What can I do if I leave teaching? I used to be a teacher.  I was a teacher for 18 years and now I am a copywriter because I wanted a little bit of my life back.  If I am honest I really want a little bit of the classroom back now… but that is a different article.

Part of my role as a copywriter is to research the sort of terms that people would be keying into search engines.  Knowing these search terms helps me write content that you would be searching for.  Here are some of the most popular terms that have been typed into Google recently, not just in the UK, but across the world:

  • Jobs for teachers but not teaching
  • Teachers changing careers
  • Jobs for former teachers
  • Jobs for teachers leaving education

Does this make you feel sad?  It does me.  I can’t think of a more rewarding career than teaching.  Working with children, seeing them grow, dealing with their problems and feeling rewarded when they succeed.  There is no job like it – trust me – being self-employed with all the freedom in the world – it is not the same.

However, what these search terms tell me is that teachers under-estimate the skillset that they apply each day in their work.  So, let me tell you what I have learnt since I entered the “real-world-of-work.”

First, people are insanely impressed with my work ethic.  I am used to turning around work in hours – so I assume that is the case for the real world too.  I set a deadline of 24 hours away and feel embarrassed that I cannot deliver sooner.  The favourite comment people write in my testimonials: “she works so quickly.” I am a trained monkey.  Give me a job and I work until it is done cause the nest job comes too quickly in teaching.

Second, I have awesome project management skills.  I was given a job to write 80,000 words on something I knew nothing about.  I was given three months.  So, unfazed, having spent a lifetime talking expertly about things I only vaguely know about, I put together a plan to complete the project in 3 months as requested.  I break the word count down into 8,000 word blocks to be delivered weekly. I organised interviews and timetabled these into the plan – using Skype and in face to face interviews, so I could learn what to write. I built in feedback time and staging posts for payments.  It was like I had always taken a project and broken it down.

Third, my communication skills are pretty impressive.  I can explain a concept in concise terms and instil confidence that I am in control of what is needed.  The ability to be concise and articulate, to speak to people you have never met before and ask pertinent questions – all the things teachers take for granted – these are really impressive in “the-real-world-of-work.”

Finally, I can write.  I was an English teacher and strange enough I was an expert in my subject.  Therefore, I was able to write and I just chose to do it rather than teach it.  Therefore, anyone looking for a job outside of teaching – the subject you teach has a direct application in “the-real-world-of-work.”

But – and this is my health warning for this article – I miss the classroom. I miss the interaction with little people and the daily affirmation.  It has taken 6 months of being in control of my own workload to realise that I liked being part of the institution of a school.  School allowed me to stay a kid and pretend I wasn’t in the real world of work… and I really miss that!

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