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to ask how to find a job after 17 years as SAHM?

(78 Posts)
ThreeRandomWords Thu 14-Mar-19 19:28:16

Really want to find a job to have my own income and for my own sanity. But I feel I have lost my confidence after so much time out of the workplace and I am battling feelings of defeatism.

I can't go back to my old job as that was in IT and my skills are obsolete now. I have thought about training as a teacher maybe, which is something I have always fancied. I worry that I am too old (48) and too long out of the workplace to be of interest to anyone.

Any advice? Or inspiring stories of people in a similar position?


Cyberworrier Fri 15-Mar-19 20:42:20

I don’t think a stint as a dinner lady or even a TA would give the OP understanding of what it is like to be a teacher (having been a TA pre training myself- and with no snobbery meant). Being a dinner lady would show if she likes working with children- but not anything about teaching.
It certainly sounds like the OP has the skill set to be a teacher, potentially able to teach Maths or Languages, but I do recommend looking on Staffroom threads and the numerous discussions there.
Sadly there are reasons teachers are in high demand, I’m sure someone will be along saying more soon along these lines..
Good luck OP in your quest for work!

lljkk Fri 15-Mar-19 20:35:35

Just saw the bit where OP said she got math with French degree: omg, they'd bite your hand off if you wanted to be a math teacher. The math teachers kind of rule the roost at DC school. The school can't afford to be harsh on them, so they get away with little things like not turning up for P-Eve.

DonnaDarko Fri 15-Mar-19 20:32:41

*ah I meant you don't have to go back into that specific programming language

DonnaDarko Fri 15-Mar-19 20:28:09

I would suggest trying to do something you really want to do first. If that doesn't work out, then consider experience in lower skilled areas.

The degrees you have are in demand for teachers, so that is a really good option.

You've shown an aptitude for programming but you don't need to go back into that. You could build a portfolio in other programming languages , which should help you find jobs and will also build your confidence. Pretty much every developer I know has a personal portfolio, not just their work experience.

All the best of luck!

ninjawarriorsocks Fri 15-Mar-19 20:22:46

Oh and I did voluntary work in a school too - not as a dinner lady!!! but as classroom assistant. This was really useful as I was able to get a reference from it, this is also something to bear in mind as you’ll need references.

ninjawarriorsocks Fri 15-Mar-19 20:19:49

I have recently gone paid into work after 13 years out. I do think confidence is an issue. I did a few courses just to build up my skills, and went to a careers advisor (I found one specifically aimed at mums returning to work!) who gave me advice on my CV. This all really helped give me some confidence. Now I am back at work I don’t know why I worried, it’s a doddle compared to raising 3 kids!!

TooMuchSocialMedia Fri 15-Mar-19 20:01:50

OP, Mumsnet sent jobs adverts out this week including free 12-week courses to encourage women into cyber security, funded by DCMS. Data science might be another interesting & well-paid field you could enter quite quickly.

needsahouseboy Fri 15-Mar-19 19:46:53

Do not let your age factor in any hesitancy to apply for a job. I’ve just employed someone that has retired and just wants a less stressful job.

lljkk Fri 15-Mar-19 19:45:57

ps: lots of charities are desperate to get someone to run their website & social media accounts. It's a foot in door to learn loads of new skills in high demands.

MsTSwift Fri 15-Mar-19 19:43:23

Maybe I am hard faced but I don’t get the “lack of confidence” thing. I and many of my ex sahm peers found motherhood gave us more confidence. We put things in perspective after a full on career then 7 years looking after toddlers going into an office with lots of 20 somethings stressing about nonsense we know it is nonsense. Read Allison Pearson how hard can it be very funny on this.

lljkk Fri 15-Mar-19 19:36:26

OP: do you have a university degree already?

[being a dinner lady in a local school to get a bit of confidence and work experience] is terrible advice for someone who's worked in a professional career job with a computer science background.

Ok, that was me, I had specialist tech & computing background but after 8 yrs as SAHM had lost my confidence. Working as MSA (supply) for 6 months was great, just what I needed. One of my co-ladies was arguably more skilled than me, but the hours suited her (she considered the wages derisory, mind). I've been back in 'professional' jobs 6 yrs now.

DS's computing teacher is a bit terrible, if I'm honest. Secondary schools are crying out for math & science teachers. Lucy Kellaway went into teaching in her late 50s. Don't see Y OP couldn't do something similar, choose an area you think you could love. Might not fully retire until 70yo, lots of time still to skill up, learn, & do something interesting & rewarding.

monkeysox Fri 15-Mar-19 18:42:41

There's a huge shortage of maths teachers.
If you have a degree already approach some teaching agencies to become a cover supervisor. This will enable you to get valuable class experience if you decide you like it.
You have to have some experience to e accepted to train.
You might not like it.
BTW there are computing teachers now as ict gcse was scrapped

justasking111 Fri 15-Mar-19 17:59:51

I went back to college to retrain my brain. Ask around there are some courses run back to work type things in our area.

Rockmysocks Fri 15-Mar-19 17:56:39

Brush up your COBOL there seems to be a steady demand for COBOL programmers needed to maintain old systems, often in banking. For younger programmers with newer fast track languages under their belts, COBOL would be a lobster pot but ideal for you to get back into IT and maybe take an evening class in high demand languages.

Good luck to you!

MsTSwift Fri 15-Mar-19 17:04:53

A friend was a bank manager and after 8 years sahm switched to teaching maths at secondary. There’s a shortage so her training was funded and quick. She’s really enjoying it. Think teaching is a good second career the teachers I know who went in young get so jaded

Heartlake Fri 15-Mar-19 16:34:28

Create yourself a LinkedIn profile and that you're 'looking for opportunities'.

Go to some networking events for people in your field.

Speak to course tutors if you're thinking if retraining.

Then perhaps do a combination of all of the above whilst you find your way again. You can gain confidence, learn and start making your way back to an involved role all at once, whilst fitting round existing

Peanutbutterforever Fri 15-Mar-19 16:29:21

Maybe consider a course at the OU? It will give you extra skills/ quals and could boost your confidence hugely.

talktoo Fri 15-Mar-19 15:30:24

GeorgeTheBleeder I'm not fighting with you. I'm completely onside with you. 'Thinking about teaching' ... 'get a job as a dinner lady' WTAF.

talktoo Fri 15-Mar-19 15:24:37

Jam82 are you serious? A dinner lady? The OP was an educated professional. They have skill sets far more advanced than dinner ladies. Nothing wrong with dinner ladies but it's a ridiculous suggestion.

soulrunner Fri 15-Mar-19 13:47:09

You are unlikely to get paid work in a school without the relevant qualifications, even as a classroom assistant, hence the suggestion

Er, maybe they should review their recruitment practices then, given the shortage of maths and French teachers. "Oh hello, highly educated professional? You want to teach maths? Oh sorry, computer says no. You need to have served up chips for 6 months first"

Mumof3dragons Fri 15-Mar-19 13:45:41

OP if you're around London PM me. Kind of in the samt boat and have just started volunteering with a charity which tutors small groups in key subjects in struggling schools. I love it. Even if I don't continue into teaching (unsure) it is boosting my confidence in terms of meeting new people and trying new things.

GeorgeTheBleeder Fri 15-Mar-19 12:36:01

This was part of the OP's first post:

I can't go back to my old job as that was in IT and my skills are obsolete now. I have thought about training as a teacher maybe, which is something I have always fancied.

And this was the first response:

I would start small and build your way up. Something like a dinner lady in a local school to get a bit of confidence and work experience under your belt and then take it from there x

Just to refresh the collective memory ...

I have no knowledge of the circumstances of any other poster but my own response came from specific, recent experience. It had nothing to do with snobbery and everything to do with pretty damn clear knowledge of what I might find satisfying.

For someone who was musing on teaching - perhaps volunteering in the IT/Library Dept of a school might have been reasonable. I honestly cannot see why a side step into school catering would be helpful.

foxstar3 Fri 15-Mar-19 12:33:55

Omg join lloyds bank loads of opportunities at head office

TheFallenMadonna Fri 15-Mar-19 12:28:54

More importantly, being a dinner lady in a primary school will give you absolutely no idea about what being a Maths teacher in a secondary school would be like. Any more than being a programmer would in fact. Status/qualifications irrelevant. So if that is what the OP wants to do, that is what the OP should be checking out.

bringbacksideburns Fri 15-Mar-19 12:28:49

Totally missed what I meant haven't You?

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