Welcome to The Teacher Career Coach Podcast! After leaving teaching because of some serious burnout, she vowed to build the community she wished existed when she needed it most. She went from classroom teacher to an educational consultant, instructional designer, and six figure business owner. Now she’s here to help you achieve happiness and work-life balance, whether inside or outside the classroom. Come join our discussion as we talk about managing teacher burnout, career transitions outside the classroom, starting a side hustle, and everything in between. Here’s your host of the Teacher Career Coach Podcast and your new personal cheerleader, Daphne Williams.
Hey everybody. Welcome to the very first episode of the Teacher Career Coach Podcast. I’m Daphne Gomez (Williams), your host and creator of the Teacher Career Coach. In this episode, I’ll introduce myself and give you a sneak peek of what to expect in the future. The Teacher Career Coach Podcast was created for teachers, former teachers and educational staff of all kind as a safe space and community. I want to have honest and often difficult and shunned conversations brought into the light. Think of this like your teacher break room where you feel comfortable talking about anything and everything that’s on your mind.
I’ll offer support and resources to help teachers thrive whether they’re in or out of the classroom. I think we can all agree that teaching is one of the most valuable professions there is and that teachers face more challenges and need more support now than ever before.
But before we dive into how to best support those teachers who are in the classroom, I’m here to address the elephant in the room. Teaching doesn’t have to be the last step of your professional journey. There are so many teachers out there who are desperate to pivot into new careers, but there’s never actually been a clearly defined path for them. And the longer that you find yourself stuck in a position you don’t really feel like you want to be in, the more miserable and resentful you’ve become.
First off, it is okay to leave teaching if you’re miserable. I think everyone should be able to agree that miserable teachers are never what’s best for the children. And I believe that behind every miserable teacher out there is a great person who went into this position with a good heart and need some clear guidance and direction on what they can do to be happy again.
It’s also perfectly okay to consider transitioning from teaching if you feel stagnant or just need a change. People switch careers and pivot directions all the time and they’re celebrated. Educators should not be held to different expectations if their careers or interests continue to evolve as well.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average person changes careers 12 times. If teaching was one of the first career paths that you chose, it’s normal to consider growing your career experience into a new direction. You can always continue to impact education and sometimes even in a larger capacity with new positions. And if you don’t agree with anything I’ve said up to this point, this probably isn’t going to be the right podcast for you.
The Teacher Career Coach Podcast is going to cover three main topics. Career changes for teachers, battling teaching burnout, and diversifying your teaching income through smart small business models that work. First, like I mentioned before, this podcast was built to support teachers who are thinking of making that exit.
I’m going to tell you a quick story about one of my good friends who’s a graphic designer. After years of working for different companies, she landed her dream job of designing graphics for a company that adopts puppies. Yep, she got to look puppies and pictures of puppies all day long. Dream job, right?
Well, this is kind of surprising, but it was an extremely toxic work environment and the culture of the company was not a good fit for her. This came as a huge shock and she started suffering from depression. Even after she landed a new position, she told me she’s still mentally recovering from being unhappy at that puppy adoption company for about a year.
Just because she left the puppy company does not mean she hates puppies and doesn’t want them to be adopted. And just because a teacher leaves the classroom, it doesn’t mean that they hate children or education. Her leaving this position doesn’t mean she’s a bad graphic designer, and a teacher leaving doesn’t mean that they’re a bad teacher.
And I’d also like to add that while this particular puppy adoption company was a bad fit for her, it didn’t mean that their mission wasn’t honorable. Your school or district can be dedicated to helping students achieve without being a good fit for you personally. And lastly, it doesn’t mean that she can’t pursue working at other puppy adoption companies in the future. So a teacher who leaves one school or one district might find that another school or district is a better fit for them personally.
The moral of this story is you can still be a great person and an advocate for teachers whether you are inside or outside of the classroom, and there are a lot of different factors at play at what makes it a good decision for you. Teachers who think of leaving are usually thinking of it because of family reasons, because of burnout, lack of work-life balance, or toxic work environments. But leaving is so hard for so many reasons and a way that so many people have made this conversation taboo makes it even more difficult for people who are struggling to find this type of support.
I built the Teacher Career Coach community because the guilt and stigma around leaving teaching make it so much more challenging for people who are already going through so much. It’s such a difficult decision, it’s really personal, and it’s filled with a lot of hard emotions. Career pivots from teaching feel way different than leaving other positions because you’re so passionate and dedicated to the specific career path and the nature of the work.
Thinking of leaving can feel like you’re losing your identity and your purpose. The not so surprising fact is that many former teachers find themselves still using the skills they’re passionate about. Many former teachers end up working for educational companies in new roles. They create e-learning resources or they teach and present as corporate trainers. If you’re thinking of leaving teaching, this podcast is going to support you with ideas and actionable solutions. I want to help you get to where you want to be in your career and your life and offer zero judgment.
In upcoming episodes, I’m going to interview and celebrate former teachers and hear their stories, explore their career paths, and offer motivation and encouragement for others who are thinking of making a change as well. In this podcast, we’re also going to cover many of the reasons why teachers think of leaving the classroom and help give you actionable advice that actually can help you rekindle your passion for teaching so that you can thrive in your career.
So many educators that I talk to need help with sustainable teaching practices to help them battle burnout. I like to keep things honest and classroom management and teacher burnout isn’t my strong suit. Because this isn’t something that I specialize in, I’m bringing in the top educational experts to give you their best tips and advice on making your career more sustainable and enjoyable. I’ll even interview teachers who were on the verge of leaving at their lowest points and the changes that they made that transformed how they felt about their career and helped them fall in love with teaching again.
And last, I’ll talk about building side income by starting your own business using your teaching skills. I’ll teach you the strategies I used to build my own six figure business and explain why every teacher should start thinking of diversifying their income. While many teachers don’t consider this route, it’s one I’m really passionate about because even the smallest side businesses can help you build so much confidence and self worth. And for anyone thinking of transitioning, owning your own side business can give you some killer experience to write on your resume.
I want you to know every podcast episode is not going to apply for everybody who’s listening. Depending on where you are in your life, you may not want to pursue a career outside of education. You can just be here for the episodes on burnout, mindset, or side hustles. But even if you’re not considering a change in occupations, you’ll be able to be a fly on the wall and have these conversations about other career options so that you have a plan B in your back pocket if you ever need it.
The goal of the Teacher Career Coach Podcast is I want to help all teachers find happiness and fulfillment whether they stay inside or outside of the classroom. I’ll keep things super honest to help you find solutions wherever you find yourself in your education journey.
Real talk. I understand I might face a lot of backlash for some of the discussions or podcast topics. There’s so much stigma around teachers who are leaving the classroom, but there’s few to no resources to support this community, and they need so much guidance. I know from personal experience how difficult it was to leave teaching. I truly felt like I had to do it all on my own, and I don’t want anyone else to ever have to go through that without support in community.
Many of you have already heard my story from following me on social media at Teacher Career Coach. But for any first timers to the Teacher Career Coach community, welcome, and I want to share a little bit about my personal journey. I wanted to get into teaching because I wanted to do something really good for my community and I knew I wanted to always feel like I was helping people.
My mom was a teacher, so it felt like a really natural fit for me. I ended up teaching fifth grade in multiple school districts throughout Southern California in different demographics. After my last extremely toxic year of teaching, I knew I was done. I mean, I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I knew I was done. I had stress related illnesses. I was crying on the way to school more mornings than I can count. I was feeling really depressed. You name it.
I’m such a generally happy and optimistic person. I just knew I couldn’t keep moving in the same direction. Teaching was supposed to be my forever career and I just reassured myself I could return after a break if I wanted to, but I needed to make a big change immediately. After some extremely tough months of soul searching, couch flopping and depression induced midday mimosa benches, I finally landed my first job outside of the classroom as an educational consultant. I had successfully leveraged my teaching experience into a new career path and I didn’t feel like I had to start all over again.
After leaving, I’ve worked as both an educational consultant and also as an instructional designer. I’ve spoken at large conferences in front of hundreds of people. I’ve built digital courses and curriculum for companies, and I’ve even started my own six figure business. None of these accomplishments were easy and many of them took either months or years of hard work. I struggled to find my self worth. I battled imposter syndrome, and I pushed past so many obstacles and probably a lot of the same fears you might be having right now the entire way.
But after I made it to the other side, I found to create the resources and community that I wish I had to support others along the way. I started my Instagram, my website, and Facebook groups to help others find a community of like-minded educators to connect and grow with. This podcast is going to help this community that we’ve already built grow stronger together by inviting more experts to come in and speak and share their stories and their resources.
So, in future episodes, we’re inviting in former teachers, career coaches, educational experts to talk all things career pivots, side hustles, burnout, and goal setting. If you or someone you know would be a perfect fit for a guest on our show, don’t hesitate to reach out. All the resources where you can find us and connect are going to be linked in our show notes today.
Before we end our first episode, I want you to do an exercise with me. Take a second to think of something you’re grateful for right now. If you are listening to this podcast and you’re feeling depressed or burned out, I know how easy it can be to just blow off activities like this. It can feel impossible to think of anything positive, especially when you feel at your lowest. It’s even more imperative that you do this activity when you’re not feeling well because it’s not just a positive mindset exercise, there’s actually a lot of research behind practicing gratitude daily.
Research has shown that keeping a gratitude journal can help your brain battle anxiety and depression and enhance your mood. So it’s always important to try and find things or people that you’re grateful for and recognize that. I’m personally grateful for every single one of you that took the time to listen to this very first episode, and I’m so grateful to have this unique opportunity to help so many people.
I’m also extremely grateful for my podcast editor, Jonathan Gomez. He happens to be my sweet fiance who believes in me and all of my crazy endeavors, and he’s also insanely talented. He actually composed and played the theme music all on his own. He’s going to be surprised to hear this as he’s editing, but thank you to Jonathan, I love you so much, and I’m so grateful to have you in my life.
Before we end our very first show, this last part is important. If you’re excited about what’s in store for this podcast and you want to stay in the loop, make sure you click subscribe now so you don’t forget. I’d also like to ask you a personal favor. If you have a couple of minutes, please take the time to leave a review. Leaving a review lets me know that you like this content, and more importantly, it helps others find this support and this community. Thank you so much for listening and I’ll see you on the next episode.
Mentioned in this podcast:
If you’re thinking of leaving teaching…
If you’re just beginning to think about leaving teaching, brainstorming other options is a great place to start. But if you’re like many others, teaching was your only plan – there never was a Plan B. You might feel at a loss when it comes to figuring out what alternatives are out there.
Start with our free quiz, below, to get alternative job options for careers that really do hire teachers!
Taking the First Steps to a New Career
If you’ve already taken our quiz, it may be time for the next steps. I want 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. This knowledge may help quell some of the anxiety you feel about the big changes that come with a new job.
One of the biggest mistakes that I see teachers 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 – trying to juggle teaching, figuring out a resume, researching jobs, and hoping to nail down some interviews before signing next year’s contract.
You don’t have to do this on your own.
If you are considering a career change from teaching, I have a resource that can help you today. With the help of an HR expert with over 10 years of experience, I’ve created a guide to support you in the early stages of your transition out of the classroom.
In the Career Transition Guide, I’ll walk you through the factors to consider and answer those first-step planning questions including:
- A compiled list of over 40 careers that teachers can transition into
- An overview of how to read job descriptions
- How to evaluate the risk of leaving a full-time teaching job for the unknown
- Example translations from classroom-to-corporate resumes
- A checklist of everything you’ll need to do for your career transition (so you know you aren’t missing anything!)
- and more…
Take the first steps on your path to a new career now for only