If you’ve been thinking about quitting teaching, you already know that the mental energy needed to explore the question, “Well, what else could I do with my life?” is often depleted by the time you get home from school. It’s hard enough to change careers with a normal job, but after a long day of delivering lessons, grading, planning, dealing with conflicts and attending meetings? Fuggedaboutit.
For me, it took almost three years of work (and a whole lot of luck) to make the jump.
OK, so I didn’t apply to jobs every day (not even every week), but I was teaching full time and finishing a master’s degree. I also moved twice, changed schools and got married during that time.
I hope sharing how I found a fresh start will help you figure out whether leaving teaching (or taking a break from it) is right for you. If it is, I hope to help you transition faster than I did — or at least be patient with yourself if it takes you a year (or three) to begin your own Life After Teaching.
For now, here’s a tally of the results of those three years:
- 94 job applications
- 5 job leads from contacts
- 6 job interviews
- 3 months unemployed
- 2 weeks between my last teaching paycheck and my first non-teaching paycheck (Yess.)
- 1 job offer
Next time, I’ll explain why informational interviews were, hands down, the most valuable tool in my job search.
Fellow former teachers — what has Life After Teaching been like for you, and how did you get there? Has it been worth it?