Want to return to work after 13 years at home!

(38 Posts)
florapup Tue 22-Feb-11 18:14:44

I have been at home bringing up my children for 13 years. I need to return to work part-time and don't know how to start! I have no up-to-date references or experience or an idea of what I might be able to do! I am a qualified (if a lot rusty!) secondary school teacher but have no wish to return to the classroom! Any help or advice would be fantastic - thank-you

florapup Tue 22-Feb-11 18:24:40

P.S Forgot to say that this is my first time on Mumsnet - so, I hope I am doing this properly?!

Maryz Tue 22-Feb-11 18:24:50

I'll join you flora - I have been out of the workplace for 17 years and am afraid I am unemployable.

I can't afford to retrain (Ireland so fees are astronomical), and am not eligible for any free retraining, because I'm not technically unemployed. I don't exist, officially sad.

I will watch this thread if you don't mind.

florapup Tue 22-Feb-11 18:28:57

It's frightening isn't it! I too feel 'unemployable' - yet I need to do something as our economic situation has changed - all very worrying.

Drizzela Tue 22-Feb-11 18:33:02


I'm sorry that's my only idea I'm afriad. I think you'd have a lot of uptake due to your teaching background and the fact your children are secondary school age and therefore you wont need to take time off for them when youre sick.

It wont make you rich but should tide you over and give you some pride.

PonceyMcPonce Tue 22-Feb-11 18:34:49

I've just gone back after ten years. Have you considered a non teaching role in secondaries? Obv benefits but you might well be snapped up for counselling, mentoring etc?

Maryz Tue 22-Feb-11 18:35:52

I thought of that Drizzela - the trouble is that my house has gone so far beyond childhood I don't think it would be safe for children without a major overhaul, quite apart from the fact that my youngest is 12, and my eldest - the reason I am still at home - has SN and can at times be violent. No-one would want their children in my house sad.

florapup Tue 22-Feb-11 18:37:09

Thanks for taking time to reply Drizzela - I don't think our home would be suitable for childminding and couldn't face looking after young children for a living - hoping to have put those days behind me

florapup Tue 22-Feb-11 18:40:11

PoncyMcPonce - what have you gone back to work as? I would like to get involved in mentoring, careers advice etc but can't see any openings in my area - Cheshire.

PonceyMcPonce Tue 22-Feb-11 18:43:21

Exams office in academy. We have mentors, counsellors, learning coaches etc. Based I SE. Of course, budget cuts proposed.

Could you bear coaching/ tutoring? Big money and more freedom?

Drizzela Tue 22-Feb-11 18:43:41

Lifecoaching/ goal mapping etc seems to bereally taking off and suits more mature people as younguns wouldnt have a clue grin

Look at your strengths and the positives rather than the things you can't do.

Can you bake? I know a woman who makes a flippin killings selling overpriced scrummy cup cakes for weddings.

Drizzela Tue 22-Feb-11 18:44:18

Ooh invigilating. Or exam marking...

PonceyMcPonce Tue 22-Feb-11 18:46:22

How about being an appropriate adult to get experience and see if any contacts emerge?

Greenshadow Tue 22-Feb-11 18:48:47

Where I live, the local college runs a "Woman Returners" course which I attended after about 11 years out of the workplace.
At first I wasn't sure - some of it was practical (CVs, interviews, careers advice) but some was a bit 'waffly' and all about feelings which I usually hate, but in this case it worked.
Might be worth finding out if any local colleges offer anything similar. (added bonus - twas totally free).

florapup Tue 22-Feb-11 18:52:09

PonceyMcPonce - what is an 'appropriate adult'? Not come across that term before?

Drizzela - I did try applying for invigilating last year but although they offered me a post I couldn't take it up because my Local Authority won't accept referees that are 13 years out of date1 Very frustrating - how can I get references when I have not been at work for so long!

florapup Tue 22-Feb-11 18:54:56

Thank-you Greenshadow - I will look up 'Woman Returners' and see if they exist in my area.

You are all being so helpful - I am glad I joined - don't feel like the only one now!

Drizzela Tue 22-Feb-11 19:29:55

Oh shit that is rubbish!!! (re the references) Why do some people isnsist on putting barriers in front of people who want to work?

Arneb Tue 22-Feb-11 21:47:35

I've been told that volunteering can provide up to date references - though having looked at a local site in my area they do state that more and more voluntarily post now require references in their applications.

I'm studying - so that is a least one reference though it would be an academic one. I am now in fifth year of being SAHM so am starting to worry about how to get back to work when youngest starts school in few years time.

So if you have done something kind of volunteering or studying might help with references.

Here adult education service and children centres run short course that help people back into work.

florapup Wed 23-Feb-11 07:16:56

Arned - yes, very true a lot of volunteering opportunities do ask for 2 references - back to the frustrating and impossible loop of need a reference to get a reference!
Some references demand that the person has known you for more than 6 months while others state 2 or 3 years! I am doing a French language class one evening a week this year - wouldn't dream of asking the lady who teaches it for a reference - she doesn't know me nor is she obliged to help me.
I could scream with frustration - I would warn anyone against taking themselves completely out of the job market - it appears so impossible to get back in there!

Sesquipedality Wed 23-Feb-11 07:24:13

Florapup - if by any chance you're in London you shoud look up [[ http://www.womenlikeus.org.uk/home.aspx Women Like us]] They're not the ony ones doing this stuff, but they are great.

They're a social enterprise thingy so services to women are free. They spanked up my CV, it was so out of date I can't begin to tell you, helped me identify transferable skills, made me realise that being a parent had made me more, not less employable, and then gave me back my confidence and helped me find a job that I wanted, rather than settling for what I thought would be ok if I wanted to spend time with the kids.

They even give you a one to one hour-long session with a life coach for free. I couldn't imagine what this person could do for me, not my Thing normally. but she was utterly brilliant.

Sesquipedality Wed 23-Feb-11 07:24:53

Trying link again - women like us

florapup Wed 23-Feb-11 07:58:17

Sesquipedality - thank-you for your advice. I live in Cheshire and haven't come across a similar initiative up here unfortunately. I will keep looking though. Thanks again.

PonceyMcPonce Wed 23-Feb-11 08:14:42

Sorry for delay. AA are provided with training to help a juvenile or vulnerable person if they are arrested ( or possibly having other problems I think and support them or ensure they are treated fairly.

ssd Wed 23-Feb-11 08:31:32

that woen like us site looks brilliant, pity there's nothing like that in Glasgow, i'd go in a minute!

maryz, you certainly aren't inemployable, the way you helped me with my dd's maths was brilliant!

how about offering coaching locally? maybe out an advert into your local post office saying "stuck with homework? Ex-secondary school teacher offers help, ages 12-17, (specify your subject),£10 an hour, as and when needed"

trust me thats the sort of thing I'm looking for here and I am skint but would pay it to help with homework.

I think these days you have to be a bit creative and think what can I do to bring in some money, even if its just now and then as permanent jobs are like gold dust

fluffles Wed 23-Feb-11 08:38:12

helping with things like guides and scouts don't require references and if you are reliable and helpful the guider or scouter in charge will be happy to write you a reference which would probably go well with the kind of non-teaching school roles mentioned above.

it would only take a commitment of one evening a week and no cost to get into volunteering with guides (and there are fifty thousand girls on waiting lists due to lack of adult volunteers).

Drizzela Wed 23-Feb-11 11:56:09

Oooh yes, tutoring is a brilliant idea!

Decorhate Wed 23-Feb-11 12:07:25

maryz - are you sure there are no courses available? Admittedly it is a good few years ago but FAS (I think) used to run return-to-work courses for women. My mother did one - I think it covered things like CV, interview skills, basic computer skills. They also organised work experience which in my mother's case led to a part-time job...

florapup - if you can afford to wait a little longer before needing a paid job, how about doing voluntary work at a local school? They are usually grateful for volunteers, I'm sure they would be very interested in an ex-teacher, say to give extra attention to a small group of children. Usually the head-teacher will be happy to be a referee when you come to apply for paid jobs...

Maryz Wed 23-Feb-11 12:17:20

Deorhat, at the moment you can't (or at least I can't) get onto a Fas course until I have been on the live register for 6 months.

Unfortunately if you sign on the live register, you have to produce proof of looking for full-time work, and with my situation (having ds1 around) I can't take a full-time job atm. So, I'm sort of stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I am trying to volunteer as a tutor at my local FETAC centre at the moment, but they have too many volunteers shock so aren't taking any. I am also a cub leader - I never thought of getting references to do with cubs, but I do a lot of volunteer stuff with children, and am giving some friends' children maths grinds (as well as my own), so maybe I do have some skills hmm.

This thread has been helpful. I need to find someone who will give me some encouragement a kick up the ass, really smile.

Sesquipedality Wed 23-Feb-11 16:35:22

Florapup. What subjects did you teach? Might help us think of things. Eg just found this at Uni of Salford which if you were from an SET background might apply...

Also wonder if a reference for voluntary work could poss be a character reference who's known you all that time. Not necessarily a work one? Just a thought. I know nothing. Also possible that some other places would maybe accept a character references in place of professioal ones, or in addition. IE two from when you last worked and two who've known you for years. In an ideal world make them as "professional" as possible. Ie friends who are professionals...Worth at least asking if that's acceptable?

AnnoyingOrange Wed 23-Feb-11 16:45:46

when I went back to work after years of SAHMdom, I gave the Chair of the PTA as a reference, as I had been active in the PTA for years.

maryz - running cubs would show your honesty, commitment, communication and organisational skills for example, as well as your experience of working with children.

florapup Wed 23-Feb-11 20:11:24

I taught Geography - not the World's most useful subject!

Greenshadow Thu 24-Feb-11 18:30:52

Don't do Geography down flora.

Geography could be the worlds most useful subject as it relates to almost everything going on in the world.

(Can you tell I was originally a geographer too?)

florapup Thu 24-Feb-11 21:40:31

Useful perhaps, employable probably not! I could wax lyrical about the virtues of studying Geography but the reality is that it is no longer seen as a priority subject within the curriculum. English, Maths and the Sciences are the key subjects and therefore the ones that create a demand for tutors etc. How many of you have actually actively looked for a Geography tutor for your little darlings?

webwiz Thu 24-Feb-11 21:57:47

Surely there will be an upsurge for Geography with the introduction of the E Bacc? You never know there may start being a demand for tutoring!

I've just started volunteering at the CAB and one of my references was a friend who's a teacher.

enimod Fri 25-Feb-11 12:08:53

youll need a crb check/form if you are to work wiht children.

WhatsWrongWithYou Sun 27-Feb-11 20:12:11

I've just been reading this thread and was about to chip in and say pretty much what webwiz said - I'm volunteering at CAB after 15 years at home and had no professional references.

I used two friends, one of whom is a senior nurse and the other a local small business woman.

I'm half-hoping this will somehow catapult me back to work, or at least provide me with a professional reference after a couple of years. Might be worth considering for those of you who don't absolutely have to start paid work asap.

valmary Wed 02-Mar-11 01:09:11

I have been out of work for Ten years, and are still out of work. I have been for interviews, i get told i have been offerd the job. When they try my references, they say they are out of date. I used to work as a health care assistan at a hospital. I have to come out of work to look after my children, and my husband, as he had a heart attack. Can any one advice me what to do.
This is my first time using this.

Greenshadow Wed 02-Mar-11 17:11:17

My work references were also pretty out of date, so I used a tutor from a course I took in the effort to make me more employable and also from various voluntary work I have done during my years out of paid employment.

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