to feel a failure for having not had a career

(24 Posts)
Samnella Fri 13-Sep-13 22:14:25

I have a degree and at one point had a professional job but due to various reasons I left and now can't return (The job no longer exists). Fast forward several years, life has moved on and after spending some time at home, followed by a mundane office job I am now 'working' for H's (I can't put 'DH' it always strikes me as twee wink) company. This equates to doing some accounts so I can be paid under his company. It works well as I am around for the DC's etc.

But I have this nagging feeling of failure for not having had a proper career. I am 40 now so I imagine it's all too late and besides I don't have a clue what I would do confused.

Even if I did find something I like I am thinking I would have to work FT to progress (certainly was my experience in my last job) which I can't do as H is unable to do school runs etc due to his work (yes I know it's an old chestnut but in our case it's true that he can't - his work is highly unpredictable in terms of hours).

usuallyright Fri 13-Sep-13 22:24:14

I think the grass is often greener.
I went back to work after years of being sahm and I'd definitely built up a rose tinted view! After 2 weeks I wanted to be a sahm again.
40 is still youthful.
If you want to work again, retrain, start your own business, you absolutely can.

olgaga Fri 13-Sep-13 22:32:38

I had a career, I gave up a senior level post at 41 to be there for my tiny needy underweight baby.

I work hard, working unpaid at home is no picnic. I'm lucky I have some paid work around 1 week each month.

However I don't think anything I did in my career was ever as valuable as being there for my DD and DH whenever my support is needed.

I suppose the difference is that I was financially independent by the time I married and had DD at my ripe old age - but I was very, very lucky.

I'd say don't worry, don't underrate your contribution, and you're probably young enough to have a whole new chapter of your life when your DC are older.

Samnella Fri 13-Sep-13 22:36:56

Think you are probably right. The mundane office job I refer to involved me working my socks off for 3 years , lots of unpaid overtime, promotions in terms of responsibility but no payrise and the children in school from 7.30 to 5.30 4 days a week when the youngest was in reception. At the end of it all I had no real prospects unless I worked ft which I couldn't physically do as there was not enough hours between breakfast and after school club. I worked so hard but it felt fruitless. H had by then developed his company to the point he needed admin help so it sounded ideal all round. It's just left me with a nagging sense I should have done more and now its too late.

SaltyMoon Fri 13-Sep-13 22:38:32

What a load of crap, Samnella

Forty is not even half way through most people's lives. Have you looked at some young people today, a lot of them already have jowls and wrinkles! Look at some 40yr old celebrities, there isn't an awful lot of difference between them and their early thirties' counterparts. I have more energy now than I had in my twenties, exercising, eating right, being free from obsessing about some guy who wasn't even worthy of my attention back in those days.

Seriously, do what you want to do and don't give a stuff about what others think - recently I've had to listen to a whole load of hooey from parents planning out their A-level taking children's lives. There are going to be a lot of disappointments along the way, and who wants a completely compliant child anyway? It's all so obsessive, what will they do when the children do something off-plan and start dating people they don't approve of, the fun begins. I digress!

I'm retraining, in London, there will probably be quite a few students my age. If there aren't, it won't be the end of the world. I would rather try than lose my life wistfully thinking about what if. Look to the future not the past. If anyone says something I will bring up something from their life that they don't like talking about! You feel like this when you have been held back for too long.

While we are on the subject, I think that universities (the good ones) should be doing more to help mature students. There are nowhere near enough part-time, evening and online courses.

CailinDana Fri 13-Sep-13 22:40:26

What exactly do you mean by "more"? More money? More ...overtime??

SaltyMoon Fri 13-Sep-13 22:40:47

Posted before your last post, generally about children.

I think now is your time. Can you pay to get some help?

ExitPursuedByADragon Fri 13-Sep-13 22:42:57

Inner peace is what you need. Work is not necessarily where you will find it.

BlackeyedSusan Fri 13-Sep-13 22:43:51

failure and success are not measured solely on a career. one can have a wonderful career and fail totally at raising children, or marriage, or relationships.

SaltyMoon Fri 13-Sep-13 22:45:59

Was the professional job something that you can never get back into with CPD hours? Can you get help from grandparents or are they also busy/working?

passmetheprozac Fri 13-Sep-13 22:49:39

I'm 28 I have no career, I have what 40 years of work ahead of me. I'm only just doing my degree now.

The way things are going you still have thirty years of working and it's ok that you are not where you want to be. Just get where you want to be.

Samnella Fri 13-Sep-13 22:54:33

Sadly no family nearby.

I just need to get a grip. I wondered if I was the only I who felt they hadn't lived up to their own expectations. When I was young it was a given I would have a career.

There is no way I can go back to old job.

Someone said about not being a success at everything. I think that's it. When I was working in the office Job a few years back I and the dcs were exhausted but I felt it was a means to an end. As it happened I would only have got proper promotions if j worked ft..

SaltyMoon Fri 13-Sep-13 22:55:54

Good luck with your degree passmetheprozac, the media is tediously focussed upon what those leaving school/college are doing. I turn the radio/tv off sometimes as it is the same issue over and over.

You are right about the length of the average working life too, people will be working well into their seventies and perhaps eighties. Those who enjoy their job will want to work that long anyway. I have a list somewhere of all the people in the public eye are who are still working from age 70 -90yrs - it's long!

Samnella Fri 13-Sep-13 22:58:13

Cailindana
- by more I mean more effort to have a career and to achieve in that sense.

SaltyMoon Fri 13-Sep-13 22:58:37

It sounds like you feel trapped into the roles and expectations that are being placed upon you. Your h expects you to be doing a lot of stuff and has lost sight that you need some time of your own and that you had and still have dreams of your own?

thebody Fri 13-Sep-13 23:00:35

is a career what you do before you have children? if so I had one.

is a job what you do after having children? if do I do one?

passmetheprozac Fri 13-Sep-13 23:00:44

Thank you salty, I've only just realised this! And at the same time I've realised it's ok. I will get to where I want to be, but it will take a little longer and I will be richer in experience.

cerealqueen Fri 13-Sep-13 23:03:52

Forget about the old job, its not important now. What about taking some classes in something that interests you? Evening or Open university perhaps then take things from there?

SaltyMoon Fri 13-Sep-13 23:05:42

There you go Prozac, you had a little detour, that's all!
Were others supportive? I think that everyone, deep down, wants to feel self supporting, don't they? Ultimately I want to feel that I can finance my own life. Juggling a life with partner/husband, elderly parents and/or children is hard - it mostly falls on women.

SaltyMoon Fri 13-Sep-13 23:07:10

Agree with cerealqueen, get your h and children used to the fact that you need some time for your own development.

Primrose123 Fri 13-Sep-13 23:15:22

I feel like you OP. I did well in school and then got a good degree. I worked after university, but it wasn't really a graduate job. There wasn't much around where I live, and I didn't want to move away from my boyfriend, friends and family. Perhaps that was where I went wrong.

I then had two DC and my DH worked very long hours so I did practically all the childcare and housework. Eventually it all became too much and I became a SAHM, which I was happy about at the time.

Now my DC are older, I would like to work. I have studied for the past few years to get a post graduate qualification, but I still can't find anything in my type of work.

To all those people who have changed career or retrained, what are you training to do now? I need some inspiration!

Samnella Fri 13-Sep-13 23:25:50

That all sounds familiar primrose.

My sister has a great career. She is senior in her field and I often think I should be the same. But her husband works part time in a less demanding job to enable her to work the hours she needs. She often admits to finding it difficult in the balancing act. Perhaps it is just the grass is greener. I just wonder how it Looks to my kids, particularly my daughter. Hmmm. I don't know. It's just life I guess.

thebody Fri 13-Sep-13 23:29:23

do you need to earn money for the family pot? if so how much??

i

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 13-Sep-13 23:35:33

40 is not too late. That's all.

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