By Gloria Martinez of womenled.org
If you're a teacher considering making a career change, you aren't alone. According to NBC News, approximately half of teachers surveyed have said they're thinking about quitting their jobs due to the added complications of teaching brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, before you make any changes, it's essential to develop a plan. Strategic thinking will help you figure out where your passion lies and help you pave the path to pursue it successfully. Read on for tips and tools that can help support your transition.
Figure out what you want to do
Before you quit teaching, it's wise to get an idea of what you want to do instead. This can be challenging if you've been on the same path for a long time. You can start by taking a free online career quiz for inspiration. Talking to family and friends can also be useful in identifying possible career options. Finally, think about how your current experience and skills can be leveraged elsewhere when considering the possibilities. For example, as a teacher with an education background, you might think about founding an online tutoring business.
Chart out a concrete path
Once you've settled on a career, you want to pursue—or a business you want to start—map out your path. First, figure out what steps you need to take, such as getting additional educational credentials or acquiring particular experience. One way to do this is by finding people who have your "dream job" and seeing what their path looks like. You can use social networks like LinkedIn to browse people's profiles and see what past education they've completed and jobs they've held. Tallo provides additional tips for creating a career path map.
Invest in the education and innovation you need
Once you have your career path map in hand, you will have a better idea of the steps you need to take to achieve your goal. For example, if you want to enter a field like nursing, you might look up nursing education opportunities at your local community college. This community college finder can help. If you want to become an entrepreneur, you have to take steps to start a business. These could include writing a business plan, acquiring funding, selecting a business structure, and marketing your goods and services.
Lay the groundwork for your new venture
Whether you're planning to transition to an office job or start your own freelance business working from home, you'll need to lay the groundwork for your new venture. If you're going to apply to office jobs, for example, you likely need to update your resume and cover letter. If you're going to start a business of your own, you need to set up a website before you can start pushing your products or services. Use a website cost calculator to get a sense of how much you can expect to spend on this step of your entrepreneurial journey.
Start networking and find a mentor
Shifting away from teaching and into a new career path can be nerve-wracking and lonely. For example, you may miss the camaraderie of mingling with fellow teachers at school. Help offset this sense of loss by proactively networking in your new field. Attend industry events and reach out to people via networks like LinkedIn to get started. This is also a great way to find a mentor. A mentor can help guide your transitional path, helping you develop your strengths, address weekends, increase visibility, and learn new skills.
Making a career change can be intimidating. However, if your teaching job no longer fulfills you, don't let fear hold you back. The above guide provides some pointers on successfully transitioning to a new career path.