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AIBU to even contemplate this at 38?

(199 Posts)
fourandahalfkids Tue 19-Feb-19 18:46:23

I am in a job that I love but it pays peanuts I mean literally peanuts. I work 40 hours a week for around 12 grand a year. I have 4 children and chose to put my life on hold to raise them. I don't regret this in any way. But they are now almost 17, 16, 13 and 10. I never went to uni but got a job straight out of college to start building a home with my then fiance (now dh for 18 years), and then was at home with my children for 12 years (from when the oldest was born to when the youngest started school).
As much as I love my job (been doing it for 6 years), the progression is pretty dead end unless I undertake a degree anyway. Too be honest i have seen too much from the inside, mine is a supporting role in a profession where people are leaving in there droves because of the stress and work load involved. So it is not something that i myself would like to go into.
I am thinking of embarking on a degree to enable me to gain better prospects. I love English and was very good at it way back when and had desires to have a career in a writing capacity.
But dh doesn't have an amazingly well paid job, better than me but we couldn't survive on his salary alone. I have done some research and found out that I can study part time (around 16 hours per week) and I could work at the same time. I should get student loan assistance. Alongside my work hours I currently do a few hours voluntary work a week connected to a group I am part of. Is this too much? I can do this right?

altiara Tue 19-Feb-19 18:48:49

Go for it!!!!

fezzesarecool Tue 19-Feb-19 18:49:52

Watching with interest as I’m wanting to do the same. I’ve just got a volunteer role to help beef up my skills and I’m looking at doing maybe open University.

ElspethFlashman Tue 19-Feb-19 18:51:13

At 38 I wouldn't do any degree that didn't have a fairly guaranteed job at the end of it.

For example I went back to college in my 30s but I did a Nursling degree and have had no unemployment, nor will I ever have.

4 years is looooong. And gruelling. It has to have a real tangible payoff for all that work and sacrifice.

I would not do a generic English degree at 38, no.

fourandahalfkids Tue 19-Feb-19 18:51:46

Open university is where I am looking as well. From what I can gather employers give as much credit to an OU degree as then do a regular Uni. Studying part time would mean achieving a BA Hons over 6 years so I need to be sure I am doing the right thing before I go for it. But the thought does excite me just a little bit.

sequinafortune Tue 19-Feb-19 18:52:33

Do it!! It'll be hard, but as long as your DH is supportive, then you can make it work. Make your team (your DCs) help out and work for you too - they're all old enough to do chores round the house. It's your time now, after sacrificing your opportunities to stay home with the DCs.
Wishing you all the luck in the world grinflowers

Alsohuman Tue 19-Feb-19 18:53:22

Do it. And do whatever will give you the most pleasure. I did an English degree at 30 and it was the best three years of my life.

fourandahalfkids Tue 19-Feb-19 18:54:02

hmm, maybe I need to rethink Elspeth. I know people who have gone into marketing roles and various others from an English degree and thought it had pretty transferable skills, but I am only just beginning to think about it.

sequinafortune Tue 19-Feb-19 18:54:34

I did a similar qualification at a similar age. DH has just started a PhD at 40. You've got a good 20-25 years (and probably more) left in the workplace. Why not do something you love?

sequinafortune Tue 19-Feb-19 18:55:43

Obviously do the research first, and see where it can take you! grin

AnotherOriginalUsername Tue 19-Feb-19 18:56:38

How do you work 40 hours a week for £12000? That's £5.80 an hour?

fourandahalfkids Tue 19-Feb-19 18:56:41

Sequins...Dh is very supportive, with my youngest now in year 5 it is him who has asked me to consider my future. I know my children would support me also, particularly the 2 older ones as they understand that much more.
Also human, that would be English for me, it was always my best subject as I had such a passion and flare for it when I was younger.

fourandahalfkids Tue 19-Feb-19 18:58:30

Anotherorigional... My fault I didn't explain properly. So I am a T.A, my wage is spread equally over 12 months despite me having the holidays off. So it seems a lot of work but I should have included that info...

Alsohuman Tue 19-Feb-19 18:59:07

I graduated when I was 33, no problem finding a job and I ended up earning just shy of six figures. Prospective employers will love you, you’ve demonstrated grit and determination, have great life skills and, last but not least, won’t be going off on maternity leave.

RebeccaCloud9 Tue 19-Feb-19 18:59:43

If it excites you and will be fulfilling, great - go for it! But if it is for career prospects, please do plenty of research first as to whether or not an English (or whatever you choose) degree will actually put you in a better position. Would a writing course, on the job training or similar be available?

(Also if you do go on to study English, you don't earn literally peanuts grin )

fourandahalfkids Tue 19-Feb-19 19:00:18

Thank you Alsohuman x and well done to you xx

5foot5 Tue 19-Feb-19 19:01:54

Yes do it. You're only 38, even after 6 years you will still only be 44 with the DC almost off your hands and potentially another 20 odd years to build a career.

If you don't do it now imagine being 44 and thinking "Damn I could have done that by now. If I start now I will be 50, it worth it?"

stopfuckingshoutingatme Tue 19-Feb-19 19:02:02

Go for it grin

AwkwardPaws27 Tue 19-Feb-19 19:02:08

You are being paid much less than minimum wage, you should take that up with your employer and see if you can get your pay backdated. You should be on about £16k for 40 hrs.

I agree about considering a generic degree carefully, but mine has enabled me to apply for and get a place on a graduate scheme. I'd do it if you have a specific plan following the degree.

Have you considered an apprenticeship? They aren't just for teens, and although you'd get a low wage on your first year you should get at minimum wage in the second year (depending if it's that long).

lastqueenofscotland Tue 19-Feb-19 19:02:33

My DP is a writer, jobs are limited especially if you can’t grt in as a copywriter at a good ad agency (usually south east) and pay can be really really naff.

fourandahalfkids Tue 19-Feb-19 19:03:12

RebeccaCloud... I have considered an apprenticeship or similar and am looking
tentatively . Only trouble is I live in the westcountry, not a great deal out there in terms of earn while you learn, and yes I do need to consider my postcode factoring in whether it's actually worth pursuing a degree. Lots to think about x

Notreallyhappy Tue 19-Feb-19 19:03:17

Go for it.....dint miss the opportunity to live your dreams

Courchevel Tue 19-Feb-19 19:04:13

Your employer is laying you less than minimum wage... you should be earning nearly £16,000.... but definitely go for it! I've just finished a Masters and it's opened a lot of doors for me

BasinHaircut Tue 19-Feb-19 19:04:17

Sorry to sound harsh OP but gaining a generic English degree from OU in your early forties will not lead to a prosperous future of many open doors to exciting new careers. Unless you have something like teacher training planned for afterwards I just can’t see what it would lead to at all.

What do you do now? 40hrs a week for £12k is shocking and I’m sure you could do better without getting new qualifications.

What do you want to do at the end of it? Is the goal a career you love or more money?

IncrediblySadToo Tue 19-Feb-19 19:04:36

You should do ‘something’ definitely as you’re excited about the idea!

However, at 38 I’d definitely find something guaranteed to get you a job. You’ll be mid 40’s at the end of it, you don’t then want to be looking at much more training to get an actual job. ‘Marketing’ ...honestly, it’s hard to get a good job, with years of experience. I’d give that a swerve.

But don’t let anyone put you off doing ‘something’. Just take the time to find the right thing. 💐

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