To ask for some help in making this decision?

(38 Posts)
woopdiedoo Wed 14-Nov-12 13:38:23

This probably isn't the right place for this but I'm going round in circles.

I am currently at SAHM but volunteer a couple of mornings a week. There might be the opportunity coming up to do the same job (which I love doing) full time for £15000 a year. I have looked into it and used the tax credits calculator and after tax and childcare (will need a full time nursery place and before and after school club) we will actually be worse off than we are now (which seems bizarre to me).

I don't want this to be a SAHM v WOHM thread but I am genuinely torn about what to do. I will basically be working to put my youngest in nursery full time. I have no issues with working, that was always the plan, but ideally didn't want to do it until youngest qualifies for 3 year funding and even then, I would have preferred part time.

But in the same token, I realise that times are tough and I would be lucky to be able to do a job that I enjoy and don't feel like I can turn down the opportunity. The job will only be for a year and is not the sort if thing yiu can progress in but it will fill the large gap currently in my cv while being a SAHM.

What would you do in this situation? TIA thanks

aimingtobeaperfectionist Wed 14-Nov-12 13:41:39

If the job is only going to be for a year with no progression and you'd basically be working for nothing, I'm not sure I'd take it.

Sallyingforth Wed 14-Nov-12 13:43:23

Go for it. It's not just about the money.
It will expand your horizons, put a solid year on your CV and give your child some social interaction as well.

JackThePumpkinKing Wed 14-Nov-12 13:47:00

How old is your youngest? I think it would depend on that, and how long you'd be paying full whack for childcare.

Have you worked out how much better off you would be if you take the childcare vouchers into consideration? They make such a difference. Also, does your employers offer the voucher scheme?

izzyishavingababyAGAIN Wed 14-Nov-12 13:48:16

For a permanent post - yes but not if there is no chance - a year of working for nothing?

JackThePumpkinKing Wed 14-Nov-12 13:51:06

Just realised it's only for a year. I wouldn't do it.

familyfun Wed 14-Nov-12 13:53:40

no i wouldnt do it, its not the hours you want and its not long term, so no point.

Not for a year, unless there were good prospects after that of something better.

Sallyingforth Wed 14-Nov-12 13:56:42

If the OP is looking at career progression and filling in the CV then the one year contract isn't important. She'll be looking to move on anyway.
"It's always easier to get a job when you have one" - and that's true.

MrsCantSayAnything Wed 14-Nov-12 13:57:18

Another who says that it's not worth it unless it is permanent. It's basically like doing an internship...you'd be living on the hope that the experience would open doors at other companies though.

woopdiedoo Wed 14-Nov-12 14:00:27

Thanks for the replies. I guess the biggest benefit would be experience to use to get the next job.

I still don't know the full details of the job because if there is the chance to reduce childcare by doing evenings and weekends then that would be more worthwhile. I haven't looked at what childminders would cost either but that might make a difference.

My youngest is nearly 2 so a while off school yet and 3 year funding will not cover full time hours.

DP thinks I should go for it but the childcare/tax credits issue has taken the wind right out of my sails sad.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Wed 14-Nov-12 14:02:24

I wouldn't do it. There wouldn't be enough 'in it' for me to make it worth putting a child into nursery when I hadn't planned to & didn't want to.

I would consider it if it would...

- Pay me massively well to improve the whole family's lifestyle
or
- Be an ongoing job which I really, really wanted
or
- Offer progression (unless it was THE perfect job I'd never want to 'move up' from)

Putting the youngest in nursery and getting wrap around care for the eldest/others just to fill a small gap on my CV would be a 'Thanks but no thanks'.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Wed 14-Nov-12 14:06:52

x-posted...

What would you be doing in the new position that you aren't doing now?

Evenings & weekends - once again I'd need the 'gain' to be big to make it worthwhile losing that time together.

If you haven't looked into the cost of childcare, what are you basing this > 'we'd be worse off financially' on?

Why does DP think you should go for it?

woopdiedoo Wed 14-Nov-12 14:07:13

There is also the issue with the training as I will have to travel to complete it and DP will have to use his holidays to do it.

I'm just worried that when it's time to find a job when we don't need childcare that I will struggle to find anything worthwhile.

This situation seems crazy to me but I guess one that many many parents face all the time.

woopdiedoo Wed 14-Nov-12 14:11:13

I've based the childcare costs on what I know a full time nursery costs (£40 a day?) and estimating wrap around care for older DCs. I haven't looked at what childminders cost.

The job role is identicle but without wanting to out myself by saying what is is that I do, I feels really ineffective only doing it a couple of mornings a week. It's basically 'helping people' so high job satisfaction.

DP thinks it could lead to better things so he thinks I should go for it even though we'll be taking a hot financially and he doesn't understand the wrench if leaving the DCs without any financial incentive.

woopdiedoo Wed 14-Nov-12 14:11:58

Oops, sorry for typos.

melodyangel Wed 14-Nov-12 14:15:28

How about asking for a job share?

woopdiedoo Wed 14-Nov-12 14:16:53

Another lady I volunteer with has already asked for this but apparently they can't do it. Not sure why but most likely due to the cost if training.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Wed 14-Nov-12 14:23:43

Why is it only for one year?

It feels ineffective doing it part time but The role is identical is the difference on paper going to make a big enough impact on your CV for the sacrifice you would need to make?

Why do you need so much/such expensive training to be paid to do what you are doing voluntarily now? Seems a bit odd... especially if the training cost is one reason they don't want a job share.

WelshMaenad Wed 14-Nov-12 14:28:52

I wouldn't. If it could lead to bigger, brighter things, or was better paid, maybe. But as you describe, no.

Have you even thought about the additional costs of school holiday childcare etc?

woopdiedoo Wed 14-Nov-12 14:29:50

It is a national organisation that is recruiting for year. I believe the long term plan is that private organisations might want to recruit is after this time to utilise our skills and they would pay the salary. But this is in no way guaranteed.

I volunteer through another organisation who have bought in the same training so the role will be the same.

If I was doing it full time then I could make a bigger impact and have more to put in my cv whilst also showing 'willingness to work' but I have been out if the job market for a while and feel I have lost touch with what employers are looking for - especially now.

Bertiebiplane Wed 14-Nov-12 14:30:10

It's a very personal choice. I went back to work for a job that basically covered my childcare costs because I knew that the gap on my CV would just get bigger and bigger. It lead onto bigger and better things and I've never regretted it.

All that said, you're doing voluntary work just now and you could include that on your CV in the future so you wouldn't have the gap I did. If you did go for it, you've got a 2 year old, you should be able to ask for flexible working and your employer would be obliged to consider it - not sure if you have to wait until you're in a job or not (ACAS should be able to advise you).

woopdiedoo Wed 14-Nov-12 14:30:41

Welsh, no I hadn't thought about that. It's really not looking doable right now.

I would go for it - to reject a position because it 'might' not be exactly to what you want is very shortsighted and may progress to grow into a better position. You have not really lost - if it doesn't work out there is no harm in resigning.

woopdiedoo Wed 14-Nov-12 14:32:19

Thank you Bertie. It's good to hear of a positive experience. If I went for it then I am hoping it could lead on to better things.

redskyatnight Wed 14-Nov-12 14:38:35

First of all check your sums.
Have to say my gut feel is to go for it - a year's paid experience is not to be sniffed at, the job may lead to another job with the same company, and even if it doesn't will put you "ahead" of the people that haven't worked in this area when looking for the next job. Plus you may find when you're in that you have some flexibility with hours (depends on the job evidently).

ChippingInLovesAutumn Wed 14-Nov-12 14:46:27

Itsjustafleshwound - it's like you are posting on an entirely different thread - I'm very confused about your comment?!

It is a national organisation that is recruiting for year. I believe the long term plan is that private organisations might want to recruit is after this time to utilise our skills and they would pay the salary

That is sounding a bit more positive. Without knowing exactly what it is, it's hard to help much really. Do you feel the private sector would recruit you all?

I suppose it's an opportunity to get back into the workforce which is not to be sniffed at, but it seems to be coming at such a cost - both financially and with putting the children in nursery/after school care without knowing if there will definitely be a return for that sacrifice or not. Quite different if it was permanent IMO.

I can see why you are struggling with this one.

I know what I would do, but I'm not you.

woopdiedoo Wed 14-Nov-12 14:54:17

Thank you for the replies once again. My initial reaction was to go for it but then the after thoughts of 'how will we manage the childcare' quickly came in.

Part if the problem is also that my volunteer role is badly organised and they are the ones feeding the information back to us. I don't feel like I know enough yet to make a definite decision but thryaretexactly forthcoming with the answers when I ask.

I'm not sure about future recruitment. They would have to be very specific employers so it could go either way.

I need to be in a position to accept quickly if the position is offered however, as the training starts next month and DP would need to book the holiday to have the DCs while I'm away for the training.

woopdiedoo Wed 14-Nov-12 14:55:01

* they are not exactly forthcoming

ChippingInLovesAutumn Wed 14-Nov-12 15:01:55

Bothering bollocks. Difficult isn't it!

OK... a few more q's.

Would it cost you anything to do the training (other than using his holiday and he should ask if he can take some other kind of leave or unpaid leave if you can afford it)?

Can you get the information directly from the people rather than through where you are volunteering?

How supportive will your DH actually be once this starts - will he pitch in at home, take time off to look after the kids when they're sick, make dinner etc or will it all be down to you? <no casting any judgement, he might do all that now for all I know, just asking!>

How old are the other children?

How do you feel about 'losing' this year with your youngest?

woopdiedoo Wed 14-Nov-12 15:31:06

Yes, very difficult!

DP is owed some holiday so not too much of an issue but I think he would need to book it soon.

It wouldn't cost me financially to do the training as they are covering these expenses but I've never been away from the DCs for that long before so I'm nervous about it.

Other DCs are reception and other is at high school so 2 different pick up points for a childminder.

I think I would have to have a discussion with DP regarding his household input as currently it is me doing most of it but then I am at home more than him currently.

Ideally I don't want my youngest to go to nursery full time. She goes at the moment whilst I volunteer and despite being there for months and months she still cries when I leave her. I feel guilty about putting her in the care of other people when there is nothing really to be gained in that we will be worse off financially.

I think I need to press for more answers and see if I can speak to someone directly.

ImperialStateKnickers Wed 14-Nov-12 15:37:59

Sorry OP, if my youngest was crying her eyes out when left at nursery I'd have to be leaving her for a better reason than you've given so far.

woopdiedoo Wed 14-Nov-12 15:42:41

I know what you're saying imperial, it breaks my heart to leave her like that. They say she always settles after I have gone though. From what they tell me, she gets very attached to one member of staff only and gets upset when they have to go out if the room for whatever reason, which makes me think she might be better with a childminder.

SaraBellumHertz Wed 14-Nov-12 16:05:09

It is a reall difficult choice but if you are set on going back to work at some point I would go for it.

When my eldest DC were at school I started looking for a job, despite having had a good professional career I couldn't find anything suitable. I didn't "need" to work so wasn't prepared to compromise and the result was in 10mths I didn't find anything.

I went on to have another DC and by sheer chance I was offered an amazing opportunity when DC was 12 mths - it wasn't what I'd planned I was reluctant to give up my time at home but equally I was aware how hard the struggle to return to work could be.

Now I'm working all sorts of opportunities crop up for me: having a ob opens a lot of doors

woopdiedoo Wed 14-Nov-12 16:35:38

Oh, that's really encouraging Sara, and demonstrated the reasons I am even considering this, ie. that it may lead on to better things.

Does anybody know an accurate way of finding out what tax credits we will likely get? I have used their online calculator but I have heard that it is inaccurate and usually inflated any actual award. Can I speak to their advisers? Will they be able to do a better off calculation? My concern is that if the online calculator figure is wrong then we could be even worse off as it is showing a very small amount towards childcare but without this we would have to find the whole amount.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Thu 15-Nov-12 22:21:55

Hi, sorry, I had to go out yesterday and have only just got home (dirty stop out I know!!).

Have you had any more thoughts?

As a bit of an aside (sort of) how many days and how many hours does DD go to nursery for now? You might find she settles better with more time there.

I'm sorry I can't help you at all with the tax credits - can the CAB help maybe?

bumperella Thu 15-Nov-12 22:43:03

Sounds bizarre, but would your new employer not have an HR department that could help out givimg you a definite answer re: tax credits etc?

If your field has roles that are few-and-far-between then it would seem sensible to give it a go. You can always leave if it doesn't work out.

maddening Thu 15-Nov-12 22:46:50

Do either you or your dh's employers do childcare vouchers? Have you looked at the benefits package you would get and he might have - you might be able to claw a little back?

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