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Lucy Kellaway swaps keyboard for blackboard

Monday, 21 November, 2016

“We will live until we are 100, and will work into our 70s. If Leonard Cohen could do world tours until he was 80, I can surely find the energy needed to be in a classroom all day, teaching kids my favourite subject.” So says Lucy Kellaway, who surprised the world of business journalism yesterday by announcing that after 31 years at the Financial Times she’s changing careers. She’s training to be a teacher.

Kellaway is famous for her acerbic writing about the loathsome side of corporate life, but she’s trading in the cushy punditry for a future facing teenagers in an inner London school teaching the basics of trigonometry. And she’s got it all figured out.

She has set up Now Teach and one of its goals is to persuade experienced managers at outfits like McKinsey and Goldman that teaching “is a cool and noble thing to do”. But isn’t teaching, like, complicated? It certainly is. Kellaway, however, is partnering with Ark, an educational charity that specializes in training teachers, which means all those ex-executives will be well prepared for their lessons

Again, the announcement yesterday caught everyone by surprise, but it’s not as if there weren’t portents. In April last year, Lucy Kellaway had lunch with Australia’s Financial Review, and at one stage she said: “I’ve been at the FT for 30 years. 30 YEARS! With the same employer. That is kind of ironic given the whole thing I do is write about new ways of work and loyalty and all of that.”

That was then. Life begins at 58 they say now.

Lucy Kellaway


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