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To change my job for one significantly less well paid

(24 Posts)
someonegetmeaglassofwine Tue 06-Jan-15 11:37:44

This is my first AIBU! I currently work part time as a tax advisor. I am a chartered accountant and currently studying for my chartered tax advisor exams.

But.... I hate it. I have worked in this field/similar fields for getting on for 6 year (excl 9months maternity leave). So I have 'given it a good go' I am paid fairly well as expected. I have an 18month old dd.

I really really just want to get into something more fulfilling. My main ambition over the last few years/months is social work.

Would it me completely bonkers to retrain? I can't decide. I imagine I would get the same working full time in social work as I do for 3 days as a tax advisor (no evidence... Gut feeling)

I am totally torn. If relevant, me and dd live with dm and dsf. Mainly for company for me. I pay rent (less than the amount of running my own home) and dm looks after dd one day a week,(nursery 2 days) so in the immediate future I won't need the money. Dm offered to look after dd and claims to love her day with her. I also have a house which is rented out. But presumably at some point in the future I will want to live in my own home. (Or meet a new dp?!?) I am only 27.

I know I have got to make my own decision, (I am not that U) but any thoughts would be appreciated. I'm so unhappy in my current job hmm so have got to take some action soon!

BiscuitsAreMyDownfall Tue 06-Jan-15 11:43:01

I worked in accounts and was studying for my AAT (finished level 3 about to start level 4) and have quit all that.

I like helping people. I dont have the funds to retrain (I did Sociology at Uni with a view to go onto social work, but for varying reasons I didn't do anything like this after Uni), but instead I am hoping to work in a customer facing role like in a shop.

I know I could get a well paid job and in a couple of years go on to do quite well, but instead I am probably looking at minimum wage jobs which I prefer to do (just wish the hours were more suited)

StackladysMorphicResonator Tue 06-Jan-15 11:44:11

You obviously need to do some research into your chosen career before making any big decisions - relying on 'gut feelings' is ridiculous when it comes to a decision like this.

someonegetmeaglassofwine Tue 06-Jan-15 11:51:45

Biscuits I am glad I am not the only one who feels this way. And yes I know more research is needed. I have had a lot of negativity about social work when I have voiced my feelings before!! Think work experience is needed!

singalongsong Tue 06-Jan-15 11:59:28

i'm in the middle of a social work degree. much as I love it, its very full on and very hard work. I wouldn't make any rash decisions without looking into it properly.

On another note...if you want something more fulfilling can you find something within the financial field which you'd already be qualified to do which is more fulfilling. Financial advocacy/working for a charity with those needing financial help and advice? Would 1 days voluntary work a week fill the need to help people alongside your normal paid employment?

Def do some voluntary work in the social care sector if thats where you think you're heading. Try looking at volunteering with Home Start for children/families or a local day centre for adults with disabilities/elderly. Read Community Care (online journal) for 'day in the life of a social worker' etc. The Guardian also has a good section on current challenges in social care jobs. Do your research...if you're sure you want to do it then if you're financially secure, and you have reliable childcare, then why not?

PonderousTortoise Tue 06-Jan-15 12:06:58

I'm in a similar position (CA, in accountancy type work for 8yrs, hated it, thinking of retraining) but I'm dithering. I too need to do a lot more research, real work experience, talking to people etc. I promised myself I'd get started on this after Xmas so need to get on with it. I'd need to do a 2yr postgrad course to retrain and would need to have relevant work experience before applying in December if I want to do that so need to get cracking!

But accountancy has some great benefits and I also think if I could find a pt job in an organisation I really liked that gave me good work- life balance, alright pay and time to do something more useful and fulfilling in my spare time, that might be a better option than the more fulfilling job.

Are there any bits of your work over the last 6yrs you've enjoyed more that you can try and develop? I think as well as researching the social work option further it also makes sense to explore your current career options more.

someonegetmeaglassofwine Tue 06-Jan-15 12:55:19

Thanks for the advice! Ponder, it has been suggested that I might feel more comfortable working in a smaller local firm (currently and always have been big 4). I do like the aspects of meeting people, and finding out about their businesses.

someonegetmeaglassofwine Tue 06-Jan-15 12:58:09

Singalong, thanks for the pointers. I will be looking into them smile an awful lot of people have said to me that social work is a lot lot harder than I anticipate, and very emotionally draining.

Surreyblah Tue 06-Jan-15 13:04:48

The person I know with the best w/l balance is an accountant working for a local small firm. Opportunities to move into in-house accounting, tax, compliance or PR?

Setting aside whether you'd actually like the job, how many years would retraining take and how much would it cost?

Friends with Dc who have trained for the NHS have found courses pretty unhelpful in terms of notice and location of work placements. Would your DM be willing and able to provide more childcare?

fleurdelacourt Tue 06-Jan-15 13:05:38

I'm CA and have been through this - some accountancy work can be dull and unfulfilling yes. BUT so can work in lots of different areas - including social work. There is a real risk in retraining that you end up worse off than you are now.

That is not to say don't do it- but it does need very careful research: can you do some unpaid placements to see what it's really like? Meet with people already in the field to understand how the training runs and what life is like?

I seriously considered retraining as a teacher. I shadowed teachers and spoke to lots of people - and found that it wasn't for me. There was a material financial cost (of training and then opportunity cost of my lower salary) plus - teachers didn't seem to be any more fulfilled and also seemed rushed off their feet.

Instead, I took my time to find the next role - there are part time options out there if you're patient, and now I'm happy - fulfilled professionally for the first time.

If tax is not for you then try a different area? You're only 3 years PQ - lots of scope to try a different speciality?

Theas18 Tue 06-Jan-15 13:11:30

Social workers are banging on the door to escape. I know quite a few off long term sick and when you try to use the service it's umm shit as covered by temps etc

I would be very wary of social work to " help people" mostly the job appears to be rationing services that are in very short supply.

UsuallyLurking1 Tue 06-Jan-15 14:14:33

Op, are you working 'in practice' I.e advising a range of other companies? Or working for one specific company

I'm in the same field, although more accountancy and fundraising than tax. A year or so ago my second child was born I left practice for a company in industry, so my wife and I could both work 3-4 days a week and juggle childcare around it. I'm doing the same job essentially but on the other side of the fence.

Wish id done it years ago, completely different ethos to working for an accountancy firm, so much more work life balance.

Not sure how old you are, but during studies the accounting thing can be painful but it's a hell of a good industry to be in for long term security and lots of opportunity to work flexibly in industry. My plan is to shift to five days 10am - 3pm when the kids are at school. Not many careers give you the combination of earning power and flexibility that accounting does

Whatever your decision, good luck with it!

UsuallyLurking1 Tue 06-Jan-15 14:20:00

Sorry should have read the other posts before I replied!

If it's big 4 you're at now then my post above really does apply. I was there 10 years and had no idea what a proper work life balance was like until I left. Get into industry / small accounts firm (by which I mean not big 4 OR the 3 or 4 firms just behind them) before you retrain and see how that goes, honestly it's a different world (and a better one!)

You'll walk into a small firm role with your experience and reason for leaving.

Don't get me wrong, I learned a lot at my big firm, but you don't realise how much of an impact the politics has on you until you leave. No more waiting for others to leave before you pack up your desk! Just walk out on time with your head held high knowing you've done a good job instead of having to prove to others you have!

Treats Tue 06-Jan-15 14:25:38

I was going to echo what a lot of the posters upthread have said about trying to find a different role that utilises your existing qualifications. One of the reasons I retrained into Finance was that I could see that it was the key to working for almost any kind of organisation. If you've got 'Big 4, looking for a new challenge on your CV', you'll get snapped up.

How about trying to find a finance job in the voluntary sector or for an organisation that specialises in health, social care or education, and see where that takes you?

Want2bSupermum Tue 06-Jan-15 14:37:43

So this is me.... I have spent the past 5 years moving into accounting and am at big4. I transferred to another department and I am in the middle of trying to negotiate a 75% schedule but getting things nailed down is like pulling teeth. I can't do 60 hour weeks and find the audit work that I am doing to be unfulfilling (bait and switch happened). The department I have moved to is much larger so I am looking at spending the next 4 years (because I won't get promotion after 3 years due to reduced hours) doing the same work that I have done for the past 4 years. The compensation sucks too. I am getting paid the same as a low level office job with an average work week of 36 hours.

I was in investment banking, fixed income trading and then moved to capital markets to be precise. With my background I am looking at accounting roles in private companies. I have found a few that allow me to work from home from two to 5 days a week which is an added bonus. Take a look at linkedin to see what is out there. I have found some of the financial analyst roles to be interesting and there are some great, well paid but part time, roles in the public sector. I would LOVE to be a school accountant here in town - its 30hrs/wk and well paid too with full benefits. Lady in current role has been doing it for 35 years so I have already started getting myself involved in the school DD attends as I want to build up relationships so I can take her role over once she retires in five years.

MewlingQuim Tue 06-Jan-15 14:41:47

You could try and get some voluntary work in the field before you quit your job and start a course. You could volunteer a day a week while staying in your current job and find out if you actually like it.

I knew lots of social workers when I was younger and thought it might be a career for me, but I then did a couple of years voluntary work and I realised I couldn't do it as a career. 20 yearsk later, many of my social worker friends have burnt out and left the profession.

foreverdepressed Tue 06-Jan-15 14:53:54

you would be utterly bonkers to leave to do Social Work training/degree. Get some voluntary work experience in the field and make sure you take off your rose-tinted glasses before hand.

LadyPenny Tue 06-Jan-15 16:24:17

I'm a foster carer, I wouldn't be a SW for anything. All of the SWs I work with are under immense pressure. They have massive workloads that are largely impossible to keep on top of. I often get e mails and phone calls from them late at night, long after 'office hours'. I don't think it's a job that works well with a young family.
I suppose it depends what area of SW you want to go into but I would think very carefully before you make a decision.

Pensionerpeep Tue 06-Jan-15 16:34:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Laquitar Tue 06-Jan-15 16:43:51

I think you will be mad if you do this.

There is 'i hate my job' - it is vile, there is bulling, against my prinsiples (i.e. those who have to sanction benefit claimants) etc. Thats depressing.

Then there is 'i don't like my job' - i'm not very happy every morning, i dont love it, it is not very exciting. I think very few jobs are.

If you work part-time and you earn what others earn on full time jobs then i call it a 'great job'. You dont have to be 'very happy' those 3 days, you just do your job. Then you have free days to do what you like and you have cash to add excitment in to your life.
When you earn well you can do interesting and exciting stuff the rest of the time imo.

Jinglebells99 Tue 06-Jan-15 16:48:37

I did a first degree in European finance and accountancy with German and after a couple of very boring years working in a pensions firm did some voluntary work in a school for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties, then a masters in Social work. I then worked in child protection for a couple of years, and whilst it was never dull, it was incredibly stressful. Always having to make sure everything was recorded, being threatened by clients, battling with management who were concerned with the cost of placements whilst having real fears that children were in danger from their parents. I haven't gone back since having my children. I wouldn't recommend going into social work.

someonegetmeaglassofwine Tue 06-Jan-15 18:50:47

Thanks for the advice everyone! Tbh all the warnings about social work are exact what has been said to me before.

pippop1 Tue 06-Jan-15 18:55:24

The big 4 are known to be very tough places to work (DS1 is currently training). Surely you would be so much happier in a smaller local firm, perhaps being able to pick up your DC from school sometimes?

SummerSazz Tue 06-Jan-15 19:04:11

I'm ex Big 4 (16 years <eek>) and am now PT in industry (M&A). Much more flexible and very interesting.

I LOVE being the client and having everyone jump up and down for me grin

I've considered other stuff but tbh the hours/money combo would be very difficult to give up on even if I 100% loved an alternative more hours/lower paid role.

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