Find new paths: From elementary teacher to IT support specialist
Four-time (and counting) career changer Nicolle Merrill excels in professional reinvention. Her human-centered approach to career change, combined with a relentless curiosity about emerging career trends, has led to speaking engagements across the US, as well as in Canada and Ireland.
career change, career changer, nicolle merrill, speaker, author
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Find new paths: From elementary teacher to IT support specialist

A career change doesn’t mean starting over. For many, it’s an opportunity to combine old and new skills to make an impact. In this episode, Megan shares how she went from an elementary teacher to IT specialist for her school district. She starts by sharing how she resigned without a plan and then quickly figured out IT was a fit for her. She shares the importance of community in her process and how she uses her background as a teacher to succeed in her IT role. Plus Megan tells us how she found a mentor with the simple ABF method (Always be Making Friends) and how she’s thinking through her future sub-career paths. Plus she talks about how she builds new skills by finding project opportunities at work.

Listen to this if you’re thinking about making a career change without going back to school or if you’re curious about using your existing skills as a guide for your next career move.

Lastly, my loud dog makes a guest appearance in this episode for 2 seconds.

BOOK UPDATE! 

My new book, Punch Doubt in the Face: How to upskill, change careers, and beat the robots is out in November. Join our community of curious career changers so you don’t miss out on events. www.punchdoubt.com

Quotes I’m loving from this episode:

On why a career change isn’t starting over:

“The job changed a lot but the mission stayed the same.”

On finding opportunities to learn new skills:

“As someone who has to balance a lot of different things, I’ve learned to be a little bit of an opportunist with my learning.”

Advice for career changers:

“I would say really think about the people you know, the environment you might be getting into. When I made the career change into it, I had the great fortune, they had just opened the position up. So, um, I had a manager who did a lot of intentional on-boarding, a lot of onsite training. As a group we were built to do our jobs, but then also to rely on each other and have a sense of community. So that was a really incredible transition into it. And in school district it, you’re often just kind of thrown into the fire. So trying to network with people in your desired field to find out what might be a great place to land, someplace you’ll be supported and be able to feel successful as you take those first steps. It’s huge.”

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