With increased workloads, lack of autonomy, low pay and other grievances, many teachers are beginning to explore the possibility of new careers after teaching. One demographic that often worries they do not have the right experience to land a new role is early childhood educators. Our team hears from kindergarten teachers, preschool teachers, daycare workers, and other early childhood professionals interested in a pivot. We’re here to tell you, there are early childhood jobs for teachers beyond the classroom.
Translating Your Skills
First, let’s be clear that the roles we recommend to transitioning teachers can also work for early childhood educators. You have the same types of skills that general classroom teachers have. So, you can apply for the same types of roles. While you may not give out grades or facilitate a complex history lesson, you have other valuable skills that can translate to a new career. Translating your skills to fit the new roles you apply to will be an important step in your career transition. Take a look at a few translation examples for early childhood jobs:
- Update families on child development progress & milestones = Provide meaningful feedback to stakeholders to track goals and measure growth
- Manage the daily tasks and interactions of 2 year olds = Facilitate educational and purposeful activities for a group of 20+ learners to encourage socialization and cooperation
You can take all the necessary transition steps and end up working in HR for a healthcare corporation or L&D at a tech start-up. Great! However, some people are particularly passionate about working with young children. If you would enjoy a career that utilizes that passion, and your specific set of skills, you can find that too! You have skills related to that area of expertise, which can help if you are planning to apply for early childhood jobs that align with your experience.
Searching For Early Childhood Jobs
Google and job boards are going to be your best friends when you are searching for an alternative job that fits your specific passion. Think about the different areas of focus within your early childhood job that interest you most. Then type them into job search sites along with other descriptive words that describe the roles you’re interested in.
Another strategy that could help you find a good fit is to think of companies first. Then navigate to their careers page to browse open positions. For example, if there is a certain brand of toys or supplies you use in your classroom, research the company to see if they are hiring. Chances are they have positions in human resources, learning and development, corporate training, sales, marketing, project management, customer success and other positions you are qualified for. If you have experience using their product and are passionate about their mission, you can talk about that during the interview process.
However, I want to reiterate something. All the careers that are a great fit for former teachers are still a great fit for early childhood educators. A kindergarten teacher can land a job as an instructional designer at a tech company. It’s possible. But many early childhood educators chose that role based on their true passion. So why wouldn’t you want to continue to foster that passion? If you feel more comfortable applying for a role with some knowledge to leverage, then just pay attention to what companies you apply to.
Early Childhood Jobs And Companies To Pursue
If you are committed to a career pivot, and want to leverage your early childhood classroom experience, here are some ideas. Think about the brand of crayons or easy-grip cups that kids use in your class. Or the company that supplies the alphabet resources hanging on your classroom wall. Now research those companies, find the careers page, and determine what roles interest you.
Everyone has their own personal reasons for making a career transition. If you love working with young kids, and want to continue that, then seek out roles where kids are involved. On the other hand, if you want a clean break from kids and parents, then look for more office-type roles. Both are possible!
If you are struggling with where to start, here are some suggestions for companies and early childhood jobs to explore:
- Toy companies
- Early childhood curriculum companies
- Early childhood professional development companies
- Daycare organizations
- Nanny and babysitting agencies
- Nonprofit organizations focused on helping kids
- Children’s clothing brands
- Children’s product brands
Some of the alternative careers we recommend to transitioning teachers are corporate trainer, HR, learning & development, curriculum writer, sales, administrative assistant, project coordinator, and instructional designer. Most established companies have these roles at their company. So, if you choose a company with an early childhood connection, you can stand out as a subject-matter expert with experience working with their target market.
Narrow Your Focus First
While finding companies first based on your expertise can be a great way to find roles that suit you best, keep in mind that narrowing your focus should be the first step to finding a new job. Applying to several different types of roles because you are desperate for any job outside of the classroom is not going to impress hiring managers.
Companies want to know that you are excited about the exact role you applied for, and you need to be able to explain to them why that is. Narrowing your focus to the type of early childhood jobs you want to pursue should be the first step. Market yourself enthusiastically for the job in front of you. Do you love planning and organization? Look into project manager roles. Are you an expert at building relationships and collaborating with a team? Customer success or human resources might be your path.
It is so important as you begin the search for alternative early childhood jobs that you do your homework. Determine a clear path you want to take, and then produce a list of all the things you love about the role and why it would be a great fit for you. Once you know the type of position you want to look for, then circle back to your passion for early childhood and get to work. Happy searching!
Here are some titles that former early childhood educators in our audience currently hold:
- Information & Referral Specialist
- Professional Development Specialist
- School Success Coach
- Learning & Development Specialist
- Administrative Assistant
- Brokerage Coordinator
- Literacy Specialist
Next Steps To A New Career
If you are an early childhood educator struggling to determine what new jobs could be right for you, take our free career quiz to help you get started.
One of the biggest mistakes that we see educators make is that they try to navigate this process alone. Often, they put off “researching” until the very last minute. Which sets them up for a very stressful application season. Teacher Career Coach wants to help you get some clarity in the options available to you. To know EXACTLY what you need to do (and not do) in order to get your foot in the door.
You don’t have to do this on your own.
With the help of an HR expert with over 10 years of experience and a team of former teachers, Daphne has created a guide to support you in the early stages of your transition out of the classroom. Tap the button below to learn more.