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To think that it is possible to start or study for a career after having a child?

(65 Posts)
Gchnmum Sat 30-Jul-16 18:55:38

I am 30 and have an 18 month old and have been a SAHP with him. I am now ready to go back to work but I don't want to go back to an admin job. Is it possible to start a career with a toddler? I have no strong desire to work in a particular field, but I would like to have a professional qualification of some sort. I was thinking maybe in Accountancy or HR as I have had admin jobs in those fields and there seems to be part time jobs in those fields. I have a 2:2 in Economics, good GCSEs and A levels and work experience in a variety of admin jobs.

If I gained a qualification in either Accountancy or HR would employers also consider the work experience I gained prior to having my ds? Does any have any experience in a career change or start after having children? Am I too old to be accepted onto graduate schemes? Do companies take on older graduates for graduate/trainee roles?

jacks11 Sat 30-Jul-16 19:06:15

Yes, it absolutely is possible- but it is very hard work and you need to be quite organised. I studied medicine after having DD (having previously studied for a BSc and then worked in financial sector after this. Hard work, but worth it.

I took a major pay cut to go back to university, so as you have no specific burning ambition to anything in particular it may be worth while looking at getting into a sector where you can combine work and study to some extent. I don't know if this is possible in HR etc. Alternatively, do a lot of research and find something that you really are interested in.

HSMMaCM Sat 30-Jul-16 19:09:57

I did a degree with open university after having my DD.

slamdunkthefunk Sat 30-Jul-16 19:16:04

I have two young children and am currently studying for my CIMA accountancy qualification. I'm really enjoying it!
It can be tough to find the time, I work part time which helps and DH is very supportive.

TooStressyForMyOwnGood Sat 30-Jul-16 19:17:18

In my experience it is possible but it depends on your childcare and family support and your finances. Am in awe of jacks studying medicine with kids!

I have 2 children and already had a professional career before I had them. I now work part time in the same career. I was offered the chance to gain an additional qualification which I would absolutely love to do. However, I cannot afford the fees for the course and it involves shift work and long days that I cannot find childcare for. I have had to say no. I am not the only one of my friends to be in this position sad . I also find that in my current job my prospects have nosedived because I am not viewed as flexible as I need set days and as a rule cannot work extra hours.

Interestingly my friend who has just gone back to work after kids has found a school hours admin role (hard to find I know) and her take home pay is better than mine because she needs much less childcare. Her hours are much more family friendly too.

Don't want to put a downer on it and it absolutely is possible, but if you're not sure exactly what you want to do I would prioritise looking at family friendly options or carefully look at childcare options.

slamdunkthefunk Sat 30-Jul-16 19:17:54

Also, you are not too old!! I'm nearly 40. My work are paying me through my studies. It can be done!

SecretPrivateThings Sat 30-Jul-16 19:19:21

Yes if you can get work to pay it absolutely can be done! Money was the main reason I said no to retraining

TooStressyForMyOwnGood Sat 30-Jul-16 19:21:19

Sorry that last post was me - forgot I'd name changed!

BrendaFurlong Sat 30-Jul-16 19:22:11

I did it at 36 with 2 primary / nursery age children and have taken a sideways move into a related profession 3 years ago so am about to do yet another qualification related to my current role. (The downside this time is that DD1 will be taking A Levels as I'm submitting for my course, so things might get a little stressed.)

VairyVAIRYhungrycaterpillar Sat 30-Jul-16 19:27:25

slamdunk can you tell us more about your CIMA certification? How much time, what background needed, cost, who through? Sorry typing hard as baby on boob!

Cataline Sat 30-Jul-16 19:34:27

Check out HMRC's TSP graduate scheme.

scaryteacher Sat 30-Jul-16 19:35:49

I did my PGCE at 35 when ds was 5, and then taught. Why not?

slamdunkthefunk Sat 30-Jul-16 19:37:43

I'm currently studying with BPP on an online course, so all at home. I'm starting from scratch (no degree so no exemptions at all) and have passed my first 2 exams so far, started in April this year. I am quite a maths person though and that's really helped.
There are 4 levels with 4 exams per level. BPP fee for these first 4 was £1000.
For the next levels I'll probably look for some classroom based courses as they get progressively harder so expect they'll be a bit more expensive.
Time wise, I'm studying about 10 hours a week probably on average. That's a bit of a guesstimate!

jacks11 Sat 30-Jul-16 19:38:19


I could not have done it without the tremendous support I got from my absolutely wonderful parents who helped with childcare and even housework/meals on occasion. Batch-cooking was my friend too (and having fairly large number of clothes for DD so it didn't matter as much if I didn't keep up to date with washing etc)!

FruitCider Sat 30-Jul-16 19:39:47

Definitely doable!

I've just finished a nursing degree. My dd was 8 months old when I started.

OhTheRoses Sat 30-Jul-16 19:42:41

I went back at 43. HR admin part time. DC 5and 8. After two yrs got promoted and went full time. Had to hire au pair. Started my hr exams in 2006 and qual in 2008. Now head of ER in a large organisation. Possible but you have to be determined

TwoLittleBlooms Sat 30-Jul-16 19:50:13

Well I hope so as that is what I am planning! I have a toddler (18 months) and a young teen with additional needs (possible ASD amongst other things) and begin my degree in Astronomy and Planetary science part time (5 years) with OU in October. I am planning for a career in academia. So envisioning a lot of years of hard work but will be worth it to have a career that I enjoy - I have had periods at home, done some studying, a few dead end jobs. Finally decided what I want to do with my life at 37!

ReturnoftheWhack Sat 30-Jul-16 19:50:15

AAT qualifications and CIPD are available in most FE colleges as an evening course. Studying AAT Level 2 or CIPD Level 3 would go a long way to help secure a junior position in either Accountancy/finance (AAT) or HR (CIPD). Would you be happy to start at a lower level and work your way up? In both fields, work experience in the area is as attractive as qualifications.

You can study further with both, level 3 and 4 with AAT and Level 5 and 7 (no level 4 or 6) with CIPD. Level 6 CIPD and substantial work experience would be a substantial wage return.

Depends if you can study outside in the evenings and what support you have I suppose? I'm about to study level 6 in careers guidance through a new job. I am passionate about continuing to progress with my education, so will make it work. Good luck!

TooStressyForMyOwnGood Sat 30-Jul-16 19:53:40

Those of you who have done it, especially long hours / shift work, what did you do for childcare? DH supportive but works long hours and can't help much, no other relatives nearby. OhTheRoses I take it the au pair option was successful for you then?

OhTheRoses Sat 30-Jul-16 20:17:14

Yes. The dc were older. The au pair looked after them 3.30-6.30 doing activities and tea. She tidied their bedrooms and did the ironing. We were lucky to have the space and to begin London. We had four altogether (one disaster). We found Swedish girls the best because of their fabulous English skills, the Swedish network nr Edgeware Road, and they can cook because Sweden isn't into ready meals. They were about 20% more expensive though. All stayed at least a year, except the Italian one who left after four weeks!

OhTheRoses Sat 30-Jul-16 20:20:56

Oh, and while I studied for two years they had to look after the dc until 9.30.

I have a workaholic husband who was emotionally supportive but not practically although he did the lion's share of taking the dc out when I had an assignment or exams. Every 8 weeks or so. I got into the groove of taking off a Friday before an assignment was due. They were three day jobs.

TruJay Sat 30-Jul-16 20:30:22

I think so, go for it.

I'm 27 with a 6 year old and 2 year old. Over the past two years I've retaken 2 GCSEs, have completed the first year of an access course, second year begins in Sept and then hopefully uni in Sept 2017 to become a primary school teacher. I'm really enjoying it and can't wait to start my degree.

DH is also beginning retraining in a new Career starting Sept this year.

I honestly thought I was too old to think about uni but when I've said that, people have laughed and said they didn't go until their late thirties/early forties so don't let age stop me.

Good luck

goddessoftheharvest Sat 30-Jul-16 20:33:13

Yes, I did it.

Hard work, but in some ways it works out better re childcare

HSMMaCM Sat 30-Jul-16 21:21:01

I worked full time 50 hours per week and dh did a lot of childcare while I studied. Sometimes I studied over night and only got a few hours sleep. It was a means to an end.

Sammysquiz Sat 30-Jul-16 22:14:43

I did accountancy (AAT Levels 2, 3 & 4) by distance-learning with Kaplan. I had two pre-schoolers, and it was hard fitting it all in, but so worth it!

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