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Almost three years ago, I wrote an article entitled, "Jobs For Teachers Who Leave the Profession" about the various jobs teachers could do outside of being in the classroom. After being shared over 1,000,000 times, I figured we should do an update about HOW teachers can transition into jobs that seem unattainable for a teacher.
Over the years, we've had numerous comments from readers like Mark who said
"I have found that many businesses don’t hire former teachers because they assume teaching is an easy job and that teachers have no “real” transferable skills. It is unfortunate that assumptions are the roadblocks to entering a different field"
Or from Lizette from Facebook who said,
"...I have applied to everything possible in the last 5 years to leave teaching. I have not had one single phone call or interview..."
The job market is extremely fickle, but after three promotions, I've discovered that there are ways for teachers to transition into other careers if they don't approach it like they are getting their first teaching job. What do I mean? Be confident and know that you have the skills needed to be successful- teachers are basically project managers who work in customer service on a daily basis. So what's next?
The first step of changing a career is to take a good look at a career you would like to transition to- for the purpose of this article, we will use the Corporate Trainer job listed below.
The first step would be to then go through each job description detail and see if you can align it (using the same keywords) to what you already do in your current job. For example, the first job duty is to "manage the design, delivery and continuous improvement of the New Hire Training programs as well as on-going learning opportunities..."
Does that sound familiar to what you do in your school? If not, think about your work with new teachers and how you come up with programs to help acclimate them to the building. The next step would be to figure out how to use the same keywords to convey your teaching experience. (Note: For the first job description, the keywords would be manage, delivery, learning opportunities, and organization.) Then brainstorm the times that you've trained and worked with new or in-service teachers. Write down everything you did with those teachers to do on the job training, and then put it in terms that will remain truthful to your work, but will also use the same keywords.
Here's an example. "Manage the design, delivery, and continuous improvement of the New Teacher program and Liberty Middle School as well as teaching opportunities that support the school organization's needs..." You would need to align the job duties of the job you want to the current job you have. This will take time, but when you finish make sure to save the file as CorporateTrainer_Yourname.PDF so that you can use it time and time again.
After you've formulated your resume with the correct keywords, it's critical for you format your resume so that it looks like you are the person for the job. For this step, I scoured the internet for hours and found several templates that worked well for me.
One of the examples that I liked was that it was clear that I was not looking for entry-level work and I had space for me to "brag" on career highlights and to summarize my professional life.
Another way to go is go "trendy" but this should be done with careful consideration to the job you are applying to. It's tempting to go to a graphic organizer to create one of these resumes, however, use free programs like Canva to create these resumes for free.
As you start to format your resume for careers outside the classroom, keep in mind these tips and/or hacks:
- Have a designated day and time to search for jobs that you may be interested in applying to.
- You should customize your resume for each job you apply to.
- Save all your resumes as PDFs and keep them in Dropbox or Google Drive so that you can quickly access them.
- Have a cover letter available so that you can quickly change them as you need.
- Use LinkedIn to create a profile so that you can become searchable online for your job skills.
- Utilize your school district's resources to see if they have any certification classes (i.e. Project Management) you can take for little to no charge.
To sign up for our 4-week course entitled, "How to Leave Your Job in Education: A Guide for Teachers to Get Out of the Classroom ", click here.