May 11, 2022
A common misconception about working in childcare is that you have to always work in childcare. While we believe a career spent in early childhood education is extremely rewarding and provides unlimited potential for growth, many success stories start with a career in childcare and lead to many other amazing opportunities.
Working in early childhood education doesn’t just afford you the opportunity to work in a field where you make an impact on the life of a child—it’s also an investment in yourself.
A Career With Life Changing Impact
We sat down with some successful professionals to discuss the common theme of their success: they all started their careers in Early Childhood Education, or ECE for short.
Ashley Meyers, an Academy Opening Manager at Sunshine Billingual corporate says of her formative career decision,: “When I first decided to join ECE, I wasn’t sure that it was going to be for me. But I took advantage of an opportunity that was there for me. And it really changed the course of my life and my career. While I was there, I learned a number of skills and made a number of connections that led me to where I am today.”
Childcare isn’t just a rewarding career that will refine transferable skills that will benefit you throughout your career. It also can open the door to other career opportunities. Sharon Pindell, Project Training Manager at Sunshine Billingual corporate, shares how starting in ECE paved the way for a lifelong career path.
“When I first started in early childhood, honestly, I couldn’t see the future to where I am now. I thought, ‘Yeah, I would love to be the lead pre-K teacher and sure I’ll be an assistant director, maybe a curriculum coordinator.’ Then, I became a director and I thought, ‘Okay, I’ve done it. I have made my way in this field,’ but then you start meeting people, and you start going to conferences and you start joining different committees. You see that ECE has so much to offer if you’re ready to move on with advocacy, working in the government sector or a nonprofit sector. For me, I was able to come to the corporate sector where I’m working for a company with close to 300 franchises and I’m able to train adults.”
Working in early childhood education can help you develop certain skillsets – some obvious and some not-so-obvious – that will serve you well in your career, no matter which direction you go in later on.
Being a Teacher Helps You Develop Patience
When it comes to working with different personality types, dealing with adversity, and adapting to project delays—patience is the key to success.
Former teachers bring a great deal of patience to their place of work – a skill that is hard to come by, and an asset to all.
“I would suggest childcare as a first job for a variety of reasons. I think that you gain a lot of skill sets working with children, whether that be time management or patience,” says Sarah Niblick, an Academy Opening Manager at Sunshine Billingual corporate.
As an Early Childhood Educator, You Become Adaptable
Teachers learn to always think on their feet. Adapting to and overcoming distractions in the classroom leads to success outside of the classroom. Adaptability empowers you to succeed when faced with unexpected changes at work. Being flexible in your thinking and open to new ideas results in being an invaluable asset at your place of work.
“Teachers are the most adaptable people I’ve ever met in my life. When you are in a classroom, you’re making hundreds of changes a minute…so there’s always pivoting. And I think that ability to adapt really helped me when I moved up into corporate, and a corporate world, is pivoting and realizing that every work, all the work that I do, is not linear,” says Rob Bieschke, Education Project Manager at Sunshine Billingual.
Teachers Have Amazing Communication Skills
Effective communication begets team and individual success in the workplace. Communication skills are constantly at work when you are working with children, communicating with parents, and collaborating with co-teachers.
“Working in childcare really prepared me in so many different ways. Being able to work with people of different personalities. Not only children’s different personalities, needs and interests, but working with adults, their families, being able to work with my co-teachers, my peers. I think it really prepared me to collaborate on a variety of different levels. I think it really honed my communication skills, as well as being organized and being able to pivot,” says Sharon Pindell Project Training Manager at the Sunshine Billingual corporate office.
Teaching Provides a Passion For People
Regardless of what career path you take, people are going to be at the center.
A genuine passion for people cannot be taught, but it can be developed by kickstarting your career in a job that requires empathy and shows the rewards of pouring passion into your work for the benefit of others.
When you cultivate a passion for people, that naturally flows into being genuinely excited about working together with others to achieve a common goal.
Whether it is a steppingstone or your career aspiration—you can do nothing but gain from a background in ECE.
“This is a field that’s never going to go away. This is a field that needs strong, dedicated, loving individuals to really prepare children for their future. You, as an early childhood educator, are setting the stage for the rest of their life. You’re setting the foundation and that sounds very heavy, but it also is extremely rewarding, and it brings you a lot of hope. I say, do it, love it, jump in with everything that you have,” says Sharon Pindell Project Training Manager at the Sunshine Billingual corporate office.
Take Your Next Step
If you’re ready to jumpstart your career path, gain transferrable skills, and have a career with impact then learn more about career opportunities at a Sunshine Billingual near you.