We sat down with Marc and Sue who made the switch into a career in education from very different industries and haven’t looked back.
They each bring something different but extremely valuable to their new roles in education, with the knowledge and transferable skills to make a real impact on the lives of young people. Read on to learn more about their stories.
BETTER WORK LIFE BALANCE AND MAKING A DIFFERENCE MAKE MARC’S DAY
I worked as a Distribution Manager in the Newspaper & Magazine Industry for 17 years before switching to a role in education. I love working in a school because I know I’m making a difference for young people that have lost hope and aspiration.
I learnt so much in my previous role that I’m able to apply to my current role; I ran several different departments, so I am able to work within budgets, lead a team, support, train, and coach staff. I have also worked with people from different backgrounds, abilities, cultures, and age groups, so I have experience and a good grounding in dealing with people across a wide range of environments.
I’d say to anyone thinking about working in a school to not be afraid to take yourself outside of your comfort zone. New challenges give you additional motivation. Working in a school has given me a better work-life balance and has made me feel that I make a difference in terms of the work we do in moulding young people so they are ready for the challenges that life will bring.
SERIOUS ILLNESS PROMPTED SUE’S SWITCH. NOW LIFE’S ALL THE SWEETER
Before making the switch to education I was in the pub business for about 25 years. I started working behind the bar and then worked my way up to manager and then went on to own my own pubs. I made the switch when I fell ill with a serious illness called Q Fever and whilst they were investigating my symptoms, they also found a blood clot on my brain. This made me completely rethink my life and put things into perspective. So, I left the pub business and went on a course to be a mentor for young people. From there I got the bug for learning and started an open university course on leading work with young people and soon found my niche working with the more challenging students. I learnt a lot from working in the pub business, like reading a room, situation, and group dynamics, these are important in both environments as both can become volatile very quickly. The skill of listening and understanding people’s emotions is also very important when speaking to individuals in different situations ensuring you keep them calm and focused.
In the education sector, every day is different, and every child is different. I love to see the students achieve what they and others thought was impossible. These could be simple things like managing to stay in school the whole day, completing a piece of work they are proud of or managing to control their emotions in a difficult situation. If you’re looking for a new career challenge, I would say go for it, grab every opportunity you can and make the most of your life.