By: Lynette Walters

 Ok!! So you’re fed up! You just can’t take anymore! Your season has ended, you’re bored with the job or no longer feel challenged, the kids are too difficult, or you just need a change….Whatever the reason, whatever the rhyme, you’re ready to leave teaching and do something different.  It’s time to explore the options!

Changing careers and/or reinventing yourself can be a little scary.  Nonetheless, no one deserves the torture of having to show up for a job that is mentally, physically and emotionally draining.  At some point and time, teaching was the “bees knees” or the “cat’s pajamas”, and you reveled in the thought of educating today’s youth into oblivion. Sound familiar? Sure it does.  But here comes reality….somewhere, somehow, you lost your luster and now are faced with the dilemma of choosing another career, or at the very least coming out of the classroom.
Where do you start? Well, first and foremost, you have to decide whether or not you desire to remain in the educational realm.  If so, there are always alternatives, i.e., administration, school counseling, academic/graduation coaching, Vocational Director, or perhaps even teaching another discipline. In others words, there are always a variety of choices.  Perhaps you should switch grade levels for a fresh perspective on things?? Many times ‘burnout’ is limited to the classroom, but you still have a clear, concise fondness for education.  If none of the before mentioned job selections float your boat, then you may consider looking into a job at the district level? If you current certifications/credentials don’t match up then it may be inevitable that you go back to school to expand your knowledge base and marketability.
Now let’s just say for the sake of argument that (God forbid) you don’t want anything at all to do with education, or other people’s children.  You may have to reinvent yourself and start fresh. In the new millennium, this transition is not entirely unheard of especially among middle aged professionals.  Many employees in their thirties and forties are experiencing changes of heart surrounding their current vocations.  Which requires additional soul searching. My advice? Weigh the pros and cons as they relate to what you can and can’t tolerate in a 40-hour work week.  That’s right, remember, your occupation takes up one-third of your life.  Research the job market and even review your retirement package to ensure you’re making a sound choice for yourself and your well being  Is your entrepreneurial spirit yearning to be unleashed? Well then try business ownership on a part time basis  prior to jumping ship. Being your own boss can be rewarding yet time consuming.  And after years of having someone else in authority, will the freedom of running your own show be a culture shock thereby setting you up for failure?

And last but not least, comb over your transferable skills.  Being an educator has brought much diversity to the table.  You are an adviser  caseload manager, instructor, counselor, facilitator, assessment specialist, organizational planner, creative director, lawyer, mediator, mentor, manager, discipline specialist, lesson planner, secretary, hall monitor, police officer, resource specialist, and leader all rolled into one.  And with a resume like that, there’s no limit to the places you’ll go!

We’d love to hear from former educators that have made the transition into other careers as well as those who remain in education, just not in the classroom. Weigh in and provide the voice of experience to your peers! They’ll be forever grateful….I promise!

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