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Vocabulary Matters: Know the Lingo to Make a Successful Career Change

Updated: Apr 27

Has your transition from one career to another been a struggle? You've probably been told to simply update your resume and start applying for jobs, only to find yourself stuck in a cycle of rejection and frustration. Combine those feelings with the pain of feeling unprepared and inadequate for your new field, and you’re likely feeling overwhelmed, discouraged, and uncertain about your future. Caitlin can relate. Her transition from educator to edtech marketer was a rough one. Join CK & GK for Caitlin’s most important career transition tip.

When you speak the language, you belong. —CK
Vocabulary Matters: Know the Lingo to Make a Successful Career Change

Caitlin, a former full-time classroom educator, shares her insights on transitioning careers. With her background in education and transition to a new field, Caitlin brings a wealth of experience and knowledge on the importance of vocabulary in career transitions. She highlights the value of vocabulary as an entry point into new learning, drawing from her own teaching experience and offering practical advice for educators and professionals looking to make a career shift. Caitlin’s unique perspective and engaging storytelling provide valuable insights for educators transitioning to new careers.

In this episode, CK & GK discuss:

  • Harnessing the power of vocabulary for a successful transition to a new field.

  • Embracing the role of a lifelong learner for continuous growth in your career journey.

The resources mentioned in this episode are:

  • Etsy: Find the Scribbles for Shizzles Snoop Dogg notepad and Tom Selleck baseball cards on Etsy for fun and unique gifts.

  • Notion: Explore Notion, a web tool for organizing and managing all kinds of word processing needs. Consider using it to keep track of new words and terms when transitioning into a new career.

  • Becky Lynch's book: Keep an eye out for Becky Lynch's book, Big Time Becks, for an entertaining read and a unique memoir from a professional wrestler.

CK's Career Change

In May of 2021, I walked out of my middle school classroom for the last time to pursue a career outside of teaching.

Transitioning Teachers, here's the most important thing I've learned.

(Good news! It's something that—as teachers—we already know...)

Vocabulary matters. It's the entry point into all new learning.

When I was teaching, I always front-loaded new content with a vocab lesson. I needed to ensure my students understood the material we read and discussed. the same goes for you.

My advice to all transitioning teachers or anyone else hoping to make a career change:

  • Write down every new word/term you come across. Add them to a journal or running list.

  • Take time to define those words, just as you did for your students.

    • Create a definition using your own words

    • Draw/find an image of the word/term

    • Find an example using the word/term

  • Refer to the list as needed.

  • Look for opportunities to use your new vocabulary in context. Speak your new language.

Normally, I keep my list sorted by most recent, so that the newest stuff stays on top for quick reference. 

But I recently looked at my entire running list that I began 2 years ago as a brand new marketer. 

Over 300 terms (and counting). 😬 

Some of them are acronyms, like

  • KPI

  • CRM

  • UTM

Some of them are words that I kinda knew(-ish) before entering the space, like

  • Reach

  • Impressions

  • Persona

Some of them are words/terms that I had literally never heard in my life, like

  • CTR (excuse me, y'all can see that...?)

  • SWOT Analysis (makes sense, we just don't call it that in education)

  • GTM Strategy (again, makes sense, just hadn't heard of it)

Looking at these words/terms now, they seem SO BASIC, and yet they were largely foreign to me. 

I share all of this to 

  • Remind myself how far I've come in 2 years

  • Remind myself how much more I've yet to learn

  • Let other#TransitioningTeachers see how valuable their love of learning and their skills as a learner will come in handy as they move out of the classroom and into their next career. 

The bottom line? Understanding the meaning of words and their use in context is the key to becoming part of a community. Vocabulary proficiency is key to your successful career change.

Things to Remember

Mastering the Art of Career Transition

Caitlin, a seasoned educator, opted for a career change, swapping the classroom for the edtech industry. Her journey involved self-discovery, taking courageous steps, and relentless pursuit of her aspirations. Her story emphasizes that career transitions, although challenging, can lead to unprecedented growth, especially in the context of educators exploring new career paths.

The Power of Words for your career change

Caitlin emphasized the importance of vocabulary in the process of learning and adapting to a new career field. Educators transitioning to new roles must embrace the power of language, learn new terms and expressions, and understand their unique functions. This expertise in vocabulary eventually instills confidence, ensures effective communication, and accelerates competence in the chosen area.

The Language of New Spaces

We remind you that each industry has its unique language, inclusive of terminologies and jargon. For teachers transitioning into new spheres, comprehending this language is crucial for a successful transition. Furthermore, using the industry-specific vocabulary proficiently helps you fake it ‘til you make it. It molds you into the consummate professional that you are, building a sense of belonging and aiding recognition as a specialist in the field.

Best of luck. You can do this!




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