If you’re interested in jobs for teachers changing careers, you’re not alone. Recent data from the National Education Association found that 55% of professionals in education are contemplating leaving their jobs.
Unsurprisingly, this mass exodus that the education space is experiencing is related to the many changes brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. K-12 classroom teachers who were already overworked and underpaid faced new levels of stress, anxiety, and burnout. This has contributed to a jump in early retirements, resignations, and leaves of absence.
The following data further encapsulates how common it is for teachers to consider changing careers:
- About 600,000 public educators, classroom teachers and staff, have left the profession. As per data from the U.S. Bureau Labor of Statistics, there were about 10.6 million public educators–classroom teachers and staff–in the U.S. There are 10 million public educators today.
- 25% of teachers surveyed by RAND reported a likelihood to leave their jobs upon the conclusion of the 2020-2021 school year, citing mode of instruction and health as their biggest stressors.
- An analysis from Brookings found that 42% of surveyed teachers considered leaving or retiring early from their teaching position, with more than half of them citing Covid-19 as their main reason for considering leaving.
Best Jobs for Teachers Changing Careers
To sum up, when it comes to jobs for teachers changing careers, the options are plentiful. Teachers have some of the most transferable, sought-after skills out of any profession. Seven skills stand out as adaptable to virtually any job if a teacher is considering changing careers.
7 Key Transferable Job Skills that Teachers Possess
- Excellent verbal and written communication. Teachers have to be effective communicators in all kinds of mediums and environments. This includes delivering course content material in the classroom, writing lesson plans, conducting student conferences, communicating with parents and more.
- Ability to manage, coach, and lead others. Teachers demonstrate their management and leadership skills all the time. This includes managing classrooms, helping students achieve learning outcomes, driving committees and school initiatives, and coaching students during after-school activities.
- Adaptability. Covid-19 has proven that the ability of teachers to respond effectively to constantly changing rules and environments is unmatched. Teachers had to deliver all of their in-person content to online platforms quickly–and back again–depending on their school’s policies.
- Creative problem solving. Teachers are presented with new problems everyday. They have to use their critical thinking skills to find solutions that help all parties move forward.
- Technology proficiency. Effective teachers learn and apply new hardware and software to support their teaching and their students’ learning. Blackboard and other virtual learning portals, iPads, speech-to-text technology, and video creation programs are just a few examples.
- Ability to deliver complex content to diverse audiences. One of their main responsibilities, teachers are responsible for getting their students of various ages and proficiency levels to comprehend and apply new information in all kinds of classroom environments.
- High emotional intelligence. Finally, teachers must possess a high level of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions and the emotions of others. That’s exactly what teachers have to do to help their students learn, handle conflict, and forge relationships with stakeholders.
Alternative Jobs for Teachers Changing Careers
To sum up, these skills, along with many other skills that teachers possess, make them well-suited to almost any job. Popular jobs for teachers looking to change careers include non-teaching education roles and positions outside of education.
Popular non-teaching jobs for teachers who want to stay in education:
- Curriculum Designer
- Instructional Designer
- Education Policy Analyst
- School Psychologist
- Test Developer
- Academic Librarian
Popular jobs for teachers who want to work outside of education:
- Corporate Trainer/Program Development Specialist
- HR Specialist
- Project Manager
- Museum Director/Curator
- Marketing Specialist
- Social Worker
Want to work for OMG?
Real Example of a Job for Teachers Changing Careers
So far, we’ve established that you’re not alone if you’re interested in jobs for teachers changing careers. Your skills lend themselves to many career options within and outside the education field.
Next, it’s time to study a real-life example of a teacher who changed careers. This is an example of a high school physical education teacher and coach who left education. He joined O’Rourke Media Group as part of our sales team.
Day in the Life of a Physical Education Teacher and Coach Turned Sales Rep
Meet Ray, a sales rep who joined OMG in July 2021. Before that, Ray was a high school physical education teacher and wrestling, football, and baseball coach for four years.
First, Ray’s schedule became particularly grueling and he noticed certain changes in his school. “I could see the shift changing in schools, a shift in the respect levels. I was also working 14-16-hour days and loved it, but I had a gut feeling of ‘I don’t think this is my long term answer,’” he says.
Next, while investigating job opportunities for teachers changing careers, Ray spoke with his cousin Joe, OMG’s Digital Sales Manager. He learned about OMG’s employee benefits, flexible working hours, and supportive yet independent company culture. After that, he decided that joining the sales team at OMG was a great next step for his career.
“What excited me about becoming a sales rep at OMG was the ability to earn more money the harder you work. You’re compensated for your hard work,” Ray says. A natural born competitor and athlete, Ray was attracted to the opportunity to compete with himself, other sales reps, and other agencies. Now, Ray can structure his workday how he likes, work from any location, and enjoy OMG’s non-bureaucratic, non-corporate environment. He emphasizes, “I’m not trapped in a box. We’re growing fast, but we have a small company feel. I can call our owner and he calls back and really listens.”
A Typical Workday of a Teacher Turned Sales Rep
First, a typical day for me begins with a workout. After getting ready for the day, I’ll open my laptop around 7:30am. Depending on the day, I work from my home office, a coffee shop, Joe’s house, or OMG’s new office in downtown Hudson.
From 7:30 until lunch, I create and edit ads. That’s what’s great about OMG–the sales team gets to work on a bit of everything, including creative deliverables with our fulfillment team. We get to see the full scope of work for clients. It helps me be a better sales rep.
Afterwards, I’ll make followup phone calls to warm prospects, and cold call or email new prospects.
Midday and Afternoon
Next, I often have a healthy shake for lunch. I try to schedule in-person meetings with prospective clients in the afternoon. Joe and I will drive to a client’s office to learn about their digital marketing needs, give them insight on how they can improve and how OMG can serve them, and network. At OMG, you need to be a people person and good communicator. You can’t be shy when it comes to walking into a business and shaking someone’s hand.
My day isn’t always perfectly blocked off per hour for specific tasks. It’s more fluid. For example, I prospect, call, work through questions with the sales team, and work on campaigns throughout my day. OMG supports their staff in any way possible and they don’t micromanage. Employees who thrive here must have self-discipline. Nobody makes you make a phone call or reach out to somebody. You have to do it.
Finally, I end the day around 5-5:30pm. To decompress, I’ll work out if I wasn’t able to that morning. I may go boating, play golf or basketball, or grab drinks and food with friends.
Why OMG is a Great Place to Work
Ray’s experience at OMG offers three major insights for teachers considering changing careers. First, our non-corporate environment is attractive to teachers who are burnt out from the rigid bureaucratic models and working hours they had to contend with in education. Employees are given all of the tools, resources, and guidance to be successful, and they are empowered to do their jobs on mostly their own time without micro levels of management or oversight.
Second, skills and traits that are inherent in and cultivated by teachers serve them well at OMG. For example, Ray’s innate love for competition and his ability to coach and motivate others have helped him thrive in his sales role where both his individual success and team’s success are measured. As another example, a teacher’s exceptional writing skills, fast working style, and attention to detail could make him/her suited to a reporter position. Teachers are self-starters, and self-starters thrive at OMG.
Finally, OMG welcomes employees from all kinds of professional backgrounds. Rather than focusing on specific credentials or a single career path, we look for candidates with the skills and characteristics described above. If you’re concerned that you don’t have a purely digital marketing background or a formal degree in journalism, we encourage you to drop those concerns and apply.
In short, Ray is an example of someone excelling in a digital marketing sales role with a completely different skillset and from a completely different environment. In other words, if you’re looking for jobs for teachers changing careers, don’t worry about your specific skillset or background. Focus instead on your skills that make you a great fit for a non-bureaucratic, self-starter culture (OMG!) and you’ll be successful.
About O’Rourke Media Group
O’Rourke Media Group currently operates in six states with a full-service digital agency and 24 publications and hyperlocal websites. Our team of marketing experts specialize in providing customized digital marketing strategies and solutions for any size business and budget. We’re also a hyper-local community news publisher with an engaged audience of print subscribers, digital subscribers, website page views, social media followers, and email newsletters.