Career change from teaching – practical ideas to change careers for teachers.

The Mapleleaf Vision blog is full of helpful articles about finding your dream job, perfecting your CV and brushing up on interview skills. It even covers each of the four stages of transition from leaving a career in education to find a new career path.

As a former headteacher who has successfully changed careers (not for the first time) and designed a life that I wanted to lead, I understand the journey and the steps it takes to succeed. With plenty of supportive guidance, I now empower others to discover the unlimited possibilities to #LiveDaringDreams

Two of the biggest challenges that are commonly associated with trying to change careers from teaching are identifying your transferable skills and knowing how these can offer alternative career options. So without further ado, let’s take a look.

How to identify your transferable skills as a teacher looking for a new career.

If you are not already familiar with the “teacher skills translated” wheel, then it is a good place to start. Initially you may only consider the obvious things that you do on a daily basis – teaching, planning, marking and assessment – but as you start to mind map the skills that you possess, you will soon fill pages. The key here is not to take a limited view. Teachers have amazing transferable skills, highly desirable in other career sectors.

Here are a few to get you started:

  • Teaching, tutoring, training, facilitating
  • Planning, organisation, creative directing
  • Curriculum and learning programme developer
  • Programme development
  • Project coordinator
  • Policy development
  • Data analyst, analytical thinker
  • Decision making and critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Relationship building
  • Conflict resolution
  • Behaviour management
  • Emotional support and well-being
  • Safeguarding / needs analysis
  • Facilitator and motivator
  • Technology driven
  • Results and goal orientated
  • Documentation management
  • Strong written and verbal communication
  • Time management

The list could go on and on… I am sure you can come up with plenty more things that you do as a teacher that go above and beyond teaching, planning, marking and assessment.

As your list of transferable skills grows, so will your understanding that the strengths you possess are indeed marketable.

What types of roles are available to teachers wanting to change careers?

The short answer is teachers are able to go into a vast array of different roles. In almost every profession you will find a former teacher. The choice is down to you! There are some obvious options – but this is certainly not an exhaustive list by a long shot – these are just initial suggestions to prompt your imagination to get you started.

  • Tutor (private or group)
  • Education Specialists: industries hire ex-teachers to train others to use their products and services.
  • Education Consultants: utilising an area of expertise that can be used anywhere from MATs, LAs, private childcare settings, nurseries, play groups, safeguarding in business, etc.
  • E-Learning Specialist: from schools, education online business to corporate business, learning online has become a big industry.
  • Education Content Writer: someone has to produce lessons or content for private companies selling education services.
  • Education Product Marketer: a growing number of firms are marketing products and services to sell to the education sector and need ‘expertise’ in their marketing and promotion departments.
  • Ed tech: a huge industry experiencing rapid growth; like above, tech companies need ‘expertise’ from someone with education experience, perfect if you like technology.
  • Education Recruitment: if you love education but just not teaching, this helps peers find their calling to the classroom.
  • Education lecturer: a different twist – teaching the next generation of teachers.
  • Coaching and mentoring: clear transferable role from classroom to business.
  • Personal trainer: personal and professional coaching is another natural transition for teachers experienced in training and development.
  • Administration: lots of opportunities to use your organisational skills, planning and communication.
  • Counseling / Social Work: if you enjoy the pastoral side, these roles can be within or outside the education sector.
  • Hospital education: love teaching, just want out of schools – a good option.
  • Charity sector: values the transferable skills of educators and offers an alternative way to contribute to society.
  • Family services: a variety of roles supporting families and children beyond education.
  • Public sector: lots of alternative public sector work that recruits ex-teachers.

This is just a small sample of new roles open to teachers looking to change careers; the world is your oyster.

The top tip is to find something you are going to enjoy doing – and then make it happen. If you still have no idea what will make you happy and you really want to ensure your new career is the perfect fit, then why not find out more about how career coaching can help you find a dream job beyond the teaching career crossroads.

Let’s walk this path together and discover your unlimited potential.

Contact me here.


Other related posts in the series

Distractions are everywhere (I worked with a lunatic). [17.09.22]

2,001,000 pieces of work to mark in a career lifetime for an average primary teacher. [20.09.22]

How long do you wait until you run out of mental or emotional fuel? [23.09.22]

How to create an exit strategy to leave the classroom behind. [29.09.22]

How to map your next course of action to leave your teaching career behind. [09.10.22]

Discovering and finding your new career path beyond the classroom. [17.10.22]

Transitioning into a new life beyond the classroom. [23.10.22]

How to mentally transition into a new career beyond the classroom. [30.10.22]


Let me tell you more.

Please enter a valid email address.


I first worked with Will whilst I was a junior member of a teaching team. I worked closely with him for around three years and he became a true mentor to me. During this time Will helped encourage me to discover my own leadership style and he mapped out what it takes to be successful. I highly recommend Will for life and career coaching.

Will is a professional, natural leader who manages to make you feel at ease. He manages to be both emphatic and encouraging, whilst also managing to challenge you to find your own answers. Will’s approach is totally non-judgmental and the sessions are really focused on you and on what you want to achieve. Working with Will has allowed me to address challenges I was facing and he brought a wealth of resources and practical tools to help me set goals, clarify my values, and explore avenues right away. Even though I left teaching 5 years ago, I still seek out Will for his help and guidance and I appreciate his versatility as a thought partner, ally, and coach. Our sessions are always productive and efficiently run, which is perfect for someone who is juggling many priorities! Will brings great communication, professionalism and quality to his work and I highly recommend him as a life/business coach.
- Jamie T (Leadership Coaching)

Highly recommended

I am so glad I found Mapleleaf Vision! Will has been super supportive and understood exactly what I needed to help me to redirect my focus. I now have fresh enthusiasm for what lies ahead.
- Greg M (Life Coaching)


Will at Mapleleaf vision fitted me in for a last minute decision-making session that I needed to make ASAP re. a job offer / career change. He was friendly, professional, and really knew his stuff! He unpicked things that I could never have done on my own. I’m so grateful to him & will be highly recommending him to everyone! Where there is a ‘Will’, there’s a way! Thank you, Will. You truly have a gift.
- Cat K (Career Coaching)