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How to Transition from Corporate to Teaching: 6 Skills You Already Have

January 8, 2022

In today’s world, anyone with a passion for education can become a teacher.

If you’ve been working in a corporate or business environment but want to make a change to something more fulfilling, you might be surprised how easy it can be to make the switch. Many of the skills and abilities you learn in a corporate career are comparable to the essential personal and professional attributes of a teacher. They set the tone for a smooth transition from the corporate world into the teaching profession.

6 Skills of a Good Teacher You Learn in a Corporate Job

A career change into teaching might sound scary at first. However, if you are passionate enough, it shouldn't be a problem to find fulfilling work thanks to the rising demand for highly-qualified teachers across the country. In fact, many of those skills you’ve been perfecting during your nine-to-five job have already helped you build a strong foundation for a career in teaching.

Communication

Strong communication skills are fundamental to an organization's daily success in the corporate world. Being able to clearly and effectively express yourself through verbal and written communication while making space to not only hear, but understand others is a major part of nearly any corporate job. Whether you’re sending emails, presenting a slide deck or making a sale, you’ve no doubt learned to be an effective communicator through your work experience. 

Similarly, teachers need to have impeccable comprehension and communication skills to help them understand the subject they’re teaching and transfer that knowledge to eager young learners in a way that aligns with their development and skill levels.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking skills, or the ability to solve complex problems, analyze information and make sound judgements not only makes you a high-quality employee, it can lend itself to becoming a high-quality teacher, as well. A teacher with critical thinking skills demonstrates resourcefulness and can develop new ways of tackling problems, ensuring smooth processing of information for students, staff and administration. 

Fortunately, you’ve probably been perfecting your critical thinking skills every day in your current corporate job. Turning problems into opportunities, evaluating information and strategizing new solutions that help your organization attain its goals isn’t that different from the ways you’ll flex your critical thinking skills as a teacher.  

Leadership

Leadership and organizational skills are essential qualities for people in the workforce. If you’ve ever motivated someone to do their best work, mentored a colleague or stepped up during a crisis at work, you’ve acted as a leader. The ability to inspire and motivate a team while also meeting your own objectives is transferable to nearly any industry. 

As a teacher, you’ll rely on your leadership and organizational skills to create a classroom environment that promotes learning, engagement and collaboration. You’ll also rely on these qualities to prioritize your work, develop working calendars, and ensure that the students stay engaged and on task.

If you have good leadership qualities or have held leadership positions in the corporate world, you shouldn't have a problem transitioning into the teaching profession.

Patience

They say patience is a virtue, and when you work in a professional environment patience can mitigate potential conflict in the workplace, help you to make strategic decisions and seek out new and better options. You probably practice patience every day in your current role whether you’re waiting for the right time to roll out a new product, being considerate to a colleague who is running late or giving grace to an employee who needs more time for a project.

The art of waiting for the right moment to act or talk is also essential in teaching. All of your students will behave and learn differently — some will grasp concepts quickly while others will need a bit of time. Practicing patience will help you better understand your students’ needs and ensure a supportive learning environment for all.

Teamwork

Collaboration and teamwork play a massive role in determining whether an organization will be successful or not. These skills allow employees to work together on projects to pursue a common goal. For example, the marketing department could team up with the sales or product teams to improve the messaging or work together to plan a new advertising campaign.

Similarly, teachers use teamwork to achieve common goals, too. For example, all teachers must bring their heads together to develop a working curriculum, school rules, and timetables to ensure that the institution achieves its goals. Teachers also need to team up and decide which is the best course for helping struggling students. 

Through the teamwork spirit that you may have acquired in the corporate industry, you can easily transfer it to your new profession and become successful. 

Time Management

In teaching, time management refers to the ability of a teacher to prioritize tasks successfully and plan their days so that all students have the time to complete their assignments, lesson plans are followed and assignments are graded and returned to students within a reasonable time frame. 

Working in a corporate environment is a great way to improve your time management skills. With the many deadlines to beat and deliveries to make, you have no option but to be time conscious. Fortunately, you can easily transfer this quality into teaching and help your students learn these skills as well. 

 

Make the Career Switch to Teaching at SHU

The thought of transitioning from a corporate job to teaching can sound both exciting and a little scary. But, equipped with the skills and abilities you’ve learned in your professional career, you’ll be set up for success in a teaching credential program, like SHU’s Master of Arts in Teaching with Initial Teacher Certification, and in the classroom. 

Find out more great reasons to join the teaching profession, and how to get started with the transition with our helpful resource, Why Choose Teaching: The Benefits of a Career in Education.

SHU Graduate Admissions Team

About the Author

We are the graduate admissions team at Sacred Heart University. We aspire to create a welcoming and supportive environment for students looking to continue their education while empowering them in mind, body and spirit. We hope you find our resources helpful and informative as you explore and pursue a graduate degree at Sacred Heart!

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