Please hold my hand and reassure me my career isn't f*cked

(23 Posts)

At the risk of outing myself, I've recently found out I will be made redundant along with most of my colleagues. This wasn't totally unexpected - I knew something would happen - but the scale is somewhat shocking.

I'm in a total tailspin. I've been back from maternity leave for 3 months and am working part-time. I like my hours and my location. I don't like my job so on one hand this is a good kick up the bot as I'm wanting to make a change to a career in IT. But on the other, finding a job with part-time hours at the level I should be at feels impossible. I don't want to lie to prospective employers but I feel like I'm shooting myself in the foot by making my family status clear.

I can't bear the thought of putting my daughter into nursery full-time - she's only 15 months - but it feels like my arm is twisted behind my back and I'm being told 'Career or family. Choose and choose now.' I could take redundancy and have another baby, I guess, but I'd be putting off the decision and putting myself even further behind in my career.

I feel like I'm almost being forced into SAHM-dom, which I thought I wanted but I've realised I don't. Not long term, anyway. This redundancy feels like it couldn't have come at a worse possible time, what with not having completed my family and staying within the same industry not a very viable solution (the industry is on its arse).

Please - does anyone have any positive stories? I just can't see where I go from here. I haven't worked this bloody hard to go backwards and end up in a 'little job' like my friends' mums.

HaroldLloyd Mon 12-Aug-13 13:05:16

I've had to go freelance in my work as part time jobs are not available is there anything you could do like that?

Afraid not. Oh bugger it, I work in publishing - there! I employ, or have employed, freelancers for copy-editing/proofreading and it's not something that's realistic anymore because the majority is now outsourced overseas (I sigh to myself whenever someone on here helpfully suggests c-e/pr as a job an MNer could do at home because, yeah, good luck with that).

mumtorobbie Mon 12-Aug-13 16:25:57

Don't panic!

I worked in the same industry as you and I actually took voluntary redundancy four years ago when my first DC was born.

I'm not going to lie to you, it's not easy out there but there are part-time jobs available and I've basically ended up in PR as it brings together both my publishing and marketing experience.

Forget the whole working from home nonsense. I've tried it -it's poorly paid and if like me you need to work to keep your sanity, you end up going mad from being at home all the time.

If I was you, I'd get on to some good agencies now, put the second baby on hold and more importantly, remember that your skills are really valuable out there.

I can recommend some good agencies (if you're in London) if you want to PM me.

slightlysoupstained Mon 12-Aug-13 20:39:24

A more positive spin on it: your employers are planning to fund your career change (or at least part of it). I didn't have a baby at the time, but redundancy was how I got my first IT role.

What kind of IT roles were you thinking of looking for?

Thanks soup! I'm looking for, ideally, networking or junior-ish sysadmin - I'm actually studying my CCNA in the evenings and I'm loving it (definitely working my braincells). Definitely not software engineering - I have no interest in being DH grin

I have had a couple of calls from recruiters this week and while the verdict has been 'weirdest CV ever' they've actually been really positive about what I have to offer particularly on the client management side. So I'm feeling a bit better about things even if no interviews so far.

How did you get into IT, if you don't mind me asking?

slightlysoupstained Sat 17-Aug-13 12:39:48

By emailing people until I found someone willing to have me grin I found out they existed by looking for job ads that seemed to be in the right area, and then contacted the manager regardless of whether I was experienced enough - basically explaining I was aiming to get into that area, would love to see how they worked, and would they be open to me coming and shadowing someone for a couple of days?

Eventually it worked out, I went in to see them, they liked me and decided that as the team was growing, they could really use a trainee and given that I happened to be pretty familiar with their customer base, they figured that what I didn't have in technical experience yet, I would more than make up for by being able to talk to their customers in language they'd understand (and get more useful info out of them).

As it happens I ended up in a different area of IT after a while, but it was a really lovely group of people to start with and I learned a lot from them. (And was pretty useful to them myself).

Having recruited people myself since, I realise how unusual it is to get an email from someone who has actually bothered to find out what the team does - it's quite flattering. And asking to shadow was an easier way in - asking for a job is a big decision (esp given they don't know you from Adam and you do not have the experience), but shadowing - hmm, maybe we could manage that. And then it basically gave them a lot longer than the average interview to decide that I was trainable and would fit into the team.

mirai Sat 17-Aug-13 13:02:18

Soup has some great advice there. smile

sheisaba Sat 17-Aug-13 13:10:27

have you looked into training yourself into devops / cloud admin roles?
A lot of companies are moving into cloud infastructure and they are struggling to hire people that really know aws/rackspace management as well as config management tools like chef and puppet which combine a bit of scripting with sys admin.

If you get these skills right now you will not be out of work and can pretty much dictate your working conditions.

maja00 Sat 17-Aug-13 13:13:09

Is your baby's father involved at all? Could he go part time?

sheisaba Sat 17-Aug-13 13:13:21

in case you haven't heard of dev ops en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DevOps

slightlysoupstained Mon 19-Aug-13 12:25:55

I don't know if you're near enough to Newbury for this to be useful, but apparently although it says "returners" they are also open to career changers too!
www.vodafone.co.uk/vodafone-uk/forms/returning-to-technology/index.htm

You're all lovely - thank you!

Yes, DH v involved but he's already working as flexibly as he can. The 'problem' (I appreciate how many people would like to have this problem) is that he earns 3 times my FTE, let alone my part-time salary so him going part time too wouldn't work financially. But he does pull his weight in that I start work v early, he does nursery run, I pick up and he works late. Reading these boards I realise how lucky I am.

Cloud admin sounds v interesting and I'll have a look at that. Newbury wouldn't be feasible (I know this from past experience) but I really appreciate the thought; that's really kind.

But thanks to you guys' encouragement.... I have a sort of interview tomorrow! I sent a speculative application on Friday to a company I've been following for a while. They replied 45 mins later asking me to come in for a chat on Tuesday. It may well be that it comes to nothing and I don't have what they're looking for (or vice versa) but I HAVE AN INTERVIEW! This is seriously exciting news!

slightlysoupstained Mon 19-Aug-13 18:37:40

That's fantastic news - congratulations and well done on getting the interview! Good luck tomorrow smile - will keep fingers crossed for you.

EBearhug Mon 19-Aug-13 21:52:18

I work in IT, and there are actually quite a lot of people who don't come in with a direct path - I started with a history degree and work history in libraries, now I work in unix sysadmin. I would say that those who have had different work experience rather than being purely techy techy techy all the way are actually better at the job (as a generalisation - there are always exceptions.) They are more likely to be able to translate between techy and user, rather than incomprehension that normal users don't understand obscure techy terms and concepts.

Good luck for tomorrow!

sheisaba Mon 19-Aug-13 23:16:32

good luck!!

Thank you! It was very much an informal chat but it was really quite enjoyable and the next step is to meet some of the engineering team next month. The MD did seem to think there was something they could do with me and my bizarre skillset grin

slightlysoupstained Thu 22-Aug-13 13:11:43

Excellent news - was hoping it had gone well.

Bizarre skillsets are actually great for smaller companies where you might need to wear a few different hats, let's hope it turns into a role (but even if it doesn't, there will be other companies out there and hopefully it's shown that your CV is interesting & attractive to them!). Good luck!

Thought it would be nice to come back and update:

I've been offered a job with them and am just waiting for confirmation of the salary and benefits. OMFG!

I AM SO EXCITED THEY ARE PERFECT FOR ME. Flexible hours and everything! Really positive about me having a family! I couldn't have picked a better place! Although I'll have to get used to being the only woman in the office... but I like a challenge grin

Thank you so much, MN. my confidence was shot to pieces when I started this thread and you made such a difference. Cheers!

pointythings Tue 01-Oct-13 21:20:31

Amazing stuff, OP! Just shows what attitude can do. I'm an archaeologist by training and have now been in IT for 15 years - have moved around a lot, learned new skills, changed areas once or twice. It's a lovely field to be in, and having people skills is hugely valuable too.

Really pleased for you smile

Good luck!

EBearhug Tue 01-Oct-13 23:16:08

Oh congratulations! I think having other experience before you go into IT is massively helpful (but then I would, wouldn't I...)

I have found one thing which helps me with being the only woman in the team is joining the company's women's association (which I'm now very active in, as one of my managers is a stupid arse who initially tried to stop me from being involved) - just gives some contrast from time to time, but actually, it's massively helpful for getting to know people in other parts of the company I would never normally meet, and it helps my job. So I'd recommend that if it's available (don't know how it would be like in other companies.)

HeeHiles Tue 01-Oct-13 23:28:49

Congratulations!

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