In this real story of life after teaching, we hear from S in the UK and her mini-interview with a CEO about why she is leaving teaching. Please note this is not a photo of S.
I have been in contact before and have brought your E-book.
Just reaching out for some advice really– since leaving teaching, I have been temporarily working for a company. The CEO is interested in talking to me to see my potential for staying within the company. He is particularly interested in finding out what I have left teaching. I am not sure how I can professionally re-word– I hated the life style of being a teacher!
Any words of advice?
-S. in U.K.
That is so, so exciting to hear! Congratulations!
Which industry the company is in will help you identify the best way to reframe your answer. For example, when I first left I was going from teaching English to a job writing and editing. My response was that I was proud of the work I’d done with my students, but I loved English, words, and language, more than I loved the educational process or working with students, and that I wanted to leave to give someone else a chance to teach if they enjoyed it more.
For the job, that was very appropriate because the work I was doing would change from student-focused to English-focused. (I also very, very lightly touched on not enjoying the state of education and teaching requirements, but I kept it professional).
Whatever your answer, here’s the thing: 1) It’s not lying if you avoid saying you want more money or you hated the students. It’s just looking at your experience in a different way and a way that will help the CEO understand your reasons, and 2) Stay positive like crazy. You can always share teaching horror stories after you’re hired ( 🙂 ), but being negative in an interview situation will unfortunately exaggerate your negativity.
Focus on being proud of what you did accomplish as a teacher, share that there are experiences you’ll miss (maybe one, right?), but that you are so excited about this new industry that you feel good about your decision every day and look forward to a long career in it.
If you can find a way to tie in this new job with your ultimate purpose or skill set (such as, I didn’t get to do as much [project management, computer skills, administrative stuff, etc] as when I was teaching, and I really enjoy that now).
It also might help to think about where this person is coming from– is he worried you washed out of teaching or did something to be fired? If so, emphasize how sorry your principal was to see you go or that your students were sad to see you go (whatever is true). Normalize your transition to him so that it doesn’t seem like he’s picking up someone who wasn’t successful in a different career– in reality, he’s picking up a hard worker who knows how to make tough decisions and risks!