To ask you for careers advice even though I'm nearly 40

(17 Posts)
LittleMissUpset Tue 20-Sep-16 19:47:59

I've been in retail for 7 years, working every weekend, and while it pays, I've never liked it!

I would like to start working towards something, do some volunteering and a course etc, so I can start getting experience.

The trouble is I've never known what I want to do blush

I've never been a confident person, and my OH is not supportive, he works shifts and works over 7 days a week, not the same days every week, so it's difficult to go to an evening course, or work evenings, we have childcare from family on weekends we need it luckily but they aren't close enough distance wise for evenings etc.

Our children are in primary school, so by the time they are in secondary I hope to have some idea and experience.

I like helping people, and am patient, and would like to work in a supportive role.

Please help grin any advice on volunteering ideas or job ideas with my vague info would be great!

yeOldeTrout Tue 20-Sep-16 20:12:44

Are you more of a ...

Helper?
Problem solver?
Doer?
Fixer?
team player?
Listener?
Nurturer?
Maker?
Plodder?
Details or big picture?

Are you more ... girlie or into stereotype guy things?

ilovesooty Tue 20-Sep-16 20:15:09

Nearly 40 is young in terms of career change.

redexpat Tue 20-Sep-16 20:38:04

It's great that you've given yourself a timeframe. That's really useful.

In your position i would look at distance learning. Is OU an option? Have a look and see what online courses are available. Jot down those that seem interesting. It will help you narrow down.

Something else i woud recommend is temping. You get insights into lots of different work places.

Have a look for do-it.org.uk for volunteering opportunities.

TheSecondOfHerName Tue 20-Sep-16 20:42:27

Teaching assistant?

ChickenVindlaoo Tue 20-Sep-16 21:01:50

I've just paid for a course of career counselling. Definitely worth doing to get a good understanding of yourself, your values and insights.

If money is a problem, try one of those life coaching books. Or google "myers briggs" personality testing.

Good luck!!

NotAMammy Tue 20-Sep-16 21:07:14

Try and schedule some time with peace and quiet and take some paper and a pen. Be as honest with yourself as you possibly can be and write down
What you like
What you don't like
What you wanted to do when you were a kid
What you're good at
What you aren't good at
What you tend to do in your spare time

It's not going to give you the answer immediately but it will probably rule some things out and might give you some clarity. I'd agree with others about looking at volunteering opportunities and the OU. If you think you'd like something a bit more hands-on (like dressmaking, furniture building, etc) then taster workshops might be a good idea too.

Good luck and enjoy the adventure. And don't worry about not being a kid, you've got around 25yrs before you even get near retiring age - that's a pretty hefty amount of time!

LittleMissUpset Tue 20-Sep-16 22:06:19

I mentioned age as I am more embarrassed about still not know what I'm good at, what I want to do, rather than being to old grin

Some good ideas thanks, I like the idea of the list of things.

Things I know are in an introvert, I like routine and rules, I don't like retail particularly if im having an introverted day!

I am not naturally authoritative so don't think a leadership/school job would work.

I would love to find my calling, and do something I'm good at and hopefully enjoy, I just have no idea what that is!

srslylikeomg Tue 20-Sep-16 22:10:53

I think being a registrar would be a fascinating job. All those births, marriages and deaths. Genuinely: how interesting! Just thought I'd throw that out there op as I can't do it so you might! smile

ghostyslovesheep Tue 20-Sep-16 22:20:33

start here to generate ideas - they research the ones that appeal to you in more detail - look at related jobs and find out the routes into them etc

nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/tools/Pages/default.aspx

nic266uk Tue 20-Sep-16 23:36:16

I was in this situation this time last year, I'm 34 and for the past 12 years I was a hair dresser I absolutely hated it didn't enjoy it one bit, I was so embarrassed when friends would ask what I did want to do and I didn't have a clue I felt like there was something wrong with me.
So while on maternity last year I went onto the national careers website and did a questionnaire anyway to cut a long story short I decided upon family support work.
I have since completed level 1 course, I'm now on with level 2 plus English GCSE , and next year I'll be doing level 3 and maths GCSE, I also do 2 days a week volunteering in field I'm interested in, I went to the national careers service in college too who helped me so much.
I haven't been this happy in a long time, I've now got goals, like you I wasn't very confident but I'm loads more confident now.
Please don't be worried about your age your never too old to learn there's people much older than you on my course it really doesn't matter.
Why don't you ring up your local college and book a appointment with a careers advisor smile

ShakyMilk Tue 20-Sep-16 23:44:36

Place marking as I am in the same boat. 37, hate my job, ready for a change but no burning desire for any specific career, so unsure where to start. Something has to change, but it all feels so daunting at the moment.

NotAMammy Wed 21-Sep-16 22:48:39

LittleMiss and ShakyMilk please let me know whether you found the National Careers Website useful. We never had anything similar when I was younger, just a crap guidance counsellor who just kept telling me to follow my dreams when I asked him which of the two subjects I loved had better career prospects. hmm

Also, I've recently started thinking that I'd kind of love to be like a career counselor or something similar for people in your kind of situation, or the post-uni, omgIhatedmycourseanddon'tknowwhattodonow people but I haven't started to even look into it yet because it's all a bit scary.

CodyKing Wed 21-Sep-16 22:59:16

Have you thought of nursing?

They pay while you train - you can request flexible shifts

LittleMissUpset Thu 22-Sep-16 13:57:46

Not I will let you know thanks smile

Nursing is not for me as I have OCD and am no good with blood!

At least if I can work out what I want to do, then I can do something constructive grin

positivity123 Thu 22-Sep-16 15:12:20

If you like routine and systems have you thought about book keeping? You could see if you can get an administrator jobs in a retail head office as that isn't such a daunting jump.
I always think supply chain and logistics are quite interesting as well. You can make a huge difference behind the scenes of how a company is run. If you are a problem solver as well this job can be quite good.

What I would say is that you mustn't be paralysed by the amount of choice out there. Whatever job you move to do will give you TRANSFERABLE SKILLS these are so important. The job I do now is totally different to the 1 I had 5 years ago but I built up a skill set as I went along and I love my job now. Make a move, learn what you can then move again. You don't have to decide now on your forever job as that is so daunting. Best of luck!!

jellybeans Thu 22-Sep-16 15:22:17

I am almost 40 and had a long time as a SAHM and my husbands works similar shifts. I did some volunteering and an OU degree. I highly recommend OU although I was lucky to undertake this on the lower fees.

I am now training on a allied health course and get an NHS bursary. I wasn't sure which course to go for at first but went to lots of open days and just knew this role was the one I wanted. I am enjoying every minute and there are lots of mature students, some much older.

I would have a look at open days at uni and colleges. Watch careers videos etc. When you find the one you will know. Good luck

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