Manager - Human Resources, Robert Walters Hong Kong
Out of the corporate frying pan into the teaching fire
I am thinking more and more about giving up corporate life and what seems like an endless rat race to become a teacher - good hours, long holidays, less stress … Yes I know that the money will not be great, but I can survive and I am thinking it is worth it for quality of life. Do you have any experience of people doing this? Are they happy, or do they end up missing their previous lives (and salaries)?
You are at a stage where you are considering changing your career path completely. Before taking the leap, you need to think thoroughly about what you do not like about your current role in the corporate world, then evaluate the pros and cons of the teaching field.
We have seen people moving from the commercial side into teaching and the difference is apparently enormous. Some people end up enjoying the change and some do not - it all depends on your expectations for such change.
Looking at what you find attractive as being a teacher - long holidays, good hours and less stress - you might have underestimated the hours and stress a teacher has to bear.
A teacher's work in reality is more than just teaching in a classroom - what you do not see is all the preparation and assessment, which is very time-consuming. On top of all the academic-related tasks, you need to deal with students and parents on a daily basis, which is definitely not a stress-free occupation.
Nevertheless, some people do get pleasure from teaching, especially those who gain a sense of achievement by making a difference to society.
Therefore, instead of considering only the tangible factors, you need to also look at the intangible ones - such as your aspirations, motivation and personality - because not everyone has what it takes to become a good teacher.
When it comes to big life decisions like this, try to think through what you want to be doing and make the right choice. Before quitting the corporate world, reconsider the bigger question of what you do not like about your current role, then decide if your situation is because of the company, job nature or the corporate culture at large. Every company has different culture, so try not to generalise about all corporations being the same.
Change is risky, yet also an opportunity. There is no absolute answer for whether moving into teaching is right or wrong, because it is a personal choice.
But do not settle for something that leaves you feeling unfulfilled and miserable.
Think twice and try to picture if you can see yourself being a teacher in the long term. If so, dive in with 100 per cent enthusiasm and you will not regret it.