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have you had a second career?

(25 Posts)
skybluepearl Fri 03-Jun-11 20:23:31

Posting here as i know it's great for getting answers.

Wanted to know have you had a second career after being a SAHM? If so what is is? How did it fit together with childcare and would you recommend it?

I've really enjoyed looking after my boys but am starting to think about the next step.

Previously I was a primary school teacher but often drempt of being a nurse. In my 20's I couldn't stand the sight of blood but now it doesn't bother me at all. The downside to nursing would be retraining for 4 years, working school holidays and nights. Other career intesrests are social work and fostering.

I do feel I need to look outside the box but am not aware of what possibilities are out there. Any ideas?

OneDove Fri 03-Jun-11 21:33:15

Hey I am doing the reverse. Been a nurse for twenty years and now studying for Education degree.
You could start as a healthcare assistant NVQ which would allow an insight in to hospital workings.
If you want to train as a registered nurse straight away, you will not have to do nights for at least 3 years if that is any consolation.
Childcare can be tricky particularly half term and summer holidays. If you have a strong family network you could use them. (i do!) Are your children school age? If you worked in Out patients or Day Surgery you would not have to work weekends. There are many different working patterns depending on the speciality you choose. Go for it!
Hope this helps. X

skybluepearl Sat 04-Jun-11 17:06:10

Thanks Onedove. I spent part of last night looking up the different roles within nursing and the two routes to nursing. Sadly we don't have any family close by and kids are all under 8 - so quite young. I still think it could be an option in a few years time though.

MumblingRagDoll Sat 04-Jun-11 17:14:22

I became a freelance writer....previously I was an actor. I had no ned to re-train luckily but realise my situation is unusual. Of all you mention, fostering would seem perfect...I harbour a desire to foster too. It's a great thing to do.

InWithTheITCrowd Sat 04-Jun-11 19:30:27

Hi skybluepearl. All the best in your second career - I just wanted to say, though, that although foster caring comes with an allowance and expenses, it isn't really a "career" and it is 24/7 when you have a child placed with you. You'd also have to do ongoing training and really consider the effect on your family and your own dc
It's such a wonderfully worthwhile thing to do, but it probably shouldn't be described as a career... most of the foster carers I know (in my circle all couples) one partner works full time, and you can be waiting months for your expenses to be reimbursed.
I'm definitely not saying "don't do it" - but maybe don't consider it in the same vein as nursing or social work
Good luck

Punkatheart Sat 04-Jun-11 19:33:05

Writer/journalist here too. It works well but does not currently make me rich!

MrsCadwallader Sat 04-Jun-11 19:40:55

Yes, I'm on the path to a second career post-children. I never really got going career-wise through my twenties so decided I wanted to re-qualify after having children. I'm studying law with a view to becoming a solicitor. I am now three years into part-time study, with one more year to go, and will start working full time next September (2012) as a trainee solicitor with a local law firm.

I started studying when my kids were aged almost 6, 4 and 2. They will be almost 10, 8 and 6 when I start work.

I won't lie grin it's been incredibly hard work: even part-time, my course at the moment demands 20-25 hours study a week, and in the first 2 years it was probably 25-30. It has required a huge amount of support from DP (who has been 100% behind me throughout, so I'm very lucky) but I've really really enjoyed it and wouldn't for a second go back! I have major moments of doubt (about whether going into such a demanding career is the right thing for my family) but from a personal point of view I am incredibly excited (though nervous) about it all. I think having a career break to have kids is the best opportunity you are going to get to try going in a different direction.

scarlettsmummy2 Sat 04-Jun-11 19:42:43

hi i am a foster carer but I also work 24 hours a week helping to get young people back into work. Previous to this I was a recruitment consultant for a long time.

With regards to fostering I would say that i personally don't see it as a career. we have a long term placement and it is very stable (touch wood), and to be honest it is just like having another child. I had four months off work when we got our placement but I was desperate to go back as I missed adult company and the mental stimulation of working.

I had also thought about going back and retraining as a social worker. I have a law degree and find child protection very interesting, however, now that i deal regularly with social workers, I know it isn't for me. I feel I can only take so much dysfunction and I would go mad dealing with jeremy kyle like behaviour every day. My own social worker has told me that it is horrible as the majority of people do not want to be helped. Obviously this doesn't apply to all types of social work but it was enough to put me off. I also have an aversion to woolly jumpers.....

maybe you could think about something like a careers advisor?? you can do a post grad in nine months and there is a good chance of a job at the end of it.

MrsCadwallader Sat 04-Jun-11 19:43:46

Oh - and childcare while studying: my course is mainly done by distance. I need to go into college for two day blocks roughly once a month. We cover this either by DP taking holiday, or my in-laws coming to stay for a couple of days or, on a couple of occasions, farming the kids out to friends. It can be stressful to organise but it has worked fairly well. The big downside though has been DP using up so much of his holiday to cover me for study days / work experience etc. But we hope it will be worth it!

ninah Sat 04-Jun-11 19:49:40

I am hoping to train as a primary school teacher next year, now both children are settled at school. Working in eyfs at present. Not too sure what my 'first' career would have been described as however, pre dc I did a few things!
bit apprehensive about juggling workload with home life, especially as I am a lone p without family support, but fingers crossed it will all work out.

ninah Sat 04-Jun-11 19:50:16

so yanbu!

Birdsgottafly Sat 04-Jun-11 19:57:57

To get on to both SW and nursing you would need to do voluntary work, so perhaps do the volunteering before you make any firm decisions. They are very different roles, this may help you to decide. You could start at care assistant level and see if Nursing is for you. I chose SW because i prefare the interation with service users, not all Nursing roles have that.

Do you have Enlish and Maths within the last three years, you need it to get onto a degree or Access course. Again i would say that fostering isn't a career and would affect the whole family including family that you have regulary visiting.

emsyj Sat 04-Jun-11 19:58:36

I am a solicitor (returning from mat leave on Monday - yikes!) but in the process of setting up an online shop. My aim is to be self-employed by the time DD goes to school so that my hours are flexible and I can drop her off and pick her up. I've always had a bit of a hankering to work for myself.

I am also starting a make-up course and a hairstyling course in September (one at night school, one at weekends) to see if I like it (and am any good at it) and if I do, I would like to do wedding & occasion styling.

There is a good NHS careers website, have you had a look at it? If you are interested in caring professions and/or medical stuff, there are probably lots of options that might suit you. Have you considered occupational therapy, for example, or educational psychology as a side-step from teaching?

Birdsgottafly Sat 04-Jun-11 20:00:30

Just to add both SW and Nursing give burseries and involve full time placements which can be over the school holidays.

slipperandpjsmum Sat 04-Jun-11 20:00:32

My second career is social work(child protection). I love my job. Re-trained when my children were 11, 6, 5 (and had my 4th child part way through training).

I love my job. Don't really agree with the comments scarlettsmummy2 social worker made but do certainly agree child protection is not for everyone. It challenges on lots of levels - mostly the amount of form filling and time spent on the computer! But I go into work everyday never knowing what the day will bring. I can be out with the police, with child sexual explotation workers, returning children to their birth families knowing they will be safe as their parents have made the changes we needed them to, standing up to bullies that have made people's lives a misery for so long.

I think social work is more like nursing than teaching because in both careers we are with people at some of the most horrific points in their lives, giving them the news that is their worst nightmare come true.

Its a vocation, not a job and it can consume you but you either learn to deal with it and move into another area. But being in a place where I can take all the fear away from a family, there are no words to describe how that feels.

Deaddei Sat 04-Jun-11 20:02:22

I was a retail manager pre kids and now work for a charity

clemetteattlee Sat 04-Jun-11 20:02:23

I was a teacher for 12 years and then started training to be a doctor. I had a wobble aout the junior doctor yea and so have taken a year out to train as a paramedic. My heart is in medicine so I am going back, but have you considered training as a paramedic - the training is shorter, and some trusts train you on the job so you dont have to do full-time university route...

opalinski Sat 04-Jun-11 20:04:49

What kind of shop emsyj?

penguin73 Sat 04-Jun-11 20:07:24

From the Armed Forces into teaching - didn't really have a period as a SAHM as started teacher training whilst still serving then continued to work PT in retail whilst finishing teacher training but have found it a brilliant career choice for being challenged, mentally and physically stimulated and being able to balance it with being a lone parent. The working hours are stupidly long, particularly in the first few years, but the plus is a lot of the work (planning/marking etc) can be worked around DS. Echo the comments about fostering, this is a life choice rather than a job and something I would love to do if I didn't need an income.

emsyj Sat 04-Jun-11 20:26:47

Wedding and evening dresses - 50s style!

Honeybee79 Sat 04-Jun-11 20:44:25

Slipper - what did your social work training involve?

Am interested to here as I'm considering it. I'm currently a solicitor.

Bumperlicioso Sat 04-Jun-11 22:46:18

I work for a public sector org but am debating retraining as an occupational psychologist. I already have an MSc in psych so im confident I could do it, but the thought of going into an entry level job after all this time worries me.

skybluepearl Mon 06-Jun-11 22:20:13

Just wanted to say a big thanks for posting. There are some great ideas and comments on here from some very lovely ladies!

scarlettsmummy2 Tue 07-Jun-11 17:18:23

slipper- hope I didn't offend you! was only joking about the woolly jumpers!

Happylander Tue 07-Jun-11 17:36:16

I'm a nurse and have fixed shifts so can organise childcare etc. Fixed shifts are open to anyone with children not sure if you knew that. Nursing is a good career I think as it has many avenues to go down once you have trained.
There were many mature students on my course retraining from different jobs and from being SAHM's. Good luck.

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