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Teachers have mad skills!

What makes teachers so great, from the perspective of a career coach for women in tech

I recently spoke with Nicole Trick Steinbach, former technology executive who now coaches women in the field of technology.

She works with women in tech who want a braver, healthier relationship with their work; want to transition into tech from another field; or want to transition out of tech to another field.

Nicole has worked with quite a few teachers who left the classroom to transition into tech, and in this recorded conversation, she shared what she thinks teachers have to offer to their schools, the field of tech, her own two neuro-divergent kiddos, and the rest of the world.

This call is NOT just for teachers who want to leave teaching or who are interested in transitioning into tech.

All teachers should listen to 1:55-9:19 and then jump back in at 16:55 to feel appreciated for all that you do and offer.

I highly encourage you to watch and listen to our chat. Nicole is a funny, say-it-like-is person, which you'll get to experience in the video.

But if you prefer, you can read the highlights below.

Highlights from the conversation with Nicole

⭐  Your skills are vast and super relevant beyond the classroom (1:55)

The first time Nicole heard a teacher say she didn't feel qualified to do anything outside of the classroom, she laughed so hard she had to follow up to apologize. She was just so shocked because from her perspective, teachers are HYPER skilled with very transferable skills.

Here are a few of the skills she listed that teachers have that are relevant well beyond the classroom: facilitation, training, communication, stakeholder management, conflict navigation, calm under pressure.

My takeaway: All the hard work you're doing in the classroom is helping you build an amazing set of valuable, relevant, and highly transferable skills.

⭐  Employers in tech love teachers (3:24)

Nicole's former clients have reported back to her that not only were they promoted 3 or 6 months after being hired, but that their managers approached them to ask if they knew of any more teachers who they could hire!

The employers of these former teachers appreciated the scope and breadth of what they could do. You are calm under pressure and you help kids go to the bathroom and you teach them how to be friends with others and you deal with government regulation...

My takeaway: The work you do as a teacher is WIDE-ranging and valued by others.

⭐ Very few people manager as many people as teachers do in a single day (5:10)

Nicole never had more than 12 direct reports at a time. You have anywhere from 20-100+ (and this doesn't include parents and caregivers)!

My takeaway: Your emotional intelligence and people management skills are unmatched.

⭐  The work teachers do is highly "sophisticated" (7:02)

In tech, you don’t have to work as much, as hard, or with such complexity as what you do on a daily basis in the classroom. Nicole's former teacher clients report back that teaching was much harder than what they do now.

My takeaway: The work you do in the classroom is requires a high level of thinking and acting that is unparalleled in other fields.  

⭐  The importance of setting boundaries (9:19)

Teachers often have trouble setting boundaries for themselves. And the burnout that comes from trying to do it all will follow you anywhere you go if you don't learn how to set boundaries in your current work. Tech (just like education) is happy to take every drop of time and energy you’ll give.

My takeaway: A lack of boundaries will follow you anywhere you go.  

⭐  A bit of inside scoop on tech (12:16 - 16:35)

If you're considering tech as a career possibility, listen to this section on how to interview well, how to get promoted, and how simple tech skills you have are worth more than you think.  

My takeaway: Tech is different than education and a guide to help you understand the differences in critical!  

⭐ Why Nicole appreciates teachers personally (16:55)

She has two neuro-diverse kiddos and the schools in Germany were not going to serve them well. Their teachers here in the U.S. public schools have helped with the long-term vision and planning for her kids, and she feels like this is one of the greatest gifts that teachers have to offer to families.

My takeaway: Teachers' impact goes well beyond the classroom.


What's your biggest takeaway from this conversation?

Share with me in the comments or send me an email at

Laura with glasses and long brown hair standing in front of a spring shrub

I'm Laura, a career transformation coach for teachers feeling stuck.

I help you explore career possibilities beyond the classroom so that you can make a confident choice about what's next, based on your strengths, values, and what you want most for your life.

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