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To consider a total career change at almost 40?

(16 Posts)
Fartymcnarty Sun 24-Feb-19 08:15:28

I’m almost 40 at currently working as a teacher in the post 16 sector. I think I am just about done with teaching and the pressure it brings.
I spend my days worrying about workload, stressing over issues with my department and worrying about whether or not I can keep doing this! Thing is, I earn fairly good money so I know whatever I decide to do I will likely be taking a huge pay cut.
I have been considering occupational therapy and understand I would need to start from the beginning again and totally retrain. Has anyone been to full time uni as an adult, and how did you manage financially?
Any teachers out there who have taken the plunge, left teaching and had a total career change?

moanymoaner Sun 24-Feb-19 08:37:31

Yanbu do it! Lifes too short for what if! Good luck smile

Arowana Sun 24-Feb-19 08:40:10

I had a career change at 40! It didn't require retraining though, so I didn't have to go to uni. It's great - I love it. Although the first few months were v stressful as it's quite hard starting something completely new and feeling rubbish at it.

Headinthedrawer Sun 24-Feb-19 08:40:44

Could you work as a supply teacher to fund your training?I wouldn't let being 40 put you off...still young and I know a couple of people who have changed career at this age and older.Both of them to become teachers funnily enough.I'm a nurse and understand the urge to escape the stress - however I tried to leave nursing and found everything else boring in comparison.Failed attempt at a career change here when I realised I just needed to change the type of nursing I was doing.

tomhazard Sun 24-Feb-19 08:40:51

I am a little younger than you (33) but I have put a 3 year cap on the rest of my teaching career then I am absolutely doing something else. I don't even hate it as many do, I just don't want to do this forever and I think 13 years service will be enough.
I don't know exactly what I will do but I am just posting to encourage you- life is too short and you sound like you have a plan!

Fartymcnarty Sun 24-Feb-19 08:53:12

Thanks everyone. It’s a huge, scary and difficult decision to make! I’ve progressed well in my career and worked really hard to get where I am, but I cannot do it much longer!
Good idea to supply teaching whilst I’m retraining!!

Nathansmommy1 Sun 24-Feb-19 08:58:10

Work is a huge part of our lives so you have to love what you do. If you want to change then go for it. Nearly ten years ago I left a job I hated, took a job with half the wages doing something I wanted to and it was the best decision I ever made.

Polkadotdelight Sun 24-Feb-19 09:00:10

My colleague retrained alongside me when she was 40 and I was 27. You have many years left to work. Do it!

FairyMoppings Sun 24-Feb-19 09:02:44

I did it and haven't looked back.

As a teen I just sort of fell into a career, spent yrs in further education gaining qualifications for my profession... But it was never really 'me' and it never brought me any happiness or job satisfaction. I didn't even earn a great deal of money, worked soooo many hours and quite frankly worked with some pretty horrible people over the yrs, experiencing sexism, sexual harassment and bullying. But on paper it looks good, my CV, up to 2012, looks impressive.

But then I had a baby and took several yrs off to be a SAHP as I couldn't afford the childcare to return to work after mat leave. But when DS was in full time education I decided it was time for me to work again.

But trying to enter back into my prrofession proved impossible. It wasn't forgiving of women taking too much time off to be a parent. I spent a whole year of endless job applications only to get consistently knocked back. I even took yet another further education course to gain another qualification, but still I wasn't welcome back due to my time off.

So I was forced to think of something else I could do.

I now run my own business in a sector that requires no formal education or qualifications. It's not considered 'professional' and many relatives scoffed when they heard. Lots of "what are you doing that for?!"

BUT I work FAR less hours than but earn the same money. I actually enjoy it, I've met some wonderful people who respect me and appreciate my work, I'm happy and enjoy genuine job satisfaction. There's far less stress and I'm proud of me and my little business. I'm now considering expansion as it's become far more successful than I'd ever anticipated.

Wish I'd done it years earlier.

EvaHarknessRose Sun 24-Feb-19 09:05:34

I think you need to be thoughtful about this, as its a common mid life urge (see life and times of reginald perrin). And forties are a tough time for lots of us.
If you are eligible for loans for fees and maintenance (I don’t think HCP courses are ‘free’ of fees any more?) and can manage on that amount, then that’s one thing (you prob won’t ever pay back the full amount), but presumably it would mean considerably tightening your belt? And although OT is often seen as less stressful, and it does give you a wide variety of settings to work in, ultimately we work in the same NHS teams that are under huge stress and staff desperately looking for a way out as you are (retraining as teachers grin).

I have felt like you about my careeer, through my forties, and reached a new low with stress just before christmas. But you know what, I think I have turned a corner. I have stopped job hunting, started enjoying my role more, enjoying my salary more, recognising my experience and skills more (I’m glad I have persisted and got to where I am) I know I can’t take the stress forever, but I am going to make a change (to a lower stress job, not a career) in my fifties when the dc have left and dh has retired.

Can you use your current skills, taking a step back into a different sector (adult tutoring, SEN teaching, online teaching, school inspection or workplace training).

sanityisamyth Sun 24-Feb-19 09:08:51

I'm 36 and just applied to Uni for September to read pharmacy. I have been a teacher for 13 years and absolutely sick of it. Definitely never too late for a fresh start!

PrincessScarlett Sun 24-Feb-19 09:18:20

I had a career change at 41. I went from a high paid corporate job so it took me a good year before resigning to come to terms with not ever earning that money again. A lot of colleagues told me at the time how brave I was but I'd spent 20 years in a corporate job and was unhappy.

I had to retrain but didn't have to go to uni. Best decision ever! I'm much happier, less stressed, my kids see me more and although I don't earn what I used to it is actually not that far off if you take off the cost of commuting.

Fartymcnarty Sun 24-Feb-19 09:36:45

You have all given me some great advice and things to think about. It’s nice to hear other people’s stories and get some perspective of things. Thank you all

LaurieFairyCake Sun 24-Feb-19 09:40:09

Not to depress you but you have MORE working years AHEAD of you than behind you if you went to uni grin

Youseethethingis Sun 24-Feb-19 10:42:10

I don’t really have advice to give as such, but as PP said you have a lot of working years ahead of you - and they say people more often regret the chances they didn’t take, and the changes they didn’t make, than the ones they did. If it wasn’t a bit scary, it likely wouldnt be exciting or worthwhile either. You are obviously an intelligent and very capable person to be where you are just now. Go for it OP.

CuriousaboutSamphire Sun 24-Feb-19 10:46:04

I did just short of 50. Should have done it sooner, now supporting DSis in her escape plan.

Ask to see your TP Pension advisor, get all that info together and really undertsand it. Then make the leap!

I acidentally found my new, not all that professional job. I work for myself, work far fewer hours, virtually no stress (though that took time and it was me not the job) and have replaced all of my lecturing salary and pension input in year 3.

Have fun plotting smile

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