There are quite a few educators currently out of employment due to the financial repercussions of the pandemic. There are others who are okay for this year but may be facing a similar fate in the near future. There are many others who have lost wages, or for whom their paycheck has been cut to the point that they need a secondary (or in some cases, third) source of income.
There are still others who don’t need anything right now, but who may need to create a backup plan for the future in case of unforeseen circumstances.
There are a lot of good options for educators, who have many easily transferable skills. In some options, you may be able to continue doing many of the things you really enjoy about teaching. In others, you’ll find an opportunity for a complete change with a few shared skills between teaching and your new career.
Looking at options isn’t admitting defeat or leaving teaching entirely. It’s meeting your needs and those of your family through a difficult time - for many, a time of crisis.
Remember, historically speaking, no matter what the tragedy, crisis, or difficult circumstance that occurs, there is always someone making money. There are always pockets of the economy benefiting. Sometimes it’s just a matter of pivoting yourself and your family in the right direction to be able to survive and/or thrive.
Related to Teaching
Some alternative careers are just teaching in a different location or with a different demographic. Corporations need teachers to train workers on a variety of subjects, from job-related professional development to safety and social etiquette.
Some corporate training may require travel or time from home, so be sure you check to see if the travel requirements fit well for your family before applying.
Because teaching is such a personal, service-oriented career, corporate training can be a difficult switch because you’re working to make money for a corporation rather than fulfilling a greater purpose.
To ease that need, try to find a corporation that you can believe in. Look at their mission statements, find what non-profits they support, and find a company that has a culture your own ideals can fit into well.
Online ESL Educator
There are lots of opportunities for online ESL education. You can’t generally make a full-time job of it, but there are quite a few possibilities for people seeking it out as secondary income. We actually covered this industry in-depth last year. You can find the article here if you are interested in more details.
There has always been a decent-sized market for tutors, but as schools are downsizing their staff and faculty, class sizes are getting bigger, and students may be getting a lot less attention and one-on-one instruction. It will become a more and more important asset crucial for students to have access to help outside of the classroom.
If you set yourself up well, you can definitely make enough to make ends meet. The most difficult aspect is timing, as most students will seek help after school hours and on the weekends.
There are some great resources out there for becoming a freelance tutor if you’re willing to search a bit.
Counseling, Advising, or Coaching
Teachers are advice-givers. We have the experience, training, and know-how in our professional backpacks, and we’re willing to share.
Finding the right demographic in recipients is your first goal. Whether you pursue a more formal tract through becoming a professional counselor or decide to become a less formal advisor or coach, your experiences can be really useful.
Coaching and advisors are generally sought in parenting, educating (think homeschooling and less formal education experiences), and managing behaviors. Some
Along the same lines of advice-giving and coaching, if you are good at sharing anything from crafts to learning games and parenting tips, you may be able to do really well with blogging. There’s lots of advice out there on how to get started and make money while blogging if your content is good.
Just be careful, as there are also some willing to take advantage of people looking to learn more about blogging. Use your best judgment and stay safe while pursuing this line of work.
If you have the skills and understanding, you may do well with curriculum writing. Lesson planning, resource creation, and other material creation can also add to your income. There are several markets in which you can make and sell your creations.
One area that is really in need right now is homeschooling materials. The market is just waiting for well-made, scientifically-based, gently-priced, one-use items that could make a huge difference for families.
ClosingIt’s discouraging to be out of work. It’s also really discouraging to work nonstop and still not make enough money to make ends meet. It’s not hopeless, though. There are so many other areas in which your talents and skills can be useful.
There is hope.
In our next article on careers, we’ll talk about non-education jobs that fit well with education experience.