Transferring Teacher Skills: Getting Started
In today's world it is important to be flexible and adaptable. You never know when you may need to look for a job outside of teaching. For instance, what if you are geography-bound to a certain area and there is a hiring freeze or budget cuts force your school district to decrease the number of teachers and you find yourself without a job?
The good news is that teachers possess many marketable transferable skills that make them very competitive in the job market and open up a wealth of rewarding career possibilities. Not sure what those careers are? In addition to identifying your transferable skills, you should also take stock of your values, interests, and personality traits. If you aren't sure about where to start, there are many online assessment tools designed to help you identify these, or check with your alma mater to see what they may have to offer.
Some of the transferable skills teachers possess include: organizational, communication, leadership, conflict resolution/mediation, creativity, ability to motivate others, attention to detail, and group facilitation. There are many others as well. Take the time to figure out which ones are your strengths and have the most potential to lead to another career path.
If you want to identify occupations that may be a good fit for you, go to Online O*Net Center. This resource allows you to sort for job titles in many ways, such as career clusters or interests. You can also identify careers that have a bright outlook - those careers "are expected to grow rapidly in the next several years, will have large numbers of job openings, or are new and emerging occupations" or careers that are related to the green economy - those careers that "will cause a change in occupations' employment demand or work and worker requirements such as tasks, skills, knowledge, and credentials. Green occupations are linked to Green Economy Sectors."
As you identify new challenges for your career outside the classroom, don't forget that you will want to update your resume to use the language of the industry that you have selected. This will help potential employers to see your transferable skills more readily.
Pamela Folger, Director