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To feel I've reached my limit with my job. But don't know what else to do.

(85 Posts)
Circuscats Sat 01-Oct-16 08:11:51

I used to come on here a fair bit but not so much now ... Anyway, I am 37. I have one DD who is 21. She is at university.

I've done a couple of different jobs but for the last 4 years I've worked in home care. I feel I've reached my absolute limit with it. I spent most of the 4 years working for the same company for £6.70 an hour, obviously this went up April 2015 to £7.20. But it was never £6.70 or £7.20... you get allocated times in quarter of an hour slots so 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes or one hour. Most calls were fifteen minutes so to make £6.70 you had to go to 4 different people. No travel time. Anti social hours - up at 5 to be at the first one for 6. Home past 11 at night. Up again early the next day. Weekends, Christmas, baking hot days in a traffic jam and sweaty uniform.

I mean I am saying the worst of it there and don't get me wrong I enjoyed some too otherwise I wouldn't have stayed so long but no doubt it did have an effect on me.

When my bed calls got to 14 people I decided enough was enough, I went to a new agency and this was in June. I really don't like it even though it's better run than the old one. You have to log in and out so you're on less money a lot of the time. Not enough hours either (opposite problem to the old one) and so you have to take what you can get to pay the bills. The people are quite rude too, not all of them but I have four calls in the morning and three are nice and one isn't but I dread it for the one whose rude.

So I'm desperate to do something else, away from care. But I've no ideas at all. I don't think I can retrain. DD has said when she's finished at university she will move in with me for a couple of years and pay the bills so I can refrain but I think that's a big ask of her and I don't feel it's fair to make her commit to that (she's a star for offering though, that's something I did right!)

The other thing is I love DD to bits but I have been having these thoughts that maybe I'd love to have another baby. And I need to meet a man smile so is that possible/practical when being a FT student? And when I finished I'd be 40 which I know isn't totally past it in terms of having a baby but is pushing it.

Oh I don't know, I am just wondering, what would you do, if you were me?

ilovesooty Sat 01-Oct-16 08:19:40

You could make the National Careers Service your first port of call.

Circuscats Sat 01-Oct-16 08:21:00

Have gone to the website sooty, thank you.

Circuscats Sat 01-Oct-16 08:52:32

Any other thoughts on my situation would be great!

Vixxfacee Sat 01-Oct-16 08:56:46

What about working in an actual care home where you do shifts? You could work 3 days a week for say 36 hours and get paid a salary. Then you could think about going to college or doing the open university.

Domiciliary care work is the pits. I used to do hr for a company and there were some people working from 5am to 12pm 6 days a week and coming home with a ridiculously low amount of money each month due to the travel time. 15 minute calls are absolutely ridiculous.

If you actually like the work could you apply to a care home?

What job did you do before? What are your interests?

topcat2014 Sat 01-Oct-16 09:01:54

For the life of me I cannot see why anyone would want to be exploited by the care industry - surely anything would be better?

Do you want to stay in that sector?

Do you like driving? There are jobs that use that. Trainee bus driver smile

Obviously care work is beneficial to society, but at the end of the day you need a decent standard of living.

Care work relies on the predominantly female workforce to feel the requirement to 'put something back' whereas men would tend (in my wholly unscientific opinion) to say f** that it doesn't pay enough.

Circuscats Sat 01-Oct-16 09:03:15

Thank you.

I've definitely reached my limit with care work. I have worked in care homes in the past, before starting home care, and on balance I think I prefer home care although there are some aspects to it that are worse than care homes, the long, long shifts and still anti social hours are killing me (only a slight exaggeration.)

I've done a few different jobs. I had DD when I was very young but still managed to do my GCSEs and went on to do A levels. Then I worked in factories for five years and then worked with my then DP driving taxis. I did that for five years. Then I did my first stint in care for another three years and then worked in Tesco for a bit, then back to home care.

Circuscats Sat 01-Oct-16 09:04:26


i cannot see why anybody would be exploited by the care industry

The thing with care is it guarantees you a job: that's the beginning and end. And sometimes you do just need the money.

KathArtic Sat 01-Oct-16 09:13:39

Just worked out your age when you had your DD, well done on having a DD at uni - now its time to look after yourself. 37 isn't too old to retrain. Remember you we will be working for years to come, so do something you enjoy.

Don't fret about having another child. If you meet someone whatever happens, happens, but you need to think of yourself just now.

Good luck

ChubbyMummy12 Sat 01-Oct-16 09:15:38

I could have written this myself!!
Iv had enough too, my company has handed back all the socially funded work as they're going private. They're not taking any 15 min calls and all morning calls have to be an hour. But it's awful at the moment because there isn't enough work to go around. I have 8 hours next week!! A few people are going to the local hospital and are now auxiliary nurses, I don't know if this is an option for you? A few people are also now training to be district nurses.

Good luck on the new job hunt though!

doji Sat 01-Oct-16 09:16:48

It sounds like you are in the perfect position to career change - your daughter is now independent and you probably wouldn't be worse off financially in even an entry level position in another career.

Do you have any ideas about what other roles you'd like? Do you have a dream job? And if you were to retrain would you prioritise high earnings or job satisfaction?

Circuscats Sat 01-Oct-16 09:18:17

Yeah eight hours is crackers! Mine isn't that bad but it's generally 25 hours or thereabouts. And all the shitty shifts too, the early mornings and late bed calls and weekends!

I feel like I need to step away from care in its various capacities.

Retraining would be great: it's the costs involved. Not just tuition fees but the fact that work would be really difficult while I did it so I'd have to live on fresh air.

topcat2014 Sat 01-Oct-16 09:22:20

I get that people need the money - it's just that care work seems so exploitatitive with all the clipping the hours and non paid travel..

Is a return to retail possible near you?

Circuscats Sat 01-Oct-16 09:24:22

It is really exploitative and you get treated like shit by everyone. I hate it, now.

Last year I fell and broke my ankle at someone's house and the client just yelled at me for not cooking his bacon confused

I guess I'm hoping for some suggestions as to how I can go forwards. I mean, unfortunately it is usually possible to get a badly paid zero hours contract sad but I'm hoping for more. Not sure how though smile

RosieTheQueenOfCorona Sat 01-Oct-16 09:28:11

Surely they are breaching national minimum wage legislation by not paying you for travel time between visits? How are they getting away with that?

fruitatthebottom Sat 01-Oct-16 09:29:47

Have you thought about applying for a care assistant post in a hospital? You have all the right experience, pay will be a bit better and working conditions much better. There may be an opportunity to go on to train as a nurse later on? Or have you totally had enough of care work all together?

topcat2014 Sat 01-Oct-16 09:30:22

@Rosie - I think there have been various enquries etc - not sure how they went. The problem is that the 'state' is usually the source of the contracts, so by the government investigating they are creating shit for themselves - hence it tends to go slow.

Circuscats Sat 01-Oct-16 09:31:19

I really don't want to do any care work - thank you though. But I just can't face it any more!


For most of my time as a carer you didn't get any travel time. It did become illegal not to pay travel time in 2015 I think but you still only get 5 minutes between calls. At some times of the day even short distances can take a lot longer.

Donthate Sat 01-Oct-16 09:32:42

What about retraining as a nurse? You would have a hard year financially doing the access course then student loans at uni. You might find you feel better off for those years. Then into work

champagneplanet Sat 01-Oct-16 09:33:14

Could you go the college/uni and work part time eg: bar work, retails, hospitality? It'd be slog but worth it.

Have you considered working with children? My friend trained as a TA and actually worked in a school while doing it, she had on day a week at uni and four days at school so was getting the qualification and experience. She also did weekends in a pub.

I think anything is possible as you certainly aren't too old, it would definitely be worth it. You potentially have another 25+ years of working so you have to do something you enjoy so look at it as an opportunity.

CatNip2 Sat 01-Oct-16 09:33:52

I think the OP has said about three times now she doesn't want to work in care.

Circuscats Sat 01-Oct-16 09:35:17

The problem is I wouldn't be able to live from the student loan. I have a mortgage. Jobs are thin on the ground round here, I couldn't guarantee I would find part time work to supplement my loan.

CatNip2 Sat 01-Oct-16 09:35:38

What do YOU want to do OP, it is more than time for you. If you had an idea the lovely MNetters could come up with a plan that could help you finance it. Retraining definitely sounds like the way to go.

JaceLancs Sat 01-Oct-16 09:37:36

First I would look at what you enjoy doing, so for example what bits of care work did you find satisfying? Maybe it was the looking after bit - so could consider HCA, nursing, OT, communicating with and for people? Counselling, advocacy, advice work
Then look at your skills, and see what you think you are good at, along with positive feedback you've had, then look at areas you would like to develop more
Maybe look at jobs within the voluntary sector, although not the highest paid there is often more flexibility. I manage a charity and many of my team work part time and study, one has just finished a degree in youth and community work, others work ad hoc around caring and family responsibilities.

Circuscats Sat 01-Oct-16 09:37:57

Well, what I want to do is twofold and contradicts smile

I'd like to get a degree and train as a teacher or social worker. But that's at least four years.

I'd also like to meet someone, get married again have a baby. DD is great but I've never experienced pregnancy and babyhood "properly", ie when not a scared kid myself.

I just can't work out how I can do both.

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