The top transferable skills to help you start a new career in teaching

Teaching7.6 million people in the UK are at risk of redundancy right now suggests data from McKinsey. Being made redundant, or finding out your job is at risk, can be a scary, worrying time.

But many people use redundancy as the catalyst for a whole new career in teaching, and are pleasantly surprised to learn that they have an abundance of transferable skills that could make them ideal trainee teachers. At Transition to Teach we are supporting around 100 people into teaching this year, and here some of the valuable transferable skills they’re taking with them.

  1. Leadership. People often think that leadership isn’t relevant to teaching but it absolutely is! If you can motivate and inspire a team of adults, you can motivate and inspire a classroom of children. Your leadership skills mean you’ll be good at listening, at explaining concepts and at bringing people on board with your ideas. As you progress in your teaching career, these leadership skills could be put to further use, for example you may want to join the senior leadership team at your school, driving school decision making.
  2. Public speaking. If you’re used to delivering presentations, speaking up at team meetings or even delivering training sessions, then you’re already comfortable standing in front of a group of people, talking and sharing ideas. It’s often about having the confidence in yourself, but even that grows over time. Subject knowledge, teaching theory and understanding can be taught during your initial teacher training year and finessed during your newly qualified teacher year, and Transition to Teach will support you through that whole time.
  3. Building relationships. Almost every job now requires you to build strong working relationships, and teaching is no different. Good teachers are able to make connections with their students, with their colleagues and with parents, and it is these relationships that help effective learning to take place. If you are able to effectively build relationships, then you already have the potential to be a good teacher.
  4. Managing workload. Teaching is a fast-paced, busy profession and you have to be extremely organised. Our career changer trainee teachers are already prepared for this because they are experienced in managing their workload, prioritising tasks and meeting deadlines. It is these skills that will help make them organised, effective teachers that bring about the best outcomes for the students they teach.
  5. Emotional resilience. Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the teaching profession this year and our trainees have had to adapt; learning to teach online in many cases, providing online lesson plans and supporting their students in brand new ways. Children will bring all manner of experiences with them to the classroom, and as a teacher, your emotional resilience is what will help you to adapt to the situation and maintain an effective learning environment for your students.
  6. Being open to feedback. Teaching is a profession that values learning from your mistakes, in fact it actively encourages it! As a teacher, you will encourage your students to learn from where they went wrong, and if you can do this yourself, it will stand you in good stead for your initial teacher training year and beyond.

Teaching is a profession where experience is valued and valuable.  You likely already possess a whole host of valuable transferable skills and, with our support, you can take the first step to a whole new career in education.

Rebecca Waring About the author

Rebecca Waring is the programme manager for Transition to Teach, a service supporting those at risk of redundancy into teaching. Rebecca has worked on multiple projects within the education sector involving the coordination of over 200 school reviews, national initiatives to promote the possibilities offered by science, technology, engineering and maths subjects and the retraining of further education teachers to teach maths and English.  Rebecca has been a member of the Transition to Teach team since the start of the programme and passionately believes that those with successful careers in other sectors have valuable experience and transferable skills to contribute to a new career in teaching.


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