After 31-years this FT leader is jumping into teaching – we think she’s the sane one

By Kitty Knowles 21 November 2016
Lucy Kellaway to carve new career in teaching. Pic: CC/Flikr/Financial Times

Lucy Kellaway's Now Teach is turning the idea of Teach First on it's head...

This weekend the witty, biting, beating heart of the Financial Times, Lucy Kellawayannounced she was leaving.

After 31 years being a fantastic journalist, one could frame this as a well-earned departure; others have already voiced their despair at her desertion of a well-paid job she so clearly loves.

But Kellaway has a whole new career ahead of her, and it’s one few would have predicted: she’s dropping everything to teach.

Teach First – or last?

By next year Kellaway will have ditched her desk for the classroom where she’ll be educating London teens about her favourite subject, trigonometry.

She wants you to join her, with help of her newly-launched organisation, Now Teach.

The premise of this is a bit like Teach First (where bright new graduates teach their specialism for a few years before entering their chosen career) – but with the model turned on its head.

Instead, Kellaway is today calling on Britain’s best bankers, lawyers and accountants to ‘Teach Last’: to, with the help of experts from educational charity Ark, bring their many years of experience to a new generation.

How would it make you feel to leave the corporate world behind and make a real and valuable difference to the country’s young minds?

A brilliant and bold move

Before you lay into the idea, let us just say: we think Kellaway is the sane one.

At time where our working lives now easily span 60 years, no one should settle for doing the same thing forever.

Once you’ve risen to the top of your career, it’s got to be best to be open to new challenges in all their weird and wonderful forms.

Variety is, as they say, the spice of life, and for many aged 50+ there’s no financial need to continue the monotony.

You may well benefit from taking a risk, from trying something new.

Our flexible workforce

Even younger professionals today will likely want to switch up their careers – the world of startups is built on the idea that, after selling your company, you move on to new and greener pastures.

And as digital changes the way we work, many of us are looking for more balance. That might mean making the most of flexible working to embrace other hobbies or jobs on the side.

You might plainly decide that 15-years of staring at computers screens is enough, and retrain, learn a physical trade, or open your own business.

Your next calling

As Kellaway states in her recent article:

“With jobs, as with parties, it is best to leave when you are still having a good time.”

We couldn’t agree more, and if you love a subject where skills are lacking – be that maths, science or languages – then Now Teach could be a step towards your next calling.

Even if teaching doesn’t appeal, please keep an open mind about your future.

People work best when they truly love their jobs. And nothing’s more exciting than starting the next party.