How to Prepare for a Job Change

Lately, I have been really about finding work that you absolutely love. I have always loved teaching, since I was a kid, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. There was absolutely no question there.

Recently, I have found it more and more difficult to get myself to school. Not because of the kids or my actual job, but the environment that I have to work in everyday.

It’s not a good environment to be in and it definitely would be considered toxic. For awhile, I thought I didn’t like teaching because of it.

What I realized was that it wasn’t the teaching I didn’t enjoy, it was the unreal expectations that were being place on us as teachers in my current district.

I quickly realized that if I was going to find my passion again in education, I’d need to leave.

These are the steps that I am following now as I prepare to switch jobs.

1. Apply to all the jobs.

I’m at the point where I am applying to any job that remotely interests me. Of course, I have an idea of what I ideally want. I want to be a reading specialist, but if I can’t find that kind of job yet, that’s okay.

Anything that interests me, I have been submitting an application. LinkedIn makes it really easy to quickly apply to positions, so it really doesn’t take much time once you have your profile updated. I definitely recommend getting on there.

I suggest applying to jobs with any free time you have. It doesn’t hurt to just hop online and see what’s out there. I’ve been setting a timer on my job search because I can fall down the rabbit hole pretty easily.

2. Start saving money.

Changing jobs can be stressful and hard when it comes to your finances. A lot can change with a new job and there is too much uncertainty to not be prepared, especially when you know you want to do this.

I think it is so important to leave a toxic work environment. Finances can make this tricky, but if it’s something you really want to do, then prep for it!

For me, I am saving for the summer (no pay for teacher’s in the summer on 10 month contracts) and increasing my emergency fund. I would rather have cash just in case, then to be stuck in a situation where I need cash and don’t have it.

Even though I am still paying off my debt, it is super important to increase my savings to prepare for the changes ahead.

3. Decide if you are willing to relocate.

This is a huge decision when it comes to finding a new job. If you are happy where you are and don’t want to move, finding a job close to you is critical.

Depending on your field, that may be limiting your chances at finding a new job. For me, I can basically find a job anywhere being a teacher, it just might not be my ideal job.

By having the option to relocate, you are opening yourself up to a lot more opportunities, but a lot more things to potentially prepare for.

4. Find a side hustle, if you don’t have one already.

The reason I mention this is because if you are in a work environment that is toxic, this opens you up to be able to leave with some cash flow coming in still.

For me, I already have multiple side jobs, but I am figuring out how they will work when I move. The simple answer is, they won’t. All of my side jobs are at my current school and working with families in my area.

Once I move, I will lose all of them completely. Of course, I can find new families by my new house, but it takes time to build up a reputation in an area.

That’s why I am currently applying to side jobs I can start working now and can continue working once I move.

5. Start preparing your exit strategy.

Every job is different, but you need to make sure you leave your current job in good standing. I strongly believe in keeping connections everywhere you go because you never know when you will need them or run into them again.

I’ve noticed, especially with teaching, that you always find someone that knows someone, usually. It helps a lot when you have good relationships with people, if you ever happen to cross paths again.

If you can, frame it in a move to a different kind of position. I have shared with my supervisor that I am looking for a new job as a reading specialist, something that I can’t do in my current district.

Because of this, she is very supportive of me and furthering my career. She thinks that this is a great next step in my career and she knows that this isn’t something I can do in my current job.

You need to do what is best for you.

I found it hard at first to think about getting a new job. Then I remembered that this job will find a replacement for me as soon as I go. You need to have a job that brings you joy and encourages you to continue to build your skills and learn new ones.

Once it no longer does those things, it’s time to go. Of course, we’re adults, we need to pay our bills, but that’s why we prepare for this and why I encourage side jobs so much. They can always carry us between jobs! So, how have you prepared for a job change?