To give up a £55k salary? 1st time poster, long time lurker.(50 Posts)
I would like to return to full time studies in September to finish the rest of my professional exams. My progression and pay have reached a ceiling at the £50-55k mark and it is very frustrating. It will take 7 months to finish the course and then I will then be able to apply for more senior position and get paid around £65k.
In the past I have tried studying part time and working full time and it did not go well despite being good at exams. I know most people complete the exams while working full time but it is something I haven't been able to manage. The juggling was too exhausting.
DH would prefer for me to carry on working but has said he will support me whatever I decide. We have some debt( from essential house repairs not redecoration) he wants us to repay as soon as possible but I would prefer for the repayment to wait. During the full time study, DH will cover all the bills while I use my savings for course fees and expenses. I have looked into part time work but the pay is awful and the the roles are permanent. So not keen on getting hired and then telling the company adios in 7/8 months time.
Also we want to start trying for a baby ( I am mid thirties) so a little concerned that I could get pregnant during my the time studying and then won't be able to get a job when I have finished because of my bump. Also worried that the longer I leave the exams, the lower the odds of ever finishing which would be very depressing.
So should I return to full time study or AIBU? Thank you.
I would go pt if dh was on board with it as at least it's some income. Especially if you want to start a family. I wouldn’t feel comfortable with dh paying for everything but that's just me.
How would you feel if he gave up a job to study and you were left paying for everything? I would also make the debts a priority to be paid preferably before having a baby.
Another thing to consider is staying with the company you're in for the maternity pay. You could do the exams whilst on mat leave.
I think you'd be mad to give your job in these circumstances. Focus on completing your studies and use the fact you're likely to get pregnant soon to motivate you.
No I wouldn't stop working, plenty of people work full time , study and raise kids. You need to suck it up its only for a few months.
How long after getting your new job were you planning to wait before starting your family?
Don't you have to have worked for your employer for a minimum amount of time (2 years?) to qualify for maternity pay?
Zuccarelli makes a excellent point, IMHO. However, if you are thinking about TTC, I would be inclined towards agreeing with your DH about clearing the debt ASAP, rather than 'waiting' (what for?)
7 months is not that long. Pay off the debt, save as much as you can to cover spending and go for it! Start TTC once you have finished the course and the next job offer is in the bag. Other options may be:
-ask your present company if you could drop to part time hours or compressed days. You would have to be organised as essentially you would be working two roles with your studies as well. But your company saves on recruitment fees and you keep your maternity options open
- Consider contracting . This worked well for me as I was made redundant whilst pregnant and I found the perfect fit with another company that kept me working until DD was born.
Either way, I would do the qualification now before DC come along as young children do eat up your time and energy.
I think you may be at risk of putting yourself under an awful lot of pressure. Baby, job change, financials and study.
All that when you are ttc is probably not a good idea. I'd rethink priorities and work it one step at a time.
Yes I would talk to your company. If you are a valued member of staff they should support your professional development, day release or part time hours, they may support a years sabbatical. If the study is related to your job then it can be better to be staying in work and studying. I did my msc while working and before I had children and my colleagues had similar qualifications so it was helpful to discuss what I was studying. I had access to information that helped with essays/ projects and a day off a week to go to college. It worked well.
Can you ask your current employers to allow you to work your role part time whilst you study? Would your exams not benefit them in the long run?
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I would get pregnant now and use the maternity leave as time off to study ;) having said that being pregnant is not easy by any means. It might work out having your studies as a distraction from the pregnancy.
I think I'd focus on the debt first and then the baby. 10k sounds a lot but you'll be in the higher rate tax band (plus student loan repayment?) so you'll only see half of it and it will take a long time to recoup what you lost in lost earnings during your sabbatical. Plus you've got a limited window of 5-6 years in which to start a family. I'd put the extra qualification on hold until after that.
What a huge drop in income not to mention if you want a child. My dh did his accountancy exams whilst ft working with two kids one of whom had Sen. It was hard for us all but worth it to keep in work and to keep income coming in.
We don't know the sector you are employed in but for a lot of sectors employment history (no gaps) is important. Maternity leave wouldn't be a gap as the employer's reference would cover it. A sabbatical sounds good. Or parttime. If your employer agreed to parttime whilst you studied & you later had dc & wanted to work parttime it's a good proof of concept?
Can you go PT in your current role?
I am wrapping up a 2 years PT masters, working 4 days a week. DD1 was around 1 when I started, and I will be 34 weeks with DD2 when I hand in my final submissions. Tiring but doable with a lot of support from my DH.
If I didn't have DD1 it would have been a lot easier as you have more time available. Doing a FT masters for 1 year didn't seem a reasonable option as we need my salary.
In the current climate I think you'd be unwise to give up a well paying job. Given that you have no children yet,what are you juggling if you study and work?
An alternative suggestion - you could try to negotiate a temporary reduction in working hours while you study for your qualifications. To allow you to focus, try to buy in as much help as possible with cleaning etc, and put house renovations on hold.
Do not get pregnant during a course that you are paying for. They'll probably insist on you paying the full fees. They may also say that in order to get the qualification you have to do the full course again - you may not be able to join partway through.
Have you spoken to your employer about this? If the course would qualify you to do a higher level of work for them, they may be persuaded to let you go part time (or take unpaid leave) in order to do the course.
The immediate jump in salary would be the first stepping stone to further rises, presumably? So an investment. Paid off within quite a short space of time!
If it only takes 7 months to do the course I would do it now. And lay off TTC until you are almost done.
I think studying, working AND having a baby would be an even harder juggling act.
I don't think your entire future career should be held to ransom paying off essential home repairs!
Have you talked to your current employers about a study leave / professional development sabbatical?
You sound ambitious and engaged in your career - put the building blocks in now or you will be in the ongoing trap: DH continues to get pay rises and promotions, so it becomes ever less economical for you to pursue career development once childcare becomes an issue....
I think you'd be insane to do this now - you wouldn't get maternity pay, nor would you have a job to go back to once mat leave is over.
Accountancy exams are hard, but they are designed to be done around work - if you can't manage this then perhaps you need to reconsider whether this is the path you want to take.
Can you look at other ways to advance? I suspect not everyone at the next level up is qualified, can you look into what experience you'd need to get promoted into a non-qualified role?
Finally, you really need to pay off your debt as soon as possible, particularly if you're TTC. It will just hang over you, gathering interest, if you ignore it.
Have you discussed with your employers? Mine will give unpaid leave of up to 6 months (you will get your job or equivalent back) and career breaks of up to 5 years (not an absolute guarantee of getting your job back). Or perhaps they would allow you to go part time for a few months? If you are earning such a big salary (compared to mine!!!) it sounds like you are already well qualified and experienced and they should be willing to compromise a bit in order to not only retain you but get you back with further qualifications. 7 months is not a long time in the grand scheme of things. Staying in your current job if you are planning maternity leave in the not far distant future is a consideration, but personally I don't think you should put everything on hold on that basis. Go for the exams, leave the job if you have to, delay pregnancy til exams over. With a full set of qualifications you should be in a good position to look for a new job, with or without baby.
I'm not a fan of debt, but with interest rates as low as they are, and only heading down, can you roll the repair bill into your mortgage? This is now a very cheap way of borrowing and if you are looking at a 60k + salary, and are only in your mid thirties this should be a very manageable debt even with periods of non earning. Good luck, whatever you decide!
Thank you all so much for the advice.
I do contracting/interim work. My current contract will be ending this month which is why the question of taking some time out to study has come up. Although I have 2 interviews lined up for a new gig because I haven't made up my mind.
The companies generally want someone full time but based on what you are all saying I could insist on some flexible working which reduce commuting time.
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