from your post that you'd love the challenges of the new job but are just a little undecided or reluctant to let go of your teaching career. Teaching will always be there to come back to if the new career doesn't work out but if you never spread your wings you'll never know what else could have been. Five or ten years down the road you may have regrets if you don't take you opportunities now and it sounds as if jobs like you've been offered don't come along very frequently.
    annascience2012 likes this.
  8. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Just a quick thought - I found that when I left teaching I didn't notice a drop in holiday time because a) I was less exhausted all the time, and b) I could go when I wanted, and c) I didn't work all the time in my weeks off.
    Good luck with your decision.
    Shedman likes this.

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