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What are the Various Public Sector Professions Available to ex-Teachers?

From Ellen, published on 29/05/2017 We Love Prof - UK > Tutoring > Advice for Tutors > Jobs for ex-Teachers in the Public Sector

When looking for a new careers after teaching, it’s important to keep all your options open if you are unsure of what exactly you want to do. Jobs in the public sector offer different career options and benefits, so it is worth weighing up the pros and cons.

The public sector is the part of the economy which is controlled by the state, and it is therefore the biggest employer in the UK. You might decide that you prefer the work available in the public sector, and that this is where your skills and character can be best put to use.

Find the right public sector job for you! Teaching has many transferable skills that can be applied to all sorts of careers. Source: Visualhunt

There are many fields within the public sector, including:

  • Local government and council
  • Central government
  • Civil service
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Police, firefighting and armed forces
  • International development

This list is just a few of the main examples of where you could consider launching a new career within the public sector. When searching jobs for ex teachers, you might find that continuing work in the public sector is the right choice for you because of the many benefits and the security involved.

One of the main benefits of the public sector is that employees usually have job security in positions of long-term and stable employment. This does not mean to say that these jobs are invulnerable: economic factors can sometimes come into play, and redundancies are not uncommon.

That said, public sector employment is still much more secure and sustainable that that of the private sector in many ways. You will also receive government benefit plans and secure pensions, which often drives people’s decisions when deciding between sectors.

Equally, you might feel as though you would prefer working in the private sector for a non-governmental organisation or private business.

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Exploring different career paths

The public sector includes many practical careers that require a hands-on, logical approach. Jobs such as police, fire fighters and the armed forces are all a part of the public sector, and have many benefits involved.

They require specialised training, and are extremely selective career paths. In some cases, such as police special constables, voluntary firefighting or army reserves, these careers can be started on a part-time basis.

Alternatively, you might feel as though your strengths lie more in communication. A role in local council, or local or central government, would require great communication and interpersonal skills, along with other strengths, such as organisation and the ability to work under pressure – skills that all teachers usually have.

Explore the field of government and politics! Use your leadership and public speaking skills to make a difference. Source: Visualhunt

Perhaps you would like to put your public speaking to good use and get into politics. If you are passionate, strong-minded and consider yourself a great advocate for your community, you could start getting involved with your local party of choice.

Or perhaps you feel you are not destined for a politically-charged career and wish to remain more neutral whilst still working with and for the public. The civil service is a politically neutral organisation which provides support and advice to the government in regards to delivering policies and public services.

The civil service is comprised of many different fields within various government organisations. Roles could range from support managers, administration, prison officers, occupational health, community support, education commissioners – the list is wide and incredibly diverse.

Many careers within the civil service don’t require any specific qualifications or training – and most offer on the job training and development. Different roles involve different skills and qualities in a person, so identify which jobs might suit you.

A career path which in many ways reflects the qualities of a teacher is community-based work, such as youth work, caring for the elderly, and all sorts of charity posts. You could work alongside education, or indeed completely separate to it: the human traits and professional skills of a teacher are well suited to this sort of role.

Community-based work is a popular choice for ex-teachers! Explore the options of community and youth work. Source: Visualhunt

It is almost always a requirement in community-based roles such as these to have a DBS check (formerly known as CRB checks). Having this certificate already makes you qualified to work with young people and vulnerable adults, and also makes you aware of the risks and challenges of this work.

Many people, especially ex-teachers, do find this work incredibly rewarding. Those who have an insight to state education tend find that there is a significant lack of support and guidance. Experience of a tough classroom environment, and working with people of all walks of life would help in securing a role like this, and tackling difficult tasks in the future.

With community-based support work, you get to put your skills of communication and relationships to work, and help make a difference to people’s lives, particularly those from a disadvantaged background. You might even find that this work takes you out of the public sector, if you decide to pursue a non-governmental organisation.

Staying in Education

As a teacher, you will already be familiar with the rewards, benefits and challenges of working in the public sector. You might find that working for a government organisation such as state education is a gratifying and enjoyable experience, and might therefore decide to explore other options within this sector, but outside of teaching.

Teachers have many important skills and qualities, such as:

  • A strong work ethic
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • A creative, innovative approach to tasks
  • A good understanding of people and human behaviour
  • Working successfully in a team and independently
  • The ambition to constantly improve and develop

With these skills and your education degree, you will be qualified for many jobs within the field of education in the public sector. If you feel that you wish to remain in this area, then think about what it is about teaching that makes you want to give it up.

Do you like working with young people and in schools? Do you like advising students and helping them develop? Do you like leadership positions, and managing a team of people?

Schools and universities have special departments specifically focused on student wellbeing and development. If you feel that you would still like to remain in this type of work environment, why not try swapping the classroom for work in student support. You will likely still receive all the same benefits, and in many cases will also maintain your teacher’s holiday allowance, but your tasks and activities will be refocused.

Within the field of student support, there are also careers in counselling to consider. Do you consider yourself a compassionate person? Are you a good listener? Do you have a problem-solving mind set? You could be just the right kind of person to help students by creating a caring, supportive environment to work through their academic, personal and social worries.

Counselling does involve taking a training course, but the level of training depends on the level of counselling you would provide. You do not necessarily need a degree to become a counsellor – there are many further education courses available, for example through the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) or Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland (COSCA).

These courses are widely recognised, and could make you eligible for a counselling role in a school or university, in a youth group or local counselling service that lies outside of education. They range from introductory courses to higher level qualifications, at both certificate and diploma level, depending on who you wish to work with and in what environment.

Or maybe you’re interested in the prospect of development and recruitment in teaching – teaching teachers themselves! If you’re talents lie in directing, leading, and innovation, then you might find that you’re destined to work in a behind-the-scenes role that facilitates the progress and improvement of state education.

Teaching doesn't have to be confined to a classroom! Explore the different paths within state education. Source: Visualhunt

However, if it is teaching that you enjoy most, but you no longer wish to work in a classroom or directly for state education, then you might feel more comfortable moving over to the private sector with a job as a home tutor. If you’re looking to become a tutor in the UK, then why not register on Superprof for tutoring jobs London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast and every where in between.

Do you love teaching in the classroom, but dislike the demands of being employed as a full-time teacher? A change that is quite challenging, but that many people find relieving, is switching from teaching to supply-teaching.

This move is becoming more and more popular. You can continue to put your teaching certification and credentials to use, whilst maintaining a work life balance to suit you.

Supply teaching can provide a comfortable income of around £75-150 a day on average – often at an hourly rate – and can give teachers a sense of freedom with its fewer hours, less marking and its detachment from the demands and politics of the school environment.

Supply teaching isn’t for everyone though – there isn’t the same level of security in supply work as there is in teaching, and you could face a sizable pay cut. But if it’s the time and stress of teaching that’s getting you down, supply work could incorporate all the right elements for you.

An education degree can go a long way, and teaching has so many important and sought-after skills that are transferable to many different career paths. Review your career options, and your professional profile, and see how your credentials can be applied to other roles within the public sector.

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