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AIBU to want to escape the rat race?

(33 Posts)
SunFlower222 Sat 21-Oct-17 08:33:57

I heave the house at 7am to drop the kids at breakfast club, sit in traffic getting stressed trying to get to my job for 8.30am.
I then sit at a desk battering a keyboard making a fortune for a large company, we're under staffed, over worked, it's stressful.
I leave that desk at 6pm and get home at 7pm, see my kids for an hour before they go to bed.
At the end of the month I get paid an ok salary, there's ppl doing a lot worse in the world but considering the millions I/my team make the company, we're very under paid.

All my experience is in the same line of work and leaving to go to another company wouldn't make things better, it's long hours, commuting to a city centre, being over worked and under paid.

Recently I've just been feeling like there's got to be more to life than this.
I never get to drop my kids off at school or pick them up.
I'm out of the house from 7am-7pm, I get to see my kids for an hour a day.
I could ask to reduce my hours but then I'm pretty much waiving goodbye to any opportunity to work my way up or even just move on to a better department in the company.

I've been considering starting childminding but I'm worried about whether anybody would chose me, what if I don't make enough money etc.

I've also been trying to think of business ideas. I don't have any savings to get me started though.

I'd love to hear stories from ppl who have successfully managed to escape the rat race and any ideas for businesses of jobs I could look in to.

Also if anybody tried and failed then feel free to tell me it's not all its cracked up to be please feel free to tell me not to bother, i'd like to be fully informed.

MrTrebus Sat 21-Oct-17 08:41:04

Maybe look at a plan, what it would cost you to go to a lower paid job, what you can cut down on. If you put your mind to it you could potentially save a lot of money in a short time and then reduce your hours whilst building up a separate business perhaps? But with a savings buffet there. How important is it to you to "get on"? If you never got promoted again how would you feel? Would it really be that black and white if you went on reduced hours?

MrTrebus Sat 21-Oct-17 08:41:25


EssentialHummus Sat 21-Oct-17 08:45:08

could ask to reduce my hours but then I'm pretty much waiving goodbye to any opportunity to work my way up or even just move on to a better department in the company.

Does this matter, given how unhappy you are?

I was much more junior than you when I left the city, but the way I did it was by first identifying things that I was good at, could do, and that would make a viable business. It’s no good for someone to come on here and say that they left a banking career to run a B&B or whatever, if you hate dealing with people and the thought of getting up at 6 AM every day send you spare . The starting point for this needs to be your skills and motivations.

MiniTheMinx Sat 21-Oct-17 08:49:42

If going part time isn't an option because you are unlikely to be promoted, then giving up means you will never be promoted.

If you have no savings working full time you are unlikely to accrue any working part time.

Childminding is a route to nowhere I suspect. Plus, unless you really love children could be quite boring. It's definitely not a get rich scheme. I think finding new clients is the easy bit, however once you have clients difficult then to fit others in because people require odd hrs. Your own children may feel pushed out a bit too. I used to run after school maths clubs, the boys resented it a bit.

So that leaves developing a business. Long hrs, huge investment of money, possibly having to find investment but unlikely to give you a stable income for a very long time. Self employment can work better if you have the right skills and experience to freelance.

SunFlower222 Sat 21-Oct-17 08:53:57

No I suppose it doesn't really matter if I don't ever get promoted but if I was going to stay working for the same company I would like to work on a different team because the one I'm on at the moment is probably the worst in the company. So I think if that was my plan I'd have to try and get transferred to a different team and then reduce my hours.

But I just feel that there must be other jobs I can do that would fit around my family better and that I'd be good at and happier doing.

SunFlower222 Sat 21-Oct-17 08:58:13

I can save money on my current salary, we currently don't have any because we've just bought a new house so all our savings were ploughed in to the house.
But if I can think of a good business idea I can definitely save and look in to business grants and ask parents to help us out.

Whatslovegottodo Sat 21-Oct-17 08:58:53

What are your interests? Do you have any talents?
Maybe do a vision board of what you would like to achieve and how you can get there.
You need to be thinking - how much do I need to earn, what hours can I work, what am I good at? What do I enjoy?
I quit a decent career which I had professional qualifications and decent pay to do an OU degree and build a business. Lots more time at home, happiness, job satisfaction and freedom, but lots less money and security.

SunFlower222 Sat 21-Oct-17 09:07:40

My interests mainly revolve around my family - I do like kids and animals, I like making a lovely home, I think I'm quite good at interior design.
I love travelling, going to new places.
My main quality is that I'm very organised and excellent and planning and organising things.

Brittbugs80 Sat 21-Oct-17 09:13:13

I've never worked in a high paid industry. I started off as a Nursery Nurse and did full time until I was 27. I was working 50 hours a week for £6.50 an hour. I then went part time after DS doing three long days 730 630 for 7.50ph.

I needed more money but didn't want to work the long hours in a nursery. I started babysitting one night a month and increased this over a year through recommendations and advertising on Facebook parent pages for the are.

In the last three years, I moved to a Room Leader role in the Nursery and earned £8 per hour.

My babysitting business is scoffed at by plenty, especially on here when people think I'm either making it up or call the people who pay me stupid for paying what they do. I charge £15 per hour and it's more involved than just coming over when kids are asleep, watching TV and go home. I often end up there while parents get ready to go out, bath the children, get them to bed. I also check on them every 15 mins etc, record it all. I also offer over night stays, sleep training, Saturdays and Sundays in November/December for parents to do Christmas shopping.

At the minute I'm trialing a general home PA service and this is getting some interest.

My business is legit and VAT registered, last year my income from it was £10,000 but this has been 10 years in the building. My first year I made £200.

I was then able to leave my nursery job. I am employed by someone now for 27 hours a week and they pay me £23ph but there is literally no stress and I babysit etc round this.

Childminders are always in demand. The o my thing I would offer as a word of caution is the funded hours from the Government that are being rolled out (30 hours) many nurseries are struggling and are closing because a child can attend a nursery for "free" for 30 hours, the Government pay the nursery £3 an hour but that child's fee would work out at £4.50 an hour so nurseries are losing around £1.50 per hour per child, but childminders charge a bit less and less overheads and I know some childminders were receiving the same hourly rate. There's a group called Champagne Nurseries Lemonade Funding who are running a campaign and have been in Parliament this week discussing it. They have childminders on there too which could be helpful for you.

It seems like you have the chance to make a change and I'd grab it with both hands. Probably more since I lost my Dad, but I'm now of the opinion that life is only happening once and it's too long to spend being unhappy with the prospects of retirement being moved further and further away for most.

Basecamp21 Sat 21-Oct-17 09:19:52

Sadly it seems you have picked the wrong time to be feeling this way if you have just bought a new house- I'm making assumptions of course but that after moving is normally a time when financial commitments are at their highest - not a criticism just a fact.

If you want to go in this direction and many people manage it very successfully you need to go through a process of minimising your outgoings. Pay off any debt - sell things you don't need and get used to a more frugal style of living. Then when you know the minimum you need to live on you can work out how much you need to earn to get by/have a good balance/live comfortably.

Then you will be in a position to start a business or just give up your job and see what happens.

I'm a 52 year old single person who has bought a house, raised a family, travelled extensively and only worked full time fir 10 years in my whole life and apart from a couple of years when my children were babies have never claimed benefits. I have and currently still only work part time and have always organised my life and finances to be able to afford to live like this.

But it will need careful analysis of what is important to you and your family and working out how to make that happen.

It may be this is something you need to work towards over the next couple of years. But start with what is important to you .....and how to make that happen rather than with a financial total in your mind.

Whatslovegottodo Sat 21-Oct-17 09:26:15

If you like children and animals maybe a baby sitting/ pet walking business would suit more than a childminder? Would give you more freedom too and not have to go through ofstead and converting your own home. Most parents would want a basic childcare qualification though. Also first aid and DBS check are important to get sorted early on if this path interests you.

SunFlower222 Sat 21-Oct-17 09:28:28

Basecamp- yes we have moved but our monthly outgoings have actually come down. We were previously renting, our mortgage is less than our rent used to be, we've moved to a different borough where council tax is lower and our new house is more energy efficient so our bills have come down.
We've got a fixed mortgage for 5 years so I actually think that if I was going to make a change now is a great time because we know what our bills will be for the next 5 years, after this our mortgage will probably go up and it would be more difficult.

Fosterdog123 Sat 21-Oct-17 09:31:49

It sounds soul destroying to me. Get off the wheel for sure. I did and I'd never go back. You need a full audit of finances though to work out if it's possible. Get a part time job if you're able and get a bit of your life back.

Fosterdog123 Sat 21-Oct-17 09:32:38

How old are you btw?

Florence16 Sat 21-Oct-17 09:37:57

Do you get good holiday entitlement and pension?

I work in the public sector. No kids yet, but I will probably always have to work full time if we had them, we earn an OK amount but have a chunky enough mortgage and obviously childcare costs a bomb. I really like the public sector. One of or senior managers has just come in from a private company and when I asked what made her decide public sector, she said than when her children ask her what she does, she doesn’t want to say ‘make loads of money for the partners’, she wants to say she does something more worthwhile, and working in the public sector fits the bill.

People in public sector often moan but the pension and holiday are good, progression can usually be found, and lots of people find it sits well with them on a values level even if it’s not a particular interest that occupies their daily work.

JeanSeberg Sat 21-Oct-17 09:39:45

I stepped off the treadmill a year ago (Director of Ooerations) thinking I would be go back after a year out i.e. about now. I just can't face it though and am seriously considering sticking with temping in much lower-paid admin roles which I've been doing for the last few months. Never been happier. I'd go with Fosterdog's suggestion of a financial audit including savings and pensions to project what the future might look like.

Arealhumanbeing Sat 21-Oct-17 09:49:43

YANBU. Apart from pay day, the “rat race” is a bloody waste of time. You should definitely leave that job.

It sounds like you have a rough plan so go for it. Maybe draft your resignation letter? That’ll spur you on.

SunFlower222 Sat 21-Oct-17 09:49:52

I'm 34.
Kids are both at school, MIL is retired and my mum works part time, they both have the kids one day after school at the mo so childcare costs aren't too bad.
I would also quite like another child but I am happy with what I've got, another child isn't essential, I'd sacrifice that if it means being able to build a better life for us all.
It's one reason that childminding appeals to me, it would mean being able to have another baby without me having to put it in a nursery.
Although I do understand it would obviously affect how many other children I could look after.

MiniTheMinx Sat 21-Oct-17 09:52:55

Dog walking and baby sitting could be very flexible allowing you time to look into a career in interior design. I've helped on projects and for one friend designed and sourced everything for them, but I still don't feel I have enough confidence or experience, this despite having some qualifications in art and design. But if you think it something that you could do, research into it. I've also bought and sold antiques and some stuff you'd really say are decorators pieces. Having a consesion in an antiques emporium where you can showcase your signature style and leave your business card for people to pick up. Really though the best way is having a portfolio of projects and word of mouth. My cousin is an interior designer working on big projects but she is usually working alongside the architects , she has made a brilliant career but she travels a lot. She has also made a lot of money.

SunFlower222 Sat 21-Oct-17 10:02:49

I do also like the sound of freelancing.
I did used to temp but the agency took a fee, I liked the fact that I could just say "I can't work that day".
I'm not sure whether there is such a thing as freelancing in my line of work, companies tend to use temping agencies but it's definitely something I can look in to.

SunFlower222 Sat 21-Oct-17 10:09:51

Minitheminx - this is the thing, I know I'm good at making my own home nice, I have a good eye for what goes well where etc but I don't know whether that is enough to make it as an interior designer. An old friend did a degree in interior design and it wasn't what she anticipated, much more architecture involved than just picking some nice curtains and cushions.

thisgirlrides Sat 21-Oct-17 10:11:41

Hi op you were me about 8 years ago when I was commuting to London doing a 12 hour day, barely seeing the dc & I was earning pretty good money but got made redundant so it forced me to have a rethink and I became a childminder grin. I bloody love my work/life balance now and have never missed an assembly or school pick-up since. The pay is distinctly average (& we live in quite a high cost area for childcare), paperwork is shit, your house is never your own & of course some days are tougher than others and avoid working with a hangover at all costs confused but I get to hang out in parks or go to the farm if it's a sunny day, go to playgroups, meet up with friends, cook our meals (& actually eat together!), keep on top of laundry etc whilst babies sleep and there's not many jobs that give,you that freedom and flexibility.

My children are now nearing the end of primary so I'm starting to think about going back into the workplace (we are hoping to move and I don't want to start over again elsewhere and want my house back!) but it's been the best decision ever for our family.

thisgirlrides Sat 21-Oct-17 10:16:51

Oh op I've just seen subsequent posts about your beautiful home. Do bear in mind that lots of small children & all the gear that goes with childminding does make it hard to keep your home looking quite so nice! Obviously if you have a dedicated playroom big enough for toy storage, playing, arts & crafts etc and a garage or shed for buggies, high chairs, car seats etc them the impact is lessened but without those things there does always seem to be a lot of stuff (& I'm pretty clean & tidy!)

ShowMeMySilverLining Sat 21-Oct-17 10:29:51

We sound in a very similar situation, so watching with interest. I also would say my skills lie in organisation and planning, with some general design acumen, but I don't know what to with it either!

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