Advice for Those Moving On

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by NJSocialStudies, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. NJSocialStudies

    NJSocialStudies Rookie

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    Aug 7, 2013

    It has been a while since I have posted here since I have been teaching for a couple of years now. However, a friend of mine who is going through the job search sparked my memory of this site and I decided to wander through the Job Seekers area to see if things have improved or gotten worse. Its hard to tell but by the number of "What else can I do with my teaching degree?" posts I guess its at least the same as a couple of years ago.

    Anyway, really just two pieces of information if you are looking to find a job outside teaching:

    1. Realize that companies that pay decently are not looking for someone enthused to work with children/would leave at the drop of a hat if a teaching job came along. They want an adult who is looking for a long term job and will grow with a company. You are an investment to them, so do yourself a favor (even if you are lying through your teeth)...when asked (and you will be asked),"So why did you decide to leave teaching?/Or not pursue teaching, which is what your major is?" do NOT say I could not find a job teaching. You MUST answer (if you would like to stay in contention for the job), "I found myself not wanting to work with children." Do NOT substitute that with anything else. If you say you're unhappy because of new rules and regulations in schools, well guess where they got those ideas from...the business world. Don't shoot yourself in the foot right off the bat. The children response closes that door quickly and there's no discussion that has to be had.

    2. Lots and lots of companies are hiring for "trainers" in the corporate environment. These are people that train software, policies, etc... to employees of companies. Its really not a bad gig. I have a friend who does it and she gets great flexibility with her job, gets to spend time at home while she does training videos on-line. You have way more freedom during the day than a teacher does, and if you find a decent company you get three to four weeks of PTO a year. The pay is a little bit more, too...but no pension so its a balance.

    Hope this helps for those that (I don't like to say giving up in this field) are moving on.
     
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  3. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    Interesting suggestion of a line to use ("I found myself not wanting to work with children.") It seems kind of harsh/cold -- or maybe I'm just having that reaction because I'm a teacher; albeit a HS teacher, but still. Does anyone else have thoughts on this?
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Aug 7, 2013

    I'm with you on this one. It seems cold and awkward. I also wonder if an interviewer would be taken aback at a comment like that from someone who prepared to enter the field. My first thought would be why didn't you figure that out before you did all that work to become a teacher? I'd question your ability to research and investigate, because it would seem to me that you didn't do your due diligence before becoming a teacher if you realized after the fact that you disliked the most basic element of teaching.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 7, 2013

    I agree. I've worked in both business and education. I find the response off-putting. I think a better answer might be a desire for more collaboration with peers, shared goals, references to the interviewing company's mission statement...
     
  6. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    I think it has to be phrased more positively. Such as, "I have enjoyed teaching and feel that I've made a great contribution to society, but I have strong interests/skills in xyz, and this the right time in my life for me to make a change and utilize those skills." Etc.

    I left teaching once for a corporate job and I had no problems. I explained that I felt that I wanted the challenge of xyz job and a chance to use the relevant skill set. The president of the company was interviewing me and she said, "No need to explain dear! I taught in a private school when I graduated from college and I was told by the headmaster to let the child of a $$$ donor do as he pleased. I left and never looked back!" :lol: she was by then running her own multimillion $ company.

    I also obtained another job between teaching stints and that boss was not a former teacher, however, he completely understood that I had other skills and a deep desire to utilize my science background. I never dissed teaching or kids because it really wasn't the kids that made me want to make a change.

    I just think positive is always better.
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I would rephrase it to something else. It sounds weird to hear that someone went through 5-6 years of college, student teaching, etc, all that time and effort, only to find out they didn't want to work with children after all. That would sound like this person doesn't know what he's doing and may be bad in decision making.

    How about being honest and say that education is a very competitive field and it is extremely hard to find a job that is also stable on the long run (no pink slips, etc). I'm finally turning my back on this field, and I now I want to work for a company where I can stay for a long term, etc.
     
  8. DressageLady

    DressageLady Comrade

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    I am not so sure it is too harsh. I interviewed for a social services position last week and to be honest, she was skeptical about why I was looking outside education, so soon after getting a degree.

    Mind you, I have years of experience in social services and should be very, very competitive in that field. However, I spent a great deal of that interview explaining why I was okay with not being a teacher, when it was obvious that I had worked hard to become one.

    She told me point blank that she was concerned I would leave the second I was offered a teaching position. If the general public has a positive image of teachers, they seem to look at us as people driven by a strong calling that happily overlooks the low pay and unbelievably long hours because we are dedicated to the point of compulsion.

    I don't think it is enough to just vaguely tell them that education has lost it's appeal, or that there isn't enough work for everyone looking for a job. The woman who interviewed me last week seemed to be clear that it was an issue for her. So I believe that we do need a credible plan of response when we go into these interviews. And just talking about how horrible the state of public education right now isn't enough.

    I don't know if saying that it turned out you didn't like children as much as you thought you did or would is too strong a stance. Maybe it would be enough to say that working within the harsh realities of a school took away all the joy you thought you would feel in working with kids. You know, you entered the profession to be a kid watcher and ended up being a petty bureaucrat?

    I should have gotten at least an e-mail or a phone call back from my non-teaching interview, telling me thanks, but no thanks. But I didn't. I was highly qualified for the job, but not over qualified. But I don't think she really took a second look at me as a candidate because of that idea I was just marking time until I could get the kind of job I really wanted.
    Sheilah
     
  9. NJSocialStudies

    NJSocialStudies Rookie

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    Aug 7, 2013

    Simple answers to these questions:

    1. Why say you didn't like working with children? Because that is something that is exclusive of the teaching profession. Its not creepy or awkward to say that you figured out you don't like to spend your day with 8 year olds as much as you thought you would. You crave adult, professional interaction instead.

    2. Why not say something like "Teaching isn't for me."? Because then you're shooting yourself in the foot by saying you dislike the act of "teaching", which if you are applying for a training position, is exactly what you don't want to say.

    The point was that the children excuse (and as I said, as would be the case with myself, it can be a complete lie) makes it an open and shut, believable, and non-detrimental way to show why you are switching careers.

    Oh, and as to the "I'm holding it against you that you didn't know what you wanted to be while you were in undergrad" comment...that's just asinine. I know more people that went in some insane direction in reference to their major than people that have a career within the field that they majored in undergrad. Grad school is different...you go there with your career already in mind.

    This post was meant for struggling job seekers who know they're going to have to move on from the teaching field.
     
  10. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    Aug 7, 2013

    I think Caesar made a good point here, and IMO it's not asinine to be concerned about hiring someone who went through years of training and classroom experience before deciding that they don't like kids. :huh:
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 7, 2013

    Rainbow bird suggested great responses to a question about leaving teaching.:thumb:
     
  12. curiouslystrong

    curiouslystrong Companion

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    Aug 7, 2013

    Uh, no, it's not. My degree is in psychology. I've also worked in direct care, and I could have certainly worked toward a position as a case manager or therapist if teaching hadn't panned out. My uncle was an executive with the Boy Scouts. Museums often cater to families and/or children. Healthcare workers may have children as patients. If someone is coming from secondary ed to work in an office environment, they might have to interact with interns who are the same age as their students might have been.

    The answer you suggested doesn't work for every non-teaching job, and, as others have said, it feels cold and off-putting. I think it's silly to suggest that there's no way to indicate to employers that you are genuinely interested in the job you are interviewing for and would not leave it for a teaching job without expressing a dislike for children.
     
  13. midwesttchr

    midwesttchr Rookie

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    Aug 7, 2013

    If I were interviewing for a non-teaching job, and they asked me why I left teaching, I'd answer in a positive that pertained to the current position I was interviewing for.

    For example, if I was interviewing for a business, I'd say: "I found myself much more interested in studying the data of my students' progress, and while I enjoyed the teaching aspect, I started realizing that data analysis is truly my calling!" Or, "I loved grading papers, and as I continued teaching, I realized that editing as a professional piqued my interests the most."

    These are probably not the best real-life examples, but hopefully you get what I mean. ;) That way, you aren't lying, you aren't coming off cold, and you're bringing it back to why you want to work for a non-teaching field. It's an all-encompassing, sensible answer.
     
  14. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Awesomeness!!!! :thumb:
     
  15. RedStripey

    RedStripey Comrade

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    Aug 7, 2013

    Great advice! If I don't have a full time teaching job by the 2014-2015 school year I will not be pursuing teaching as a career...call that giving up if you will but I need to start my life :( So I will definitely be keeping your advice in mind.
     
  16. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I was asked this question in my interview for my current position. I answered something like "I thoroughly enjoyed my years of teaching, but I always knew that there was something else out there for me and that I wouldn't be a teacher for the rest of my life. This job is perfect for me because I am still invested in students' education but I am able to interact with other professionals daily."

    In other words, the truth. I don't think you can go wrong by answering with the truth.
     
  17. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    Is am there with you! I finished my credential program in December of 2006! Yes, you saw that right, 2006! To be fair I didn't really look for a teaching job for two years or so after because I moved to another state and had to get my credentials in the new state. But since 2008 I have been applied to hundreds of jobs in teaching, museum jobs, college admissions, ect... I have only had three teaching interviews. Actually got one of the jobs in Preschool, which I did for six months. But really five years with no K-8 job? I am totally ready to move on to other things if it doesn't work out in the next couple of weeks.

    I had been a small business owner for my first career, but had always dreamed of being a teacher. Chose teaching as a second career. I keep taking aptitude tests which always come back saying I would be a good "teacher." I have been researching other career choices, but don't want to get any more school loan debt. It's a hard working world out there right now.......
     
  18. DressageLady

    DressageLady Comrade

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    I think the truth is different for each of us who have decided to look outside education for employment. I was truthful in my interview last week when I said that it was very, very difficult to break into teaching and that although I very much enjoyed my time in the classroom, I needed to be realistic about the situation. I pointed out that it wasn't like I was returning to a job at Wal-Mart, I was returning to a field that I had had great success in for many years and that I found just as enjoyable and honorable as teaching.

    Despite the fact that I had been employed by a social services agency where the woman interviewing me had done an internship, giving her a crystal clear look at a portion of my work history which perfectly matched the position she was hiring for, I was still passed over. Her comment in telling me that she had gone with someone else was the fact that she would be too uneasy that I would bolt for a teaching job if it were ever offered.

    The truth in my case did not help me. But that same truth might help someone else in their situation. It just depends on variables that can't be assumed to carry over across all situations and circumstances.
    Sheilah
     
  19. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    "I was still passed over. Her comment in telling me that she had gone with someone else was the fact that she would be too uneasy that I would bolt for a teaching job if it were ever offered. "



    I am wondering if the reason that I am having a hard time getting interviews for non-teaching jobs is because they see teacher education on my resume and sub. teaching jobs. I am wondering if it would be better to take all teaching related information off of my resume. What do you think? Should I make a resume that doesn't mention teaching at all for some of the jobs I am applying to?
     
  20. RedStripey

    RedStripey Comrade

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    Oh man, wow. I hope it works out for you! See I just graduated this past May. I couldn't search for a teaching job for years and years. I actually commend the people on this forum who have been doing that. I've wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl and I've worked towards it for so long, but I really want to move out of my parents' house and start my own life and career. I can't do that if I'm subbing for years on end. So I decided to give myself a year and then if nothing comes out of it (in NJ or in another state), move on. I had 2 other majors besides education so I can be flexible and I'm qualified for other things besides teaching. :)
     
  21. midwesttchr

    midwesttchr Rookie

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    I think your answer is a perfect example of being honest about your situation but still ending the explanation with a positive about the position you were applying for. And I agree too, that what may not have convinced her enough to be confident in you does not mean you should change your response. To another employer, it wouldn't faze them one bit about your prior teaching aspirations! You just never know - when in doubt, you can always sleep well knowing you're being honest.
     
  22. midwesttchr

    midwesttchr Rookie

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    Aug 8, 2013

    Thank you, and I wish you the best of luck! I obtained my teaching license 5 years ago, and this is the first year I'll finally get to use it. :) So, you can bet I've had to convince myself many times that I was totally not that interested in teaching during interviews! :lol:
     

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