You’ve mastered the world of business, handling clients, overseeing teams, and maybe even enjoying the occasional corporate junket. But the thought of impacting the lives of young people and shaping the future has a certain allure, doesn’t it?
Is there a sector that impacts the lives of young people and their families more than Education – I think not.
So whether you are an accountant, an IT guru, an HR practitioner or a plain vanilla general manager and you’re contemplating a switch to the education sector, here’s your guide:
Embrace the Role of the “Learner”
From Exec to Student? Remember being fresh out of uni? Full of questions and new experiences? Ready to conquer the world (or Boardroom)? As you transition, channel that curiosity. Sure, you’re no stranger to leading a meeting, but leading a team of education people? It’s a new adventure waiting to be unravelled.
Your Skills are More Transferable Than You Think
You’ll be a Perfect Fit! Managing budgets, handling challenging clients or rescuing the organisation from a cyber attack isn’t too far off from managing a classroom or engaging with a few recalcitrant teachers. Your leadership, patience, and innovative thinking will be valuable in the world of education. You’ll also find that no sector is more welcoming to ‘outsiders’.
Seek Out Mentors in Education
Head of the Class: The best educators usually have mentors guiding them. Find experienced educators or administrators to show you the ropes. It’s just like getting insider trading tips – but ethical and more fulfilling!
Dive Deep into Educational Networking
Goodbye Conference Room, Hello Staff Room: Your new networking hotspots? Teacher conferences, workshops, and yes, connect via social media to follow education thought leaders. Engage, listen, and absorb. Ask your ‘mentor’ for tips on where to network.
Keep Your “Why” Front of Mind
Seeking a Bigger Impact? All jobs have challenging days, so always remember why you wanted this switch. Perhaps it’s about making a meaningful difference or reigniting your passion. Let this drive your journey in education.
Update Your Skill Set
Homework Time! So you did your CPA in 1985 and have no ‘learning’ since? Education people are always learning. To adapt to this new realm, you will likely need to pursue some courses or certifications. You’ll need to develop the habit of regular reading and research. Being on the learning side might be refreshing – and no all-nighters (all weekends?) at financial year end!
Financial Readiness is Key
From Executive Lunches to Packed Sandwiches: While the perks in education might not be financial, the emotional rewards are priceless. Plan your finances accordingly, and embrace the simple joys – like homemade sandwiches.
Adaptability: Your New Best Friend
New Rules, New Playbook: The education sector, like any, has its quirks and challenges…. and plenty of jargon. But with your rich experience, adaptability is just another skill you can ace. After all, if you can handle quarterly reviews, report cards should be a breeze.
Brand Yourself as an Educator
A Fresh Start Online and Offline: Revamp your professional profiles to reflect your new journey. Share your insights, join educational discussions, and immerse yourself in the educator’s community. And perhaps, add a new backdrop to that LinkedIn photo.
Humility and Positivity Will Be Your Compass
From Decision-Maker to Difference-Maker: There may be moments of doubt or difficulty. Embrace them with grace, humility, and a dash of humor. In this sector, impact is measured not in profit margins but in lives transformed.
In a nutshell, transitioning from the corporate world to education might seem daunting, but it’s an opportunity to truly impact the future. With the right mindset, a sprinkle of humor, and a passion for change, the Education sector will welcome you with open arms. Ready to learn, teach and inspire? The bell’s ringing… for you!