Teaching, as a profession, has solicited its fair share of news coverage over the past few months. The excessive workload and tick-boxing bureaucracy has impacted on teachers’ mental and physical health, their family lives, and has been one of the factors that has triggered the looming recruitment shortage. Teaching unions have consequently been pressuring the government to make essential changes in order to stem the loss of talented staff in favour of other less stressful professions.
Last month, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT commented, ‘Stress and professional burnout, driven by the policies of this Government, are having a massive impact on teachers’ and school leaders’ mental health and well-being, and contributing to the teacher recruitment and retention crisis.’
“Ministers have created a culture across schools where any adverse impact on the health and wellbeing of teachers is simply regarded as collateral damage.”
This has led to teachers leaving the profession in search of another job and has significantly contributed to the imminent teacher supply crisis.
A popular Google search, ‘what job should I do after teaching?’ has sparked the curiosity of training teachers as to what their degree could leave them qualified for should they also wish to change career.
To answer this query, we decided to survey 300 former teachers to see which professions they entered after resigning from their once much-loved vocation.
Unsurprisingly, the leap from teaching to home tutoring was a popular one with 23% of former school teachers choosing to make this side-step in profession. The preferred option however, was to make the leap into Marketing and PR roles.
Teachers possess many of the skills needed to be successful in marketing roles. Most claimed to have ‘relished’ the chance to apply their skills to a new career. Feedback gained from business owners of marketing firms suggested that former teachers brought a range of assets to their new profession.
Creativity: was a key assets brought to their new role. Having had to plan presentations that were captivating enough to hold to attention of younger children, and having marked many creative writing exercises in which the children’s material had not yet been capped by an adult’s sense of reality; teachers have excelled in their new marketing roles through innovation and the ability to ‘think outside of the box.’
Organisation: was another area in which former teachers proved valuable. After having to meet multiple deadlines with marking test papers, writing children’s reports and balance other work related duties; teachers were found to have good work ethic and time management skills. Working under pressure, one of the key reasons for leaving, ironically set teachers in good stead for other related roles.
IT skills: In primary schools especially, teachers are expected to have sufficient IT skills in order to teach children the basics, effectively. Data entry, school reports, school registers and interactive lessons often make use of electronic devices. With IT becoming an increasingly important subject in schools; many former teachers were above average in their understanding of technology.
Communication skills: School assemblies, concerts, holding parents meetings and presenting lessons under the ever-watchful eye of Ofsted were just some of the areas teachers utilised their communication skills. In terms of working with others, teachers had to, on a daily basis, act as a role model who was equally proficient in listening as well as giving guidance. For this reason, teachers were seen to have remarkable leadership skills and were also able to work effectively as part of a team. They are also practised at giving constructive criticism and feedback.
Interpersonal skills are an essential in the world of marketing as clients buy into a person as much as they do a brand image. Whereas teachers have to create a professional connection with a child in order to make them feel valued and for them to be trusted; those in the marketing industry also benefit from forming professional relationships built on mutual trust and respect. It is therefore vital that you have the ability to read people.
By possessing exceptional communication skills, teachers are able to apply their ability to simplify complex material for children in the context of marketing. Technical jargon often requires breaking down into simplified terms in order to be easily understood by those outside of the profession, such as clients who may be confused by complex processes.
Presentation: Although not a skill as such, teachers are expected to be dressed smartly and to be punctual.
Confidence: Children pick up on stress and will react accordingly. Being able to keep a calm demeanour even when everything appears to be out of control is vital. Appearance can, for the short term, be everything. This similarly applies for marketing, where results are rarely instant.
The ability to handle conflict: Understanding the reasons behind conflict and being able to value people’s opinions whilst assessing how constructive they may be in relation to a situation is essential. Listening, assessing and reacting in an informed and fair manner is crucial in both the teaching profession and in marketing.
Teachers usually have an area of expertise, whether it be teaching a foreign language, teaching IT or literacy. Each area holds its own value with different sectors and roles in marketing. A literacy coordinator, may for instance make a good content writer, whereas an IT teacher may excel as a web developer. It is a shame to see so many talented individuals being forced out of a career and vocation that for them, was initially more a labour of love. However, as heartless as it may sound – the schools loss is the marketing sector’s gain. We welcome them with open arms.