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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 January 2006, 16:21 GMT
'I gave up a City job to teach'
Nick Hamlyn used to earn a six-figure salary and drive a flash car - but gave it all up to teach French to teenagers.

He is one of a growing army of new teachers who have quit a high-flying job to teach, according to the Training and Development Agency for Schools.

A former corporate dealer, the 44-year-old father of one is now in his second year of teaching.

"I got to the stage where I started thinking about quality of life," he said.

"In all my time at the City although I had enjoyed making money I didn't really enjoy my job."

After leaving his City job he set up his own recruitment agency before starting his teacher training.

Nick, who lives in Ravenscourt Park, west London, now works at Mill Hill County High School earning 32,000.

Any regrets?

"I used to have a very nice car and I now drive a Volkswagen Polo," he said. "So, yes, occasionally I'll see a Porsche and think it would be nice to have one of those again but having earned the money you realise it was fun but it's not everything."

His partner works in advertising and Nick acknowledges his decision to switch careers may have been more difficult if she had not had such a well-paying job.

"Obviously you have to pay the mortgage so I may have found it absolutely impossible," he said. "But my partner was very supportive. She said 'you must do this because it's what you want to do'."

He is also quick to add that his wage is not at poverty level.

"Compared with the City it's a big drop," he said. "But relative to other jobs it's no longer a low paying job."

He adds that not all days are good days.

"Of course not every moment is absolute pleasure - no job is like that," he said. "Everybody has a bad day but I've not got any regrets. I think there are lots of opportunities in teaching.

"I've also got a 22-month-old child who I get to spend more time with."

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