How to Find the Perfect Job Outside the Classroom

Most teachers, who are contemplating leaving the classroom, have the same question…What are the best jobs for former teachers?  You went to school to be a teacher and most likely, you planned on retiring as a classroom teacher.  But how do you even begin to find what amounts to a good second career for teachers?

Well, that’s exactly what we’re diving into today!  I’m giving you 6 tips to help you find the perfect job even if you say…”I hate teaching!”  And, you’ll also discover what action steps you need to take to narrow down the job market into your ideal career options.

Best Jobs for Former Teachers

As you try to determine what would be a good second career for a former teacher, you need to start by answering some questions. Because the truth is there are an infinite number of jobs a person could perform.

But you aren’t looking for just ANY job.

You want a job that’s fulfilling, pays well, and gives you opportunities to use your strengths. So we aren’t looking for ideal jobs for former teachers in general…we want to find the ideal job for you!

That’s why we’re going to start with some questions. The answers you provide will give you a very clear trajectory into which career path you should pursue.

What do you like about teaching & what don’t you like?

These two questions are going to be the springboard that helps us determine what types of jobs will be a good fit for you.

Grab a sheet of paper and simply make two columns labeled “likes” & “dislikes.” (Think of this just like a pros & cons list.) Then set a timer for about 5 minutes and write what you love about teaching. This is a free writing opportunity, so don’t edit yourself. Write with abandon!!

You may find that 5 minutes flies by and you have a list with 20 different things that you love about teaching. Or you may find the opposite to be true…you may find yourself struggling to come up with 3 things you like about teaching.

If you’re struggling, try thinking back to what pushed you into teaching in the first place. It may have been building relationships with the kids, helping them find success, or having the summers off. This activity isn’t meant to frustrate you. It is simply an opportunity to discover what you’re going to want to look for in another potential career.

Once you complete the side with all of the things you like, do the same thing for the things you don’t like. Set your timer for five minutes and just write as much as you can during that time. After your time is up, look over your list.

Do you notice patterns in what you wrote? Can you see specific things that would easily transfer into a new job? These are the little gems we are looking for because they are going to point us in a very specific direction.

What are your interests & passions?

This may seem like a weird question to ask, but it’s essential for you to answer honestly. Think about it like this, “In a perfect world, what would you love to get paid to do?”

Consider those activities that make you smile. The same ones you could spend hours doing and not even notice the passing of time. These are the ones I’m talking about!

Maybe your interests have everything to do with teaching or maybe they don’t. Either way is 100% ok because there are no right or wrong answers.

As you’re thinking about these interests and passions, jot them down on that same sheet of paper you used to write what you like and don’t like about teaching. This is going to be the master list you refer back to as you’re embarking on your new career path!

Take a career inventory

Does this sound like the inventory you completed in high school? Well, it should because it’s basically the same thing!

The biggest difference between what you completed in high school and what you’re doing now is you have more life experience, unique interests and passions that you didn’t have in high school.

But one of the most important things you need to remember is that if you aren’t filling out the inventory truthfully, you’re just wasting your time.

The free career inventory I took was found at CareerExplorer.com. Since I was trying to answer each question as honestly as possible, it took me about 30 minutes to complete. There are several different sections and the inventory asks a variety of questions including your interests, strengths, etc.

After you complete the inventory, you are shown multiple careers that align with the strengths, abilities, career values, etc. you shared. Of course, you can pay money to get even more information, but the free information is what we’re interested in at this point.

And if you find your career inventory revealing “teacher” as your best career option, don’t run away screaming! Remember, the best jobs for former teachers may yield a lot of results related to teaching.

And even though at this point you might be ready to leave teaching forever, there are TONS of opportunities that don’t require being in a traditional classroom. You may discover you just need a different audience and environment from which to teach.

Do your research

Once you’ve received your results, you’re going to want to do some research. (As a little side note, I always suggest that you screenshot the jobs so you don’t forget the different ones that were mentioned.)

Start with the ones you think are the most intriguing and see where the research leads. You may discover even more options related to the ones that you learned about in your inventory results!

But a word of caution…while the research can be very interesting, it can also become never ending. So don’t fall into the rabbit hole of searching and never make any forward progress.

Decide how much time you can invest BEFORE you start digging and then have at it!

Take a class or workshop

Just like in college, you have to learn things about the career you want to pursue. There are classes for EVERYTHING on the Internet, but just be cautious since we all know that every class, course, & workshop isn’t equal.

If you find a career path that you genuinely want to pursue, consider making a small investment to further your knowledge. I know it may seem crazy to spend money when you’re trying to make money. However, I want you to think about how much your college education cost and you’ll quickly realize that the course or class is very inexpensive in comparison.

When I first started my blog, I had NO idea what I was doing and I found myself searching high & low for information about EVERYTHING there was to know. As I mastered one skill, I’d have to learn more about another skill.

I’ve learned graphic design, website customization, coding, search engine optimization (SEO), site speed, and many other skills just from taking courses. I simply found trustworthy experts who knew the information & I learned from them.

In fact, that’s exactly why I created my course Setting Up Shop. I wanted to provide teachers with all of the knowledge I gained as I SLOWLY built my TpT shop from the ground up.

I wanted you to be able to make a small investment that would take you from knowing nothing (or very little) about PowerPoint, to creating educational resources, & ultimately to opening a successful shop on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Prepare for it to take some time

Adopt a growth mindset and remember that even though the learning curve might be steep right now, you can do this!! Make sure that you have taken the time to do your research into the specific career path you’re considering and also into the experts you are paying to help you.

Then set aside time every day (even if it is only 30 minutes) to learn whatever it is you need to learn so that you are setting yourself up for success.

Please don’t turn in your resignation before you’ve given some thought to what you want to do once you leave the classroom and have actively pursued the career as a side hustle or at the bare minimum have started learning about the job.

You want to do everything within your power to be successful and making a timeline to keep yourself accountable will be instrumental.

Then allow the things you’re learning about yourself to help you grow. Remember, we are lifelong learners and as you are filtering through all the best jobs for former teachers adopt a growth mindset that says, “I CAN do this,” and you will find success!

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