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When did you recognise the point at which you HAD to leave your job?

(59 Posts)
StillMedusa Thu 08-Oct-20 16:58:57

I think I'm there, but in the current climate am worried I'll never find another.
I've been a Special Needs TA for 15 years. From life limted children with young adults with profoundly challenging behaviour. I've always done a pretty decent job at it too, and unfortuately this has meant I have ended up with the 'difficult' classes most years.
This no different, but now at nearly 53 I can't shrug off the bites, the kicks the bruises so easily.. physically or mentally. Today after being smeared with poo I realised I just wanted to walk away and cry. Maybe if I asked to change class it would be a little better, but maybe not.
But after all these years my old degree is worthless, I have no skills except in Special Needs/care and I just don't want to do that any more.
Do I just go? Hope that I can find something else? WHAT else can I do? I've always been reasonably pragmatic and upbeat but now I dread every day at work.

OP’s posts: |
LadyFannyButton Thu 08-Oct-20 17:08:05

It was time to leave when I was spending my morning drive to work praying something would crash into me and injure me so I wouldn’t have to go in for a long time.
So sorry you have had to deal with such difficult situations. I hope you can find something you would love to do instead flowers

RandomMess Thu 08-Oct-20 17:10:03

thanks

I wonder if there is a step sidewards into admin or training or policy type roles related to SEN?

Saucery Thu 08-Oct-20 17:10:14

Would you consider mainstream TA work? Maybe supporting a child with less challenging needs?

But no, you’re not wrong to have hit this wall with your current role and want to leave.

Meruem Thu 08-Oct-20 17:26:58

It’s interesting how many people won’t smoke or drink to excess because it’s damaging to health, but massively under estimate how much damage being in a stressful job can do. I personally have come to the conclusion that severe stress (which it seems is the case here) is actually more harmful than all the other harmful things we’re warned about! But people often don’t get warned about stress. The sceptic in me thinks this is because the goal is to keep us all working as long as possible!

So, what are your options? Finances are obviously the big issue. Is there a way to live if you give up this job? I would imagine that with your experience you have a ton of transferable skills. I only have qualifications in one particular field but I got a job that was wildly different based on transferable skills alone. So for example, you can say you’re good at dealing with pressure, conflict resolution, responding to challenging behaviour. I’m sure there’s lots you could come up with if you really think about it. That then opens up many fields of employment.

Singinghollybob Thu 08-Oct-20 17:41:58

I was praying I'd be in a car crash every morning on the way to work. It was also taking over my days off and the thought of going in would have me hyperventilating and crying.
I was feeling like this for about 3 years but was too scared to make the jump incase I didnt like the new job.
I've been in this new job since April, I love it and I should have done it 3 years ago.

Blueboo0814 Thu 08-Oct-20 18:21:21

I made the switch from special school to mainstream... I do a bit of one to one for a SEN child but also do PPA cover, and a bit of "general TA" work here and there.
Its alot closer (5 min drive instead of 30 mins, more with traffic) and alot less stressful.

Aquamarine1029 Thu 08-Oct-20 18:29:56

Have you considered the effects that peri-menopause/menopause might be having on you? The emotional and physical side effects can be extreme, and make every aspect of your life seem almost unbearable. Are you having any peri symptoms? At your age, I would suspect you are, statistically speaking. HRT can be a lifesaver, it was for me.

In any case, you need to do what's best for your own well-being. Being in a job that causes so much stress is awful, and I know this from experience. I would dread going to sleep because I knew I'd wake up to a new work day, and then when I woke up I was filled with anxiety. It's awful.

Nicolastuffedone Thu 08-Oct-20 18:35:14

I kept hoping I’d hear on the news the building had been burnt to the ground......

kennelmaid Thu 08-Oct-20 18:39:46

I got to the car park and started sobbing. I couldn't face sitting at that desk wishing I was dead a day longer. I turned the car around and went home and felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

NothingIsWrong Thu 08-Oct-20 18:41:46

When I caught myself standing at the top of the stairs in the office wondering how many I would need to fall down to get time off work.

StillMedusa Thu 08-Oct-20 18:43:04

Aquamarine1029 I'm sure that isn't helping, definitely.. I had a hysterectomy years ago but kept my ovaries which are now subjecting me to hot flushes and poor sleep. However I'd rather power through that as it's long overdue!

I just can't imagine any job that doesn't involve challenging behaviour that could use my skills. I don't want to do mainstream TA-ing either.. I want a complete break from children and special needs (I have a dependent adult son with special needs too so I never get a break)

I must admit if the building burned down I'd inwardly cheer...

OP’s posts: |
picklemewalnuts Thu 08-Oct-20 19:01:51

You have amazing skills and qualities. Very few people could do what you have done, and employers should recognise that.

What kind of job would you fancy, if it's nothing with children? There are other caring jobs, there are patient support/advocate type jobs, admin/personal assistant type work.

picklemewalnuts Thu 08-Oct-20 19:02:58

I wasn't clear, sorry- you have many transferable skills and qualities, and should feel confident in making applications. Don't underestimate yourself.

Pedallleur Thu 08-Oct-20 19:08:37

You just know. Sounds like you know it's time to move. Sounds like you have transferable skills and a lot of experience

cheeseychovolate Thu 08-Oct-20 19:08:39

Every morning I felt terrible on the way to work, I hated the job, I'd been there years but I got to a point where I just thought I can not do this anymore, I kind of snapped, maybe even had a mini breakdown. Best thing I did was leave and set up my own cleaning business.

CurlyhairedAssassin Thu 08-Oct-20 19:12:25

I must admit if the building burned down I'd inwardly cheer...

That's how you know, right there.

CurlyhairedAssassin Thu 08-Oct-20 19:13:57

What about school admin/reception if you still like the educational sector? There is contact with the kids but would be less hands on. Although it's the parents who would be displaying the challenging behaviour! grin

noideaatallreally Thu 08-Oct-20 19:17:32

The lightbulb moment when I realised I was in fact being managed out. Their loss - I was really, really good at what I did.

Paddingtonthebear Thu 08-Oct-20 19:19:36

When I had nothing to do because they had brought it someone else and all the work was being given to her. Then they had a staff meeting to announce some jobs were at risk of redundancy, but it occurred on my day off and they just emailed me instead. Then during my redundancy consultation they said the business was really struggling financially but at the same time said they were going to be expanding and opening larger premises. I and a few others put ourselves up for voluntary redundancy immediately and I’ve never regretted it. Idiots.

Namenic Thu 08-Oct-20 19:22:25

I guess I was thinking about it for several years. I looked on jobs sites for years. A lucky break came up and I applied and got it. I did have an exit plan, but it came sooner than expected. Having an exit plan of what to do next helped me.

Proudling Thu 08-Oct-20 19:24:27

RandomMess

thanks

I wonder if there is a step sidewards into admin or training or policy type roles related to SEN?

Just what I was thinking.

Side step into a hands off role. Training others from your experience or administration related role.

Saucery Thu 08-Oct-20 19:24:36

StillMedusa

Aquamarine1029 I'm sure that isn't helping, definitely.. I had a hysterectomy years ago but kept my ovaries which are now subjecting me to hot flushes and poor sleep. However I'd rather power through that as it's long overdue!

I just can't imagine any job that doesn't involve challenging behaviour that could use my skills. I don't want to do mainstream TA-ing either.. I want a complete break from children and special needs (I have a dependent adult son with special needs too so I never get a break)

I must admit if the building burned down I'd inwardly cheer...

Understandable.

How about a call handler for a helpline or the police?
I’d make a list of skills and make a list of jobs you have always thought might be good.

RoseTintedAtuin Thu 08-Oct-20 19:36:55

Not meaning to undermine your skill set in any way (I absolutely could never do the job you do and cannot imagine having the strength or patience so you have my full respect and admiration) but have you thought of doing a job that doesn’t necessarily use them? There are valid reasons for the biting screaming etc. But at the end of the day the reality is that you have been abused every day for 15 years (to provide support to those who really need it... I think if anyone’s entitled to a break from being empathetic and putting others first it’s people in your position. I would look for a 9-5 job with a clear role and no responsibility for others. Under normal circumstances I would suggest a bar or cafe as you can socialise (still the most fun Job I’ve had) but obviously right now that’s no good. Maybe something like working in a shop or garden centre? With minimum wage the pay may not be hugely different if you can get the hours but without the emotional baggage

JacobReesMogadishu Thu 08-Oct-20 19:40:41

When I helped a doctor save someone's life as nobody else there. I followed his instructions but did something I wasn't qualified to do/allowed to do.... But something a brand new med student is allowed to do. And was investigated, threatened with suspension and bollocked.

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