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to think that I need to be realistic and that I am unlikely to be able to find a job?

(35 Posts)
wannaBe Tue 14-Jun-11 11:48:50

have been sahm for nearly nine years, ds will be nine in November.

Before I had ds I worked in a couple of different jobs, secretarial/customer services and most recently as a finance manager in the public sector (managing budgets for research etc).

Since having ds I have thought about going back to work, but realistically finding work that fits in with school hours/holidays is virtually impossible.

I have however done voluntary work, have helped out in school/listened to children read/have been chair of governors at ds' school which in itself has involved experience of recruitment (of ht) interviewing (of ht/other members of staff) involvement in the setting up of a children's centre attached to the school etc.

Last year I seriously looked into the idea of starting my own business, but for various reasons it wasn't viable. It didn't fail, I didn't invest any money into it, it just couldn't work for various reasons (as many business ideas do).

Now we are moving away because of dh's job, so I will be giving up all the voluntary stuff here, and I've decided that realistically now is a good time to start thinking about going back into paid employment.

In the beginning I was very enthusiastic, confident that I would find something even though I didn't really know what kind of work I wanted to do, I don't think I want to go and sit in a call centre though, I do want to work, but financially we can afford for me not to so don't have to settle for a job just because it's a job iyswim.

But since then I have had various people telling me I am deluding myself. There are no jobs/the jobs that are out there have hundreds of applicants/I have no qualifications/I haven't worked for nine years/I don't have childcare (we are moving away from family) so holidays etc become a consideration.

I will also add at this point (so as not to make it ibu by stealth) that as I am visually impaired I am slightly limited in terms of my prospects (although not so much as once was the case), but I couldn't, for instance, get a job that involved being able to drive, or become a TA as this would involve being able to read white boards/children's work etc. My "disability" doesn't limit me, but there are some limitations in that area iyswim.

I have gone from confidently telling people that I am going back to work to thinking that actually, they're all right, and that realistically, being a sahm for this length of time has actually made me unemployable and perhaps it would be better if I don't even try.

are they right?

gramercy Tue 14-Jun-11 11:55:50

I feel like this. I think it's a question of confidence. One minute I'm all fired up, and the next I think "Who'll want some old bird like me, out of touch, why bother?" and I slink back onto MN.

Like you I have done all the governor stuff and other voluntary work. I have no family and dh works late/is often away so realistically unless I get a job as an investment banker and can employ a nanny I need to work school hours.

I think if one is after an ordinary job they are out there for personable mature people. It's particularly the holy grail term-time jobs that have thousands of women (and it is women) in competition with each other.

stoatie Tue 14-Jun-11 11:55:54

I think if you restrict yourself to term time school hours only you may struggle, but if you would consider using some childcare (ie out of hours school clubs) it would strengthen your chances. A lot of part time jobs are based on people doing full shift (9-5 etc) for a couple of days rather than a few hours a day. Not saying those jobs don't exist but are like golddust!

Good luck

amberleaf Tue 14-Jun-11 11:57:02

I hope they arent right.

It is hard though, i have the same child care/school hols limitations as you and ive not found anything that 'fits' my hours of availability.

Marking my place and hoping someone will come along with some pearls of wisdom.

Al0uiseG Tue 14-Jun-11 12:00:24

Hi Wannabe smile I'm in a similar situation to you but without the visual impairment or imminent move. I've been at home for 15 years and I actually quite like it but there is no good reason for me not to work except lack of flexible jobs! I wish I could think of something that I could do from home but I tend to dismiss most things once I realise how many other people are already doing my brilliant idea hmm

I think the fact that your visual impairment hasn't prevented you from volunteering in some quite demanding situations should stand in your favour, but realistically it's an employers Market out there.

I don't know about you but this week I've got 2 sports days to go to, one away cricket match, one cricket training, an orthodontist appointment and a parents evening. I don't see how I could actually hold down a job that would let me do all that, but of course people do. I wish I knew the answers but I'm afraid I'm just as confused as you.

wannaBe Tue 14-Jun-11 12:01:19

I would consider out-of hours childcare at this point, ds is nearly nine and I think he's old enough for that, but then again as I don't drive is it realistic to get a job that isn't on the school's doorstep in case I have to collect him if he's ill?

Al0uiseG Tue 14-Jun-11 12:05:22

That's a whole other issue isn't it, what kind of job just let's you skip off if your children are unwell?

stoatie Tue 14-Jun-11 12:06:55

wannaBe - I think that would depend on your child's health and general well being. If he is a robust chap and rarely ill, then schools appreciate it can sometimes take a parent a while to get to them - think it is different if it happens regularly. Both DH and I work in NHS so actually getting hold of us (can be anywhere in hospital) and then us being in a position to come immediately is not always possible (ie in theatre). Thankfully in over 8 years I/DH have only had to collect a child (we have 3) on @10 occasions so it is not a massive problem, sometimes we were able to get there very quickly (ie I was in office and took call) other times it has taken up to an hour.

TotalChaos Tue 14-Jun-11 12:07:58

wannabe - it's still worth trying. there's a lot of competition for jobs, but from what I've seen of you, you are clearly a very motivated, organised gutsy lady, far far from unemployable. I think you need to look at holiday childcare though tbh as there are so few term time only jobs. If you could sort holiday childcare at least you could look at many part time jobs.

wannaBe Tue 14-Jun-11 12:08:46

well this is it. maybe I should have made the thread title "all you sahms who feel that sahmhood has made you unemployable sign in here"? grin

In all honesty I know that dh would share childcare if ds was ill, and moving closer to his work would make some allowance for that (he currently commutes two hours each way which is not condusive to quickly jumping on a train and heading home, but hours have changed hence the move).

knittedbreast Tue 14-Jun-11 12:11:15

Would you consider getting a weekend job?

TotalChaos Tue 14-Jun-11 12:14:11

I live 20 mins walk from school, and dont drive, so am not that much slower to get there than from work (about 30 mins away on bus)

DeWe Tue 14-Jun-11 12:14:13

I'm in a similar situation, except I've not worked since getting my degree excpet for friends. Problem if I get a full time job, then I suspect I'll be paying out more on childcare than my salery.
What can I do with a maths degree?

DeWe Tue 14-Jun-11 12:14:53

"salary" obviously. blush
I had good reaon for doing maths... no essays.

NestaFiesta Tue 14-Jun-11 12:16:25

Have you thought about being a flexi temp? you can temp and therefore take short assignments as and when. You may not make full time money and you may need breakfast clubs and after school clubs in term time but its worth ringing an agency about it at the very least.

Also YANBU, it is tricky and I'm in the same boat. I did well as a temp before I had DCs and thought I might dip my toe back in. Not expecting a full wage, but every penny I make will make a fantastic difference to our current broke-ness.

bepi01 Tue 14-Jun-11 12:16:47

A friend of mine was in a similar situation (and her DH left her). She re-trained as a beauty therapist (part-time/distance learning etc) and now runs a business from her front room. It's difficult but she can see as many or as few people as she wants to and take time off for hols/sickness etc. Another friend re-trained as a counsellor and sees clients in the evenings and a few aftnernoons a week - takes time to train but you've mentioned that you don't have to work in a rush so could invest in the time to train?

Don't give up; you can work and will find something eventually. You could train as a primary school teacher smile

knittedbreast Tue 14-Jun-11 12:17:08

finance?accountant? teaching?booking keeping?marketing?admin? research?banking?cenral government?

there isnt much a maths degree wont help with!

swanker Tue 14-Jun-11 12:19:18

Maths degree-
accountancy
programming
actuary
teaching
tutoring
statistical/data analysis

depends what your strengths are really

doodledaisy Tue 14-Jun-11 12:19:20

You are unlikely to get a job that is part time and term time. It's not very realistic. However you could get a job and use childcare. Why not apply for a part time job and figure out childcare. It's not impossible, it may mean a few compromises.
Good luck.

gramercy Tue 14-Jun-11 12:19:27

Yes, there are assemblies, inset days, illnesses... and, most problematic - the holidays. Furthermore, I don't want my dcs to have to go to a holiday club (not to mention the £200 a week each charge). I want to be with them!

I don't know anyone else who works who doesn't have a) more readily available dh/partner and/or b) parents or at least back-up childcare.

Dh works two hours away - he leaves the house at 6 am and returns at 8.30pm. So he is out of it as far as any help is concerned.

A snotty neighbour who works two days as hospital consultant said to me "I couldn't let my brain rot" . Her mother comes to the house to look after her dcs every day.

Actually I know someone who has the ideal job - she teaches A Level part-time and she says this fits in perfectly with children. By the time I qualified to be a teacher I'd be ready for a Shearings coach trip.

Cymar Tue 14-Jun-11 12:19:51

I would hang on until you move away TBH. Then when things are more settled in your new place, apply for anything and everything (even cleaning/shelf-stacking). Once you're in a job, it's easier to take it from there and move up. You might either cut even or lose out a bit with wages and childcare/after school clubs, but once you've got your foot on the ladder you can only move upwards. Don't sell yourself short.

Good luck smile

PeppaKew Tue 14-Jun-11 12:22:27

Would you be able to take a full time job, show employers you are brilliant and then request flex-hours or show that you could work from home some sort. I'm thinking of trying to do something of that sort myself. My old employer was uber flexible for established staff but positions were never advertised in this manner. I had worked 2 weeks for them before anyone told me that there was universal flexitime. Maybe research companies with family friendly policies...

wannaBe Tue 14-Jun-11 12:23:16

temping is difficult because of the need for adaptive technology . i.e. I can install a screenreader at a permanent job site, in fact the government will assist in paying for that, but at a temp site companies are usually far less willing to allow that - even if I finance my own adaptive tech solutions.

interestingly enough someone sent me a list once about the types of jobs that blind people can do, (this was from about twenty years ago in the days when you were expected to do telephony and piano tuning) and one of those jobs was a hairdresser! shock now I'm all for equality, but I'm not sure I'd employ a blind hairdresser. grin

doodledaisy Tue 14-Jun-11 12:23:25

This week I have a visit to the 'life bus' (whatever that is), a parents meet the new teacher visit and a fashion show to figure out. I work full time and have another child at nursery. It's doable, you have to be organised. You figure it out. It's not a reason not to get a job.

But I am thinking the retraining idea is a good idea. What would you like to work as in an ideal world?

amberleaf Tue 14-Jun-11 12:26:04

DeWe why dont you do a PGCE?

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