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"What do I qualify for?" is the wrong question

Your new question is "What do I want?"

Heart on a stick with a black background

Teachers feel stuck in education

In almost every conversation I have with teachers who are considering a transition out of teaching, they ask me "What else am I even qualified to do?" Is this what you're wondering too?

Do you feel like your skillset is too niche to be relevant elsewhere?

Do you think there aren't many pathways out of the classroom?

Do you feel pigeon-holed into a career that you're no longer sure you want?

You're not alone. Lots of teachers feel trapped in the classroom with no alternatives. In my blog post "You might feel stuck dear teacher, but you have choices for your career," I explain why you might feel this way. Spoiler alert - it ain't your fault!

Teachers qualify for a lot of other jobs

But here's the truth. Teachers qualify for a lot of other jobs.

You need only to look at the many lists of "Career alternatives for teachers" online or to listen to former teachers talk about how they are applying their skills and strengths to their new roles beyond the classroom. 

There IS something better out there for you if you decide to leave teaching.

So then, this means that your “lack of qualifications” is probably not your biggest barrier to figuring out what you want to do next.

Your limiting beliefs might be holding you back

I’m going to be blunt with you now. 

One of the biggest barriers to finding work you enjoy beyond the classroom is your own limiting beliefs about what’s possible.

This is what I hear when you ask me “What else do I qualify for?”

  • “I don’t think I qualify for anything else.”

  • “Who would hire me?

  • “I’m going to have to take whatever I can get if I leave teaching.”

  • “What I have to offer isn’t worthy of or relevant to other careers.”

  • “I'll take any 'ol job I can do.”

These thoughts are not doing you any favors!

They disempower you, put a box around what you think is possible, undermine your incredibly unique and diverse strengths, and squash any hope you have about finding work you enjoy.

Worst case scenario, these thoughts lead you to a brand new job that you don’t end up liking much either. That’s a whole lot of wasted time and energy.

Bottom line: You do not want these thoughts to be the driving force behind your career exploration. 

Your new question: What do I want?

I imagine that you don’t just want to transition to another job that you can do. Another job that you are simply qualified for. 

You want something more for yourself. 

You want to transform your career into something that makes you happy. To have a job you like, maybe even love.

If this is the case, then I invite you to start asking yourself: “What do I want?!” 

Say it out-loud! “What do I WANT?”

What brings me joy?

What energizes me?

What do I love to do?

You get to ask yourself these questions because it’s your career and your life, and there's so much out there. 

Don’t let your doubts about what's possible hold you back from designing a career you love. Don’t let other people’s assumptions about what else teachers can do limit you.

Explore your possibilities with JOY on your mind, not just qualifications. 

I think it's important for me to note that I don’t consider myself to be a pollyanna, so of course I know that your qualifications do matter. 

But let's consider the relevance of your qualifications later in the process once you have a list of careers you feel excited to explore further. Then you can decide if you qualify, or what you would need to do to qualify, or how to translate your skills and strengths into a new career.

For now, let yourself dream about what would make you happy. If you do, you’re much more likely to end up with work you qualify for AND love.

Don't know what you want?

This is where I come in! I love helping teachers figure out what they want for the next phase of their career. It's totally my jam. 😁 I offer 1:1 coaching and an online group course.


Tell me what you think

What does it feel like to think aobut your career in terms of what you want rather than what you qualify for? Share in the comments below or email me at I love hearing from you!

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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