Helping Unhappy Teachers Find New Career Paths

Certain people are attracted to certain types of job. For example, if someone believes in the value of education and has a desire to help young people learn, then becoming a teacher might be the perfect career path for them. Unfortunately, even if that seems like a great idea at first, things can change as teachers get deeper into their careers and become disillusioned.

Recently, I had the opportunity to work with two teachers who didn’t want to teach anymore. One was an elementary school science teacher who, after 15 years working with within the educational system, was bored and frustrated. The other had started her career in business before deciding to become a teacher. After working at the elementary school level for seven years, she was miserable having to deal with all the difficult parts of children’s lives such as violence, dysfunctional families, drug use, and poverty. All she wanted to do was teach.

So, how did I help them? Here is the basic career coaching process we went through:

BASIC CAREER PATH DECISION: Each woman had to make an overarching decision about their future employment. We talked about what they wanted out of their job and what would make them happy. The science teacher decided that she wanted to stay in the field of education, but explore a role outside of classroom teaching. The other decided she wanted out of education to make a move back to the business world.

GOOGLE SEARCH: We started with a basic Google search: “education career change ideas for teachers who don’t want to be teachers.” We found tons of useful information through variations of this search, such as:

“Careers for teachers who don’t want to teach”’

“Teaching jobs after retirement”

“Jobs for people with a teaching background”

EXPLORATION FOR ACTUAL JOB OPPORTUNITIES: The science teacher and I talked about possibilities of employment in areas such as museum exhibits and national park outreach programs. She would still be teaching, but in a public outreach role for event planning and program development rather than in the classroom and the formal educational system.

The teacher who wanted out of education altogether decided to look for an Executive Assistant support role. We considered finding an administrative position in the training department of a company where she would be working with other people who believed in the value of education. This would combine all aspects of her professional background.

OUTCOMES: Both women have moved on in their careers outside of the educational system. The former science teacher who decided to stay in education as a career is currently in the middle of deciding whether to go back to school herself. The other former teacher now has a job at one of the top-tier Silicon Valley companies.

I was able to help each of these women go through a multipart career coaching process that is basically the same for people in all professions, not just teaching. It involves:

  • Internal exploration, helping them decide what’s important for their personal growth, beliefs, values, and what would fit into their family life right now.
  • External exploration, helping them research and discover interesting and exciting career possibilities.
  • Job search strategy and action plan, allowing them to take specific steps towards their new goal.
  • Interview coaching, which is helpful when they actually start to make their career transition.
  • Start the new job! This is one self-explanatory!

If you are currently feeling stuck in your career like these teachers were, you have options. Your skills are transferable and could be greatly valued in other fields. If you’re simply looking for a new job in your current field, I can help there too. This career coaching process can work for anyone! When combined with a professional resume and other career documents, you will be all set to find the job that you were meant to do!