Making a career change can be challenging for teachers. The challenge of translating your skills as an educator to the corporate world can feel overwhelming. But, it doesn't have to be. The following explains the options and how to successfully land a new career beyond the classroom.
Understand Your Why.
Before taking the leap from classroom teacher to your next career, you need to be clear on why you want to make this change. Knowing the why and connecting that with what you want next is critical to making the career change stick.
Define what you like and what you don't like about your job as a classroom teacher. Be clear in what you want to avoid going forward. Know what aspects of your current job do not work for you.
Also, make sure to remember why you got into teaching in the first place. Think about whether there is a way to change what doesn't work in the current job to find what you want. What were the expectations that were unmet?
If we can start with the understanding of what is not working, then we can begin looking for a new career or job that does meet your professional goals.
Know Your Strengths.
If you are considering leaving the classroom, then it's important to understand what strengths you bring to an organization. What do students like about your teaching style? Are there any activities that help them become more engaged in learning? What is it about a lesson plan that makes it stick with students or helps them learn better?
What Do You Want to Do.
The next step is to identify what you want to do in your new career. What are the reasons for which you became a teacher, and how can that be translated into another role or industry? Are there ways of applying those same skills into an entirely different field? From curriculum development to project management, there are many opportunities for applying your skills in new and innovative ways.
Not totally sure what you want to do, but know that you don't want to be a classroom teacher anymore? That's ok! Knowing what you don't want to do can be as helpful as knowing what you want. Now, focus your energy on your strengths and explore what else is out there
Explore Training or Additional Experiences.
You may have a gap in skills that requires fixing before you can move out of the classroom. For some teachers, this means gaining additional education or training. Be careful in what types of credentials you pursue. You will want to make sure that this additional training or professional development actually advances your goal to move out of the classroom.
For some teachers, this means gaining part-time work experience or working on a freelance basis. Working in the new field before you fully commit can be a great way to see if you actually want to make the move. And, it will give you the experience beyond the classroom to make that career change easier when you are ready.
You will have to start looking at jobs to see what is actually out there that you are qualified for. A lot has changed post-pandemic and that means there are tons of new jobs and careers to explore. You can do this by looking at job postings.
Start with what you know and dig into those job boards. It may feel overwhelming at first, but it will help you to understand what those real options are. You can look at the postings by searching company names, job titles, and much more.
Create a Keyword Strategy
When you have a general idea of what you want next, you should start to create a keyword strategy to find the right types of jobs for your new career. A good job search keyword strategy will enable you to find lots of different types of jobs for your qualifications, skills, and goals. You should build this keyword strategy using phrases and variations for different industries, job titles, education, and skills.
You can also use the filters to sift through the postings to better understand what is a match for your talents. You can also remove those jobs that are way over or under your compensation requirements. Starting with a broader set of jobs and using these filters will make it easier for you to find the perfect next career beyond classroom teaching.
Write a Strong Professional Resume
Your resume is the first opportunity to make a great impression on potential employers. When you are exploring new careers, it's important that your resume reflects the fact that you have transferable skills and can do the job.
It's also important to tailor your resume for each position that you apply to. This means including specific keywords and experiences that are relevant to the job. You should also focus on your accomplishments, rather than just listing your job duties.
When you're ready, get help from a professional resume writer to make sure that it stands out and helps you move forward in your career change. The Contingent Plan resume writers would be happy to help you build a resume to make your career change possible!
Make Sure Your Resume is ATS Optimized
Most companies now use an applicant tracking system (ATS) of some kind to manage all of the applications that they receive for open jobs. In fact, over 70% of applicants are automatically rejected by these resume bots - never to be seen by a person. So, you will need to build a resume that is optimized for the ATS to have a chance at making your career change.
The ATS is driven by keywords and job titles. You will need to reframe all of your experience as a teacher to remove the jargon. This means thinking about your transferable skills and limiting the classroom lingo. Instead, think about how those skills and phrases apply to other types of jobs.
Professional resume writers can also craft your ATS optimized resume. The resume writing experts at the Contingent Plan will make sure that your message is perfectly conveyed and readable by those resume bots.
Build an Effective LinkedIn Profile
Most teachers do not use LinkedIn or have a LinkedIn profile. However, LinkedIn matters (a lot) if you want to move out of the traditional classroom environment.
LinkedIn is the number one social media site for professionals in the corporate world. Most hiring managers and recruiters will use it to find and validate candidates for their open jobs. There are also jobs posted on LinkedIn that you cannot find anywhere else or even apply to without a profile.
So, when you are ready to start exploring a career change, this means that you will have to create a LinkedIn profile that maximizes your visibility and credibility for the jobs that you will pursue. Remember, LinkedIn is connected to the ATS. This means keywords matter and the information needs to be entered properly.
Want to make sure your LinkedIn profile is doing everything it should? Have a professional LinkedIn writer review it for free.
Network Your Way to a Career Change
Networking is the number one way that people find a new job. It's also the most underutilized method of finding your next role, whether you are looking inside or outside of education.
In fact, just having an open mind about what is possible can help you move into other industries and roles without much effort.
Think about it - you are a teacher, which means that you have a wide network of parents and supporters of your schools. You also have principals and other school administrators who know what is possible for someone with your skills and experience. Don't forget all the other teachers in your district or across the state too! What did they do to make a career change?
Ask around, put the word out that you are looking for something new, and get ready to network your way into an exciting new career. And, make sure that you follow up on all of those requests to remind people that you are looking to make this change. Your network will help you make this career change. But, they need to be reminded and engaged through the process.
You can also use your LinkedIn profile to keep track of your professional network and to grow it in a new direction. This requires a strategy to make the most of your time. Building a Linkedin network doesn't happen overnight. But, it will have a huge impact on your career change.
Apply to Jobs, a Lot
A career change requires you to apply to jobs - a lot of jobs. Get ready to get rejected, but you only need 1 job that works. So, be open minded in the early days of your career change efforts to find what works and what doesn't work.
There are a lot of great jobs out there that you may not have considered. Check out job postings on LinkedIn, Indeed, and other job search engines to see what is available. Also, don't forget to look at company websites to see if they have any open positions.
The most important thing is that you get your resume in front of the right people. This means tailoring your resume to each job you apply for and making sure that it is formatted correctly for submission.
Do not rely on resume bots to find your next job. You need to put in the effort to make this change happen.
Don't forget to sign up for job alerts through email or on job search engines so that you can be one of the first to know about new jobs when they are posted.
Reassess Your Strategy
At a certain point, you should evaluate your career change strategy and message to make sure that you are heading in the right direction. This means that you should assess what is working and what isn't working.
Are your job applications getting rejected? It may be time to rethink your resume or the way you are targeting jobs. Are you networking but not getting any leads? Maybe it's time to reach out to more people or attend more events.
The best thing about a career change is that you can always course correct to make sure that you are on the right track.
Don't be afraid to ask for help along the way too! A career change is a daunting task, but with the right strategy and support, it can be done.
If you have applied to at least 20 jobs in the past 2 months with nothing but rejections, then it is time to get a professional opinion. Claim your free expert analysis of your resume now.
Prepare for the Interview
The next step in your career change will be to prepare for your interview. Interviewing for jobs outside of education is different. You will need to prepare and practice your interview answers so that you are prepared for whatever the interviewer decides to throw at you.
Spend time preparing with someone who knows how to interview in other industries. This can be a career coach or another professional who is familiar with interviewing outside of education. They will be able to help you identify potential interview questions and practice your answers so that you are prepared for the real thing.
The more time you spend preparing, the better you will be at interviewing, and the more likely it is that you will nail that interview!
Want to move out of the classroom and into a new career? Work with our team of proven career change experts today. Claim your free consultation today.