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Career mistakes - succumbing to peer pressure

I had been a teacher for 10 years. The people who were with me in teacher education were applying for senior leadership. The colleagues I had helped through their NQT years were off to be year leaders. So I went home and shouted at the kids' guinea pig: "Surely this is the year when I must move on!"

I desperately combed the jobs pages for absolutely anything, and as a result I left a good school where I was valued for doing a good job, and went off to a place that was falling apart under failing leadership, where the staff were building individual survival capsules.

But, hey, it was worth another grand a year, fewer stoppages, and I only used a bit more petrol.

What is the right thing to do?

Focus on your own career. You're in it for the long haul and two years here or there is nothing. Study the adverts, but don't hesitate to set them all aside. There's always another year.

Gerald Haigh

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