In Focus Careers

Helping You to Succeed

How to Leave Teaching

If you are thinking of leaving teaching, the move from thinking how to help others to thinking how to help yourself will be one of the biggest barriers.

When you make the break, take things slowly. This isn’t the Christmas holidays. It will take you 6 – 9 months just to realize you are NOT on long service leave.

Before you leave work check out the government resources for older Australians… yep, that’s us. You need to learn this stuff.

Older Australians – external site

Support for older Australians, including retirement advice, help with medical and pharmaceutical costs and financial support.

Department of Human Services

Over 55s – MoneySmart– external site

By the time you are 55, you might be thinking about retirement and what to do once you stop working. Check these MoneySmart prompts to help you review your finances and make some decisions.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission

Seniors and retirees– external site

If you are over 55, retired or thinking about retirement, find out how your taxation and superannuation interests will be affected by the decisions you make.

Australian Taxation Office

Superannuation and retirement – MoneySmart– external site

Provides information on superannuation, self-managed superannuation and retirement income streams. Includes calculators and planners.

That Money Smart site is really helpful.

Plan a Trip


A trip will give you something to look forward to. It will help you to stop thinking of others and start thinking about yourself and it will give you a routine and purpose as you break the daily lockstep regime of school.


Plan your living space to suit your new lifestyle.

  • Start by chucking stuff out. (Take my advice…. I’m not using it! I still have teaching resources in the shed from 20 years ago!)
  • Make space for friends or grandkids or an ageing parent.
  • Create a You Space. A place for your boat or office or art studio.
  • Why not renovate your house so that you can house swap with a retired teacher from England for 6 months?

Earn some money

You are too young to sit in a rocking chair on the verandah for the next 30 years. Your teaching expertise could be the key to your income.

  • You could take on relief teaching or after school coaching.
  • If you are an English teacher you may be able to bring in money by writing.
  • If you teach phys ed you may start selling or teaching a health regime.
  • History teachers can start earning by researching and writing family histories. 


People with practical skills can join the remakery revolution and start fixing things that would go to landfill. This is one of the most exciting movements emerging today and one that we are well suited for either as teachers of young people wanting to develop practical skills or as renovators and menders repairing broken stuff.

More baby boomers are starting small businesses than any other demographic group. We have knowledge, experience and a network of contacts to help us to succeed.

Get free help from the Small Business Development Corporation to kick start your new venture.

Find a purpose

DeathtoStock_Medium7.jpgA surprising number of teachers have launched into photography and are becoming really good at it. Indulging their creativity and improving their skills has become their purpose. 

One friend is a cat loving photographer. He has started a business taking professional portraits of much loved cats.

Volunteer. When my brother left teaching he volunteered to teach English to refugees. He gradually extended his support from teaching to helping the families tackle all sorts of barriers. He now has friends from around the world who reward his generosity with friendships and amazing feasts of delicious exotic food.

Whether it is becoming an expert photographer,  renovating houses or working with orphans in Cambodia, finding your purpose may be your biggest challenge and biggest reward after leaving teaching.

Stay In Touch

Loneliness is the number one cause of depression so consciously stay in touch with friends and colleagues. Post photos of your trip, your renovation and your new business on Facebook so that people can stay engaged with your life.

Invite friends on photography tours or to renovation classes with you. You will be valued for your ability to find fun things to do.

You can easily maintain your friendships by continuing to work part time or by doing relief teaching at your school.

Don’t expect your partner to become your full time friend. They have their own life to live. Negotiating expectations about time spent together can be a delicate process best approached slowly.

Next Steps

bust-small-72dpiIf you are tired of trying to think about what you are going to do next and feeling overwhelmed by stepping into the world beyond school it may be time to think about hiring a qualified career advisor to guide you towards your next chapter.

Contact me for a confidential discussion on M:0434056412 or


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