Get out of Teaching

Get Out of Teaching Podcast Season 4, Episode 6, Petra Zink (Personal Branding & Digital Strategist)

August 18, 2021 Elizabeth Diacos Season 4 Episode 6
Get out of Teaching
Get Out of Teaching Podcast Season 4, Episode 6, Petra Zink (Personal Branding & Digital Strategist)
Show Notes Transcript

Petra Zink is a certified Personal Branding & Digital Strategist, Speaker, Coach & Consultant - specialised in the Future of Work.

She is the Founder of impaCCCt and The360Talent.Co - both companies are designed to future-proof individuals and organisations. Petra helps professionals go from expert to authority in their industry by analysing and amplifying their Personal Brands.

Petra believes that Personal Branding is the bridge between career skills and career success, and she recently launched Your Brand. Your Future, a podcast for driven corporate professionals who want to not only survive but thrive in this fast-changing world of work.

LinkedIn | Instagram (@petra_zink) | Twitter (@petra_zink) | FaceBook

Director & Lead Consultant at The360Talent.Co and impaCCCt | | 1800 96 20 84


Aired on August 18th 2021


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Elizabeth Diacos  0:02  
Welcome to Season 4 of The Get Out of Teaching Podcast presented by Larksong Enterprises. This podcast is for teachers who are considering leaving Education, but feel like they have no options. I'm your host, Elizabeth Diacos. I'm a career transition coach who guides overwhelmed teachers through a 5-step process, out of Education and into a life they love. I'd like to see a world where the work of teachers is valued and respected, and that teachers have a career pathway that enables them to continue to offer value to society, beyond their work in the classroom. So in this season, we'll be speaking to other experts, who help people to change careers, as well as a few ex-teachers who forged a pathway into something new. So come along for the ride as we get out of teaching. Episode Six. 

Hi, everyone, and welcome to the show. And on today's show, I've got Petra Zink, who hails from Brisbane. Thanks so much for coming on the show today, Petra.

Petra Zink  1:01  
Thanks so much for having me. 

Elizabeth Diacos  1:03  
So Petra, tell us a little bit about what you do. Because when I put out the call for people who could perhaps help teachers, as they make that transition into something new, what's your what's your industry? Where do you sort of fit in that space?

Petra Zink  1:20  
So I personal brand and digital strategist. In layman's term, what it means is I work mainly with corporate professionals on clarifying what their point of difference is communicate it online and offline, so that they can commercialize it. Which means how can you build and monetize your brand, no matter, your background, your Education, your experience, because looking at the bigger picture of the future of work, where we have to go through not only more jobs, but more careers, it doesn't just come down to what kind of qualifications and hard skills you've got. It's about the ability to connect the dots from your backgrounds and make your next step bigger and better and be able to tell a story to diverse decision makers, because we have to change more frequently. So we're also facing different people, and how can we lend opportunities is by communicating in a way that resonates with them. And this is what I'm doing today.

Elizabeth Diacos  2:13  
Okay, so that's, that's, that's quite a mouthful, like, what? Like day to day like what is the day in the life of Petra look like?

Petra Zink  2:23  
So I'm an, a massive introvert. So I need to have a lot of me time and non client facing activities and days. So I have three client facing activities or clients days, where I do my one on one coaching calls, where I run workshops and masterclasses where I do podcast interviews for my own podcast, and then going on to other people's podcasts. And then another two days are completely solo days, which means I do a lot of content creation for my social profile, but then also for my clients profiles, because there's a lot of back end work that goes in, also team meetings, and then also strategizing, how can we build better programs, offer services that support our clients, it might be, you know, we run monthly content creation workshops, because it's something that people feel very comfortable with how they can put themselves out there without sounding sleazy and salesy, especially when you don't come from an entrepreneurial background, and are more in the corporate space. So we create a lot of content there. And I also write my books, and it's my new little activity that keeps me sane and busy.

Elizabeth Diacos  3:32  
Oh, wow, that's amazing. And what are you writing at the moment?

Petra Zink  3:36  
So the book is going to be called Your Brand, Your Future, which means you need to position yourself in a way that you create your own opportunities, you don't need to chase them anymore, when you put yourself out there in a way that you actually want to be seen as an associated way. And with that, you will determine your future. So whatever you do today, will not determine the outcome of tomorrow.

Elizabeth Diacos  3:59  
Yes, yes. So true. And yet. So you know, we know that don't we, we, we think that it'll pan out and we say, "Oh, my future self will deal with that situation," but you are your future self. So you see,

Petra Zink  4:13  

Elizabeth Diacos  4:14  
Okay, so let's, let's imagine, I'm going to create a character named, let's say, Donna, I don't think I have ever had a client named Donna. So there's no, no crossover there. I'm going to create an imaginary client named Donna, who is in her late 40s or early 50s. Let's say she's 52. And Donna has woken up one morning and decided she wants to get out of teaching. She thinks she's got no options. She doesn't know what to do next. But what she does realize is that she needs to start creating that brand story that you're talking about. And she wants to get, if she wants to get out of teaching she's gonna have to be attracting or being appealing to a different audience to what she has in the past. 

So up until now, she's been dealing with stakeholders like her students, that other teachers, maybe the Department of Education, her boss in the school, the principal, and the parents. And now she's looking at dealing with a whole different group of people, as she navigates moving into the world of probably corporate hopefully, and trying to land a job that that where the pay might be close to what she's been earning, even though she's going to go in as a novice, tell me what she needs to do.

Petra Zink  5:36  
I love this for Donna, but also exciting for Donna because the world is her oyster. But it all starts with a couple of things. So firstly, we look at values, which means what are the traits, the characteristics that you want to be known for? Because it's an easy path. To start with, you have a list of words and see this is exactly what I would associate myself with. This is exactly how I would describe myself. And this is one part of framing. But branding is also what other people say about you, and you can very much influence how they perceive you. And ideally, you also then want to give the same worksheet with those attributes to a group of trusted people, but should be diverse people. 

So friends or family, of course partner, but then also peers, bosses, previous clients, anyone who's also seen you in different environments, because we want to get a really holistic view of what others associated with you already. So this is a good starting point to just see, are there gaps, you know, am I perceiving myself differently to what others perceive myself in? Or is it quite aligned? And then also identifying what is it that I want to hone in on? What are those three or four characteristics that I really want to stand for? Because this is what I then can live out loud? What I always say, in terms of the marketing of it. 

So what are the actions associated with those barriers, I want to be seen as the most reliable person, for example, well, I need to show up not only on time, but 15 minutes earlier, I'm proactive before anyone else tells me to. So I can actually put technical activities that I have to show every single day towards those values. And it also already opens up some more opportunities that we often don't identify. Now, the second step that I would always then do is a couple of tests. So brand archetype test and explain in a second what it is, and more to the personality test. So for those who have never come across brand archetypes basically, it is a representation of human traits. 

And Carl Jung has identified that there are 12 different personalities. And we can identify ourselves with some of them. I always say it's your DNA, you can't change it. But that helps us to identify why are you drawn to certain people, and tasks and environment and careers. And why sometimes just feels hard, no matter how long you do it, it just feels like an lifetime. Some people you just get on, on fire and with others, he just don't resonate. It's because of the value alignment or misalignment. So it also supports what we did in the first exercise the value assessment, but it helps us to put some language behind what we think and feel and how we act. 

And you know, for example, I didn't realize that my strength is seeing what others can't see. So I progress in my career very quickly. Because I was looking after brain and product development, I developed over 55 new products from scratch, it was always easy for me to see. My last role in marketing was all about stakeholder management, looking after 18 boards, budget training, and I felt totally exhausted every single day, everything felt hard. And I lost all the confidence because no matter how hard I tried, I never felt I did any, not even good work, leave a lot of great work was the first 10 years I just progressed so quickly. 

So this is what's also called Peter Principle, you progress until you fail. And if you have never exposed been exposed to personal development and to the side of career progression, you've can lose confidence in yourself. And as much as we buy into people's competence. We buy more so into confidence. And if they don't have it that they will say I'm the best person for whatever I want to do. They nobody else will see it either.

Elizabeth Diacos  9:35  
Yeah. Wow. That's amazing. So tell me the Carl Jung, that that work. Is there a personality test or one of those, you know, which one are you talking about? Is there one in particular that you're referring to when you talk about that? The 12?

Petra Zink  9:49  
Yeah, so there are many, many free tests out there. So if you just Google brand archetype tests, you will come across a range of them and it's been known and applied more so in the marketing space for business brands, but because, you know, I've explored it when I was still in marketing, but then applied it to people. And in the end, if you want to build a career with by yourself and with yourself, you need to treat yourself like a business. So how do I want to be perceived? What do I want to be known for? And how can I use this strength to my advantage? How can I add value and benefit to others, and all of a sudden, because you also mentioned often teachers, or when we are in a profession for so long, we don't see that we've got other opportunities, there's a lack of perspective. 

However, if we put different words towards it, we want to read between the lines and say, you know, this is my archetype, for example, I'm great with product development, because it's coming up with something from scratch. But how I use it now, because I've lost my interest to do it for products, a lot of people. So I'm coming up with helping others to see what they can see for their own career. So this is very much a transferable skill. And this is exactly what we need to identify how can we transition? How can we use what we've got in a different industry for us? And then how can we back it up our claim not to say, I'm the best at doing whatever it might be? It's because of the outcomes the results?

Elizabeth Diacos  11:16  
Yeah, so just go back, or you just broke up for a second, you said that your personality type was something and I missed that.

Petra Zink  11:24  

Elizabeth Diacos  11:25  

Petra Zink  11:26  

Elizabeth Diacos  11:27  

Petra Zink  11:27  
So for example, Apple is also a magician. They think differently, they help us to identify ourselves with a world that's not there yet. They're challenging the status quo. And you know, even in my corporate career, now, looking back, I've always pushed the boundaries. I was never the star employee, because I've always questioned things.

Elizabeth Diacos  11:49  
Yeah, I think that's where I got into trouble. I would always say, "Oh, you sure we can't try this. Are you sure we can't import this directly from the importer, do we need to buy it from a supplier? And I was always asking difficult questions that, you know, made people annoyed with me.

Petra Zink  12:07  
But in the end, exactly. But you know, if you want to solve a problem, you can look at it with the same mindset that created it. So having those difficult conversations and asking those tough questions is exactly what moves the needle. But because most people and also companies want to stay in the safety zone, just blocked it out and pretend it never happened, and shut down people who actually think differently. Now in your profession, this is exactly what people are coming to you for. Ask me those tough questions that I can finally uncover my blind spots. And yes, it feels uncomfortable and totally out of my water. But you know, what? This is exactly what gets me to my next stage? 

Elizabeth Diacos  12:44  
Hmm. No, thanks. I feel good about that now. Otherwise (inaudible) conversations I had back then they're all paying off now. Okay, so. 

Petra Zink  12:54  

Elizabeth Diacos  12:55  
So if going back to Donna, she's decided she wants to move into some kind of corporate role, where she's maybe some, a lot of the teachers I talk to, they have two goals, maybe three, they want to run a bookshop, they want to this is a like fantasy job, right? They want to run a bookshop, they want to get a job is like packing shelves in a supermarket, where they don't have to think and that they don't have to talk to anyone, like at night, where they can just do the job and go home and know that it's been done. And they don't have to do any homework, you know, that's a big thing. And then there's the other ones who think they want to work in a nice office, maybe there's coffee there, maybe they can go to the toilet whenever they like, that's a big exciting thing for a teacher. 

And and maybe they get to dress up a little bit and not get covered in paint or glue or vomit or whatever. So there are sort of the three, these are the conversations I have quite a lot. So I think they're the three fantasies maybe that teachers have. So let's say that Donna wants to go into the corporate space, what would she need to do to move from Education where she's got great people skills, she's actually pretty well over a lot of different technological like platforms and devices. So she's quite adept in that technology space. And she's a great, you know, communicator. She can read a room, you know, she's got really good some social intelligence, what would she need to do to brand herself to move into a corporate environment?

Petra Zink  14:34  
Where it's coming down to identifying what it is that I'm attracted with this environment? So you also said, shaky stacking shelves, for example, which means that what is it that I really enjoy about? It could be being autonomous, being in a quiet room, being independent, being in control, because these are the words that I want to use in my marketing, which means my resume my LinkedIn profile, that it resonates with those who make the decision. So when they see already similarities to what they're looking for in terms of the trades, and then all of a sudden they get a resume, there's like the answer to what they're looking for. It's already a step forward. 

And then epic skill set here is also the storytelling component, meaning how can I make sense out of my 20 years experience in teaching, to not being a secretary or to go into technology or taking steps, because it doesn't make sense on paper, simply using language like having worked in Education, making the complex simple and, you know, supporting a diverse range of students to be and do their best. I've realized that, blah, blah, blah. And this is where we move forward. Because so many make the mistake to build their resume and their LinkedIn profile based on what they've done and what they're doing now, not what he wants to do next. 

And if you're not connecting the dots, and actually spell it out, what do you want to do next? And what attracts you? Or what gotcha in there, people want to understand that either. Yes, it could be a personal experience, for example, a friend or family member was sick. And you've identified a you've experienced how good the healthcare system is. And this is what got you really fascinated. And this is what make, wants you to get into it. So all of a sudden, there's a connection people are "Mmm, make sense," and they're not questioning any further. 

Elizabeth Diacos  16:22  
Yeah, yeah, I have a client actually, who is training to become a radiographer because she had breast cancer and, and wanted to she she loved the way they treated her. And she loved the environment as well, like it was this calm, very sort of safe, nurturing environment. And she come out of Education, which can be a more dynamic kind of chaotic, potentially environment, and noisy. And so she went into this beautiful, calm, safe space. And it really just, I dunno, it sort of appealed to her, you know, in a kind of heart way that this is, this is a place that I could feel really nurtured as an employee, and so she's retraining to be a radiographer now. 

And you know, working on the next step, so that she can move into that field, based on totally on her personal experience of being a patient. So I mean, that's exactly what you're talking about. That's a great example. Thank you. I'm just thinking like, so going back to Donna, say she and I, by the way, I really loved the bit you said about autonomy. I think that is such a big important issue. So many teachers I talked to say how they don't. They feel like they have no agency over their career path that other people dictate the way they move forward in their career, or even what year level they teach that kind of thing. 

But also that their days are so structured, they don't have that autonomy. And so exactly what you're saying, if you're stacking shows, you get to decide, "Do I start at the top or the bottom?" or whatever, I don't know what decisions you have to make in that role. I'm sure there are others but but you get to make those decisions, where it's often in Education, I've heard of teachers being told that the principal said, "if I walk from one grade five room to the next, the second teacher should be finishing the sentence of the first teacher," that's how tightly they want those classrooms to run. I know it's scary. So obviously, that's not an autonomous environment, and there's no agency either in the environment for the teacher. 

So Don is going to move into the corporate space, what about the the, the look, you know, so a lot of teachers will wear sort of smart casual, you don't want to get too dressed up, because you never know what you're going to have to do in a day, you know, you could be out gardening, you could be playing sport, there's, you know, you could be using paint or glue or standing on a ladder, or, you know, there's 100 different things you might have to do as a teacher. So you don't tend to wear that sort of corporate clothing is there is how important is what you wear. When you're going into that next phase, we're moving into some corporate sort of environment,

Petra Zink  19:03  
It is a big part of branding, because we make our perception about somebody and make up our mind about somebody in a second we see them online and offline. And we already have a preconceived opinion, whether we like them or not based on how they look what kind of colors they wear. So this is what I call the marketing of your brand. How do you actually make it visible and also verbal for people what you're all about? Now, it comes back to your values again, if you say "I'm smart, casual, I'm more of a free spirit, I don't want to get into a suit and tie all the time either." Then this is also what comes down to the searching the right companies, and also portraying ourselves how we, the package that they would get. 

So for example, one of my clients, he's a PhD and he was buttoned up and you know had the tie on, and when I met him in person, honestly, I thought it's going to be a tough conversation, quite boring to be honest. I had already all the perception and the expectations in my head. Now when I met him, the most laid back dude, you could ever meet with this skateboard, a tshirt. He said he hasn't worn a suit and tie in years. Like, "huh, what is this here?" But you know, this is actually him. In this case, it was a positive impact. But at the same time, if I would have been a corporate client in the Big Four, I would have probably been disappointed that I don't see the PhD dressed up, because this is the corporate environment that I'm in. 

So it's all about how do you actually want to be perceived that? What can they expect every day? Especially, you know, when you get to an interview stage, you want to dress a little bit up, compared to what you would wear in a day to day environment. But it starts with actually looking for those companies, and also doing a bit research. What, is the standard dress code? Can we reach out to somebody and say, What are you wearing every day? It's simple as that. And this is, you know, the power of social media these days, we see so much more behind the scenes, we have the opportunity to ask appear who would do a similar job? What is it like to work in this company? Are you working from home? Are you? Do you have a dress code? Do we have to you know, wear certain uniform? What is it like to be there, it's not just about thinking about it, it's literally getting your hands dirty, and doing some research and digging.

Elizabeth Diacos  21:21  
And I guess, to actually thinking about companies that you might admire, and seeing what their work culture looks like. So I have a client who's really interested in a not for profit, big organization in the US, that has a really lovely interface with the public. And she's she's, you know, been connecting with those the people who work there on LinkedIn. And I guess she's she's going to start, you know, having those conversations. So it's a really great opportunity just to get the inside knowledge and to begin to establish yourself in that environment before you even apply for a job.

Petra Zink  22:01  
Exactly. And also just having a look at the industry specific law, for example, it's all about credibility. And you know, it's a little I would feel weird, if somebody walks up with a, you know, a spaghetti top, and thongs, if they would be my lawyer. 

Elizabeth Diacos  22:19  

Petra Zink  22:19  
It might be the best lawyer in this world. But it would be a little bit off putting where somebody who dressed apart in that professional, this is what I would expect in a non for profit, different world. It's all for others they are giving, so others can benefit. I don't need to have an Armani suit to be seen as respectful is actually doing the opposite of it. So also applying some common sense. What is the industry specific for it? And if I'm identifying with it. Could I wear suit and tie all day? I couldn't anymore. But do I have to?

Elizabeth Diacos  22:51  
Yeah, wow, that's helpful. I love that example of the not for profit, because you're right, if they wear those those good clothes and drive a Mercedes Benz or something, they're actually undermining the message that they're supposed to be sending by doing that. Yeah, really interesting. Okay, so Donna is about to apply for a position. What does she need to do next? Like what does she need to do? Maybe she's she's got a cell phone interview. So she's got her resume is looking good. She's been able to identify those things that you're talking about her skill set her personality traits that lead her to be able to explain her experience in a way that's impacted on the environment that she was in. She gets into the interview, then what? What happens next?

Petra Zink  23:37  
It's about researching, coming prepared is the same as going into a classroom. What is the company all about? Did they get any awards recently? Were they acquired? Did they put out a great campaign? Whatever it might be that I had some talking points that I can initiate, but also asking questions. Those who ask questions, lead the conversation. And when somebody a decision maker sees they've actually done the groundwork and went above and beyond somebody else, well, guess what their perception is about their proactive, I don't have to tell them what they need to do. I can rely on them. They are dedicated, they're committed to it. 

And they are genuinely interested. And they don't just take one interview after the next to get into any job to start with. And, you know, this is a great way to also show some respect, say, "You know, I've seen you've just won this award, what an incredible work you've done with so and so." I would be interested, what's the plan for the rest of 2021. So all of a sudden, you can also see among language where they are going to denote their vision, where you know, then also what are the resources that you put towards achieving them? Or is it expected that I just carry the workload of eight people and unrealistic expectations? So it's also being mindful about the questions you ask? Based on the outcomes you want to achieve?

Elizabeth Diacos  25:01  
Hmm, that's really helpful. Thank you. I was just as you were talking about that going into an interview and or guiding the interview, it took me back in time as I was trying to leave, I wanted to just thought I'll try another school, maybe that will help, you know, and I applied for a job. And I got to the school, and they said, "Right, come in here, sit down. Here's a piece of paper with like, 10 questions on it, make some notes, we'll be back in 20 minutes." And then they left me in the empty room with you know, no "would you like a drink of water or the bathroom's down the hallway" or anything, just leave left me there. 

And it I felt, you know, I was an experienced teacher. And I, you know, I knew what I was doing and everything. But I still felt so intimidated by that behavior. I just thought even if I get this job, I don't really want it, you know, like, why I should I should have if I'd been truly authentic in that moment, I would have just left them because the interview was excruciating, because they just rattled through their questions, and I didn't really have an opportunity to kind of do anything else. And bleed, like you said, leaders. But it was just such an unpleasant experience, too. And I had a few like that, that. So they actually that's like the they're trying to create a level playing field by asking by creating that environment for all the candidates, but actually so counterproductive, because it puts people in this really kind of tense state and then you don't perform at your best in the interview. So I wonder, I don't know, maybe that only happens in Education. What's your experience of that?

Petra Zink  26:37  
Not at all. It is as much as the interview the candidate, the candidate also interviews the company, is it aligned with my values? And this is where we go back to exercise one, I want to be autonomous. I want to have flexibility I want to so, and so, and so, if I don't see those traits already, especially in the first few context points, exactly. I'm running as quickly as I possibly can. Because if it's not beautiful and amazing in the honeymoon phase, or guess what, in a year, it's kind of even worse, the company doesn't get any better.

Elizabeth Diacos  27:09  
Exactly. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I think it was an excellent decision. In hindsight, well, I mean, I didn't get the job anyway. But even if I had, I think, would have been a good one to walk away from. Okay, so. So let's, um, we've started the job. Maybe we don't really like it that much. And we think, oh so Donna's, you know, being there for three months, and she thinks "oh boy, maybe this wasn't a good idea. Maybe I should just go back to teaching because at least I know what that is. Or maybe I should look at something else." What How does she explain this little three months, you know, time and space where she was in a job that she wasn't a good fit in the end? How do you put it on your resume?

Petra Zink  27:53  
Yeah, I would actually take a step backwards. And I think, what is it that I don't like about it, because maybe it's something you could address in any conversation in an informed conversation, and say, you know, "I have to always work late, and I have to pick up my kids." So maybe there's a way how to work around that it's not always the task. It's not always the environment, sometimes it's the situation that is not as suitable. And also coming from 10, 20, whatever plus years experience from one industry in one set up, it's hard to adjust to something new. And there is the book, the wisdom of transition, how to navigate change at work. 

And Cheryl Benedict she wrote a book, she talks about the status of transition. And the first stage after we've made the change is actually acceptance. It's not liking it. It's acceptance. And it takes us a while to see, "Mmm, okay, this is how it works. These are the people, these are the tasks that I'm doing, how can I take ownership here, I want to have agency now what can I do to actually drive it in a way that is aligned with what I want," and so many are struggling with this because they are not able to articulate it. And this is also when they say I want to stack shelves, it's not the shelves stacking that actually interests them. It's about I can do whatever I want. I don't have to talk to anyone. 

This is the underlying motivation. If I notice, I all of a sudden have so many more opportunities, rather than just those three that are, you know, that come to my mind. If for whatever reason, it still doesn't work out. We want to be open with this. You know, having thought that having always framed to work in a corner office. It wasn't until I've experienced that I didn't like it, but I'd rather fail experiencing it than just thinking about it or something like literally calling it out that I needed to experience it firsthand because you can't out think those kind of goals.

Elizabeth Diacos  29:50  
Yeah, yeah. Okay. That's interesting. So is that true? Did you actually not like the corner office? 

Petra Zink  29:58  
I hated it. Hated it. 

Elizabeth Diacos  30:01  
I'm curious, because I think that is another goal that a lot of people have. What was wrong with the corner office? Tell us.

Petra Zink  30:08  
The corner office was a nice one. But the people and the task and the environment was very toxic. So all the shiny, official, superficial aspects of my role were amazing. And everyone's like, how would you want to quit? Nobody gets into that. So eat so quickly, like you did. And I was like, I just want to get out. It burns me out. Sunday afternoon stomach turns upside down, sweaty nights going to work. I was already ventilating. Like, this is not what life should look like, is it. So it wasn't the offices such it was, but again, it was identified. My hindsight, I should have identified that the tasks were not aligned with my personality. 

And I had to be a, I'm not sure if I can swear at this, but a bitch to be successful in his role. Whereas the first 10 years where I could be myself, I could be bubbly, I could be a little bit quirky. And this is what got me there and all of a sudden had to be somebody else to be successful in the role. And you can do it for so long, until you're like, you know what, it's too hard. It's too exhausting to trying to be somebody you're not. And this is also the power of personal branding. It's not changing who you are, it's elevating who you are already and being more mindful and intentional, in what kind of situations and environments you place yourself in. 

Because you know exactly what your strengths are, and also your weaknesses. And who do you need to be surrounded by who can complement what you can enter a table that he can create a bigger impact, rather than just trying to fight against a wall, he just never moves anywhere?

Elizabeth Diacos  31:39  
Wow, so profound, I, again, you've taken me back in time to my last sort of full time teaching role where I, I was running a music program after school. And it, we weren't charge, we were charging the students for it. But the money was going back into the the arts budget so that we could buy more equipment for the whole school. And then unrelated to anything that we did, there was an edict from the department that you were no longer allowed to do that you had to, if you took money from a student, like if they paid for something, the money or the benefit had to go directly back to only those that student, right. 

So it wasn't allowed, the money wasn't allowed to be spread out among all the students. So we were doing it for free, we weren't being paid extra to do this after school program. But and so really, the money was technically ours, you know, as individuals of the teachers, because we were running this thing after school. But it was all on the school grounds. And you know, and we just donated it back to the school, but they wouldn't let us do that anymore. And honestly, that, that for me, and I loved, I love doing it. I love the kids, I love their families, that little part of my world was one of the greatest joys of my teaching career. 

And it just sucked all the joy out of it when I couldn't have this added benefit of it gets to benefit the whole art program because I was running the budget as well. And so it actually, which I hate it, I hated doing the budget, because I'm not my thing. But I love that I could bring more money into the budget, and then have a bit more freedom with how we use the budget. So that actually enabled us to have more freedom. And so yeah, I just, I mean, if I hadn't left, I would have stopped doing it anyway, because it just all the fun had gone out of it. You know, I was so excited about being able to, you know, boost the budget, we were boosting it by 20%. That was significant, you know? 

And so, anyway, yeah. So I totally get what you're saying about that, for me the alignment there was I got to have that autonomy, and that creativity or like, how can I bring more money in somehow, you know, we worked out a way to do it. And then they stopped us and we're like, "Oh, stop stopping us doing all these fun things that we do." Yeah, I totally get that. And I think a lot of teachers would really resonate with the, and I there are a lot I have a Facebook group with, it's just tipped over 5000 members, and a lot of them are art teachers, because I mean, all the art teacher groups, so I they kind of, I'm attracting them. 

And I think they're Creative People and then they, they get into a role where they that's kind of forced out of them because they're, they've got to toe the line and be very structured in the way they run their, you know, their classes or whatever. And that's why it's not they're not aligned with it any more because they've, even though they've come in as a creative and they want to share their their their knowledge and their you know, the the joy in what they create. Actually, the profession doesn't really allow for that. And so then I want to get out because isn't that lack of alignment. So I think you make a really excellent point, very insightful. Thank you. So Petra, before we wrap this up I've got a couple more questions. First one is, what's your favorite song? 

Petra Zink  35:06  
Burn your name by Powderfinger.

Elizabeth Diacos  35:10  
What, what is it about that song by Powderfinger that that really resonates with you?

Petra Zink  35:17  
I think it's more that the rhythm, it's very upbeat, it builds up, and then it makes you feel good.

Elizabeth Diacos  35:26  
So it's like motivating. 

Petra Zink  35:28  

Elizabeth Diacos  35:29  
Okay. All right. So we'll have to put the link to that in our show notes. Listen to your favorite song. And finally, is there anything else you'd like to add that if someone was wanting to transition out of one career into another, they need to be thinking about before they go ahead and do that?

Petra Zink  35:45  
Yeah, probably a couple of things. Actually, I'm a big fan of building a portfolio career, meaning you've got not one full time engagement, but you've got multiple fingers in your different pots. So you know, I've got two different companies that I'm running. But I also teach at universities, as my I always call it my paid hobby, because I do get paid for it. But I would also do it if I wouldn't. Don't tell anyone. But, you know, that also got my exposure to developing a few government funded programs, for example, from employability for youth, last year with COVID, how can we create packages for small businesses that they can future proof themselves? 

And it just puts me into different networks? And this is the other tip. So whilst identifying what are those transferable skills that I really want to hone in on? And where can I use them? How can it be with diverse networks, because we all have heard the term your network is your net worth. And I always add you a diverse network is your next career or business opportunity, because you don't know who they are connected with and who their family is, and whatever it might be, and who they can introduce you to our door open doors. And especially these days, you know, I was also in recruitment of the marketing. 

So I went to my third and a half pivot, because I'm in the midst of one or towards the end already, but get excited about that. And those opportunities have only come through people who could open doors for me, or could introduce me to somebody. And so you want to build the roof before it's raining. So ideally, not just when you already resigned, then start doing the work because you build a brand over a lifetime, it never stops. But it also takes some time to get some traction. Just putting yourself out there for a couple of times, then saying doesn't get any results is not enough. It's very much the consistency in the persistence, showing up, also when we don't feel like it, connecting people with each other, being proactive with reaching out and don't wait for people to come to you because it doesn't happen. 

So how can you get active straightaway? Who do you know already in your network that you can reconnect with? Maybe from school 10 years ago, see what they're doing now? Even just starting with an informal interview tour? I see you're working at companies so and so I see you are in this industry now. What is it like to be there? So rather than having a hard, cold sales call, say I want to work for you? or How can I apply for this job? How can it be the relationship? First they could literally but asking what's it like to work there? Would you recommend it? I'm considering getting into this industry, a professional company. 

So it doesn't mean I am I'm just considering it. So in the second we ask for advice, we also put them on a pedestal and people usually love to help, rather than to say, "hey, I need a job. Can you hire me," like "Go away." It's like this car sales example. It's like, "I'm good." So nobody wants to be sold to but everyone wants to buy. And if I know that you are looking for something and you share your goals, it's more likely that I think of you saying "oh, I was just speaking to Elizabeth, she's actually looking for, you know, facilitating workshops, I should introduce you to each other." So all of a sudden, you come up in conversations outside your own control, but because you've done the groundwork.

Elizabeth Diacos  39:08  
Yeah, yeah, that's such good advice. You may meet, yeah, I just sent someone a job that came up on LinkedIn that I just know, is right up his alley. And, you know, he's like, "Oh, thanks for thinking of me." And I'm like, "well, because, you know, it was little effort for me to do that." So Adam Grant talks about in Give and Take his book, he talks about, like, the five minute favor, or that idea of, if it's only gonna take me five minutes, I'll probably be willing to do it for you, you know, if it's just a small task, and so people are actually quite willing usually to connect people or help them, you know, take that next step. If it's not a big, you know, drain on their time and effort. 

They're usually quite happy to do that. And, and also, I think people you're right, people love to be seen as the expert or seen as someone with influence, and so. So go the extra effort in order to maintain that reputation. So you know, then it actually is really can be really helpful to be well connected. That's such good advice. Thank you. Alright, so we're going to wrap it up. Thank you so much for coming on the get out of teaching podcast today, Petra, it's really an amazing experience. And I'm very grateful to you for sharing your insight and your wisdom.

Petra Zink  40:22  
Oh, thank you so much for having me and, honestly, I love your mission, because more people and teachers need to be empowered to see there is more to their career. And just because they've done it for so long doesn't mean they have to do it moving forward. You know, in the future of work, we have more careers, not just jobs, so embrace it now. And be proactive and create your own momentum rather than trying to wait or chasing opportunities. It's never easy. So keep on the great work and keep inspiring everyone.

Elizabeth Diacos  40:54  
Thank you. 

You've been listening to the Get Out of Teaching Podcast presented by Larksong Enterprises with your host Elizabeth Diacos. Do you know someone else who could benefit from hearing more stories of hope and transition from teachers all around the world? Please take a moment to share this and other episodes via your podcast app. Each share helps me reach listeners just like you who can benefit from this content. The Get Out of Teaching Podcast is proud to be part of the Experts On Air Podcast Network. For show notes and other resources, please visit

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