Help, single parent, trying to get back into work, can't find a job!

(14 Posts)
anonymous180613 Sun 18-Aug-13 21:24:33

Ex moved out 18 months ago and we're now divorced, I've been a SAHM the last 10 years with him as breadwinner and suddenly I need to find a job. Had income support to start with but when ds2 turned 6 last summer they put me on job-seekers and been looking for work ever since.

I've been looking for a year now, at the same time as completing a part-time MSc. The degree is in occupational psychology which I wanted to go into but you have to do a traineeship for 2 years to get chartered and these opportunities have dried up with the recession, I've joined LinkedIn and contacted all professionals in this field in my area to ask for voluntary work experience but work has dried up so much that no-one has anything. I used to do admin in universities and hated it but have been applying for admin jobs of various types over the last year and was not getting any interviews. Job centre told me to take my MSc off my CV and dumb myself down a bit, did this and pretended to be a dumb housewife just wanting a little job rather than coming across so ambitious and started to get a few interviews but didn't get any offers and to be honest didn't really want those types of jobs anyway. I seem to be either over-qualified for the admin jobs or too lacking in experience for the higher level jobs and can't do graduate training schemes as virtually all I have looked at want you to be able to relocate around the UK whilst in training and I'm a single parent so that is out of the question. Is anyone else in same boat and can anyone make any suggestions?

Wishing I was the enterpreneurial type able to set up my own business but wouldn't have a clue where to start and can't get any loans credit or capital due to my unemployed status.

anonymous180613 Sun 18-Aug-13 21:25:52

I must add I came across enthusiastic at interviews so my lack of real desire to do the jobs wasn't evident, all said I interviewed well and they liked me, but always there was someone else with more relevant experience.

brightnearly Mon 19-Aug-13 09:58:28

Bump. Sadly no advice but watching with interest as in a similar-ish situation!

MissCookieIsNotABiscuit Mon 19-Aug-13 13:50:54

What the priority is right now? Are you really struggling for money? Or is the line of work that's the priority?

If you really need a proper full time income, and you are healthy and can drive, there is always care work in my area. Could you do that whilst you find something more suitable to the line of work you're looking for? Found it usually pays a little above NMW and you can work as many or as few shifts as you need so maybe the flexibility would be helpful with interviews/voluntary work in your chosen field?
If it's the line of work that's the priority I have no suggestions sorry!

Good luck either way.

Helena123 Tue 20-Aug-13 11:31:04

Do you know what you want to do work wise ideally if you could? Would you want to work from home or be out working?

TwoStepsBeyond Tue 20-Aug-13 12:11:34

I'm in a similar situation, I've been running my own business for the last 18 months to bring in a bit of money (fortunately topped up with tax credits and fairly decent child maintenance payments) but business is slowing down and unfortunately my outgoings aren't! I am currently training as a childminder (I must confess I'm not particularly kid-focussed but I don't have too many other options sad )

Its so disheartening that as a single woman your options are so limited when your capabilities are so huge. When I hear about some of the people that my boyfriend works with I despair that they are earning decent money for being totally incompetent and yet I can't even get a job on a till in Tescos (which I would happily take BTW) because I'm not available at weekends.

anonymous180613 Tue 20-Aug-13 12:15:51

Hi, sorry for delay, I've been sick so been offline for a few days.

As a single parent, I can't work evenings, weekends or unsociable shift hours which effectively puts a lot of casual work out of the question. I have no family nearby to help and there is no point moving to be closer to them as (a) my mum lives in the back of beyond and (b) I love her but she has her issues and has never been able to babysit for me. Paying for childcare would actually make me worse off financially if the job was very low paid or was not mainly during school hours.

I'd prefer to be out working (got your message thanks Helena) as after 10 years at home looking after kids the thought of doing that for the foreseeable makes me want to slit my wrists. I love my kids but it felt like a prison. I want to get back into a workplace of some sort.

The biggest challenge is it would only be worth my while financially if I was working full-time, but then I don't know when I would see my kids as I share custody with their dad and also I have always been there for them as a SAHM so for me to suddenly disappear from dawn to dusk would be very hard on all of us.

Oblomov Tue 20-Aug-13 12:24:44

I was once advised to dumb my accountancy qualifications and experience down.
Made my blood boil.
I have no advice, sorry, just sympathy.

TwoStepsBeyond Tue 20-Aug-13 12:50:09

Anonymous, exactly my situation too, no handy grannies/aunties to help out in the holidays and unless I'm earning a decent wage I don't see how holiday clubs for 3 DCs are going to be affordable, even with some assistance from tax credits (if they are still around this time next year!)

I have always been there for them as a SAHM so for me to suddenly disappear from dawn to dusk would be very hard on all of us This was the point I made to my DCs - either I get a full time job Mon-Fri and they would go to childcare after school and in the holidays or I become the childcare for others - they chose the latter!

Not my dream job by a long way and there's no way I wanted to work in a school (although I did apply for some TA jobs), but I am capable, responsible and I think will be a more patient and resourceful carer for others than for my own DCs so maybe it will be a good thing for us all in the long run!

FWIW I don't think you should write off the option of running your own business though. It can be very rewarding when its going well and at least you can make it fit around family life. I think its taught my DCs to be entrepreneurial too, they're always trying to sell me stuff they've made!

anonymous180613 Tue 20-Aug-13 15:25:00

It may have to be an option. I think Ofsted require childminders to be qualified these days though?

SugarMouse1 Sat 14-Sep-13 20:36:01

Can your ex not help with child care?

Any friends you could share child care with?

Become a nanny?

Teaching assistant?

Cleaning/ dog walking etc?

Viviennemary Sat 14-Sep-13 20:43:40

I agree with the advice to decide what your priority is at the moment. If it is just to get any job to get some extra money then just amend your CV accordingly to whatever you think will present you in the best light for the job you apply for. Put yourself in the position of those that are interviewing you and think what are they looking for.

You could try looking at retraining for something in a related field. I have heard jobs in OT are few and far between at the present time.

suzannecliff Sun 15-Sep-13 23:13:13

I am looking for motivated people to work from home, but in a great team, very flexible hours alongside a well established global company. Message me if you would like to know more and we can have a chat!

happydutchmummy Sun 15-Sep-13 23:22:36

Have you considered joining a temping agency? It might be worthwhile just for getting something current to put on your cv. You can either look for admin type temping just to get some money in and get some new up to date references, or look at doing some psychology nhs bank work. I know the nhs have their own in house flexi bank, which takes ages to sign up to but once you're on their books you can work for them and gain some experience...

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now