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To ask career changers out there if you made the right choice (and if you did, what was it)?

(37 Posts)
TheSnickeringFox Thu 16-Jun-11 18:29:32

Just having a dreamy and not entirely realistic ponder...

Atwaroverscrabble Thu 16-Jun-11 18:54:14

I used to be an IT Data manager then got divorced and went to uni... I did my undergrad and masters degree while working as a mental health care worker and I now have about 10 months before I finish my phd... I teach a little but want to do research and teach when I finish and it's not in IT! I'm skint, in debt and remarried with a new dd and love my new life!

ilovesooty Thu 16-Jun-11 19:51:13

I used to be a teacher. I left and took a job at a charity. After doing several different projects I work with Class A drug users. I retrained as a counsellor and have my own private practice as well as volunteering with a bereavement charity. I love what I do.

CaramelFreddo Thu 16-Jun-11 23:05:04

I worked in IT as a web developer...then retarined as a teacher. Biggest mistake of my life.

ninah Thu 16-Jun-11 23:06:32

why caramel?

MrsWembley Thu 16-Jun-11 23:08:30

I worked in the licensed trade, various jobs. Retrained as an English teacher. Best thing I ever did, though I wouldn't change my previous life, especially when I tell year 10/11 what I used to do...wink

MrsMellowDrummer Thu 16-Jun-11 23:11:51

I did an English degree, then got an unusual kind of teaching job (conductive education, with children with cerebral palsy). Retrained at the grand old age of 25, and became a speech and language therapist. Best thing I ever did, although it was very very very hard work. There were several people on my course in their 40s too.

Once you know what you want to do... go for it. There is always a way.

Scuttlebutter Thu 16-Jun-11 23:14:00

Spent 23 years in waste management, mainly on landfill sites. Now have a "portfolio" career, as I understand it is called grin, with two part time jobs, one a freelance researcher, the other in a University Library, and with plenty of time for voluntary work (dog welfare) and hobbies (quilting/sewing, cross stitch and papercrafts ). I loved my old job, but I am incredibly happy doing what I do now and am much less stressed. What prompted my change was having cancer and depression afterwards.

TheSnickeringFox Thu 16-Jun-11 23:32:47

Ah yes, the old knowing what you want to do bit

I knew there'd be a catch <glum>

thenightsky Thu 16-Jun-11 23:34:47

I used to be a mental health nurse (CPN).

Then I spent a year doing a Medical secretarial diploma.

Best thing I ever did.

Popbiscuit Thu 16-Jun-11 23:43:44

That's interesting, Night Sky...do you mind my asking what prompted the change? I'm currently debating whether or not to retrain as a nurse or do a medical admin diploma!

fit2drop Thu 16-Jun-11 23:46:21

I worked in a residential rehab for teens , now as a mental health support worker.I love my job and the service users, management however is another storyhmm

thenightsky, that sounds interesting , where would I find info on that?

thenightsky Fri 17-Jun-11 00:10:27

I'm not sure if the Med Sec Dip is still running. I came across it in a prospectous for a local college. It was a full time two year course. I crammed it into one year as I had done a lot of the work needed already... Human Biology GCSE, Anatomy & Phys, Med Terminology etc. It was bloody difficult though, I won't lie. Shorthand, Medical Shorthand, Social Services and NHS history and law, records management, clinical governance, medical office practice and more. Not to mention learning to type very very fast!

Try googling AMSPAR (Association of Medical Secretaries, PAs and Receptionists)

fit2drop Fri 17-Jun-11 00:12:19

Thanks for that thenightsky smile

shandybass Fri 17-Jun-11 07:33:11

I was a qualified accountant and then decided I didn't want to be doing it for the next 20-30 years and re-trained as a social worker. Everyone said I was mad.

Am happy most days although I am now pondering what else I could do.

It really is more acceptable and common these days to re-train, I would say to anyone have a good think about it and go for it.

Tee2072 Fri 17-Jun-11 07:35:39

I worked as a Personal Assistant for nearly 20 years before dusting off my Graphic Arts qualification and starting my own company.

I'll never work for someone else again.

JambalayaCodfishPie Fri 17-Jun-11 07:45:10

I used to be a restaurant manager for a shit chain. Sort of 'fell' into it and always hated it.

Final straw was a woman physically abusing me because id killed her son. I hadnt, btw - she clearly had issues. I contacted my area manager to tell her I needed to go to hospital and she said did i really have to go and if i did, not to say how it had happened in case it caused any bad press.

Needless to say, when I left the hospital I did not return. Ever.

After that, I worked voluntary in a Primary School as a Teaching Assistant, purely because I needed to do 'something'. Fell in love with the job, and was eventually poached to work in Secondary, teaching Food Technology to SEN children.

Am now eternally grateful to that woman because if she hadnt done what she did, I'd still be doing that job, hating life, and would never have met my DP!

TheSnickeringFox Fri 17-Jun-11 08:17:53

Very interesting.

Tee, why is it so much better to work for yourself?

<wonders how fast she can type>

Tee2072 Fri 17-Jun-11 08:23:16

Gosh, why isn't it?

I set my own hours. I work as and when I want. I work in my PJs, sprawled across the sofa. No office politics. Better coffee. If I don't want to deal with a client, I ignore their phone calls until I am ready to call them back.

Granted, I don't get paid if I don't work, no sick days, no paid holiday.

But I would still never want to work for someone else again.

TheSnickeringFox Fri 17-Jun-11 08:27:54

You have a young ds, don't you? (Not a stalker, honest, just an inveterate name changer).

We've just started our family (7.5mo ds) so I have no money or time*, but a girl can dream!

*or skills, damnit!

Tee2072 Fri 17-Jun-11 08:36:44

Yes I have a 2 year old son. He goes to nursery 2 days a week and I work at night or if/when he naps as well.

Time? What's that? grin

TheSnickeringFox Fri 17-Jun-11 08:53:08

Dunno, just something I heard about once... grin

OTheHugeManatee Fri 17-Jun-11 09:08:03

I work in marketing/Internet at the moment and am retraining as a psychotherapist. Can't tell you for sure yet that it's the right thing as am not qualified and working but have loved every moment of training so far and feel more positive about the future than ever before.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 17-Jun-11 09:29:48

I drifted into a secretarial course straight from school, did a low level qualification in business studies (which I hated) and went into a typing pool (which I actually really enjoyed). I then got promoted to secretary, then PA (ok job but very 'rarified' atmosphere) and decided to do a masters in envionment/statistics part time. Made the decision to come out of the 'PA business', was warned that I'd find it very, very different, a very sage warning.

Got qualification, went into office administration job to get a broader scope. Hated the job completely, bullied and kept trying to get out. Managed four years later, got a job in strategic wastes management for a local authority. Loved it for the first three years then grew to hate the politics. Got a scholarship to do another masters in wastes management and then four years ago left the public sector for a european private company and now working from home... absolutely fab and I love my job. My qualifications were needed only really to move me along, not really used as much as they could be, but I don't care, I'm happy now.

Are you planning something, SnickeringFox?

betterwhenthesunshines Fri 17-Jun-11 09:43:20

I trained and worked freelance as graphic designer until I had my children when I wanted to be FTM. It has at times driven me crazy so I have done various other things that have boosted my confidence ( managed NCT sales, worked as P. Chef for a while). DCs are now 9 and 6 and I'm keen to start something new but it's the WHAT? that's a killer. At 38 if retraining will be another 4+ years you can't afford to get it wrong IYSWIM.

Thinking of Psychology degree, or conversion, or counselling, or could set up own graphic design business but I don't really feel my heart is in that anymore.

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