AIBU to make this career change?

(11 Posts)
Tripswitch Thu 14-Jan-16 12:40:47

Help! Thinking about making a very big career change and, cautious by nature, I am very nervous. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

I've been in my current job 15 years. It is a specialist role with few opportunities beyond my current employer. I know the job like the back of my hand and am well-respected by colleagues. The pay is not brilliant but the hours are flexible and family-friendly. I currently have a part-time contract but there are plenty of opportunities for extra work and income. There are also good perks in terms of pension, sick pay and so on. Over Christmas I have realised how unhappy I am most of the time, not with the job itself but with wider issues, internal politics and so on. I often don't sleep well and I often dread going in. I have realised I am just plain bored too. It's been a bit of a Damascus moment because I really have never considered doing anything else.

I've casually started looking at job websites. There's an advert for a completely unconnected field that I know nothing about, but that's often fascinated me. I have some experience of the company as a customer. It would mean starting at the bottom on a casual contract. It's hours to suit. There is no status, pension, sick pay or holiday pay. I could earn the same as I do now just by working more. I think I would love it.

I think I would be so much happier but I am so scared of making a mistake. My family are supportive but friends think I'm crazy to give up a good secure job.

AIBU to think 'go for it'?

biboergosum Thu 14-Jan-16 12:55:40

What is the worst case scenario? If you change and hate it, can you come back to your old career or is it a fast-moving field making it impossible to re-join?

Tripswitch Thu 14-Jan-16 13:04:35

I think it would be impossible to re-join. I suspect budget pressures would mean they would not fill my post.

MoMoTy Thu 14-Jan-16 13:10:42

I think pension, flexibility, holiday pay, family friendly are very important perks to give up for nothing. What if you don't find this other job as interesting as you thought it to be. I think it's quite a trade off. Is there no other company offering a role similar to your current role?

biboergosum Thu 14-Jan-16 13:10:58

I'd do it, since your family are supportive. Good luck.

pocketsaviour Thu 14-Jan-16 13:15:20

If your current role is part time and the potential role is hours to suit, could you start doing it for a few hours a week while keeping hold of your current job, so you could get a feel for whether it would suit you?

It also sounds like you would be effectively self-employed. That can be a joyous thing, but it can also be very difficult to manage - if you fall ill or have an emergency, or even just want to take a week at Cleethorpes, you don't earn. What would be your contingency for those ocassions? Do you have a partner with a steady income who could cover the shortfall?

yorkshapudding Thu 14-Jan-16 13:21:37

I am in a similar position. My job makes me very unhappy (not the work itself, which I have always loved, but the politics, combination of increasing demands and pressures with dwindling time and resources etc) but is family friendly in terms of hours and conditions. I suspect we may be in a similar profession. I am currently looking for a way out because it is starting to have a significant impact on my health and I'm sick of waking up at 3am panicking about work. I realise that this will effectively mean 'starting again', which is scary but anyone who would call you "crazy" for doing do probably doesn't know how soul destroying it feels to dedicate years of your life to something only to wake up one day and realise that it's making you miserable. Once you've been hit by that realisation it's very hard to carry on as if everything is OK. Personally, I am looking to get out but willing to wait for something that has a decent amount of security, even if I have to take a pay cut. I don't care about status but things like sick pay, pension etc would be important to me. Maybe you could ring up for an informal chat and enquire whether they are likely to be hiring for any permanent posts in the near future?

Tripswitch Thu 14-Jan-16 14:20:41

Thanks Bilbo.

That's a thought Pocket - combining both for a while. I think that might be possible. Thank you.

MoMo - no there really isn't.

DH is in a secure job so that's another reason I can take a bit of a gamble I suppose but I am reluctant to look at it like that. I would do it for him though. He is supportive, he's fed up with me being so unhappy in this job.

Yorksha I absolutely know what you mean re: carryon on as if everything's OK. Since looking at jobsites I already feel a bit psychologically 'signed off'.

Am thinking I don't care about sick pay. We'd manage. The other side of this coin is that the sickness policy with my current employer is pretty punitive. Lots of pressure not to be off, pointless meetings with the boss when you get back. Colleague was asked by a HR manager reading from a script 'what can we do to prevent this happening again' after he was signed off with stress when their baby was stillborn.

GatherlyGal Thu 14-Jan-16 15:52:40

I say go for it life's too short to to a job you don't like for year after year. Even if things don't work out right away you'll be on a new and exciting path.
Hard to imagine you'll look back years from now thinking "wish I'd stayed in that job that made me miserable".
Good luck

GatherlyGal Thu 14-Jan-16 15:52:46

I say go for it life's too short to to a job you don't like for year after year. Even if things don't work out right away you'll be on a new and exciting path.
Hard to imagine you'll look back years from now thinking "wish I'd stayed in that job that made me miserable".
Good luck

ImperialBlether Thu 14-Jan-16 15:56:46

One thing to consider - if your company would be likely not to fill the post if you left, isn't it likely the job could be cut anyway if there were cutbacks? No job is safe, but one that wouldn't be refilled is really not safe. If that happened to you in ten years' time, you might find yourself without options.

I'd be tempted to retrain in something, though, while continuing with your job and then leave for a job with benefits.

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