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Case study

Lockdowns of 2020-21 provided Andi Davies with the push he needed to embark upon a career change and rediscover a work life balance enabling him to spend valuable time with his family.

Taking a job as a primary school teacher having been in school leadership, was intended to provide Andi, from Sidmouth, with the change that he desperately wanted after the birth of his two children.

But like so many, the lockdown experience proved to be extremely stressful and made him think about what it was that he really wanted to do.

Andi says:

“Working in school leadership was all very well until I had my children. I realised I didn’t want to be at work until 11pm and back again at 7am. I was missing out on so much with my family, so decided to move back into the classroom, at a village primary school.”

Andi says that all things considered, he was lucky when the third official lockdown came along suddenly in January. He has a healthy family and says that everything personally in his life was great. But the stresses of providing home and school learning for so many children, each with different levels of support, whilst also trying to look after his own family took their toll and made him realise that his mental health was starting to suffer.

He started to look for other opportunities but having taught in schools all his adult life, he was unsure what a new job might look like. He knew that he missed the PR and creative elements of his leadership role, and, late one evening, on a punt, came across a position with Introtweet which he decided to apply for on a whim.

“Most teachers will relate to the fact that you start to feel as if you don’t really know the real world. You think that all you know is the education system, and a role in the business world seems far removed, somewhat unobtainable.

“But so many skills that you pick up as a teacher are transferrable, and most companies can see their value. This was the case with Introtweet – a social media training company started by two teachers.”

Andi was offered and accepted the job and, fast forward four months he is loving the role and the quality of life that it brings. From arranging networking events, to writing bespoke training packages, no day is the same and he gets to tuck his children into bed every night.

So, does Andi have any pearls of wisdom for anybody facing a big career change?

Andi says:

“Somebody said to me that the only limits you have are the ones you put on yourself. I realised that I was so much more than ‘just’ a teacher, and that I did have other, valuable skills. I would encourage anybody to consider things that they might previously thought were beyond them, and to have a go. You just never know where it might lead.”

Exeter Works is here to help you. If you’re returning to the workplace after a break, or considering embarking upon a new career, get in touch with our advisers today on hello@exeterworks.org