83 - Katie Kolar: From Teaching To Tech Trainer
Teacher to Tech Trainer with Katie Kolar

83 – Katie Kolar: From Teaching To Tech Trainer

TeacherCareerCoach

In this episode, I interview Katie Kolar, a former middle school teacher who made a drastic career change after struggling with burnout and depression. Listen in as she shares about her journey to become a trainer at FinTech company. 

Listen to the episode in the podcast player below, or find it on Apple Podcast or Spotify.

Transcript: From Teacher to Tech Trainer with Katie Kolar

Daphne Gomez:
Welcome to The Teacher Career Coach podcast. I’m your host, Daphne Gomez. In this interview, I get to talk to Katie Kolar, a former middle school teacher who made a really drastic career change after she struggled with burnout and depression and realized that teaching was not the right fit for her. In this episode, she shares a lot of great tips about how she prepared for interviews outside the classroom, and some of the rejection that she faced from hiring managers during her hunt as well, something that I know many listeners can relate to. We also talk about what her district did as far as, when she broke her contract midyear, they threatened to find her a large amount of money, and how she was able to still leave the classroom and has not had to pay that fine. And we also get to talk about her journey from becoming a teacher to ultimately landing on a training position at a fintech company. So this is a short episode, but with a lot of really great information, and I’m excited for you to hear it. And without further ado, here it is.

Daphne Gomez:
Hi, Katie. Thank you so much for being here today.

Katie Kolar:
Thanks for having me. I’m really excited.

Daphne Gomez:
I know that we were chatting a little bit before the interview even started, and I’d love to dive into learning a little bit more about your customer training specialist position that you landed. But first, let’s start with the beginning. How long were you actually a teacher for?

Katie Kolar:
I was a teacher technically for three years, so four full school years, but I started in January. So I started halfway through the year when I got certified. And then I quit in December.

Daphne Gomez:
How long were you a teacher before you really started to think about actually leaving?

Katie Kolar:
It was a little bit funky. So I had one regular year of teaching before COVID hit. And then when things started to get really bad with COVID and things started to go downhill, I thought about leaving, but I really attributed it more to how COVID was… I blamed everything on COVID, and that’s why my position is so difficult, and things are going to get better. And then once COVID was wrapping up and schools were starting to go back to normal, things were not getting any better.

Daphne Gomez:
Did you talk to any other teachers about how you were feeling during that time?

Katie Kolar:
Constantly. I was actually really lucky. I had the absolute best teammates. My teammates were always really supportive. I worked with amazing teachers. And they knew the whole time that I was very deeply unhappy while I was working at my position.

Daphne Gomez:
Yeah. I feel like there’s so many ways that we can try and downplay how we’re feeling and blame it on external factors. Yeah, COVID did impact everyone, but very in every industry. People were struggling mentally with whether or not they were in a role that they wanted to do for the rest of their lives, but I feel teachers constantly do that, like, “Oh, this is just the bad year.” Maybe it’s, “This is the year with the students, or this is my first year of teaching, or this is my second year of teaching and I have to wait till I’m five years in, or maybe if I change grade levels, I’ll get happier.” And they always downplay, “I’m truly unhappy.” Did you feel like, right off the bat, you started to question whether or not I was the right career for you?

Katie Kolar:
The thing is that I was really good at it. So I had really strong classroom management. I was always really highly praised. So I felt like I’m good at this. This is my calling. I’m meant to do this, but I hid so much of my personal emotions behind sarcasm, and deflection, and anger, and humor. So people knew me as the funny, tough, sarcastic teacher, but that was all just a mechanism to hide the fact that I was very deeply depressed. I was really struggling with that internal conflict too, because I felt like because I was good at it, I should stay in it, and I need to do this, this is what I’m meant to do. And I held onto that for way too long.

Daphne Gomez:
Did you have any teachers who were telling you to stay because you were a really good teacher?

Katie Kolar:
No, because my friends that surrounded me in teaching were so supportive. They totally understand why I wanted to leave. And after I left, I still hang out with them, and they tell me that I’m happier, that, overall, I’m much more relaxed. I was just angry all the time. And I hid that behind sarcasm and humor. So it was how they knew me. But once they knew me after teaching, they were like, “That was a great decision. I’m glad you left.” And a lot of people have also reached out to me, find out what I did, and if I what I’m doing now.

Daphne Gomez:
Yeah. Let’s talk a little bit about that. So you left in December. Did you already have a job lined up in December when you left?

Katie Kolar:
Yes. I started looking around October. October is when I decided that I, absolutely can’t do this anymore. I actually got in a big fight with my fiance. I was crying. And there was a point where I sat down and I was like, “Oh my God. I don’t think I can teach anymore.” And it stopped the whole conversation, and he’s like, “You’ve never actually said that.” And he’s like, “I think we really need to explore that.” So I started looking in October, and I went really, really hard. And I ended up getting a job right before Christmas break, so I was able to resign over Christmas.

Daphne Gomez:
And that was of last year of 2021?

Katie Kolar:
Yeah.

Daphne Gomez:
When you started to break your teaching contract in the middle of the year, did you struggle with the guilt of leaving midyear or any other repercussions from your school district?

Katie Kolar:
I don’t know about the guilt. I think I have to really think on that because towards the end, I didn’t feel guilty. My last couple days, I knew that I just needed to get out. I was so burnt out at that point. Guilt was the last thing in my mind. I faced a lot of repercussions from my school district. So I left a middle school position, which was very hard to fill in a very high needs district. So I think they tried to throw the book at me a little bit to try and prevent other teachers from leaving because there was a big mass exodus, as there usually is. There was a lot of turnover in the district I was in, but I was in my position for a long time. So when I decided to leave, they tried to take my teaching license, and they tried to charge, I think it was a $5,000 fine that they ended up trying to charge me with.

Daphne Gomez:
And did they ultimately take that from you?

Katie Kolar:
No. Before I resigned, I did listen to your episode on breaking a teaching contract. And I read my contract really, really closely, and I looked for any out. So I found an out that said that you can legally break the contract if you have a health concern, including mental health. So my resignation letter was short and sweet. It said, “I’m resigning due to mental health concerns. I can no longer fulfill this position. That’s why I’m not giving a full 30-day notice. Boom. Katie Kolar. Thanks for the opportunity.”

Katie Kolar:
And when they ultimately tried to then take my license, I sent… And I forget… I was actually… I wish I could sign the email because I forget how I worded it, but I basically said, “I will take you to court over this,” or something not so nice because I already had another offer in hand that I signed. So at that point, I didn’t care. And once I threatened legal action because I read through my contract, and I knew that was an out, they instantly dropped it all. So I still have my teaching license and they had to pay me out for the remainder of my contract. So they had to pay me my summer money.

Daphne Gomez:
Oh, wow. For anybody who wants to go back and refer to the podcast episode that Katie just mentioned, it’s episode 52 of The Teacher Career Coach podcast. It’s all about breaking your teaching contract. So we talk about what are “the good reasons.” And many districts do not think that finding another job is a good reason to leave teaching midyear. And so many districts either can find you or take your teaching contract. What we found in the past four years, most districts don’t follow through with those threats, but if it is written into your contract, they’re legally allowed to actually do those things. So it’s a really big decision to make if you’re leaving midyear. But if you know that you’re never returning back to teaching, many people also take the risk of potentially leaving.

Daphne Gomez:
Did the company that you were interviewing for, did they ask you any questions about you leaving teaching midyear? This is something that so many teachers get so afraid of.

Katie Kolar:
This was so funny. The very first question that the person who called me, who’s now my boss, asked me is, “I have so many teachers in the Metro Denver area applying for this position. What’s going on in education. I don’t understand why there’s so many teachers applying.” And I was so guarded in my answer because I didn’t want to frame my teaching as a negative, even though it was a major negative in my life at that point, that I said, “I don’t know why all those teachers are applying. I can tell you why I’m applying. I realize that I really liked the tech aspect of teaching during the pandemic. And I’m looking for growth opportunities.” And I tried to put it in that really positive light, but that was the very first thing they asked.

Daphne Gomez:
Perfect response. 100% the perfect response because if you come to those conversations, they’re making an inference. If you’re applying for a job, they know that you’re dissatisfied with the pay. They know you’re dissatisfied with some the responsibilities with potentially who your manager is, but you never want to frame it in a negative light. And right now, I think that’s a really big roadblock for many teachers, is they think that they should come to these interviews and just be authentic about, you are seeing what’s happening. You know that this is a poop show that’s going on in education. But what hiring managers here is that you’re actually not excited about the role in front of you, and that you are more focused on getting out of a situation, and that’s a recipe for disaster.

Daphne Gomez:
It would be like, if you’re going on a date with someone, and they’re like, “Oh, why did you want to go on a date with me?” And it’s like, “Oh, because I hate my ex. I needed to go on a date with anyone but my ex,” you’re not going to land a job in that way. So you framing it, “Oh I actually, I have no idea what’s going on with those other people, but I’m the most excited about this,” This is such a perfect answer. Did you have any ends in the technology industry? Did you do any networking or informational interviews, or was it mostly just listening to this podcast?

Katie Kolar:
I listened a lot to this podcast, and I looked up as many free resources as I could find when it came to changing my resume, getting on LinkedIn. And I applied to I think 150 jobs in two months. So I went [inaudible] and I went down very, very deep, very quickly.

Teacher to Tech Trainer with Katie Kolar

Daphne Gomez:
And then that’s also you were in a timeframe that wasn’t necessarily as competitive because not every teacher is applying in the middle of the school year. Did you find yourself interviewing at other companies that just didn’t work out?

Katie Kolar:
Yeah, definitely. Actually, one of the first interviews I took, I was so excited for it. I aced the recruiter interview. They wanted specifically someone who knew articulate storyline. So I made them a little thing in storyline. I sent it over. I was so excited. She said I did amazing in the recruitment interview. And then she called me back and said, “The hiring manager doesn’t want to speak with you because you have teaching experience, but she doesn’t count that as instructional design experience.” And I got off the phone, and I sobbed. It was my first chance with a recruiter, and I absolutely cried, and I was devastated. I faced a lot of rejection, but I just… There’s a phrase I really like now, that when I think about it is that rejections are protections, and I really believe that

Daphne Gomez:
There are going to be hiring managers that are going to look at teaching resumes, and they’re going to say, “This is not the person that we’re looking for in this role.” And my job, and every job seeker’s job is to help articulate, “This is how my teaching skills translate into the job that you’re looking for. This is how I’ve actually bridged any gaps because I understand those limitations.” Those are the conversations that I’m having with hiring managers and recruiters on a weekly basis right now, is helping them understand what teachers are bringing to the table as qualified candidates.

Daphne Gomez:
But then, also, there are just going to be people who have those opinions, and you’re not going to be able… You can’t, what is the phrase, fit a square peg into a circle hole, or a round hole, or whatever, but it’s just not going to work. And the best thing that you can do is just say, “Is there anything that you see that I could do to be a more qualified candidate in your eyes in the future?” Take that feedback, grow with that, if they are able to give you any, but know that not every hiring manager is the same. They all come with their own opinions.

Daphne Gomez:
It’s just teachers. Teachers are going to argue about the best way to teach fifth grade standards. You could go down a rabbit hole of a thousand different approaches to it. And they all have their own opinions based on what their students are, or what their own personal preferences are as far as assessing students, or whatever. Every hiring manager is going to have their own opinion. There are some universal truths, but don’t let that one stinky, mean lady say that you’re not going to be able to get that role to not keep pushing.

Daphne Gomez:
When you were applying, did you ever have to face how does your teaching skills translate into this role types of questions in the interview?

Katie Kolar:
It’s been a little while since I was doing a lot of interviews, but definitely. I had a whole cheat sheet that I had in the background. I had a monitor and a separate screen with everything I thought they could potentially ask me and how it translated into something that related to their company. I had a whole cheat sheet of everything I thought they could ever potentially ask me about any aspect of my teaching and how it related to a more corporate toe.

Daphne Gomez:
Oh, yeah. That’s really smart. So with this customer training specialist role, do you remember what the interview process was like? Was it just you… It sounds you interviewed with the actual manager. Was that the only interview and then you landed the job, or was there a series of interviews?

Katie Kolar:
I had three interviews. The first interview was pretty standard. It was just a conversation. It was about a half hour with the actual hiring manager because my company’s pretty small. The second interview, they told me to prepare a 40-minute presentation on any topic I like in the whole world. And I remember getting that and I was like, “Oh, my gosh. What am I going to talk about for 40 minutes?” And I ended up talking about diversity and climbing because I’m a part-time climbing coach. I love rock climbing. And I knew it was something that I could really talk about that I cared about. So I prepared a presentation, it was about 45 minutes, and then they asked me a couple follow up questions. And then my last interview was with HR.

Katie Kolar:
So I wasn’t sure if that interview I was going to get the job, or if they were going to reject me, or if it was another interview. It ended up being another interview, which was more a culture fit interview. That was about 30 minutes. And then I got an offer, I think, over… It was on… My last interview was on a Friday, so I got my offer on Monday.

Daphne Gomez:
And that HR phase was probably when they actually talked about your salary, were you able to negotiate a salary at all?

Katie Kolar:
They gave me a range of salary. Can I talk about the numbers? Should I talk about the numbers?

Daphne Gomez:
Oh, of course. Yeah.

Katie Kolar:
My salary position was between 70 and 80,000, which was 10 steps, full 10 years higher on a teaching pay scale. So I jumped 10 years in less than a year. They offered me 76, and I took it right away. I didn’t negotiate because I wanted to leave, and I was a little bit afraid, to be honest.

Daphne Gomez:
I had a call with my sister. She was doing an interview at the job that she is at right now. And she’s like, “Okay, the next call is when they’re going to offer me a salary.” And I was like, “Okay, let’s get on the phone. Let’s talk about what are you going to ask for, how are you going to get to that number. Let’s do it.” And then she’s like, “Okay, they’re calling. She’s so excited. She called me back 10 minutes later. And she’s like, “So they offered me higher than that. And I just didn’t even do it.” And I was like, “You wasted my time with the salary negotiation,” but when it’s already higher, it is hard for us, especially as women to ask for more.

Daphne Gomez:
I think I’ve always asked for, if it’s a job that I’m really excited about, I’m pretty cautious with my approach, and I do a really small amount, but I have always negotiated somewhat of an amount on top of whatever they offered me. And then there’s one job where I was already really happy where I was at, where I just shot this insane number where I said, “Oh, 150,000.” And they’re like, “No, thank you.” I mean, it’s up to you to have that range. And it sounds you were really comfortable with the range that you got.

Daphne Gomez:
Let’s talk a little bit about what is your day-to-day as a customer training specialist. What do you do?

Katie Kolar:
My job is really cool. I do a couple different things within the company. I work totally remote. My office is based in New York, but I’m based in Denver. So I’m on a little bit different time zone. So the main thing that I do is I onboard new clients onto the platform. I work with the customer success team to bring on new clients and help them through the first 90 days of bringing them onto our platform. And from a teacher standpoint, I really just have 10 lessons that I just reuse constantly. So you get really good at those 10 lessons because you’re just doing them all the time. Aside from that, I manage the help center, and I make videos, and I write articles, technical documentation around our product. And I work with other teams. So I work with marketing. I work with product. So anytime there’s training needs, I step in and see what collateral we need. So I’ve been able to learn a lot of cool programs. I can use Camtasia now. I can use Adobe InDesign. And these were all things I learned on the job.

Daphne Gomez:
And I feel like, for this role, you’re a customer training specialist, but you’re doing a lot of the work that an instructional designer would do as well. And this is something that you can continue to grow in that area. I feel like people get really stuck in one job title, that they get really excited about, and they’re only applying for those types of positions. Did with this particular position that you’d still be creating e-learning resources, or was this something that started to get more fleshed out as you were in the role itself?

Katie Kolar:
My company’s in a growth stage, so they’re still pretty small, but they’re rapidly growing. So my team is only three people, so we all got together. We’re like, “What do our roles even entail? Where do we see training going in this company?” So we decided to make my role more about the collateral, which means that I get to play around in the help center, make the videos, build all this fun stuff that I didn’t really expect to do when I first came in the role. It just naturally developed based on one I ended up being good at.

Daphne Gomez:
I love that. And it’s one of the benefits of working in a startup environment is you have these roles that have so many various duties to them, but I also want to think a little bit more about that 10 lessons where you get really good at it because I have been in a position. The first role that I got outside of teaching was I was a learning consultant. So I did these professional development trainings, either at school districts or speaking at national conferences. And some of the subject matter of what I was training on surface level is, was a little bit intimidating.

Daphne Gomez:
Did you see the lessons that you were going to start to give these onboarding lessons or trainings that you’re doing for your clients, did you see them and were you intimidated at first because you were using a technology platform you were maybe not proficient in at first?

Katie Kolar:
Oh, my goodness. I was so nervous. My company works in data, and specifically finance. So I work with a lot of big banks. That’s mainly who I train, is bankers. And I have no background in finance. I am very bad with numbers in general. I never saw myself in a fintech role. So my boss, when I first started, gave me a really important piece of advice because he knows that. He knows exactly what background I came from. And he said, “Your goal is not to be a finance expert. It’s to be a product expert. So if they try and steer you away from that, if they ask a difficult question, steer them right back to the product because your job is to teach them how to use this product, and you can do that.” And I was like, “I can do that.” So once I learned the product, and now I’m really comfortable in the product, I’m better with the finance questions now, but it’s not my job. It’s not my role. My job is to teach them how to bring what they know onto our platform.

Daphne Gomez:
I love that. For me, it was learning to be comfortable with not knowing everything because I was a fifth grade teacher, and I felt like I was constantly learning, I don’t know, what six or seven different mini lessons every single day, and trying to, “Now I need to know everything about this state’s history,” or whatever you’re panicking about that you need to know everything about, but these are 10 lessons that you just repeat, and you get really good at, and you do over, and over, and over again. And then, yeah, knowing that they’re subject matter experts, in my case, there were engineers, the product team. So if it was something that was over my head as far as technical questions, I could just say, “Oh, I’m so sorry. I’m not able to answer that. Here is the team member who can probably answer that for you. And for your role, potentially, you might have accountants or people who are on your team that are more qualified to answer those technical questions when it comes to a fintech environment.”

Daphne Gomez:
When you were applying for this role, did they ask you anything about what made you passionate about the company?

Katie Kolar:
I’m trying to think. I don’t think they asked because, to be honest, it’s a very weird area of tech. It’s very specific. So I don’t think there’s anyone that’s out there that’s truly passionate about data reconciliation, but they did ask me what stood out about the company. And I told them, it stood out the fact that their job descriptions were very transparent. They had their salary range. They were very transparent about their interview process. And I felt like they looked past the obvious things that I didn’t know because I came in as a candidate with no background in what they specialize in, and they saw my skill set, and they were willing to train me on my deficiencies.

Daphne Gomez:
That is such a perfect attitude to have as well because I think that that’s one of the red flags that many hiring managers are seeing from teachers who are transitioning into new careers. Many of them have expressed that there’s a room for confidence. These are wonderful candidates. They are highly qualified. But then the overconfidence that some people portray of, “I know everything about instructional design. I’ve been studying this for three full months, and I’m capable of doing it,” hiring managers are going to see that. And they’re going to say… You’re going to get eaten alive as not a nice way to put it, but it’s with every single thing that you hear yourself saying, pretend that it’s a new teacher. So it’s like, “Oh, I study teaching for three months. I know everything there is to be about being a teacher.” All the experienced teachers are going to be like, “You are going to be eaten alive.”

Daphne Gomez:
You have to come at it with an attitude of self-awareness of, “I know that there are some knowledge gaps here because I have not held this role formally, or I’ve only volunteered in these types of positions. And so I do understand that, but these are the skills that I’m bringing to the table, and I’m really confident. I’m a fast learner because look at how much I’ve learned in just three months. So if you give me the opportunity, I’m going to be able to demonstrate that proficiency in whatever you put on my plate.” But I feel that is an area where people struggled.

Daphne Gomez:
You are a great interviewee. Did you find yourself going down a rabbit hole of other people’s interview questions? Did you find yourself looking at blogs or resources when it came to that?

Katie Kolar:
Oh, definitely. I looked up all the major buzzwords, the same as we have buzzwords in education. I used to sit on the hiring committee for hiring new teachers. And you listen for those buzzwords that come out depending on what your school model is. And I just looked up corporate buzzwords. And I found ways that they actually did apply to me and they actually did fit me, and I tried to make myself seem like a piece of clay, clearly a teacher, but also understanding of what they were looking for.

Daphne Gomez:
That is amazing. And then that is something I did not know about you that I feel like is very interesting, and probably where a lot of your interview skills is coming from as well. You were on the team that actually interviewed teachers coming in. What types of questions did you find yourself asking teachers that would red flag them from being able to actually be a teacher?

Katie Kolar:
I can’t remember. It’s been a while, but some of the red flag answers was anything that was very overconfident, like “I can definitely do that. I have experience with this type of kids. I’m not worried at all. I have no hesitations.” Anything that was very black or white.

Daphne Gomez:
Because it just demonstrates that there’s maybe a lack of awareness of nothing’s black or white and there’s always going to be a challenge that you’re going to have to overcome?

Katie Kolar:
Yeah. And anything that was very idealistic too, like “I love kids so much. Kids are amazing. I can’t wait to be in there, and change the world, and change the day.” Just anything that was coming from ideology versus experience.

Daphne Gomez:
That’s really interesting. With your customer training specialist role, I want to pivot back to that a little bit more. Did they hire any other former teachers on your training team?

Katie Kolar:
No. Actually I only work with one woman in Poland and one man in New York. So we’re a very, very small team.

Daphne Gomez:
Were you mainly looking for specific types of companies when you were applying for customer training specialist roles?

Katie Kolar:
No. I was looking for anything under that sphere that would be willing to talk to me. So I was really just looking for a starter position. I did not expect to end up in the company that I did. I’m really happy I did. They treat me really well. Is it something that I plan to do forever? Probably not. I definitely want to grow there for a couple more years, and it’s a great company, but I never imagined myself to end up in a data management sphere at all.

Daphne Gomez:
Do you do a lot of professional development in your own role? Are you upskilling even in your own current position right now?

Katie Kolar:
Yeah. They’ve been so willing to upskill me. They, I have a personal learning budget, which they are very keen that I use. So I purchased a lot of finance courses on Udemy. They’ve given me a ton of internal training, which most other people that get into the company don’t get. They were just extra willing to work with me to help me get the background that I needed to be successful.

Daphne Gomez:
I love that. I know that I was given a stipend at both of the companies. And I think it feels a little different than what teachers are used to when it comes to personal development because, often, you are given somewhat of a choice. You’re given your own autonomy of choosing what you think is the most interesting, as opposed to your admin is like, “Here is your mandatory.” Your learning something during this timeframe. And there are those types of trainings with any job, but for some reason it feels a little different. And maybe that’s just based on, I liked these positions more, and I felt more excited about learning. I was in a better place mentally. So I was more receptive to these weekly trainings. Do you find yourself in the same cycle of going to professional development and actually being more receptive to them?

Katie Kolar:
I think the fact that I feel respected and I feel like I’m treated as an adult, and not only an adult, a professional, it makes me so much more willing to take the professional development and actually learn from it because I felt when I was teaching, it was very demeaning, our professional development. And just the way it was conducted and the way that I felt like my education was valued in education versus in a corporate world is very different.

Daphne Gomez:
What advice would you give to anyone who’s listening to this, who’s looking for training types of positions on what they should potentially be doing to make themselves stand out?

Katie Kolar:
I would say you need to learn the technology that lives in the corporate world. There’s a lot of free trials. Definitely learn the platforms that are out there that are really big in instructional design or training. And you can just look them up. There’s a ton. Get really comfortable with one or two so you can put them on your resume. And in interviews, I wouldn’t necessarily focus on talking about how we teach students because I found, at least in my experience interviewing, is that interviewers didn’t find that relevant to the position. I only talked about how I was able to train adults, and what I knew about teaching adults, and what I knew about how adults learn. And I felt that was really helpful.

Daphne Gomez:
Yeah. It’s so hard to get yourself away from using all of the great experience of lessons you’ve given students, but many of these roles, they’re really specifically looking for, “Okay. How did you train other teachers? Or how did you walk people through… Even the trainings that you did for your parents are going to be more relevant in what they’re looking for more so than any of the stuff that you did with students.

Katie Kolar:
Yeah, definitely.

Daphne Gomez:
One question that I really like asking people at the end is just to share, Katie, what is one thing that you learned about yourself during this entire journey?

Katie Kolar:
I learned that I can definitely do anything I set my mind to. I don’t plan to work in training forever. I actually think I eventually want to move into presales. I love working in tech, but now I know that I have the capability to do that. If I want to work in professional services, I know that I can take my skillset and apply it in any area that fits me. And I know that jobs don’t need to be forever. I really thought that I was going to teach forever. I thought that that was the only thing I was going to be good at, which makes me so sad hearing me say those words because that’s not true. If I want to completely flip careers four times, I can learn those careers. I can do whatever’s best for me at any time in my life. I don’t need to marry myself to one career.

Daphne Gomez:
I love that. I feel like that was something that I really struggled with as well. And then once you rip the bandaid off, it gets so much easier to envision yourself going through the same crappy process, as long as you know what to expect as far as the roadblocks go and what interviews are.

Daphne Gomez:
Thank you, Katie, so much for coming on. This has been such a great conversation and I just really appreciate you taking the time to speak to everyone.

Katie Kolar:
It’s really been fun. Thank you so much for having me. I’m really honored. I used to listen to this podcast every day, and I would cry on the way to work, and I would cry on the way home. And it really feels full circle for me because I feel like, if I could talk to myself six months ago, I would never imagine that I’d be at the place I am today. I’d never imagine I’d be on the podcast at all. I never even imagine I’d be the person I am too.

Daphne Gomez:
I’m so happy for you. It sounds you’re in such a great place, and you deserve it. So thank you so much.

Katie Kolar:
Thank you. I really appreciate it.

Daphne Gomez:
As always, I want to give a huge thank you to Katie for coming on and sharing her story. One of the things that I always love to hear, that I heard from Katie, is that she found a lot of support in listening to The Teacher Career Coach podcast through her journey, through her job hunt. And it inspired her to continue to keep pushing on. If you are listening right now, and you are struggling, and you don’t feel it’s ever going to happen for you, I want to just take a short second to remind you that your dreams are possible. Every single person thought that it would never happen for them, even a week before it did happen for them. So you cannot control the timeline. You are not going to be able to control when you get your one yes, but you can control your actions, and how you continue to move forward, and how you continue to believe in yourself.

Daphne Gomez:
And then, once you do reach your goals, we do love to hear from you. It helps us so much to continue to connect with you, even after you’ve left the classroom. We’ve gotten DMS on our Instagram at Teacher Career Coach on a daily basis, from former teachers who have used either Teacher Career Coach Podcast, or The Teacher Career Coach Course, and it’s helped them land their new role. And we want to hear from them. We want to hear from you. Knowing that our work is making this huge impact, and getting to learn all about yo, and hear all of your stories, makes our work truly so meaningful. And so please don’t forget to reach out and let us know when you do finally get that one yes. It means the world to us. So thank you so much for being a listener of The Teacher Career Coach podcast. And thank you so much for continuing to share this resource with other teachers who are looking for this type of support. And we’ll see you on the very next episode of The Teacher Career Coach podcast.

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