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Your career. What would you do differently if you had your time again?

(81 Posts)
Allmytimeistickingaway Wed 03-Jun-20 20:08:44

Are you happy with how your work life has turned out? Or do you have any disappointments, would you do things differently in some way? I am very much behind in terms of any career. Combination of long term ill health, and poor choices made in panic trying to pay the bills etc.

I've now wrapped up a period of studying. I could go down several different avenues and feeling quite pressured to make good choices now as I don't have time on my side. I'm 35.

Looking for advice or tips how to make the most of my time from now on. Would be very interested to hear how others have navigated - if you have faced setbacks how you dealt with them, or conversely if you had a smooth ride what choices you made that helped.

OP’s posts: |
31133004Taff Wed 03-Jun-20 20:12:07

I made the right decision at the time. It didn’t work - in fact a disaster. It was the choice and I have no regret. I wish it had turned out differently but Inhad absolutely no influence over the outcome. Trust your judgement. Stand by your decision.

FangsForTheMemory Wed 03-Jun-20 20:14:36

Exactly the same as 3113004Taff. It looked like the dream job but it was actually hellish. I should have left at the end of the first month. I stayed for several years and was never the same again.

FangsForTheMemory Wed 03-Jun-20 20:15:55

My best advice to you is: if you find yourself in a position where the employer's culture is unhappy, move on. You can't change that unless you're the person at the top.

Ghostlyglow Wed 03-Jun-20 20:16:59

Pretty much everything tbh. Career-wise I have wasted my time on Earth.

DanniArthur Wed 03-Jun-20 20:18:59

I sort of fell in to my job when I left college at 18. I then decided it was not for me and did a degree with the open university. I had every intention of taking the pay cut and starting a new career after I graduated. However I became pregnant with DD and my priorities shifted so I'm now on a flexible work pattern with the same job I've had for 11 years. I do plan on getting new job once she is at school but it's scary to think I'd need to start as a trainee, work long hours and take such a pay cut 😬 Wish I'd of done it alot sooner tbh.

ScrapThatThen Wed 03-Jun-20 20:21:30

Don't be scattergun looking for opportunities. Be methodical. Scan job ads well before you are seriously looking. Build your skills towards the opportunities that excite you. Don't expect it to just come to you at the right time.

monkeytennis97 Wed 03-Jun-20 20:21:37

Not be a teacher

StripyHorse Wed 03-Jun-20 20:22:06

Not sure I would have retrained as a teacher. I live in an area where there is an abundance of primary teachers but not many jobs - even fewer with the current situation. I have no job security, wonder why I bother working so hard when the consensus seems to be that we just sit around doing nothing (well in certain quarters anyway) and now I find out I am losing a week's summer holiday (but for no extra pay). Totally fed up but don't know where to look for work instead as everything is going tits up.

NiceLegsShameAboutTheFace Wed 03-Jun-20 20:23:22

Nothing. It's worked out pretty well blush

TooSadToSay Wed 03-Jun-20 20:24:01

Erm, not had a husband or any kids? Maybe then I'd have made a success of it (lighthearted, kinda).

MilkshakeandFries Wed 03-Jun-20 20:24:05

I'm exactly the same as you. Bit older, just finishing a Masters and wish I'd done it when I was younger rather than float from one job to another.

Trying to decide whether to pursue teacher training or look at other options. It's hard to decide isn't it!

Teacaketotty Wed 03-Jun-20 20:24:16

I enjoy my job but I wouldn’t have picked something so specialised if I could go back. I was made redundant last year and finding another job has been a real challenge, it’s a great job that pays well but there aren’t many of them around.

peajotter Wed 03-Jun-20 20:26:54

I’m with @TooSadToSay . My highly competitive career choice was excellent for the single life I had planned. I quit on having kids, it was too ambitious to try to have it all. If I had my time again I’d aim a little lower.

HopeClearwater Wed 03-Jun-20 20:27:16

Another teacher here. Bitterly regret it. Not the kids, but everything else about it.

RunningNinja79 Wed 03-Jun-20 20:34:33

I really dont know. Even now in my early 40's I still have no idea what I want to be. My job I have now isn't for me so I'm just floating about and probably will until I retire now.

I dont think I should have gone to Uni though. If I did want to study something now I could. Unfortunately its too late for that as I just can't afford it.

WinWinnieTheWay Wed 03-Jun-20 20:34:37

I would be brave enough to follow my heart.

CoRhona Wed 03-Jun-20 20:34:49

Both my parents were teachers (I'm late forties) and they both hated it but held degrees from Oxbridge.

I saw how unhappy they were and decided to do a job I loved instead which happened not to need a degree.

So I'm now doing one, just signed up with OU. Probably should have done one straight after college as a teenager though confused

NoWordForFluffy Wed 03-Jun-20 20:39:54

Trained as an account rather than a lawyer when I did my career change post-grad. Far more portable on the international market!

NoWordForFluffy Wed 03-Jun-20 20:40:09


PumpkinPie2016 Wed 03-Jun-20 20:42:16

I am fortunate to have a good career as a teacher, now holding a fairly senior position in a great school. I genuinely enjoy my job.

However, when I was younger, I actually wanted to be a police officer. Unfortunately, my parents weren't supportive of the idea (they are law abiding people who have no issues with the police but felt it was dangerous/shift pattern would be difficult etc). I was only young and at the time, didn't want to disappoint them so I didn't go for it.

It remains one of my biggest regrets. Who knows whether it would have been a good idea but I wish I had given it a go.

I'm the main earner on a good salary now so starting again isn't an option.

ritzbiscuits Wed 03-Jun-20 20:42:39

I've had a number of set backs mainly caused by being discriminated against when I was pregnant (nasty bullying boss). I left the job and I should have gone for constructive dismissal, but didn't want to fight it during my maternity leave.

I then took another very senior role close to home, but the culture was toxic. I managed a year but I should have just got out. Agree with many of the sentiments above about leaving a company if it's awful.

I'm a few years down the line from all that now, and have settled for a more creative role and excellent work/life balance. DS is in school and I still work four days per week, I would trade flexibility and quality of company any day of the week over going back to working for aggressive sale driven companies (and the big salaries/perks they offer). Life is too short.

Ohsoverytired11 Wed 03-Jun-20 20:55:44

I regret starting a teaching career (influenced by my mum when I was 17 who was of the opinion that there are only about 5 degrees worth doing!)
Did about 5 years in total after qualifying (3 as a supply teacher) then caved and finally stopped caring about upsetting my mum if I left.

The part I dont regret - Took a low paid role in local government administration to get some experience outside teaching, still here now 4 years later but in a much senior role 🙂 my pay is now very similar to if I had stayed in teaching and worked up the pay scale. I leave my work at the office at 5pm, I only have my own children to look after during holidays, I am provided with my own IT equipment for working at home, no one bothers me during my lunch break and I can have a wee when I want!

I'm not sure studying the degree I wanted to would have helped me in my current job either but I probably would have enjoyed my time at uni more!

lastburritos Wed 03-Jun-20 21:01:30

Like a previous poster, if I had my time again I would leave a job I knew was not right for me asap rather than staying for the sake of my CV. I knew a previous job was all wrong within the first month. I thought I'd stay for a year to make my CV look better. 3 years later I finally left! Most miserable 3 years of my life that sucked the confidence right out of me, making it more and more difficult for me to leave. Thankfully I am now in a job that is a perfect fit for me 👍

SudokuBook Wed 03-Jun-20 21:08:49

Left my previous job sooner. By the time I hated it I was determined I wasn’t going without a redundancy package so I hung on until I got it

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