Career changing, SAD syndrome and sunny days past

The summer’s over and it’s heads down until the next holiday. It’s always faintly depressing when you realise August Bank Holiday is the last one until December.

fisherman beards

Teach Maths? Who? Me?
Photo by Louis Blythe on Unsplash

Summer can indeed make work seem bearable

The light mornings and the precious daylight hours after work can make a job seem like a sandwich rather than the main meal. Winter gives it a different twist especially if your career is not quite working out as you might have hoped. There’s nothing worse than hearing the alarm prompting you to get ready for a job you don’t enjoy.

We’ll all work into our middle 60s as a minimum

So what do you do if you are looking around and thinking, did I really qualify to do this for the rest of my life? The thing is there are so many options available and bearing in mind we’re all going to be working until our middle sixties then making a mistake needs action.

Is it time to change your career?

Many of us might well undertake portfolio careers where we retrain and bring our experience from the last job to bear on a new one. At the Maths Scholars scheme we have seen many examples of people who have done just that.

If you are 50 you still have a good two decades of career if you want it

If you’ve ever wanted to be a teacher or thought it’s a career you might be good at then really it’s never too late to retrain. If you consider the working age will probably go to 70 years of age then even at 50 you have twenty more working years to go. That’s a while new career. We shouldn’t see it as a final third but another opportunity to do something different and reinvent ourselves. In fact a report by the Financial Times stated that we should be looking at having 5 careers in a lifetime.

What could you bring to the classroom?

Your experience could be just what schools need

Your experience could be just what schools need
Photo by Oriol Casas on Unsplash

Teachers who are career changers bring an unique perspective and great life experience. Bearing in mind there’s a real need for schools to have hands on knowledge about the economy and the workplace then career changers bring masses to the table.

‘It’s a flow state and I feel more alive.’

New teacher Matthew Eastmond ditched a very well paid career as an engineer. First of all he went on a school visit and said,  “I sat in the back of a lesson and after 30 seconds I knew this was what I wanted to do. I felt I had a real vocation. But the transition was the most difficult year of my life. I’ve never worked so hard – ever, but it’s 100 per cent absorbing. When I’m teaching I never think of anything else. It’s a flow state – I feel more alive.”

Matthew is not the only one that talks about the vitality of the classroom and the joy working with young people can bring. Certainly the Millennial generation talk about wanting more than just money. They are looking for a job that allows them to make a difference. Teaching has to be top of the list if you want to ‘give something back’.

So how difficult is it to be a career changer?

There has been a high profile career-changing story that has rumbled through the media over the summer. Lorna Dolan gave up a journalism career to teach English and said how great it is to work with teenagers who make original and thought-provoking observations. You can read more about Lorna’s career changing journey here

Fellow ex FT-er Lucy Kellaway is being involved in NowTeach which is backed by ARK and education charity. Lucy is training to be a Maths teacher. This year has been its pilot year. They have been searching for experienced leaders to teach the following subjects:

Maths, Science, French and Spanish for challenging school within Inner London.

They are happy to help you with every aspect of making the change and also support you as you undertake your school training in the school environment. Lucy Kellaway’s story is an interesting one and as a Maths teacher it’s only right we feature her story on these pages. Do read it now.

So if you are interested in a career change and if you are interested in teaching maths we have quite a lot of advice for you.

There’s interesting information at:

Get Into Teaching

Now Teach

Mathematics in Education

And of course the Maths Scholars site where all the information you need about making an application to be a Maths Scholar is available.