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Aibu to feel worried that I'm 26 and have never had a proper job?

(226 Posts)
user1480954406 Fri 06-Jan-17 10:53:25

I fell pregnant with ds during my second year of university, took a year out and then went back and graduated. Before falling pregnant I had intended to go straight on and do a masters in speech and language therapy, but oh and I decided that it would be easier in the long run (and we wanted two together) to do babies now
And start my career once the kids are at
School. I love being a stay at
Home mum but all my friends from school are really getting on with their careers and I'm starting to panic a bit that when they go to school too much time will have passed between graduating and getting a job. Oh says I'm overreacting but I'm really worried... aibu?

Camomila Fri 06-Jan-17 11:02:43

My mate also got pregnant in her second year of uni, and did the same as you. Before uni her only jobs had been a few hours a week in the local budgens and year 10 work experience in an office.

She was despairing of ever finding a job when she started looking at 27 with 2 DC but found a decent one at 28 through a friends mum who was looking. 4 days a week, accounts assistant in a local office.

I think you might struggle getting a job through 'official' cv/application form means if you have a long gap but once you've found a job/any job through 'a friend of a friend' etc then you'll be fine.

Newbrummie Fri 06-Jan-17 11:05:06

Time and a place for everything. This is your time to have kids. Just expect that you will be older when you start at the bottom of your career, probably managed by somebody 10 years younger than you. But for goodness sake do go back to your career or you will regret it later in life

SheldonCRules Fri 06-Jan-17 11:07:24

Employers want to see a work ethic and recent experience, if you're 26 and the children are not at school for some time then you will be very hard pushed to start a career let alone find a job at minimum wage.

A career takes a lot of hard work and flexibility to get it off the ground, with two children unless your OH can do pick ups from childcare etc then that's something you can't give to it.

It's far better to establish it first then take maternity leave.

Tenshidarkangel Fri 06-Jan-17 11:07:31

I'm 27. No kids and did a Mickey Mouse degree.

I started a new job (Trainee but well paid) last August and love it. It's never to late to change career or switch jobs. Just because they're doing well now doesn't mean they won't have rough patches later in life.
Also, I've been unemployed twice. I wouldn't worry about gaps too much as long as you can justify them and are up to date in your skills.

PragmaticWench Fri 06-Jan-17 11:09:31

It's more common now for people to have a number of careers through their working lifetime, compared to previous generations who more typically stayed in one career/industry. So it's less unusual for people to be older when they are starting out.

The main thing is to keep reading journal articles in your chosen field so you're up to date, and to not put yourself down!

Manumission Fri 06-Jan-17 11:10:06

That plan sounds fine!

Can you start building a portfolio of relevant voluntary placements now to build towards your MA application? Do you have the prospectus? Keeping your hand in with the reading?

user1480954406 Fri 06-Jan-17 11:12:04

Lol. Thanks for the advice sheldoncrules. I'll just go back in time shall I now ha!

But seriously, I think that's a bit silly and sexist if being at home with kids isn't considered some kind of experience. Would mums in their thirties who have taken five years out have to explain why they don't ha e a work ethic?

redexpat Fri 06-Jan-17 11:14:22

When i was 26 I had finished my masters and still couldnt get a job. Then i moved country to be with DH and had to start again from scratch. So now I am 35, will graduate this summer when i am 36. I still havent had a proper job. Im really hoping i will get one!

Newbrummie Fri 06-Jan-17 11:16:43

user1480954406 - sadly time at home with kids counts for shit these days, you'd almost be better off saying you'd been in jail for five years

redexpat Fri 06-Jan-17 11:16:44

Manumissions advice is good.

user1480954406 Fri 06-Jan-17 11:16:59

Yeh I'm hoping to do a masters in speech and language therapy but they want a huge amount of work experience apparently,
I've reached out to a few Speech therapists and I'm going to look into volounteering at a stroke support group in our village. Dd goes to school in two and a half years which gives me a bit of time to get some experience in but it's a bit tricky because of having the kids at home. The main reason we chose to have another baby now was because of the cost of childcare being not
Much less than my wage/the bursary I would get. My mums a teacher so could have the kids if I did some work shadowing in the holidays or something.

Manumission Fri 06-Jan-17 11:22:54

You've got a decent amount of time to prepare then.

You're probably feeing a bit becalmed yet raring to go.

The upside is that you won't need to interrupt your career progress with maternity breaks once it's underway (obviously). That's a major positive.

MeetTheMartian Fri 06-Jan-17 11:31:20

I'm sorry but I think anyone who is taking 5 years out is taking a risk on a work POV.
I really wouldn't advise anyone to go down that route, man or woman. And regardless of the reason.

Waiting until your DC is starting school to start training again isn't the best choice. I would really try and get all/most of the training done before they start school. Younwill have a big issue with a gap on your CV! Having to explain why you didn't go back to uni/work ASAP. Struggling to prove that yes you can work and will do and haven't forgotten it all.

Girlwhowearsglasses Fri 06-Jan-17 11:32:21

There are loads of ways being a mum adds to life experience and transferable skills. You could add value to that by being active with things your kids are involved in - so being a governor or on committees of nurseries or playgroups, volunteering or even starting playgroups can give you great work experience in running non profits or charities. I started a local online forum when mine were tiny and it's been great for weeks experience as well as a Good Thing in my life.

Being part of your community and being involved in campaigns or community ventures can add up to a lot of knowledge and connections - you do find you come across people again and again and then a network grows.

Being under thirty when your kids have all started school is great. Nowadays people expect to have more than one career. Remember if you've already got kids you don't have to factor j. Any maternity time off - and I've seen people mid-thirties start to do really well in their career because that's naturally when your peer group also starts being able to give out work, but maternity time can stall this. (Fundamentally I think this is the root of the gender pay gap) . Having your kids early may actually mitigate for that. Don't worry about it!

Chewbecca Fri 06-Jan-17 11:33:27

You're 26! You have heaps and heaps of time.

I'd say enjoy your children while they are little, it'll whizz by. You've still got 40years ahead of you to work.

Manumission Fri 06-Jan-17 11:33:59

Having to explain why you didn't go back to uni/work ASAP. Struggling to prove that yes you can work and will do and haven't forgotten it all.

She won't need to explain or prove anything of the sort!

Caring for preschoolers is relevant to her intended career anyway.

WaitrosePigeon Fri 06-Jan-17 11:35:44

It's far better to establish it first then take maternity leave.

Oh my god, the pillar of all knowledge! How would OP ever got the bottom of her problems without you. Thank you so much for your valuable contribution, it was so helpful! Have a gold star star

ArialAnna Fri 06-Jan-17 11:39:19

I wouldn't worry about it, people change careers and have to start again at the bottom more frequently nowadays. Make a note on your CV that you've been a SAHM for a few years so they dont think the gap is due to you being generally umemployable! Also be prepared to be persistent - you will get some knock backs as some people do have a fixed idea that they want certain sort of person (e.g. a grad fresh out of uni), or they feel uncomfortable managing someone older than them, but there are also plenty of employers out there who won't care about that at all. Best of luck when you do start looking!

DownWithThatSort0fThing Fri 06-Jan-17 11:43:40

I don't think you should panic - with the right attitude, you will get lucky. You may get a few knock backs at first, but even someone with bags of experience would. You will have to really work at it, and start at the bottom to prove yourself. Employers DO see being a SAHM as some kind of life experience, but it will never be work experience I am afraid

Unfortunately not everyone is lucky enough to have a 'friends mum' who is looking but just keep trying

user1480954406 Fri 06-Jan-17 11:44:17

I graduated with a first while being pregnant and then having a baby/toddler while doing my dissertation. I have a work ethic, surely that's evidence of that. My mum did the same as me and then trained as a teacher, and my tutors at uni were all really encouraging or the fact that I was having a gap. While I've been off I've learned to decorate cakes and have been considering starting a business but it's not what I want to do, I really want to work with language. Ideal world I would be able to just do a masters In neurolinguitsics and then a PhD and just be an achademic but I realise this is not a realistic option as I don't have the money to put up and don't fancy getting a career development loan without the Garauntee of a job at the end of it.

Committees are a good idea, I'm already on one for a toddler group and I'm joining the one for my sons preschool aswell. I'm honestly not sat on my bum watching this morning all the time, my brain isn't turning to goo.

Can I put committees on my cv? Or will I be laughed at?

Needmorewine Fri 06-Jan-17 11:44:56

I had my DD young too and I'm now training to be a teacher, starting work in Sept when she starts school (I'll be 29!) My interviewers for my course / placements were impressed I'd juggled bringing up my daughter with volunteering / studying. Heaps of mums at DD nursery seem to be training for new careers. I'd plan where you want to be in five years time and work towards it - something like a sign language course / voluntary work / short course with the OU would look good. The advantage will be as other posters have said you won't need to take a career break for maternity once you've started & I think it's a brilliant example to set your children. Best of luck. flowers

user1480954406 Fri 06-Jan-17 11:45:48

Also, oh is self employed and works ridiculous hours so training at the moment is impossible. I'm basically 100% responsible for childcare, he's 100% responsible for income

BertieBotts Fri 06-Jan-17 11:46:58

I feel similar OP. I'm 28 and have only had a proper job once for less than a year (redundancy + pregnancy making it hard to get rehired anywhere else.)

But I'm getting back into stuff now and it doesn't feel too late. It feels difficult that I haven't got a degree (never finished) so you're ahead of me in that point.

I think at some point you just have to go for it. When you come up against barriers a useful thing for me has been to specifically ask for feedback and ask "What would I need to do to get to the position where this would be an option?" And then work at getting there, step by step. If it isn't initially reachable, what do you have to do to get there, etc.

BertieBotts Fri 06-Jan-17 11:48:44

You have to juggle things between you somewhat. For example the last half of the last year DH and I have been focusing on my career so DH has been cutting his hours to take over with childcare (DS is 8 so is at least at school). But this year although I'm continuing with my goals I've decided to go at a slower pace so that DH can look into improving his work situation.

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