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7 Money Questions To Ask Before You Exit Teaching | Life After Teaching™

Another of the 7 money questions to ask before you exit teaching is about salary. A lot of teachers say, “I want a salary to replace what I’m making as a teacher,” without having really thought through all the details. However, if you are truly unhappy, or if your health is suffering, it might be worthwhile to take a temporary pay cut if you can afford it. Or you might be selling yourself short by shooting too low.  Also, remember that outside of the education world, you can often advance faster, and that would mean salary increases.

That’s why I recommend a low-end, a medium, and a high-end salary goal. The low-end goal can be determined either by the minimum you need to pay your bills or by the amount that you would allow you to avoid feeling exploited. One of my clients turned down several jobs, even after quitting, because 1) she had a nice nest egg and could afford to be choosy, and 2) the idea of making $15/hour with a Master’s degree left her feeling angry and resentful – not the emotions you want when starting a new chapter of life. 

On the other hand, you might just say, “I want out of teaching NOW, and whatever job will pay my bills, that’s where I’ll start.” That’s a perfectly valid option, especially if your workplace is dangerous, abusive, or toxic.  Consider that leaving a toxic job can greatly improve your health, cutting down on the cost of doctors, medication, and more. 

A good medium-range goal is to approximate your current salary or to increase it a bit if you feel your vacation time may be different.

A stretch goal should consider that you will need to do some serious work, either updating your credentials or researching roles in which your current skills will be valuable. It will probably also require a longer job search than the other two. One rule of thumb is to allow a month of job search for every $10,000 in salary you expect to earn. Of course, a rule of thumb is just an estimate and mileage will vary, but many teachers underestimate the time required to transition jobs when you are switching careers and looking to make an above-average salary.

Once you have the three goals, you can also combine them to give yourself more options. You can accept your low-end goal and pay the bills while up-leveling your skills and applying to jobs that would be in line with your high-end goal.  You also look into adding a side hustle to bring in passive income while you are still teaching.

Rizwan Ahmed
Rizwan Ahmed
AuditStudent.com, founded by Rizwan Ahmed, is an educational platform dedicated to empowering students and professionals in the all fields of life. Discover comprehensive resources and expert guidance to excel in the dynamic education industry.


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