Here’s the absolute truth that I need you to grasp. You’ve got tons of skills that can be applied to a whole range of different jobs. So the first action step to take to break out of that “just a teacher” mindset is to figure out your transferable skills.
You know, the skills you’ve learned from being a teacher that are useful in other areas of life. Maybe you’re great at communicating, or a pro at solving problems. Perhaps you’re amazing at time management or an expert at analyzing data. Make a list of these skills (it should be a MEGA list), and think about how they could be useful in a new career.
When you’ve identified your transferable skills, start checking out different industries to see where you might fit. Don’t limit yourself to fields that are related to teaching – there are tons of different jobs out there that could benefit from your skill set. If people can have a career making clothing for chickens, you can most certainly find your job.
Be careful not to fall back into the trap of “teaching is all I know.” Teaching is what you do, but what you know how to do from teaching is pretty awesome and valuable. If you get stuck on ideas for new careers, take a career assessment test. Speak with a career counselor to get some inspiration. You can even use AI to help find the right career, as Zach Long points out in this video in the Life After Teaching FB group. It can help to figure out what you’re good at, what you’re not so good at, what you enjoy doing, and what you hate doing. And if you need to simpler way, you can do this quick exercise to help you answer those questions.