To leave my professional career for a low paid job?

(186 Posts)
raininginbaltimore Fri 18-Jan-13 20:39:26

I'm a teacher. Been teaching for 8 years, I'm a Headnof department for a small dept in secondary school.

I have bipolar disorder, diagnosed two years ago an have just had my second dc. As a family we have had a rough few months, I've been in a mother and baby unit and dd has been ill. I cannot face going back to work. Teaching just doesn't seem doable anymore. I can go back 4 days, but nothing less. I can't move schools as I am too expensive, and not many local jobs.

I am so exhausted with the job. I have been made aware of a job in a local charity. Two days a week, much lower salary etc. however after childcare costs etc we wouldn't be much worse off.

Has anyone done this?

If you can still manage financially, and do think a bit about what happens if the car breaks down or the boiler goes boom or you need a new washer etc, then go for it!
Your children will benefit more by having a mother who is coping and happy and able to function and look after them, spend time with them, and basically manage than from any amount of material things.
Children don't care about things half as much as people think, they don't need holidays abroad and the latest gadget at the expense of your health and well being.
Teaching is very stressful, and you sound like you've had such a lot on your plate recently, it could well be time to do something for you, and just slow down a little, reduce the stress as you can, and get a life back.
If I was you, I would do it!

LaCiccolina Fri 18-Jan-13 20:48:42

Honestly? Ur an adult. U might have some personal situations but u sound generally capable! Of course u can change jobs!

In my 10yrs experience of office jobs I definitely learnt that when u reach the point of wishing u didn't have to get up in the morning u must make a change. I've never once regretted it. U regret chances not taken, not chances u take. Try it. Need extra money? Maybe private tutor on the side?

Could be the start of a great new future. I think go for it

Zoomania Fri 18-Jan-13 20:50:09

Go for it! Life is too short to waste on a job that makes you unhappy by adding to your stress. Enjoy the extra time with your DC. You can pick up yor career again when they are older if that is what you want. However I understand the courage it takes to make a move like that. I often wish I could do the same but am too much of a coward!

HollyBerryBush Fri 18-Jan-13 20:51:14

Are you the lady that posts most Friday nights with the same question?

McNewPants2013 Fri 18-Jan-13 20:52:13

After reading another thread could you cover teachers when they do the 1/2 day training thing per week.

Winternight Fri 18-Jan-13 20:53:40

Yanbu. Give it up. Teaching is tough if your hearts not in it, plus Middle management is stressful.
Enjoy your life.

DisAstrophe Fri 18-Jan-13 20:54:21

Doesn't sound like you have much choice. you have to leave your job before it all fall apart anyway. Better to have a lower paid job than no job at all and damaged mental health

raininginbaltimore Fri 18-Jan-13 20:56:00

PPA works differently on secondary and doesn't require cover. I don't think I've asked this before?

I think the sign came when I recently broke my foot and realised the cast would be off in time for return to work. I kept thinking if only is done something more serious I wouldn't have to go to work. That isn't right.

Most of my teacher friends think I should consider the pension etc.

Winternight Fri 18-Jan-13 21:09:28

The pension we will be teaching until age 68 to get? Fuck that. Put your mental and emotional well being first.

HawthornLantern Fri 18-Jan-13 21:14:21

My parents were teachers and both said that if it was the right job for you they could imagine none better - but that if it wasn't then it could crucify you. As you are a head of department it sounds as if you are a cracking teacher - you would not have had the dedication to make that far otherwise.

But at the moment it doesn't look as if it is the right job for you and I think you are right to be listening to the alarm bells ringing in your head.

But - and at the risk of sounding as if I'm glued to the fence - pension savings are important too. Not necessarily more important than everything else but important enough that I'd be inclined to get advice on how you stand and how you might be able to compensate for changing your profession - even if you just decide to take a few years out of the classroom.

Wishing you all the best

slambang Fri 18-Jan-13 21:17:58

I went from teaching to working in a charity and got my life back. The money's crap, there's no job security (funding is from project to project and tighter with every bid), not much pension to speak of but I've never regretted it.

Don't quit your job until you have an alternative job offer though. Charity work (as with everything) is very competitive at the moment.

emsyj Fri 18-Jan-13 21:20:12

I gave up being a lawyer to take a job in the civil service paying just over one quarter of what I used to earn. It will be around one-fifth of my previous earnings when I go part time after my upcoming maternity leave. It's stress-free, I work with nice people, nobody expects me to work evenings or weekends, I have gone from wishing that I could be hospitalised with a fairly serious but non-life threatening illness just to escape and paying £400 a session for therapy to work out why I was so miserable to actually really not minding going to work in the morning.

Just do it. My DSis gave up teaching due to stress and she now works in Marks & Spencer part time - she's like a different person.

badtemperedaldbitch Fri 18-Jan-13 21:21:06

I was a hr manager and hated it every day

Now I'm a childminder and I love it!

SandStorm Fri 18-Jan-13 21:23:28

Life is too short to be unhappy. If you can do and you want to do it then go for it.

CremeEggThief Fri 18-Jan-13 21:25:55

I would say go for it too. I'm a qualified primary teacher who's been a SAHP, with the very occasional day of supply, for nearly two years. I'm now thinking of going back to work, as a T.A.

Sal100 Fri 18-Jan-13 21:26:41

I did it. I was an accountant. After having my kids I did a course in childcare and do bank creshe work. Some weeks I am working a few hours every day, and some weeks I work a few hours 1 day a week on minimum wage. Fits in with school holidays and I absolutly love it. :D All the extra money is a bonus as I wasnt earning anything as a SAHM whilst the kids were babies.

As long as you have worked out your finances and can live on a lower wage (taking into account your emotional wellbeing) go for it.

Yakshemash Fri 18-Jan-13 21:27:33

I left teaching. I was a HoD. Best thing I ever did.

kilmuir Fri 18-Jan-13 21:27:58

You can be a professional and be on a low wage.
You have one life, chose the option that is best for you .
Best of luck

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 18-Jan-13 21:29:19

Go for it. Against just about all advice, a couple of years ago I dropped a grade at work and reduced my hours. It hasn't been easy particularly as they keep trying to get me to do my old job on my new salary hmm but the feeling of being genuinely p/t is brilliant and being able to leave on time and not take work home and worry all the time was well worth the change.

Schooldidi Fri 18-Jan-13 21:32:43

If you can manage on the salary drop, even with a bit of belt tightening then go for it.

I had a few months when I was in my second year of teaching where I was thinking about crashing my car so I could avoid work. I changed jobs. I moved to another school but I had in my head that if I wasn't happier by Christmas I would leave teaching comletely and do something else, anything else. Luckily for me the new school was right and I love my job now, but if it hadn't been I would have taken anything just to get out.

Teaching isn't an easy job if you have other issues going on in your life. It sounds like you really do need a break.

ThatVikRinA22 Fri 18-Jan-13 21:33:13

this is interesting reading for me. im currently a police officer but im really struggling with depression, and only since i started the job. in all honesty i dont want to go back either.

i started volunteering at a local livery yard and i much prefer it....i think its spurred me into looking at my options.

DH says i should look
the gp told me to wait so i know its not just my depression talking but i only got depressed since starting this flaming god awful job.

exoticfruits Fri 18-Jan-13 21:35:54

Lots do it.For example lots of teachers work as TAs to get a life. I would go for it. You can always get back into teaching.

Charmingbaker Fri 18-Jan-13 21:43:31

I'm curious as to why you can't do less than 4 days. I was initially told I couldn't return part time to my teaching job by my head but once I made it (politely) clear I would take it up with governors it wasn't a problem. I may have only halved my hours, but my stress levels are down by 90% and previously never ending teachers to do lid is no longer constantly hovering over me.
If there is still a part of you that enjoys the job try and find hours that suit you ( getting rid of management post frees up even more time and stress). If however you don't want to be in the classroom anymore you need to get out,
Don't forget you can always look into tutoring if you ever need any extra cash. A few part time teachers aty DS1s secondary privately tutor SN children in the afternoon whilst their own DCs are at school,

raininginbaltimore Fri 18-Jan-13 21:46:15

I can't do less than 4 days and keep my management. I can't drop management because I was employed as that job and there is no one to take on the head of dept job. I have asked, I asked after my last maternity leave.

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