Would You Enjoy Being an Implementation Specialist?

by | Oct 15, 2023

Many teachers considering a new path have never considered the role of implementation specialist. Yet, this might be the perfect role for you. I have served in this role in a SaaS EdTech company, which is when I first realized what a great fit for many teachers this role could be. But, since every company structures this role differently, I recently interviewed two other former teachers turned implementation specialists to get their insight. Here are their perspectives on this role—special thanks to Kayleigh Carter and Samantha Childers for being willing to share.

What is an Implementation Specialist?

This role looks different depending on the company, but it will generally involve helping a client get started with using a new program or platform. This can include training and technical onboarding. The role can also involve ongoing support to ensure that the customer has success with meeting their goals. Samantha Childers said she loves the role because “I get to help people be successful with our product, which is very rewarding to me.”

How would you describe a day in the life of an implementation specialist?

“It’s all about finding a balance between client requests and meeting deadlines,” states Kayleigh Carter.  “You’ll wake up with many client requests, but the main goal is to make sure you prioritize your tasks to align with meeting deadlines. Every day is different- some days I’m on client calls all day, and other days I’m dedicated to admin work. Every company/product is very different but think of yourself as a project manager who is assisting clients to meet their goals by working with many different parties.”

What do you love about the role of implementation specialist?

“Meeting and helping new people,” shared Samantha. Kayleigh added, “I love the autonomy that comes with this role. YOU are the manager of these projects and the advocate for the client. You will need to work with many different parties, but you will be responsible for spearheading the path for what needs to be done in order to meet the client’s goals.” This could be for a longer time period (such as a full year) or a shorter time period (for example, the first 60-90 days of the customer’s partnership), depending on the company.

What surprised you when you moved from the classroom into this role?

“The freedom I felt,” shares Samantha. “I was worried about missing summer break, but I didn’t care at all when summer came and went.”

Kayleigh was surprised at how well the role fits educators who have experience with learning targets and writing plans to meet objectives. “When you meet with the client, you create a goal and a timeline, establish a path to get there, and then start completing tasks in order to achieve this goal.”

What is the hardest thing about being an implementation specialist as a former teacher?

“Learning any sort of software is very complex,” shares Kayleigh. “These are robust platforms, and it is quite different than learning school material. You need to work with engineers/software developers, understand niche lingo, etc.”

Samantha also focused on learning new skills. Instead of the technology, she stated that the hardest thing is, “Just learning how a company works since I’ve only ever been in the classroom. The training process was great, so I felt totally prepared when I was expected to perform by myself.”

What would you share with teachers who are considering this role?

Samantha shared. “If you’re thinking about leaving, do it! There are still some days I miss teaching because of the kids, but I would never go back. This role is such an easy transition because teachers are natural speakers and you get to teach new clients throughout the day!”

Kayleigh agreed. “You have all the basic skills you need! Everything else you learn along the way is just refining them to fit into your new environment (just like the terms you learn in education). The fundamentals remain the same, the rest is adaptable!”


Want help with this? Consider my Preparing for Change course. Or join my Facebook group for transitioning teachers. You can also subscribe to my newsletter to learn more about upcoming events.


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