There’s a running joke that teachers are qualified for most any job out there. Professional multi-taskers, master class organizers, meticulous planners who adapt to any situation at the drop of a hat—seriously, who wouldn’t want us on their payroll?! But it’s no joke: Educators are actually finding much success outside the classroom thanks to Daphne Gomez’s Teacher Career Coach.
Gomez, a former teacher, makes it clear that Teacher Career Coach is not a battle cry for teachers to quit their jobs. On the contrary, she created the platform in response to the already rising numbers of educators who were leaving the profession but not yet talking about it.
When she left teaching in 2017, she felt enormous guilt, like she had to keep her decision a secret.
Today, it’s no secret that teachers are leaving the profession at alarmingly high rates, and there don’t appear to be any interested candidates vying for those open positions. At the beginning of this school year, almost half of U.S. public schools had at least one vacancy. Louisiana’s turnover rate is up from 11% to 14% in the last year alone.
It begs the question: When teachers leave the profession, where are they going?
Seems like an overwhelming number of them are going to Teacher Career Coach. With more than 100,000 email subscribers, just as many Instagram followers, and an average of 60,000 downloads a month, TCC shows educators how to utilize their skills in a non-school setting.
Gomez credits the safe, supportive community and plethora of resources, like the What Career Outside the Classroom Is Right for You? quiz, for making the platform so valuable to teachers seeking a second profession.
The Teacher Career Coach podcast of the same name is a fantastic starting point. Gomez refers to it as a “fly on the wall” resource because it provides a deep dive into the pros and cons of leaving the classroom, conversations many don’t feel comfortable having for fear of professional retribution or because they feel guilty for “quitting on their kids.” Popular podcast episodes like “Should You Stay for Your Pension?” and “Best Practices for Using LinkedIn” provide actionable steps to make change (or not!), and help teachers leverage their educational experiences in the best light online, which has proven difficult for some.
“The biggest mistake we see teachers make is accidentally red-flagging themselves on LinkedIn due to not realizing how hiring managers or recruiters use the platform,” advises Gomez. Coming from the world of education, teachers aren’t always in tune with corporate norms and inadvertently expose their lack of understanding of big business etiquette. Gomez says hiring managers are excited about getting teachers on their staff because educators are known multi-taskers and initiators; however, corporations also need to know teachers are coachable and can navigate the corporate world.
This is where the Teacher Career Coach community comes into play.
The TCC community is a private group that only members can access. Gomez understands the importance of a safe space for those considering switching professions.
“There have been (teachers) who have been found on open-to-the-public groups, which made their work environment even more stressful.” She also points out that within a public group, “you find 1,000 people with 1,000 conflicting pieces of information. Our resources come from credible experts with backgrounds in hiring and human resources, and everyone is on the same page and referencing the same materials.”
To further streamline and optimize the TCC community experience, former teachers are tagged within the group, and members can search them based on their own job titles. Gomez adds, “We have areas for different career paths or specific steps of the process. For example, everyone working on their resume can collaborate in one area or search past threads.” This level of expertise and consistency means people make quicker progress in their professional journey.
The Jobs Board is another fantastic TCC resource, allowing members to apply for jobs or post an open position.
Users can filter the Jobs Board by state, company, country, remote vs. in-person roles, and more. Because most everyone using the board is essentially a transitioning teacher, it goes without saying candidates have a lot in common! Gomez addresses this with her FAQ portion and resume support, helping members capitalize on their individual strengths and skills to stand out among the other applicants.
The Teacher Career Coach course, one of the few resources members pay for, offers an additional level of support to transitioning teachers. The course is a step-by-step how-to designed to translate a teacher’s experience into a new career. Former teachers and career experts help update resumes, provide direct lines of communication and support, stay on top of trends in competitive markets, and answer burning questions like “How the heck do I negotiate a salary?!,” something many teachers have never done!
When Daphne Gomez first conceptualized the idea for Teacher Career Coach, people actually advised her against it.
“In the beginning stages, people told me not to pursue (Teacher Career Coach). They said I should help and support teachers, not encourage them to leave the profession. But that wasn’t my experience,” Gomez admits.
“Someone needed to normalize teachers leaving.”
TCC aims to do just that by empowering educators to weigh the pros and cons of changing careers. Oftentimes, Gomez tells me, once they dig into TCC, many teachers actually choose to stay in the profession, just in a different capacity. “Some teachers come to Teacher Career Coach simply looking for a change, and they find success in a different school, working with another grade level, or switching subject areas.”
There are options out there, dear educator, and Gomez and I both hope you find it.
Want to try out the Teacher Career Coach?
Start by taking the quiz: What Career Outside the Classroom Is Right for You? and checking out all the free resources. Then sign up for Teacher Career Coach to get your step-by-step roadmap to transition into a new career for as little as $49. You can also take advantage of their special discount of 20% off from June 8-12, 2023 (coupon code: 20OFF).
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