First of all may I say I’m not here to give reasons for leaving teaching: I know teachers who want to leave, as well as some who are happy to keep going. I respect the views of both. All I will say is that it is possible.
I took a deep breath and took the plunge about 6 months ago now, worried about how I could start -basically from scratch – and re-launch a career.
The over-riding emotion was one of fear, however. The big bad world outside of teaching was scary and full of things I’d not had to deal with before (Like tax returns! What are they?)
All I will say to anyone thinking of leaving teaching is that it is possible – and quite doable. My first step was to write down my strengths and see if there were any jobs going that would use them. There weren’t.
Second step was to get advice about going self-employed so I could use my strengths to make money. I balanced my time between supply teaching (there’s more of it around than you think), and setting up as a self-employed business. This has worked so far.
In short, my best advice is to be brave and try not to let your decision be ruled by fear. None of the things I worried about 6 months ago (and they seemed very real fears at the time!) have happened. The money was a big worry, but it turned out not to be a problem: and my health improved markedly. Now I’m doing something that I enjoy and looking forward to work every day.