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To leave my professional career for a low paid job?

(186 Posts)
raininginbaltimore Fri 18-Jan-13 20:39:26

I'm a teacher. Been teaching for 8 years, I'm a Headnof department for a small dept in secondary school.

I have bipolar disorder, diagnosed two years ago an have just had my second dc. As a family we have had a rough few months, I've been in a mother and baby unit and dd has been ill. I cannot face going back to work. Teaching just doesn't seem doable anymore. I can go back 4 days, but nothing less. I can't move schools as I am too expensive, and not many local jobs.

I am so exhausted with the job. I have been made aware of a job in a local charity. Two days a week, much lower salary etc. however after childcare costs etc we wouldn't be much worse off.

Has anyone done this?

PickledApples Sat 19-Jan-13 00:52:56

Have you looked at TA posts in the area? Lots about atm. Failing that, definitely look into this charity job, life is too short. Be happy. Be healthy. And get well soon grin (I do hope you watch cbeebies...)

ilovesooty Sat 19-Jan-13 01:57:10

I went from teaching to working in a charity and got my life back. The money's crap, there's no job security (funding is from project to project and tighter with every bid), not much pension to speak of but I've never regretted it

Same here. I left teaching after it played havoc with my mental health. I was a HOD in a core subject. I absolutely love what I do now.

Life is too short to do a job that makes you ill and unhappy. Teaching is going to get worse not better.

I wish you luck and hope you end up as happy as I am.

Bakingnovice Sat 19-Jan-13 06:30:22

Life's too short. I left a high paying job as a lawyer because it nearly gave me a breakdown. I kept at it knowing it was making me ill. It was only when I realised My sadness and stress was affecting my Dh and dc that I walked away. Best thing I ever ever ever did.

BikeRunSki Sat 19-Jan-13 06:58:14

Do it.
I've left a job because it was making me miserable, although it was before dc, so easier to do.

My cautionary tale - my dad worked obsessively for years, all through mu childhood, and was often abroad. Shortly after my 12th birthday he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, his health deteriorated rapidly and he died 10 years later in his early 60s.

I deliberately now work pt (although professional career role) for a public body who have a fairly relaxed attitude to working hours. It means we live in a fairly small house and won't be going abroad for some years, but so be it. The small scale, day to day pay-offs are more than worth it.

TroublesomeEx Sat 19-Jan-13 08:21:10

I would say do it too.

I do have a question actually. I'm a qualified teacher and I'm in my second year of not working now for a number of reasons.

I have absolutely no desire to go back into teaching for a number of reasons but I'd still like to work with children in school. For those who have left a professional job due to the stress/pressures/lack of satisfaction, what reasons have you given for leaving your last position and for making such a drastic change? I don't want to end up coming across as though I just couldn't hack it!

TroublesomeEx Sat 19-Jan-13 08:23:44

stop being crushed by the weight of guilt and fear that builds up every Sunday night until you are wishing harm on yourself to avoid going into school

^^ <shudders at the memory>

YorkshireDeb Sat 19-Jan-13 09:13:40

Wow - this thread is really interesting reading. I'm dreading going back to teaching in 2 months. Can't imagine how I'll fit my working week (including the mountains of stuff to be done at home) around looking after my ds. Will be spending about 1/4 of my wage on childcare. By the time dc2 comes along that will be 1/2 of my wage & I think it'll be time to seriously consider why I'm doing it. X

raininginbaltimore Sat 19-Jan-13 09:57:08

yorkshire do you have a do? Then the childcare is split. Our childcare bill will be £800 a month this year, but only 400 counts as coming from my wages, seeing as childcare allows DH to work too.

I don't think we would be much worse off. It would mean no treats, at all. We already haven't been on holiday for 5 years as we can't afford it. But I think I will do it. Just need to convince DH that we won't be bankrupt (he worries a lot about money)

Life is too short. I do enjoy teaching, but there is so much more to it now. An realistically I can't see how you can be a good teacher without working ridiculous hours.

AlphaAndEcho Sat 19-Jan-13 09:59:25

IMO if you are not going to be much worse off , but happier then of course YANBU .

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 19-Jan-13 10:25:19

Treats are just that, treats.
There are many other things you can do with a family that build wonderful, loving memories and a strong bond between you that don't involve money and will ensure you have the capacity to enjoy what you have to the full.
Folkgirl, you quit and don't talk about the stress and the feeling that you are riding the wall of death every day, or that you are stressed to the point of no sleep and panic attacks.
You talk about work-life balance, the restrictions that the job places on your creative needs, the wish to face new challenges that broaden your life experiences in new ways, that you want to stretch your wings and fly.
You have to make it seem as if you are rushing towards something delightful rather than running away from a nightmare. Positive spin.

breatheslowly Sat 19-Jan-13 10:28:10

FolkGirl - when I had non-teaching interviews I stressed the successes I had as a teacher, said that I had wanted to teach to "give something back" but now had though about what I wanted to do long term and decided for the following reasons that I wanted to do X, then gave the positive reasons for wanting to do my new job. The people I have been interviewed by for non-teaching roles don't want to be teachers, so haven't got hung up on me not wanting to be one any more. They were more interested to hear why I wanted my new job.

BlackholesAndRevelations Sat 19-Jan-13 10:36:35

I'm reading this with interest as I'm in a similar boat (PND not bipolar though) and have been teaching same length of time as op so expensive to employ. I still love the children and teaching them, but hate all the other pressures and work I have to do at home, that makes me feel like I never have a proper weekend. Problem is, I worry about shooting myself in the foot career wise as I doubt I'd be able to get back into it in the future. Also am I doing my family a disservice by leaving a secure and well paid job.

OP- I'm glad you've decided to leave as it's the best choice for you and probably me.

Other ex teachers: what do you do now, just out of interest?

BlackholesAndRevelations Sat 19-Jan-13 10:37:53

Oh- and never seeing my children during term time (they're 3 and 1) sad

TroublesomeEx Sat 19-Jan-13 10:41:38

Mm that's interesting breatheslowly. Thank you.

I think that I'm more concerned because I'm still looking at roles that are in school. I went into teaching because of wanting to make a difference and did feel frustrated that I didn't have the time to work with the children who really needed that extra level of support and that they went to see the Play Therapist or work 1-2-1/in small groups with TAs instead.

You have to make it seem as if you are rushing towards something delightful rather than running away from a nightmare. I like this!

Fakebook Sat 19-Jan-13 10:46:12

stop being crushed by the weight of guilt and fear that builds up every Sunday night until you are wishing harm on yourself to avoid going into school

Wow. Poor pupils.

BlackholesAndRevelations Sat 19-Jan-13 10:50:58

Fakebook I can guarantee you that the pupils are not the ones suffering here. Most of us came into teaching because we have a genuine love of children and wanted to make a difference/pass something on. My pupils are fine, thank you very much. It's my family and myself who are suffering.

raininginbaltimore Sat 19-Jan-13 10:58:01

fakebook you would be surprised the number of teachers who feel like that. In 8 years and 3 schools I have conversations like that with many teachers. It isn't the job I started doing 8 years ago.

Tryharder Sat 19-Jan-13 10:58:56

Can I just point out that a friend of mine became a teacher about 3 years ago. She teaches in a 'rough' secondary school and her classes include many children with behavioural problems.

She loves it! It is her dream career and I am in awe of her enthusiasm and the fact that she is paid quite good money to do something that she really loves. Her kids at the school love her to death and she was recently given 'outstanding teacher' status at the recent inspections.

So to the poster who wanted to go into teaching and was pooh-poohed by all the depressed teachers on here, I just wanted to give you another side to the story.

mollymole Sat 19-Jan-13 11:00:06

Do it - a long time ago I left my accountancy career for lower paid work and have never looked back

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 19-Jan-13 11:02:57

'Can I just point out that a friend of mine became a teacher about 3 years ago.'

Burnout tends to happen within 5-8 years for many.
Does she have children of her own?

Fakebook, how would the pupils know or be affected? Can you spot the third or half of the staff in a school that feel like that?

YorkshireDeb Sat 19-Jan-13 11:05:02

raininginbaltimore yes I have a dp so I guess technically it is halved. I'm thinking from the perspective that if I didn't work I would provide childcare & we'd live on his whole wage so with me working we're better off by my wage minus childcare costs. Is that bad maths? Or a wild stab at justification? X

senua Sat 19-Jan-13 11:05:21

Gosh. What a lot of women have left high paid / high stress jobs for inner happiness.
No wonder that there is a gender imbalance in Management.

Fakebook Sat 19-Jan-13 11:09:45

With feelings like that, I would be really surprised if it didn't have an effect on your teaching method and general personality at school. You may think your pupils are happy but how do you know you're giving 100% to teach them properly? How do you know they're learning at their full potential?

It's sad your family life is affected, but so is the education of 30 children.

BunFagFreddie Sat 19-Jan-13 11:09:46

My cousin has just become a teacher and she's loving it too. She has a couple of young dd's and I think her decisions to go into teaching had a lot to do with being free during the holidays - and decent pay.

YorkshireDeb Sat 19-Jan-13 11:11:07

tryharder of course there is another side to the story. I always said to people who were thinking of teaching that it's tiring, stressful & bloody hard work but never ever boring - and that's the bit that kept me going. 3 years in I'm guessing your friend is just responsible for her class but has no management responsibilities? For most teachers that's the bit we love, but as you progress in your career you get more & more responsibilities which take you away from the children. I'd also assume, being an outstanding teacher, she does lots of preparation at home, which is the bit that worries me most now I have a child of my own. X

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