To change careers from a perfectly good, well paid job(28 Posts)
Currently work as a health care professional and potentially in the future could earn enough to work 3 days a week and live comfortably. However, I’m really starting to resent my job. It’s not the worst job in the world but I’m definitely introverted and it involves being in front of a member of the public non stop all day. And I mean all day - I often miss my lunch and there is literally no reprieve from people unless I go to the toilet. Not even hiding round the corner for 2 mins to get away for a sec. I’ve on occasion started to get social anxiety the night before work.
I’m thinking of retraining in accountancy. Lower level jobs would mean I have to work longer than I would in this job. Does anyone have any experience of accountancy? I’m not opposed to all human interaction (though I’m ok with that too) but will I get a significant amount of time to work in peace and quiet? I’ve done a little bit of simple bookkeeping before and loved those days as it was just me, numbers and my coffee. Is that really the case?
I'm sure you've explored it already but is there any way to adjust your current job to allow you to have moments of breathing space to decompress? I know it's hard sometimes in really busy jobs to find time for lunch but you really must prioritise this. I have to say, a 3 day working week sounds like a great option for you, if you can stick it out. How long until this is possible?
There’s not much flexibility at work I’m afraid. I used to work for a big well known chain doing the same as I do now and that was much worse. Although I’m non stop in my current job at least it is possible to get everything done - it’s definitely one of the nicer positions for my role, which i am grateful for.
Could possibly be down to three days a week in about 4 years (when my other half qualifies and gets a pay bump). At the moment I’m the main breadwinner. Cutting hours may be enough for me not to be as anxious as I am now about dealing with people. The fact I’ve lasted in the job for so long doing 6 day weeks - it may just be the overall time spent with people that’s the issue. Not just people themselves. I could wait it out for a few years and see, or start retraining via distance learning now so I can switch as soon as possible. I know I’m lucky to have a good paying job and from previous experience I know it can be worse, so I know it sounds a bit First world problems.
It's not 1st world problems at all. It's an issue to you which is affecting your happiness and peace of mind. Is your boss aware that you feel this way?
Accountancy is likely to be automated! And you may dislike it for other reasons. Do thorough research into options.
I know quite a few people that work in accountancy and they generally don't find it too high pressured (unless they are in upper management), only at the end of/beginning of financial years when workloads seem to be a lot higher.
One thing I will say is...I know so many people that have stayed in jobs they resent or dislike because they pay well. Ultimately as time has gone on, they have all realised that they have spent a huge chunk of their life doing something they dislike. I'm a firm believer that as long as you can pay your bills then you should aim to do something you enjoy, rather than turn around at retirement age and realise something you resented just ate up 40 years of your life.
But the fact that you are the main breadwinner does need to be factored in as do your finances. I would try reducing your hours and see how it makes you feel.
I work as a support worker and used to work in the area that was higher paid, it was very stressful and I was also starting to resent it. I was offered a switch to a quiet house less pay and longer hours. I was worried about the pay decrease but it was the best decision I made. No decision is a bad one and sometimes we have to take a risk.
Thanks. This is kind of what I was worried about. Spending a huge portion of my life just resenting half of it. I’m not worried about work load - I like to slog away at a problem and I get a huge amount of satisfaction from organising. Good at maths. I’m just not a people person.
I think I got into the job when I was younger thinking id used to it, or I was just shy and would get over it. Definitely more confident and not shy at all now, just prefer my own company. Introverted and proud now.
Accountancy (and law) are more about the schmoozing clients than the technical work nowadays and that will only get worse as automation increases... pretty well all jobs with a future need personal interaction because that's what won't be able to be automated soon!
Could you switch into a more lab/research based role?
If you train via an audit firm then no, there’s no hiding from clients but yes you can work in peace and quiet sometimes.
How senior you get and whether you work in private or public sector will impact on the level of schmoozing necessary.
If you worked in industry for a small organisation as an accountant, you don’t have to schmooze.
Yes, have you thoroughly investigated science roles?
I did consider that, all research in my area is with the universities that specialise in it. The closest is about a 2hr commute away and they’re all in big cities - not a fan of living in a city.
While an office job might be less front line customer facing, most offices are open plan now and peace and quiet are hard to come by in my experience.
Even technology means that I get instant messaged even when in meetings and it's clear I'm busy!
Yes I read an article about futureproofing your work role and low level admin and accountancy roles won’t exist i know a friend has worked in branch level banking for 30 years basically all their working life, they’re getting made redundant next year as it’s gone from a respected job that new staff would have to work towards to to a low level they’ll let anyone do it job apparently
Forget to say they’re responsible for mortgage applications
My DH retrained in accountancy after 15 years working in a highly skilled manual job doing shifts.
The pay when you first start out really isn't great. It took quite a while to find a company that would offer him a finance role with zero experience. He had passed his AAT level 2. His starting salary was £17k which was a huge cut from where he was before.
As for peace and quiet it really depends on the company. His first finance job was in a dept with 4 women and they could go the entire day without having a conversation, the job wasn't really demanding and he got a bit bored sometimes. He started at a new company a few weeks ago and it's all open plan, you don't get a minute to yourself and the workload is crazy.
I started out in accountancy. I think it would be unusual for it to be just you, numbers and coffee. Perhaps if you worked doing book keeping for small businesses that might work? But as an accountant you need to interact with people, either clients and/or colleagues so I don't think you would get the solitude you're looking for.
How technical are you? Would you consider re-training as a developer and working in IT? Lots of scope then to work in your own little bubble and just quietly get your head down without too many people bothering you.
Bookkeeping and accountancy are two different jobs really.
Bookkeeping can have the solitude you want, but it isn't generally well paid and is vulnerable to automation.
Accountancy involves strategy, loads of management meetings and quite often dealing with clients. It might not be what you want.
Are you a pharmacist OP? If so, have you thought about moving into manufacturing/aseptic role in a hospital? It would likely result in a pay cut if moving from community pharmacy though.
Thanks. These responses are really helpful. You google accountancy and it’s very generic description, which I didn’t think would be a true reflection at all (and apparently isn’t). I’m not too put off with open plan offices and messaging etc. I struggle more with direct interaction with the public. It’s people’s emotions etc that I struggle with, can’t read them, don’t understand them. Feel like it’s all an act. My job can get a bit emotional with it being health and life changing etc. I can do it but it just doesn’t come naturally and feel I’m always second guessing myself in that aspect. Diagnosis and treatment plan - not a problem.
You sound both intelligent and emotionally intelligent. Work can feel like an act. Most/many people are putting something of a mask on and Imposter Syndrome is really common.
Life is short and shouldn't be wasted on jobs that you don't love but practicality is often a major factor. Is there really no scope at all for flex in your job? Is your manager aware that you're struggling?
I have been thoughts of this myself! I'm a HCP and in some ways love my job but current conditions in the NHS are stressful. I deal with difficult life changing times in people's lives and it is emotionally exhausting ( obviously not compared to the poor people living through it but when you see multiple situationswith children and their families like this day after day it takes it's toll). I'm also an introvert and feel I'm done with human interaction by the end of the day and just flop in front of the telly zoned out.
I also work in a very overcrowded office where there are sometimes not even enough chairs for everyone to sit down, never mind deskspace or computers and that is a hard environment for an introvert.
I actually had the same thoughts about accountancy as I know lots of friends who do it, have nice lives and don't seem to find work stressful.
I know I love and get a lot from my job, so I don't think I would make the change. Good luck to you.
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