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An unusual career/occupation dilemma. WWYD?

(63 Posts)
Slipperqueen3 Fri 15-Dec-17 01:22:30

I’m 46, children of Primary School age, and I’m currently a SAHM. I am still officially employed, and receive 2/3 of my basic salary via a permanent health insurance benefit via my employer and this will be paid until I’m 67. I have a slowly collapsing spine and arthritis which means constant variable pain and also that I can’t sit in the same position for very long. I appear to the untrained eye, to be in good health though.

I can’t return to paid employment as I’m already employed, and my role was a senior one so it would be impossible to find anything which pays as well as my PHI payment arrangement.

So, I’m effectively on long term sick and can’t work but I need to occupy my brain. And fit in the school run! I’ve looked at courses but because there is no end point (career development etc) I wonder if I’d struggle with motivation, and it also feels like a huge indulgence too, but I’d like to use my brain.


brokeninmoreways Fri 15-Dec-17 01:26:39

Volunteer work. Something that you believe in

Slipperqueen3 Fri 15-Dec-17 02:12:20

That’s easier said than done! Firstly, it’d have to fit inside my commitments to the kids and secondly anything which might cause my insurer to think I may have recovered (which until I grow new cartiledge and joints won’t happen!) and they try to stop paying me, so whatever I do it would have to be invisible/under the wire.

sheepskinrug Fri 15-Dec-17 02:55:16

Learn a language? It opens up a whole new world of literature, film, music, travelling (if you're able) and you see instant progress.

Brightredpencil Fri 15-Dec-17 03:05:15

You can campaign and lobby fairly 'quietly': writing letters/emails etc on an issue.
In your case I would definitely do a course or OU or similar. Learn an instrument is wonderfully challenging with pretty much instant feedback on progress.

BradleyPooper Fri 15-Dec-17 03:06:02

Have a look at FutureLearn. They do excellent free short courses delivered online by universities and colleges worldwide. There is an online community for each course too so an element of informal discussion among students. Some really interesting courses too....

allthegoodusernameshavegone Fri 15-Dec-17 03:14:14

Write a book on something you are really interested in that will require lots of interesting research and who knows it might get published and become a best seller.

Flyingprettycretonnecurtains Fri 15-Dec-17 03:17:17

Could you be a mentor in a school. You would need to go on a proper mentoring course but secondary schools do have volunteers who mentor a couple of students. If you are super academic then offering to do mock interviews for sixth formers or give talks about your job/career. Retrain as a dyslexia specialist and then go private as an assessor/tutor.

LadyB49 Fri 15-Dec-17 03:30:14

Are you on any forums for your medical condition.

I have a life long condition and joined a reputable discussion board forum which is funded by the relevant Foundation which funds research and also provides support groups in real life. Following a couple of years' participation i was invited to become a volunteer moderator. It takes up as much time as you are able to give. I've been a moderator now for about 8years. Spend 1 - 2 hours daily on it together with 4 other moderators. Just let them know if I'll be absent for any length of time, holidays etc.

OutComeTheWolves Fri 15-Dec-17 03:31:44

Do you like dogs? You could train to be someone who trains guide dogs?

hesterton Fri 15-Dec-17 03:34:26

Do you know Latin? It is a wonderful academic challenge which is as much logic as language - an excellent reading course is Cambridge Latin Course - there are lots of activities online which link to each stage. 5 text books to take you to the language element of the GCSE, available new or second hand on Amazon. There are student workbooks available as well, although i just worked through the text books, translating every story and doing the grammar activities. I combined doing that course with Gwynne's Latin Primer to rote learn tables.

No speaking or listening element so it's possible to do by yourself. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge but appreciate it may not appeal, or you may have already done some Latin. It's one of those things which is much more satisfying to do as a adult than a reluctant teen I think.

Cavender Fri 15-Dec-17 03:39:02

What about something like volunteering for your local church office? Someone competent to do admin or edit the church newsletter a couple of hours a week would be greatly welcomed in a smaller church.

The same might go for a small local charity. Admin, phone calls, newsletters.

Is there something you could do for your schools PTA that wouldn’t be too physical? Organising volunteers etc?

Alternatively what about volunteering in your councils adult literacy programme if they have one?

Slipperqueen3 Fri 15-Dec-17 17:42:30

These are great ideas! I don’t eeally want to retrain as something as I can’t work as anything but I need to keep my brain going.

Hesterton that’s interesting that you mention Latin at Cambridge. There’s an MPhil course which looks delicious and you have to do an intensive Latin course before it, which would be very interesting. It’s a taught course so whether that would fit around the kids is another thing. And I don’t fully get the collegiate system and how that works for post grad mature students living at home!

Slipperqueen3 Fri 15-Dec-17 17:43:25

Cavender I am very disorganised and hopeless at admin so it would be a kindness if I stayed away from church!

HardHatForTesco Fri 15-Dec-17 17:48:43

School governor? Lots of scope to get involved there.

Slipperqueen3 Fri 15-Dec-17 17:52:30

Hardhatfortesco I did consider it but not one of the friends I have who are governors have anything good to say about it, so not sure that’s for me!

Stompythedinosaur Fri 15-Dec-17 18:07:12

I've really enjoyed studying when it isn't link to my profession. I did Open University courses in Latin and Ancient Greek while doing a requited part of my professional training that wasnt very simulating and i got a lot out if it. I also did an evening course in head massage and beekeeping at other times, which were both good too.

Stompythedinosaur Fri 15-Dec-17 18:07:49

Requited = required blush

woofmiaowwoof Fri 15-Dec-17 18:12:17

What about school fundraising? Essentially you need to make a lot of phone calls and do a lot of emails for donations if your school does a raffle to raise funds, for example.

HardHatForTesco Fri 15-Dec-17 18:14:26

School governor is what you make of it really - it isn't an easy ride!! I chair a governing body and it takes up a lot of time and I've had more than a few sleepless nights!
I have a child with special needs and had to give up work - being a governor is a way of keeping my brain active and I can fit it around my childs needs.

SpecialAgentDaleCooper Fri 15-Dec-17 18:22:29

Are you creative? You could take up a craft and possibly go on to make and sell things

Slipperqueen3 Fri 15-Dec-17 18:23:54

Stompythedinosaur that’s very encouraging. I worry that it might feel too indulgent somehow, as it would be purely for the joy of it, if I go down the learning route.

Slipperqueen3 Fri 15-Dec-17 18:24:39

Hardhat I totally appreciate the work governors do, and I think it’s largely unseen and thankless!

Slipperqueen3 Fri 15-Dec-17 18:25:28

I’m not in the slightest bit creative sadly. I’m hugely envious of people that are, but I’m talentless.

PickingOakum Fri 15-Dec-17 18:26:35

Write and publish on kindle.

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