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Transferable Skills for School Teachers Who Are Unhappy in Their Careers

Most people don’t realize half of the individuals Reeder Consulting works with are adults. Adults have various reasons for reaching out. Some are new to San Antonio and frustrated by the lack of being able to get a job. Others are people who put their careers on hold while “life happened” and now need to re-enter the workforce or want to find a career that is meaningful. Some are just burned out and are miserable in their jobs.

Each year we have a large number of school teachers who reach out because their job is no longer fulfilling. What I personally am sad about is we are in such a crisis for needing more educators. To see great teachers leaving their careers after 10, 15 even 20 years concerns me. My responsibility is to work with each person to find what makes sense for them, in this phase of their life. Sometimes, it’s changing districts, moving to a different grade, or shifting to a different educational environment completely.

Some teachers want to leave education altogether and are frustrated at their lack of success. There is one thing that is universal in the mistake they make; they didn’t network outside of their educational circle along their path. They never realized how important it is to network with people who are not educators. And this is the #1 reason they struggle to move into another field.

People underestimate the power of LinkedIn, a professional platform for networking and connecting. Teachers feel they don’t need to be on it because sometimes they comment they aren’t on “social media.” I educate people to understand that LinkedIn is not used as a personal platform at all. I work with my clients to help them understand how it works, why it’s important, and why it matters. It is the single most powerful account you can create and worthy of your time. But you must understand it fully to maximize the benefits.

The second challenge my teachers face is understanding their worth. I hear all the time, “Well, I’m JUST a teacher.” Their resume doesn’t reflect in their descriptions the impact they have and the skills they can bring to another field. They struggle to convey the “transferable” skills companies are interested in and what they bring to the table but don’t realize.

Below are ways to communicate effectively the skills that resonate and should be included on a resume.

Transferable Skills List: Communication

This section refers to the expression, transmission, and interpretation of knowledge and ideas, and includes these specific skills:

· Speaking effectively

· Writing concisely

· Listening attentively

· Expressing ideas

· Facilitating group discussion

· Providing appropriate feedback, either independently or when asked

· Negotiating

· Perceiving nonverbal messages

· Persuading others

· Reporting information

· Describing feelings

· Interviewing

· Editing

Transferable Skills List: Research and Planning

This list includes your ability to conceptualize future needs, your solutions for meeting those needs, and your search for specific knowledge that’s required for completing a task:

· Forecasting and predicting

· Creating ideas

· Identifying problems

· Imagining alternatives

· Identifying appropriate resources

· Gathering information

· Solving problems

· Setting goals

· Extracting important information

· Defining needs and requirements

· Analyzing information

· Developing evaluation strategies

Transferable Skills List: Interpersonal Skills and Human Relations

This refers to your ability to work well with others, especially when it involves conflict resolution or problem-solving:

· Developing rapport with coworkers and customers

· Being sensitive to others

· Listening

· Conveying feelings appropriately

· Providing support for others

· Motivating others

· Sharing credit with colleagues

· Counseling

· Cooperating

· Delegating with respect

· Representing others

· Accurately perceiving feelings or situations

· Asserting

Transferable Skills List: Creative Thinking Skills

This list includes competencies related to thinking critically or being flexible in your thinking. You might need to spot patterns in the information you’re analyzing, for instance, or devise a new solution to an ongoing problem:

· Demonstrating cognitive flexibility, thinking outside the box

· Conceptualizing situations

· Showing curiosity

· Being imaginative

· Predicting and anticipating shortfalls

· Showing foresight

· Making abstract connections

· Making inferences

· Synthesizing ideas

Transferable Skills List: Organization, Management, and Leadership Skills

These skills relate to your ability to supervise, direct, and guide individuals and groups in the completion of tasks and fulfillment of goals:

· Initiating new ideas

· Handling details

· Coordinating and planning tasks

· Managing groups

· Delegating responsibility to others

· Teaching

· Counseling

· Coaching

· Promoting change

· Selling ideas or products

· Decision making with others

· Managing conflict

· Following through on tasks

· Multitasking

· Demonstrating effective time management

Transferable Skills List: Work Survival Skills

These are the day-to-day, nitty-gritty skills that assist in promoting effective production and work satisfaction:

· Making and implementing decisions

· Cooperating

· Enforcing policies or established rules

· Being punctual

· Managing time wisely

· Attending to detail

· Meeting goals, both short-term and long-term

· Enlisting the help of others when you need it

· Accepting responsibility

· Setting deadlines and meeting them

· Organizing

My hope is teachers know their worth. They think about what is next, if and when the time comes to pivot in their careers. They understand 90% of the jobs are obtained through someone you know, and LinkedIn is not a bad thing.

Teachers matter and my hope is they stay fulfilled because we need them desperately, but they must think towards the future...and prepare.


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