Are you thinking of leaving teaching? Not sure if teaching is still what you should be doing? Here we discuss 9 signs that leaving teaching is the right choice for you.
It is never easy looking for work or switching careers. The long process of searching job boards, going on interviews and the emotional rollercoaster of rejections and silence can deter anyone from leaving a bad job. But, if you are stuck in a no-win situation and you don’t see any way out, then you need to do what’s right for you and trudge through to find the perfect match. It may be time to look into a career change for teachers. Here are nine warning signs that will let you know that it is time to stop thinking of leaving teaching and actually do something.
9 Signs Leaving Teaching is the Right Choice
Thinking Of Leaving Teaching?
If you are finding yourself anxious and feeling sick or overwhelmed at the thought of going to work the next day, then you may be in burn-out mode and your body is telling you to stop. Gallup says 63 percent of employees who are feeling burned out are more likely to take a sick day and have 13 percent less confidence in their job performance. This can lead to lower productivity and this situation is not good for the employee or the employer.
A Case of the Mondays
When the weekend winds down and those Sunday Night Blues start to creep in and you can’t bear the thought of another week, then you aren’t enjoying your job the way you are supposed to. If there is no more excitement about Monday morning, then your heart is no longer in it. All jobs will have peaks and valleys, but your work experience should not be constant lows. You have the power to change the trajectory of your journey where every day is a new adventure.
Life Out of Balance
A lack of work-life balance that is negatively impacting your family and social life is a big problem can lead to negative consequences. Teacher burnout and work-life balance are the main reasons cited as to why teachers quit. We are social beings and we need a good social network to be happy. When we don’t nurture our relationships, then we become distant and lonely, which is not good for our mental and physical health. Social isolation and loneliness can be as bad for your health as smoking cigarettes. If this is occurring and you are stuck in a work and no play situation, a fresh start will do wonders. Keep your work-life balance in mind for your well-being.
Taking Stress Home
Another sign that leaving teaching may be the right choice is if you’re unable to leave emotions and stress of school at school. If you find yourself being short with loved ones as a result, your patience with work may be running thin. This is not a healthy way to live. When we take work stress home, it can negatively affect our sleep, exercise and eating habits. Employees who constantly experience higher levels of stress are 23 percent more likely to find themselves in the emergency room. Yikes!
Often, people do not move on from a bad situation because they suffer from low self-esteem. And, feel like they don’t have the skills to try something new. When you feel a growing sense of failure, lack of worth, or depreciating self-image due to the negative influences and stress of work, you can easily fall into a trap of hopelessness. You have more skills than you think, you just need to find the right situations. Find out what your character strengths are and lean into those strengths. You may be surprised at how strong you really are.
It’s Not Meant to Be
We all want to have meaningful careers, and teaching is a great way to add meaning to your life. But, when you are in a toxic work situation, it forces you to lose passion in a career you love. Suddenly, your job now becomes a mundane or frustrating task when it is supposed to be fulfilling. It’s hard to find meaning in a career you don’t enjoy. And it’s a fallacy to think you’ll be able to make it work. Don’t find yourself in a place of regret by staying too long. This is a big sign that leaving teaching may be the right choice.
The Spark is Gone
When you don’t care anymore, it shows. If you find it challenging to feel impactful in your work and don’t enjoy working through the challenges with students to make them better people, then the spark that once motivated you every day has fizzled out. Students deserve an engaged teacher and if your situation is keeping from being the best teacher you can be, it’s time to find something that will bring you joy every day. Your goal every day should be about how you can make yourself and everyone else around better. If you’ve been thinking to yourself, “I want to quit teaching,” you may be completely done.
If you feel stuck, unchallenged, bored, and have a strong desire for something new, it’s time to act now before you get trapped in career quicksand. If you feel like you are no longer moving forward in your career and the more you try to make it work, the further down you sink, then it’s time to reach for a lifeline to pull you out. Don’t get in too deep to where you feel like you can’t move. Your career survival depends on it.
You’re a Negative Nelly
When we have lost our passion for something, we can find ourselves unintentionally spreading negativity to other teachers or students. I have seen it before, and unhappiness spreads like a virus. When we are focusing on negatives, we may speak poorly about our current work environment, fellow faculty members or students. Negativity travels faster than positivity, and we may not realize we are contributing to a toxic culture. Nobody wants to be around a Negative Nelly, so don’t let the job ruin your positive spirit. Or anyone else’s, either.
Next Steps If You Are Thinking of Leaving Teaching
If many of these 9 signs apply to you, then leaving teaching may be the right choice for you. It may not seem like it now, but trust me, there is life after teaching. You deserve a better future. And, there are plenty of opportunities and resources to find the right job to match your skills. Sign up for our Teacher Career Coach newsletter to join a like-minded community of people who are in transition just like you. We have the latest in information, tips and training you will need to start the new year on the right tracks.