Can anyone help me find a new career? Any ex-writer/editors out there and if so what do you do now?

(8 Posts)
jadedjourno Wed 29-Jan-14 10:00:35

Sorry, this is really long but would really appreciate some advice. I do editorial work, have done for 13.5 years. Used to edit magazines now do a combination of freelance editing and writing for magazines and other publications. I don't want to go back to that full-time because DH works v long and often unpredictable hours and our home life works a lot better with me having flexible working hours. Also I do a fair amount of unpaid community work that I'd like to carry on with. However, recently the freelance market has been a bit rubbish. I've got work most of the time but I spend a lot of time coming up with ideas for stuff that then often gets postponed/cancelled so while the pay looks good on paper (e.g. how much you get paid per issue) - income is very unpredictable and in the end I often do quite a lot of unpaid work. And because of the nature of that work (i.e. coming up with 'ideas') it tends to take up whatever time I have available making timetabling a bit tricky.

We're v lucky to be in a strong position financially, kids (almost 4 and 6) are now at school full-time so no childcare costs, DH's salary takes care of mortgage/most big costs so the financial side is not such a problem but I just find the business of not knowing how much work I'll have/when I'll get paid etc really frustrating. It all feels a bit pointless. So, I'm looking for something more reliable but am not sure if I really have any skills that are marketable in other areas. I can write and edit but so can millions of people, I studied languages but they're a bit rusty now. Was considering doing a CELTA course but so many people (especially mums) seem to do that and I wonder if the market is a bit saturated. Anyone care to share their thoughts/experiences?

Thanks, folks

warmleatherette Wed 29-Jan-14 12:47:25

Marking my place since I'm in pretty much the exact same situation. Except as a single parent. Joy!

jadedjourno Wed 29-Jan-14 13:09:22

welcome warmleatherette - freelancing as a single parent must be v tough. Let's hope someone out there has some good ideas smile

In some ways it's a relief to admit to myself that I'm in the wrong line of work and need to find a new job - just wish I had a bloomin clue what to do next.

warmleatherette Wed 29-Jan-14 13:46:26

It is tough and tbh it's unsustainable. My DC are 4 and 5 but the oldest is currently home educated due to emotional / behavioural issues. Hopefully I can get him into school soon.

I've worked out provisional childcare so could theoretically work full-time again in the same line as before. But I'm worried no one will want to employ me now I'm 42 and not a bright young(ish) thing any more!

Sometimes I wonder about teacher training but as an introvert the thought of standing in front of a group of teenagers makes me want to cry. Or there's social work I guess. Which would probably also make me want to cry, in a different way.

jadedjourno Wed 29-Jan-14 14:19:16

Sorry to hear that re your oldest DC. Good on you for homeschooling.

What sort of editorial work do you do at the moment? Do you have a specialism that you could exploit by moving sideways in some way? I do know what you mean about not being a bright young thing any more. I always find it a bit depressing doing freelance work old employers because invariably the people who were junior to me when I was there permanently have risen through the ranks while I've stayed static despite working because there just aren't the same opportunities for career advancement when you're freelance.

Going back to the specialism thing, I've rather shot myself in the foot by just taking anything and everything that came my way so I don't have a particular area of expertise. I could sort of big up one area of experience but I'd feel like I was totally winging it.

Re teaching, I did do a PGCE years ago but not my NQT year so I'd have to start from scratch and actually classroom teaching as such doesn't appeal though I have thought about CELTA as I said because it seems to offer rather more flexibility.

What would you really like to do if anything were possible?

Hoppinggreen Wed 29-Jan-14 16:19:57

Have you thought about doing some language tutoring. I do 2 x30 minute lunch clubs twice a week through a national company. The money isn't brilliant but ts ok give the amount of work I do. I also do SEO writing. Rates will be much lower than you are used to but if you are quick the hourly rate is ok.
PM me if you want more info

jadedjourno Wed 29-Jan-14 16:30:40

Hi Hopping thanks for answering - do you mean english language tutoring? I've done a bit of SEO writing as part of another gig - might PM you re rates!

herbaceous Thu 06-Feb-14 19:19:40

I'm in exactly the same position too! And have been considering various options, such as literacy (Skills for Life) teacher, ESOL, or even primary school teaching. But I'm finding it tricky finding out what qualifications are needed. The 'talent' website, for example, and ironically, is lamentably badly written and confusing.

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