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to hijack AIBU for job recommendations for my lovely mum?

(36 Posts)
Firstbornunicorn Thu 21-Feb-19 22:03:24

My mum is in her early 50s. She worked as a shorthand typist before I was born, and has had various jobs in retail while she raised her brood. Now we've all flown the nest, she's in a retail job she really hates, and the company she works for is in financial trouble, so it seems likely she'll need to get a new job soon.

She's totally burnt out on retail; the hours and the working conditions just make it too difficult for her. She suffers from chronic pain, and although she's never had a day off sick because of it (she's too stubborn) it does mean she's no longer very well suited to stacking shelves etc.

She has tonnes of experience in customer service, and in things like cash office duties, etc. She only did 2 O-Levels at school (English and commerce), but has loads of qualifications in typing, office applications, and she even has one of those CLAIT qualifications. She did also work as a childminder for several years, so has certificates in paediatric first aid, and a few other things.

She's applied for a couple of "nicer" call centre type jobs, but says she's hopeless at interviews. It's not surprising, given she hasn't really done competency-based interviews before - there is definitely an art to those.

I've helped her to make up a CV, but she also tends to sell herself massively short. I think she lacks confidence after not having a "real" job for so long.

So, Mumsnet - what kind of job could my lovely, hardworking, clever (but perhaps undereducated by some standards) mum do?

Butchyrestingface Thu 21-Feb-19 22:05:31

Is she looking for full-time hours?

Butchyrestingface Thu 21-Feb-19 22:08:02

And can you define "shorthand typist"? Do you mean a verbatim reporter?

cheminotte Thu 21-Feb-19 22:09:28

I’m assuming she doesn’t want to go back to childminding? Does she need full time?
Are there any local colleges or universities that may have student support / admin type jobs?

E20mom Thu 21-Feb-19 22:10:23

Civil service admin

PleaseSellMyHouse Thu 21-Feb-19 22:10:30

What sort of pay scale? There are several people in my office of a similar age who have come in through a business administration apprenticeship. In my office they are paid at the proper scale so they are on about £22,000. Civil service. Worth looking at. Terms and conditions are very good.

OlennasWimple Thu 21-Feb-19 22:12:30

Something like a receptionist in a legal office?

Boyskeepswinging Thu 21-Feb-19 22:15:08

Are there any local colleges or universities that may have student support / admin type jobs?
Was just coming on to say exactly that. Customer service skills from retail are always well-regarded as you're used to dealing with the general public. Ensure she sells herself when she applies, get her to watch some vlogs on competency based interviews, do a mock interview with her and she'll be grand! Good luck!

Boyskeepswinging Thu 21-Feb-19 22:17:25

Actually, thinking about it, just get her to register as a temp with her local uni(s). That's such a great way in, loads of people end up in permanent jobs after temping. It'll build her confidence and give her the opportunity to see if she enjoys it.

Unihorn Thu 21-Feb-19 22:17:32

I'm not sure if the chronic pain would make it to difficult, but what about a catering assistant or cook in a private nursery or school, as shifts tend to be fairly short? Or something like office or restaurant cleaning, which often only require 3 hours or so at a time.

RainyAfternoon Thu 21-Feb-19 22:17:48

I heard something on the radio recently about one of the big banks (poss Lloyd’s) who are doing an apprenticeship scheme for older people (50+). It’s for customer service. Part of the rationale is that their older clients are more comfortable speaking to more mature people. Everyone on the scheme sounded really happy.

Firstbornunicorn Thu 21-Feb-19 22:18:23

She would rather have full-time hours, yes.

I suppose she probably was more of a verbatim reporter. She worked for the courts service.

It was nearly impossible for her to make any money at childminding - she was too nice to charge the ridiculous rates everyone else charges, plus she lives rurally, so the school runs were very expensive. I don't know if she'd be confident enough to do student support, but certainly an admin role would be great. I'll have a look at the local college website for something suitable.

@PleaseSellMyHouse That does sound fab! She's currently earning about 13k per year, so something like that would be quite a jump in pay. I'll have a look at that. The only thing is, as we're in Northern Ireland, I feel it's unlikely that our non-functional government would have started such a scheme in recent years. But perhaps there's something similar out there.

flumpybear Thu 21-Feb-19 22:18:31

Where does she live/how far commute?

userschmoozer Thu 21-Feb-19 22:20:06

Can she get help with her interview techniques?

flumpybear Thu 21-Feb-19 22:21:26

Was thinking university or opening own business as pet feeder and house sorter (curtains, lights etc to look occupied) when clients on holiday - mine charges 7 per day fir one visit and approx £12 for two though she cleans our small animals and litter trays etc

Butchyrestingface Thu 21-Feb-19 22:24:51

I suppose she probably was more of a verbatim reporter. She worked for the courts service.

Was she a machine verbatim reporter?

She could get work, either as a pen or machine stenographer, if she got her speeds back up. I know a few stenographers who left the court service to work with deaf clients in industry and so on. Some of them travel all over the UK/world.

However, most of them are self employed.

Firstbornunicorn Thu 21-Feb-19 22:25:34

@Boyskeepswinging I've just looked up her local college to see if they're taking on anyone like that! It seems there are a couple of jobs she could do - I'll show them to her and see what she thinks.

@Unihorn That does sound ideal, but she is too much of a germophobe to work with food. Honestly!

@RainyAfternoon Interesting - I'll look this up.

@flumpybear Northern Ireland. No real limit on the commute as it's a tiny country anyway!

spugzbunny Thu 21-Feb-19 22:25:38

My mum was also an old fashioned secretary. New her shorthand, did dictation typing. She moved back in to being a secretary. She did a stint for a doctor and then in a mental health service. Her age and skills in being able to type up huge amounts of notes and dictaphone notes were what got her the jobs.

RainyAfternoon Thu 21-Feb-19 22:26:22

Found it - it was Barclays joinus.barclays/eme/apprenticeships/who-can-be-a-barclays-apprentice/over-50s/

Pinkslay Thu 21-Feb-19 22:27:36

Transcribing? I'm a writer and often need hours and hours of recorded interviews transcribed. I need them accurately done but often not that quickly so it would fit with health issues as very flexible. Good rates too.

Firstbornunicorn Thu 21-Feb-19 22:28:59

@Butchyrestingface she literally just typed whatever was being said on a typewriter. She has arthritis now in her wrists, but is still a speedy typer (and marvels at how modern-day keyboards are so light). I sent her some information about stenography a while back, but she thought it would be too difficult for her.

@userschmoozer I'm trying to help her, but I'm not sure how good I am myself!

HalfBloodPrincess Thu 21-Feb-19 22:29:31

NHS clinic/ward clerk? Medical secretary? I know our trust has stopped using agency staff but she could enquire about joining the bank staff.

Or else GP receptionist, different type of retail - slow paced such as jewellers, boutique, florists (she could sign up for a short florists course at the local college)

Tiredofit Thu 21-Feb-19 22:30:41

I’d like to be a pet feeder and house sorter. I didn’t know they were a thing!

Butchyrestingface Thu 21-Feb-19 22:33:20

@Butchyrestingface she literally just typed whatever was being said on a typewriter. She has arthritis now in her wrists, but is still a speedy typer (and marvels at how modern-day keyboards are so light). I sent her some information about stenography a while back, but she thought it would be too difficult for her.

I also know some people who do the job I mentioned on regular keyboards/laptops (again usually with deaf people). However, not sure how good an idea it would be if your mum has arthritis.

Firstbornunicorn Thu 21-Feb-19 22:35:02

@Pinkslay I do a bit of transcription work myself, but she wouldn't be confident that her spelling and grammar would be correct all the time, which is obviously quite important.

@HalfBloodPrincess I think she would be a good GP receptionist - I hadn't considered that before, probably because it's a job I would absolutely hate!
As for a different type of retail - I think she would love to work in a florist or jewellers'!

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