Careers can be like gear changes. You move smoothly from one to another, climbing the ranks until you’re cruising along in top gear.
But what do you do if top gear is actually a pretty boring place to be? Turn on the cruise control, whack up the volume on the radio and make the best of it? Or leave at the next exit and look for a different route?
More and more people are choosing to change career mid-life and are attracted to careers such as driving instructor, with flexible working, great job satisfaction and the feeling of doing something to help others instead of just themselves.
Never a dull moment
For a driving instructor Stockport is a great place to work. With a population of 300,000, around 3,000 of whom will be turning 17 in any given year, there’s always a ready supply of students. Plus, if you choose to be an automatic specialist you also open yourself up to the hundreds of older learners who struggle to get to grips with a manual.
Stockport and Cheshire are also incredibly varied in where you can teach. One lesson could see you coaxing a beginner crawling around one of the many quiet housing estates while the next could see you out on open country roads or perfecting overtaking manoeuvres on urban motorways with a pass plus candidate.
Working for yourself
Driving instructors are typically self-employed, although if you join a driving school they will take care of advertising and marketing if that’s not something that appeals to you. You can start earning money for lessons as soon as you’ve passed your ADI driving ability test and received your trainee licence.
Flexible working hours
The big bonus to being self-employed is that you get to choose your working hours. Many driving instructors find it makes fitting their work around other commitments, such as caring duties, much easier. Save on childcare by only booking lessons during school hours, or evenings and weekends when your partner can supervise the children. Avoid teaching on a Wednesday because there’s a class you’ve been attending then. For many people, the freedom that being self-employed brings is one of the key benefits of switching career.
Most people will only utter those words once in their lifetime. For some, it will be the end of a long journey of ups and downs, silly errors and retakes. For others, it will be plain sailing and they’ll get through on the first attempt.
A driving instructor hears those words regularly. As an instructor, you’ll follow your pupil on their whole driving journey, from not knowing their accelerator from their brake to finally hearing those two magical words – and perhaps beyond if they choose to take Pass Plus or an advanced driving qualification. Every time you hear the relief in your pupil’s voice that they did it – that you did it – you’ll remind yourself why you do your job. Driving instructors regularly report extremely high levels of job satisfaction – according to some surveys as many as 95% are satisfied with their job – and who wouldn’t be when you can give someone the lifetime gift of driving on a regular basis?
If you are still interested in pursuing a career as a driving instructor your next port of call should be to check your eligibility. As long as you’re 21 or older, been driving for 3 years or more you, and not banned, you can train. Many driving schools have instructor training programs – so what are you waiting for?