I have always been passionate about Education – so much so that before my career transition into recruitment, I was a teacher myself. After completing my degree and my Postgraduate Certificate in Education in the UK, the next two and a half years were spent gaining experience as a classroom teacher. Helping my students develop and achieve their goals was very rewarding and gratifying. At the end of this period, my partner and I decided to relocate to Australia, as we had always wanted to live and work abroad. The process of registering as a teacher in Australia was a lengthy one, and the delay gave me time to revisit my priorities and think about what the next step in my career would be.
Despite my love of teaching, I realised that moving here was the perfect time to try something different. When we arrived in Australia in February 2017, I applied for a job in Education Recruitment at Tradewind and have been here ever since! Every day, it feels like a privilege to work in an industry I enjoy, whilst making use of all the valuable transferable skills I gained as a classroom teacher to better serve my clients.
The Similarities Between Teaching and Recruitment
When people first learn I made a career transition from teaching to recruitment, they’re often surprised. However, there are a lot of similarities between the two professions. Although recruitment is a completely different field, I’m still working in Education alongside many of the same people. At the heart of my role as a recruiter are my relationships with principals and teachers, who I communicate with on a daily basis. My experience as a teacher has built a solid foundation and understanding of not only the curriculum but also the challenges faced by our educators and their leaders. Through this knowledge, I am able to meet the principal’s requirements and assist them more effectively.
My background as a teacher has also provided me with a number of transferable skills that are valuable in Education Recruitment. These include:
- Presentation skills
As a teacher, giving presentations and speaking publicly was integral to my role. Catching and maintaining the attention of an audience that spanned students, parents and education stakeholders was a big part of what I had to do. These skills slotted nicely into my current role, where presenting information at client meetings or running internal PD is routine.
- Teaching lingo
Teachers have their own ‘language’, as do many fields of work, and the lingo can be confusing for those outside of the profession. Despite the UK/Australian differences, I am familiar with the acronyms used in teaching, which makes it a lot easier to liaise with both my clients and candidates.
- People and communication skills
As a teacher, I would often find myself talking to a primary school student about phonetics and then an hour later be working with a colleague or parent in a professional setting. Being able to communicate well and build relationships with a wide range of people has been one of the most valuable transferable skills I’ve had at my disposal as a recruiter.
- Research skills
Part and parcel of teaching is the amount of research that goes into classroom enrichment as well as personal and professional development. These skills have come in handy in my current role, especially when working alongside government bodies such as the Victorian Department of Education, where knowledge of their structure and networks is imperative for successful recruitment outcomes.
Teaching and Education Recruitment are both very fast-paced with high workloads and stringent deadlines. I recall having to teach the lessons, adapt the curriculum to various needs, analyse data and prepare internal reports, all whilst maintaining control of the classroom with a calm demeanour. Recruitment is no different, with so many tasks that must be completed efficiently and simultaneously. Prioritising and being organised is crucial to success.
One of the biggest advantages I have as a teacher who has made the career transition into Education Recruitment is that I’m able to empathise with principals, school leadership teams and classroom teachers. When speaking to a principal, I’m better able to see their motivations and where they’re coming from, as well as utilise a deeper understanding of how things work. Ultimately, I feel my teaching experience makes me a better recruiter and ensures I can deliver the best possible experience to my clients.
For support with your Education Recruitment needs, please get in touch – I look forward to helping you find the right teaching professionals for your school.