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What life is there after teaching?

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by WTDT, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. WTDT

    WTDT New commenter

    Hi, I was wondering if there is anyone still on TES who has left the profession? If so, what career do you find yourself in? How did you find the transition? I am in the process of leaving and it can feel quite overwhelming with regards to where to start and taking the leap.
  2. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    After almost 30 years, I left teaching following a six month period of WRS and an SA.
    It was very frightening and, like you, I felt vulnerable and unsure about the future.
    I realised that I could access my pension after only four years, (although it would be actuarially reduced, as I would by then be over 55) so it was not an endless stretch of time to cover. I don't know if this is the same for you, but it did give me a sense that things were not as bad as they might have been. We also had no mortgage to consider.
    So I spent a number of months working at a very low level, self-employed. The pay was minimum wage or marginally above, but never reached as high as £10 an hour. I had my SA money to supplement it and I cut down drastically on expenses. My husband, who also left a job in education a few years ago, came with me on these jobs, and we did OK for about 2 years. I needed that amount of time to recover from the decades of teaching and the bullying and WRS from my last school.
    Then, suddenly, I was talking things through with a friend and the way forward became clear. He spoke about a job he'd heard about and I realised it was the one I wanted to do for the next decade or so. I trained and now I am self-employed and working about three and a half days a week. I do occasional supply at a special school locally, and that's all the teaching I feel I want in my life right now.
    Have a look at your skills; these can be subject based, or otherwise based. Forexample, you are good at running your own time, working in a team, speaking in front of people, record keeping etc etc.
    Depending on your particular stage, (family commitments, mortgage etc) think about how much money you need and for how long. Then, if possible, take a little time to look around.
    And good luck.
    There is a world elsewhere.
    agathamorse likes this.
  3. Sinnamon

    Sinnamon Established commenter

    4 years ago I was right where you are now, at a crossroad.

    To transition out of teaching I took up supply for a few months to give myself time to weigh up my options.

    Then I decided to buy into a franchise business. I work on a self-employed basis, choosing own hours, etc. I get a huge amount of perks with my job and am very, very happy. Possibly my best career move to date....
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    I think you have to realise that you are re training for another career. But once that retraining has occurred then you assume the trajectory that is normal for that new career.

    So there is short term pain and lots of long term gain. E.g. today is the Sunday before Xmas. I’m not working and neither am I zombie exhausted. Indeed I’m jetting off to sunny climes for Xmas. When I was a teacher, I had all the GCSE mocks to mark over Xmas, I was dead on my feet and working every Sunday. And you still be can’t be sure there isn’t an ofsted inspection happening next week.

    I’m not earning as much as I would have had I stayed in teaching. The sum of money I save each month would probably be larger. My total holidays are less. But my lifestyle is much better - on less money! Amazing stuff.
  5. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I've thought of franchise.
    Can I ask what franchise yo have bought into?
  6. Sinnamon

    Sinnamon Established commenter

    @BelleDuJour I've sent you a private message :rolleyes:
  7. Nanny Ogg

    Nanny Ogg Occasional commenter

    Sinnamon likes this.
  8. LB213

    LB213 New commenter

    I left teaching after in April after 6 years as a primary teacher and head of department. Leaving was terrifying however the worry was well worth it. I now earn less, but have a significantly better work/life balance and my quality of life has improved beyond belief. I felt that teaching was my identity and that I would be lost without it. I know many other people who have been teaching for far longer & some may think I was daft to think of myself solely as a teacher but it was my everything. I loved the children and I the journey we went on each year, however increasing bureaucracy made it impossible to continue. I now work on a self-employed basis doing private tutoring and also work with a friend of a friend on another venture. I am so glad that I was brave enough to take the plunge. I am currently looking for a more permanent job however leaving full time teaching has given me the perspective I needed and helped me reevaluate my priorities before we have a family.
  9. BoldAsBrass

    BoldAsBrass Occasional commenter

    Play to you strengths
    1)Supply is a great option, although income can be sporadic. I did this last year and long-term contracts saw me through a school year, with only no work from Sept to Oct. Tricky if you have family/mortgage /debts but do-able with so fewer hoops to jump through, especially when day to day supplying. I loved it!! I coped with longterm expectations having been a DHT and AHT is was so much easier not having management tasks to fit in.

    2) Private tutoring or teaching is another option. Do you have a subject specilism to 'sell'? Prepping for exams? Perhaps you are a proficient musician (i do brass lessons alongside my full-time teaching role)

    3) Utilise a hobby to make a living. Are you a crafter? Could you repurpose furniture to sell on...

    4) Take a p/t job so you can do 1) 2) or 3)

    5) re-train? I have friends who have retrained as counsellors or even as a celebrant speaking at funerals where people want non-religious ceremonies (something I'll consider in the future)

    6) set up a new business...I've got my own business as a music peripatetic but next year I'm planning a joint venture with a family member and a friend. We're opening a retail business and cafe, which may at some point mean i could step out of teaching altogether (but not yet!)

    Whatever you do, be bold, be brave and take a leap..... You'll never look back. I haven't
    agathamorse, janerain72 and Sinnamon like this.
  10. crawshawn

    crawshawn New commenter

    Teaching is such a wierd job- few other careers expect the same workload and pressures, particularly in that pay range.

    I left and joined the Civil Service. Had to apply a couple of times. I love it- flexible working, interesting job, great colleagues, decent pay and an emphasis on wellbeing. See what’s available near you!
    Ds2d12, agathamorse and janerain72 like this.
  11. janerain72

    janerain72 New commenter

    I also plan to leave this year, after 15 years teaching, and I'm hoping to join the civil service. Do you have any tips @crawshawn?
    henrypm0 and agathamorse like this.
  12. WTDT

    WTDT New commenter

    Thanks so much for getting back - it’s really inspiring to hear what is possible after teaching: sometimes it feels like such a specific career choice there is no logical next step! I’m currently working p/t on a short term teaching contract, and in the early stages of working on a project to help other teachers looking for new roles.

    Something i’ve been struggling with is the salary drop, especially as I get older and my financial commitments grow. Did you build up a buffer before you left teaching, and/or cut household overheads significantly once you’d left?

    Thanks, M
    agathamorse likes this.

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