Why I Gave Up a Career in Marketing to Become a Teacher: Guest Post on Full Time Finance

Lizard letters--www.thethreeyearexperiment.com

On Wednesday, Full Time Finance featured my story of how and why I went from a Marketing Director to an ESL Teacher.

Full Time Finance is a personal finance site dedicated to those who have full time jobs and are concurrently pursuing financial independence.

Here are some of my favorite posts:

While I don’t work full time, my employment situation definitely plays in heavily to our financial independence story. Here’s how I made the switch.

Why would an otherwise-intelligent 36-year-old leave the position of Marketing Director to become a teacher? For the pay. No, really. #careerchange #education #educatorsonFIRE #ESL

Hi. I’m Laurie, and I’m a recovering advertising agent. Just kidding. I LOVED working in marketing. I truly did. When I left my job as an account executive at an Atlanta advertising agency after my first son was born, to be a stay-at-home-mom, I missed my job like crazy. 

Why would an otherwise-intelligent 36-year-old leave the position of Marketing Director to become a teacher? 

For the pay.

No, really. While the summers off were infinitely appealing, and were one of the reasons I went back to school to become an ESL teacher, I primarily switched career fields because the pay was better as a contractor and I’d be working at my kids’ school.

Here’s how it happened.

The Stay At Home Mom Years

After I left my job in advertising to become a stay-at-home-mom, I spent seven-and-a-half years away from my career to be an at-home parent to my two sons. I am so grateful that my husband and I could make that work. 

However, when my youngest was three years old, I got really itchy, and decided I needed to go back to work. 

Back to Employment in Marketing

So I found a job at a non-profit opera company, of all places, and was fairly quickly promoted to Marketing Director. The hours were great; I worked 25-30 hours per week and from home when needed, except during the summers (please pardon my part-time work story on a site entitled Full Time Finance. I hope you’ll keep reading). The summers were the company’s busiest time, and I easily worked 40-60 hours per week in June and July, just when my kids were out of school and I wanted to spend the most time with them.

I was also salaried, so my pay didn’t change even when my hours did. And while I was salaried, I received no benefits, so it primarily benefited the company I worked for and not me.

A Chance Opportunity

After one particularly brutal summer, my husband begged me to find a different job. Approximately two weeks later, I received an email in my inbox. It was from my boys’ principal. 

my computer desk
One chance email changed the course of my career.

It read, “Do you know anyone who teaches English as a Second Language? We are looking for a teacher. The pay is $45/hour, and the school will provide employment and reimbursement for certification.” 

I called my husband over to the computer. We did some math, and then I sent the principal a response, “What about me? I’ve taught English before and was an English major in college. Could I do it?”

Both the principal and I were thrilled when she found out that I did indeed qualify for the alternative certification route that New Hampshire provided certain difficult-to-fill subject areas, like ESL. 

Plus, because the job paid almost double what I’d made at the opera company, I could take the job, which had less hours, and still make about as much as I made previously. And I’d get school breaks and summers off. 

Thus began my auspicious career in education. …

Click here to read the rest of my story over at Full Time Finance.

Have you had any surprising or unusual career changes? I’d love to hear about them!

Author: Laurie

Hi. I'm Laurie, and my family and I have set out to double our net worth and move abroad in the next three years. Join us on our journey!

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