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Finding a job after a 15 year career break

(15 Posts)
Shopaholic100 Sun 16-Aug-20 14:14:46

Is this even possible and where do I even start? Has anyone done this and succeed or should I just just walk over to the rubbish heap.

15 years as a Sahm hasn’t helped my self confidence so please be kind. I have helped others get jobs but just seem to have a block when it comes to myself. I was previously a primary school teacher but don’t know how to return to that as they no longer run return to teaching courses.

When I worked people made me feel guilty for abandoning my daughter, now apparently I’m a failure for not working. Maybe I should have made different choices, I tried my best☹️. When my youngest was four I completed a return to teaching course but he needed an operation so I couldn’t return (operation was cancelled three times) and I had no local family support. I also spent five years as a school governor.

Any words of wisdom welcome fellow Mumsneters.

OP’s posts: |
Cattiwampus Sun 16-Aug-20 14:24:54

First of all, it’s an incredibly tough time to be looking for a job as you are not only competing with school leavers but the thousands who have lost their jobs recently.
That said, are you a qualified teacher? Try short-term supply through an agency. Many schools will be looking at catch-up tuition.

kitschplease Sun 16-Aug-20 14:26:02

What kind of job would you like to do?

ageingdisgracefully Sun 16-Aug-20 14:30:04

I took 15 years off and eventually got a job through volunteering at a Charity (quite a well-known national one). wink.

I couldn't face applying for jobs. My age was against me too. I figured that if I could hack volunteering then I'd probably be offered paid work at some point.

I was right. It's not a dream job, but it's given me back my confidence.

Thelnebriati Sun 16-Aug-20 14:32:29

Google 'back to work training', there are some really good tips on this site;

There are online courses

You have something solid to put on your CV because you used to be a primary school teacher and you were a governor. Do you have any preference for what you would like to do now?

JemIsMyNameNooneElseIsTheSame Sun 16-Aug-20 14:36:24

Supply teaching definitely. See if you can volunteer to do a few days observation/shadowing once things settle down a bit to get your confidence back up.

Bargebill19 Sun 16-Aug-20 14:38:33

Sign up to an agency. If you don’t mind doing anything - warehousing, cleaning etc you will get a job. Use it just for the experience of being back in work whilst you think of what you would like to do. Then work toward that goal. (Training/volunteering/working up too whatever you want to do)
Alternatively look at for work in your area and apply.
You are not on the scrap heap, it might be tough but it can be done.

FATEdestiny Sun 16-Aug-20 14:46:29

Not dissimilar to me.

I've had 13y as a SAHM (I have run a small start-up business online, but very small and not enough to consider it work in any real sence) after 7 years teaching (secondary).

I did tons of volunteering over my time at home, many if which were quite substantial positions with high responsibility. I have filled the work experience part of job applications with voluntary positions. So no gaps.

I have been amazed at my success in applying, so don't be put off or lower your expectations. I'm being picky because I want the "right" job so have only applied for 3 and have been successful in all so far. One admin role in a boarding school (offered job, pay too low). One civilian job in the police force (got through to final interviews and decided it might not suit me so withdraw). I'm currently in stage 5 (of 7, I think) in the graduate police recruitment.

I'm actually thinking about withdrawing from that application too - I didn't seriously think I stood a chance so was more speculative than expectant.

Can you delay your return to work for a bit? The uncertainty of COVID has made me think that maybe I was until January or April or so - because of school and childcare issues likely next year.

I'm thinking of volueneering in a school, to shadow a teacher 2 or 3 days a week. My youngest is now in school so I could do this. Build my confidence back up and develop my assessment skills. Then look for supply or small group tutors roles off the back of that.

Shopaholic100 Sun 16-Aug-20 14:48:01

Cattieampus, yes I’m a qualified teacher.

Kitschplease, I’m not sure I’m open to retraining, I’ve developed an interest in child protection, but equally would be happy to return to teaching or anything education related.

Ageing disgracefully, well done I’m so pleased for you😀. It’s so hard getting over that block. I’m sure with some training I have a lot to offer an organisation (I really give my best to everything I do, I treated my Governor position like a full time job).

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Callybrid Sun 16-Aug-20 14:50:38

I’d suggest looking at volunteering too - something that gives you training would be good to have that feeling of learning and growing. Just find something you’re interested in; it can potentially give you confidence, contacts, references, a boost from doing something different and just get you back into the swing of doing work, even if not paid work.

Do you need to be earning immediately or are you able to give yourself some time to get into volunteering/getting experience in some other way?

I would also suggest putting energy into finding a whole load of resources that boost you up - search for books, podcasts, blogs, Instagrammers or whatever your preferred media is about career changes/ moving from sahm into work/ or any field of work you’re interested in. Basically get inspired and listen to messages that make you feel hopeful and determined.

If you don’t already I think it’s also worth valuing time/energy you put into your energy and feeling good about yourself - regular exercise, taking the time to put on ‘proper clothes’ etc. Ime it’s easy as a sahm to a) feel like you’re not entitled to any time spent on yourself and b) live in very old jeans, a fleece and a ponytail, and whilst that’s all well and good most of the time, it doesn’t help when you’re feeling down about yourself and your prospects.

Callybrid Sun 16-Aug-20 14:56:45

Oh, also you say “people made me feel guilty for abandoning my daughter”.

I’d gently suggest that this way of looking at things is not going to help you. You felt guilty. Other people may have said things that contributed to you feeling like that but no one actually makes you feel something.

I’d recommend ‘Everything Isn’t Terrible’ book for lots of tools for taking responsibility for your own emotions and reactions. It has specific sections on job hunting too so may be helpful for that.

mrwalkensir Sun 16-Aug-20 14:59:06

sign up to a tutoring agency? Must be loads of interested parents out there....

jessycake Sun 16-Aug-20 15:05:10

It's sad that so much of our guilt is because of other peoples opinions, including strangers on the internet

LirBan Sun 16-Aug-20 15:10:25

I got back in to the work place at 47 but it wasn't easy. I had to do something called a Community Employment Scheme (in Ireland) and they paid 20 euro more than job seeker's allowance. I did that for nearly three years, applying for other jobs the whole time. No luck. I then got what I thought was a great opportunity at 46 but they turned out to be a pack of arseholes and sacked me just before my probation was up, so that did NOTHING for my confidence. I finally, finally got a job where there is a minimum basic level of respect and I am doing my best in that job and it's appreciated. That was all I was looking for.

I agree it's a really tough time to be looking. Would you think about going to a career coach? In a way, it's a bit indulgent to be thinking about what you would and wouldn't be prepared to do but just to help you word your soft skills in the way that is understood to be correct on a cv today.

I was out of the office about 11 years I think, and I had no degree. When I was young, I was hired for my YOUTH, and I hadn't understood that. I thought I could always find a job. It is very hard but the 'yes' is in there amongst all of the nos.

If your a teacher hopefully you will have a much easier time getting back in to the workplace than I did.

Good luck.

Don't let the rejections de-rail you. Keep going. Rome wasn't built in a day.

Shopaholic100 Sun 16-Aug-20 16:27:38

Thanks for some really good suggestions. I don’t mind volunteering but want this to be short term, I did the Governor work for five years so need an income coming in.

Thelnebriante thanks for the links I’ll definitely take a look. Can anyone recommend any good blogs, you tube videos etc?

Callybrid, thanks I’ll explore your suggestions. I have lost 21/2 stone (put a little bit back on during lockdown) and exercise frequently, which has improved my confidence a little.

Fatedestiny, I can relate to how you feel finding the right position.

Lirban thanks for your motivational words, I’m so pleased you found something and you’re appreciated.

Starting tomorrow I’m starting Operation Shopaholic is not a failure, where I dedicate an hour a day on getting back into work planning/up skilling.

Please keep your suggestions/experiences coming in.

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