If you changed career completely after having DC(s), what did you do?

(54 Posts)
BabCNesbitt Thu 26-Sep-13 16:55:12

I don't mean those who did a sideways shift in their previous career, or who used their old skills in a new role (eg employed to consultant) - I mean, if you started something entirely new, whether after retraining or otherwise, what did you do?

(I'm nearly 38, DC nearly 2, and I didn't have much of a career to speak of before, so I don't have 10+ years of professional experience in anything to bring to any new job! sad Hence my scrounging for ideas. thanks )

iwillbrushmyteethbefore10am Thu 26-Sep-13 17:17:20

Childminder? Nurse? I know a few people who retrained as nurses, health visitors and midwives

BabCNesbitt Thu 26-Sep-13 17:46:54

Yeah, a friend of mine is retraining to be a childminder, but I'm one of those mardy old bints who doesn't really get on with children generally (apart from my own, mostly grin ), so that's not an idea I've considered.

I was an accountant, worked in the City for years as a risk manager and am now retraining as a maths teacher for post 16. Hoping to work with adults or young offenders. I figure working with city traders will help!

emsyj Sat 12-Oct-13 22:49:53

I used to be a lawyer, but have now joined the HMRC graduate training scheme which is a 4 year programme to take you from scratch through to be a Grade 7 Tax Professional. I'm really enjoying it and you can't beat the civil service for family friendly policies!

dizhin79 Mon 21-Oct-13 18:44:21

I used to be a management consultant retrained in horticulture an now a plant health inspector!!

I started volunteering at my dd's school after a long period as a SAHM.

When she was a little older I got a job as a TA at another school, having gained enough experience as a volunteer to get through the interview process.

I then became a Behaviour Support Worker, having found a 'talent' for managing more challenging children.

Now dd is at High School I am a Learning Mentor. Slightly longer hours, more responsibility (I am designated Child Protection), but better paid. And still the lovely long school holidays.

Childcare for 11-13 yo is difficult to find, so my new job still suits our family life, whilst providing me with a more interesting and challenging role.

I absolutely love my job.
Progression is difficult as a TA, but possible. My next step will be to find a Lead Learning Mentor position for a cluster of schools. These jobs are rare though, and often receive 100+ applications in my area.

MillyONaire Mon 21-Oct-13 19:01:06

Marking my place as very similar position to you OP. Have done lots but nothing iyswim......feel like a chocolate fireguard at the moment as youngest starting school.

minniemousey Mon 21-Oct-13 19:03:37

I left a boring low paid administration job to have my son who is 4. when he turned 3 and got his funded 15 hours at nursery I used the free childcare to give me time to do a 1 year access course at college. finished that in may, and I'm now in my first term at uni doing a social work degree :-)

SandStorm Mon 21-Oct-13 19:05:31

I was a secretary/PA prior to children. When they were both little I started volunteering at the local preschool which led to a job and now I'm a teacher.

UnimaginitiveNameChange Mon 21-Oct-13 19:06:06

Dizhin, how do you become a plant health inspector? DH is a gardener, trained in horticulture, and toys with the idea of a job change every now and again. This sounds like a good option!

Sorry to hijack OP!

ArabellaBeaumaris Mon 21-Oct-13 19:09:24

I didn't have a career before DC, did various short term jobs here there & everywhere. Now I am on a public sector graduate scheme.

radiatormesh Mon 21-Oct-13 19:12:43

I was a lawyer and am now a personal trainer. Much better smile

CorrieDale Mon 21-Oct-13 19:15:08

I was a lawyer pre children. Then a seamstress (great fun, terrible terrible pay) and now I'm setting up as a face painter. Even more fun and pays better than minimum wage.

littlemissnormal Mon 21-Oct-13 19:30:31

I was in a field sales role for a national security company.
Now I work part time in marketing for a local newspaper and I'm doing a history degree with the OU. Not sure where that's going to take me but hopefully after the 6 years it takes me to complete I should have an idea!

tumbletumble Mon 21-Oct-13 19:33:08

My friend worked for a bank pre-DC and is now a policewoman. The hours are surprisingly child friendly!

HeadsDownThumbsUp Mon 21-Oct-13 19:51:05


Bank manager to childminder....bit of a change ;)

Before Children I was a nursing sister, then after children became a PA/Accounts manager.

dizhin79 Mon 21-Oct-13 20:14:19

unimaginative - sheer luck I think! I saw the job on civil servants jobs website and applied, I had previously done surveying work when younger monitoring for gases on landfill sites, I think that sort of work helped!

MadeOfStarDust Mon 21-Oct-13 20:18:33

I was an IT management professional in the civil service - 24 hour on call on bl#8dy good money ... now work part time in a craft shop on peanuts... but much more child friendly - and stress free and fun !!

dizhin79 Mon 21-Oct-13 20:20:53

I have to say OP this is a fascinating thread, well done good question grin

soundedbetterinmyhead Thu 24-Oct-13 21:55:34

Before: Website designer...After: Social worker.
Fell into the first after university. Made an actual decision on the second and had to retrain from scratch. Neither are child-friendly (well not to my own anyway) but I'm better at the second one.

Morebiscuitsplease Thu 24-Oct-13 22:00:34

Was a secondary school teacher. After DD1 I set up my own business and worked part time in local library. Loved both. Could work around my children. Now have increased hours in local library as hubby works, away making it harder for my business. That said am very happy at the library. Still work with children, generally small children but get all the nice bits. smile

purple15 Sat 26-Oct-13 19:58:12

minniemousy - Tell me more about the social work degree please ?

Nnnnnnn Sat 26-Oct-13 20:04:23

Was a police officer. Spent my maternity leave starting to retrain as an accountant, and just got my first accountancy job. Very surprised by the post up thread that said the police offered very child friendly hours - in my experience, they do on paper, but the reality is very different.

CelticPromise Sun 27-Oct-13 20:29:45

I'm a lawyer and have just applied to retrain as a midwife.

joyhg Mon 28-Oct-13 16:20:28

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Justtrying Tue 05-Nov-13 10:14:29

Marking my position as seriously considering a career change.

WinkyWinkola Tue 05-Nov-13 10:21:20

Fascinating to read these. Marking my place. You lot retraining are amazing.

MyPantsAreGreen Tue 05-Nov-13 11:25:15

Lots of ex lawyers here. One myself and inspired by all these stories to give retraining some thought. Is it difficult to get onto graduate schemes? Not exactly a recent one myself.....

HeadsDownThumbsUp Tue 05-Nov-13 21:41:19

This may be a silly question, but why so many lawyers? Is the legal profession genuinely far less family friendly than other (vaguely comparable) sectors?

loopsngeorge Wed 06-Nov-13 23:06:42

I was a marketing manager in travel for seven years, but knew I would do something completely different once I had kids. I was lucky enough to have two part time jobs working from home fall into my lap, both of which are using skills from my past including - at last- my modern languages degree!! I organise language courses for European teachers and also work for a statement writing company.
I was planning on going down the TA route, but always scoured our local paper for interesting looking jobs and it paid off.

Mandy21 Thu 07-Nov-13 12:36:51

Can only speak of my own situation as a lawyer and lawyer friends. City - completely un-child friendly in virtually every specialisation with very limited opportunity for part time (or even full time) roles that meant you'd see your children during their waking hours. Regions – slightly better but still very against any type of work life balance (they claim to, but you're almost guaranteed to be passed over for promotion if you work part-time / leave at 5pm). But its not just the hours – I know there are other stressful jobs but in my specialisation (one area of litigation) the consequences of missing a deadline are massive. There is a requirement to juggle days quite frequently to fit in with Court appointments, you never know what's going to land on your desk and therefore be certain of what time you can leave. Even if you do work part-time or leave the office at a reasonable time, you spend your non-work days / evenings checking emails. The pay can be good, but for most solicitors other than the most senior /successful / driven people, it's not as much as everyone thinks and frankly, generally not worth the stress! Having said that, I'm still here....

BigPawsBrown Thu 07-Nov-13 12:44:23

Am a lawyer too but childless. Now freaking out......

rosalux Wed 13-Nov-13 19:37:17

Another lawyer here. Hoping to retrain in housing, possibly law possibly not, but intrigued by civil service jobs especially for HMRC. Any more information from anyone on the reality of graduate training schemes?

Hermione123 Thu 14-Nov-13 08:37:10

What do you reckon the limit for grad training schemes is? Would you apply in late 30s?

Mandy21 Thu 14-Nov-13 09:00:06

I guess it depends on your own circumstances and whether you can commit to an intensive 4 year programme (if you're talking about the HMRC one mentioned above). But if you mean whether you'd be too old or not offer the same as younger graduates, I think its quite the opposite. I think alot of employers are now seeing the value of "mature" graduates and all the qualities they bring with them - certainly I think skills people have acquired as lawyers / accountants / just general life experience / maturity are really valuable.

purrtrillpadpadpad Thu 14-Nov-13 09:17:56

Great thread. Pre DC I was senior IT type person, 24hr on call, often at my desk at 10pm fixing something that I may or may not have sent into an infinite loop and killed everything but the stress really, really doesn't suit me. I also really don't like fake corporate environments. I'd like to do something that matters on a bigger scale, but I don't have a degree so I would be starting from scratch.

Sprogstersmum Thu 14-Nov-13 14:40:20

I was going to post the same question! Previously worked in magazine publishing and am now volunteering as a TA and studying for a childcare course but not 100% enjoying it all. Like working with the kids but find it depressing to be a dogsbody at the bottom of the pile again. Would ideally like a part time role in publishing and am applying for both publishing jobs and TA roles. Just feel such a failure for not having a 'career' anymore. I worked so hard for it and then threw it away. It's been the best thing for my DCs and I wouldn't have wanted to miss these years with them but now they're both at school I feel useless.

scrummummy Thu 14-Nov-13 14:51:03

I was a teacher pre DDs I retrained as a IT Project Manager and I love it grin -i do have the advantage of being married to a programmer so for the first couple of years could ask him-
I used to spend all my time outside work thinking about lessons writing lesson plans worrying about students. now I contract work 830-5 dont worry about work -that often- outside work and get paid over £1k take home a week.
I love the fact that I have a good impression on my DDs. mummy goes to work in IT (they love computers) and either mummy or daddy are at home as we both contract and we have a great pt nanny.
I initially started my new career as I wanted my girls to go to private school but now, even with school, we can save money, not possible with me being a teacher.

schmalex Thu 14-Nov-13 15:19:15

What training did you do to become an IT project manager scrummummy?

scrummummy Thu 14-Nov-13 15:25:05

Prince 2, Certified Scrum Master, PMBOK

then later
Certified Scrum Practitioner and Certified Scrum Trainer and Certified Scrum Coach

luckily teaching has lots of transferable skills. Developers are no different to students everyone just need telling what to know and knowing you have their back grin

scrummummy Thu 14-Nov-13 15:30:39

that should be "what to do" but know also fits

schmalex Thu 14-Nov-13 16:48:46

Thanks scrumummy. Were you able to get a job with those qualifications but no experience?

AtiaoftheJulii Sun 17-Nov-13 22:21:14

Had a few admin jobs (not career!) pre dc, then sahm/HEor for many years. Have been tutoring maths(very) part time in recent years, and have just sent off my UCAS application for a nursing degree.

HappyHippyChick Sun 17-Nov-13 22:38:36

I was a PA prior to having my dc. I am now a science technician in a secondary school. Pay isn't great but hours and holidays are and mostly stress free!

Those who are training to be MW's, how old are your children? I'm in a situation where I want to retrain.

ILoveWoollyStuff Mon 18-Nov-13 19:46:52

I did a teaching degree but never made the grade, so spent 10ish years plundering about in admin. Went back to work after mat leave for 7 months having made my UCAS application whilst I was off. I started my degree in Occupational Therapy in September and I love it.

MajesticWhine Mon 18-Nov-13 20:35:23

Used to work in IT, now retraining as a psychologist.

evelynj Mon 18-Nov-13 21:12:22

interesting! I was an operational manager, (managing banking/finance dept), then after DS was turned into a business analyst & now had dd 4 months ago. about to apply to be a childminder & concerned about the newness after 12 years of same company!

KirstyJC Mon 18-Nov-13 21:14:07

I was an account manager in a marketing company, then quit when on ML and am now an Occupational Therapist. Best thing I ever did! grin

fivesacrowd Mon 18-Nov-13 21:16:24

Was training manager, now a childminder. Love the flexibility, can be around for my own dc and still get to play with babies all day. Miss the long lunches and getting to go to the loo alone! Love my job though & have much better work / life balance.

DameDeepRedBetty Mon 18-Nov-13 21:21:00

I was the chief paperwork dogsbody in a small publishing company. It had its moments, but office politics... it was lovely not having that in my life when I went on maternity with the twins!

Company went bust while I was on maternity (probably due to my absence). I decided to be a SAHM until the girls started school, then started up a dogwalking round when they were in Reception, as I wanted something very flexible to fit with sudden illness and Nativity Plays.

They're nearly fifteen now, and the dogwalking round has grown into a pet-care agency with seven staff.

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