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Has anyone completely changed career in their 30s?

(11 Posts)
fatpony Thu 23-Jul-15 08:37:11

Looking for some advice...has anyone completely changed career in their 30s and enjoyed it? I work in London in quite an intense role based on investment in emerging markets. It's very niche and only really exists in London (and other capitals or foreign cities like Washington/Dubai etc). My education led to it so have a niche masters too. However...have a little boy now and Dh and I are thinking of moving out towards Bristol/Bath to get a better quality of life/access to the country-we're both outdoorsy and want this for DS. DH could get a decent job in Bristol but I would need to retrain to do something different.
I'm not against studying or training again for 1-2 years max if it meant a satisfying career for the next 30 years. Would be interested to hear if people have done similar and whether it worked out. I just don't know what to do- my current role is v analytical and research/investigative. I'm interested in child development/working with children....thanks!

woodlands01 Fri 24-Jul-15 21:55:43

Retrained as a secondary teacher when 38 with a 2 year old and newborn. Ridiculously hard work (and would be worse now, this was 12 years ago) for two years. Took all my salary in nursery fees. However when they started school things had got easier for me work-wise, I had all the holidays with my children and my childcare costs were zero. I stuck with the same local job for 12 years so I could be around for my children and manage the child care myself (husband had to commute and work standard office hours). I would leave school at 3.10pm 4 days out of 5 to pick up kids and take them to activities etc. I spent most evenings working from 8pm through to midnight. They are now in secondary school and I have been able to secure a job in a different school as my children's day has become longer and they are more independent - very exciting for me, new job at 50!
It has been an enormous amount of work retraining and teaching full time with two young children. However, I have had the privilege of being able to pick them up from school, have early evenings and holidays with them which most working parents struggle with. Even though it's not my 'ideal' job, I miss the corporate world enormously, I find lots to love in working with teenagers. I also want to be a working mum as a role model for my children, especially my daughter.

Indiedog Fri 24-Jul-15 22:07:19

Would what you retrain in need to be a high paying job?

The only reason I ask, is that I went from an agricultural and science background, to study level three early years childcare to work in a preschool.
The money isn't great at all, but I love the job, the work and the reward of helping little minds grow. I didn't do it for the money.
I was working three days a week, in at 8.45am and home by 4pm. Yes there is work to do at home, but nothing compared to teachers.
I got to drop off my DD to school everyday as the preschool was attached and drop off/pick up the other two days.
Also holidays off with my beautiful girlie, I love it.

I took an adult evening course that lasted a year, but completed it in eight months.

I have just left to go on mat leave, but I am also completing two online teaching assistant courses whilst I'm off. Just to keep me ticking over, and to gain background knowledge as I think I would like to be a TA, but not a teacher.

I think you have to think about what you want from something new, is it a challenge, money, easier/more hours, career prospects, something to keep you ticking over.

Ps, I'm now 32, with DS due in December.

Giltz Sun 26-Jul-15 02:19:51

Hi, I am glad to see it is not just me, after working in an industry for the last 10 years I have decided that I need to change career. Like you my qualifications are quite niche, so I am still trying to decide what direction to go in. I am also in my 30's and after having DC2 I have struggled with work life balance ( currently work 43 plus hours a week).I think I will have to retrain.

KnitFastDieWarm Mon 27-Jul-15 20:04:34

I gave no advice job wise, except to say that bristol is bloody brilliant and I would highly recommend it (and I say that as an ex Londoner)

lavendersun Mon 27-Jul-15 20:17:51

I did it in my 40s. Can't be too specific but six figure salary in a tiny niche in London (I will make sure DC know that too much specialisation is not a good thing).

I spent the nursery years (nursery easier than school imo) retraining, took 5 years in total for two qualifications that I can use anywhere. I feel like the ten years of post grad qualifications I did before are wasted really but they served me well at the time.

My old CV seems to impress people enough to give me a job without much experience in my current field, as in it proves I can string a sentence together.

Now earn a much smaller amount but we have a lovely lovely home life and my salary is our recreation fund.

In my 20s I was completely driven by my career .... now not so much smile and I wouldn't work full time again unless I absolutely have to.

lavendersun Mon 27-Jul-15 20:29:21

Should add actually that I was offered a job in a local city pre retraining at about 4/10 of my London salary in a much less interesting (very very boring actually) field. I couldn't do it ... it was that that spurred me on to retrain.

I now work from home 90% of the time, have done 10 hours today with DD occupying herself at times, with me at others. The flexibility is worth a lot.

Had I taken the other job I would have been away from home from 7-7, I just couldn't do it for a provincial salary and boring work to boot.

fatpony Tue 28-Jul-15 16:07:20

Thanks for all your thoughtful replies. I am not sure teaching is for me, at least secondary level, as my brother is an English lit teacher and I can see how hard he has to work (dept head) - lots of after hours work, OFSTED stress etc, I am just not sure I would have the appetite to work that hard in an area I didn't necessarily love.
Money is not so important, so long as I helped to cover bills and holidays and put a bit into savings each month.
Lavendersun - can I ask what the two qualifications you did were that make you employable anywhere? That is the sort of thing I am looking for... I am vaguely considering a project management qualification like Prince2.

Skiptonlass Tue 28-Jul-15 20:31:03

I did... Changed from academia to industrial/business side of science/project management. I had to take a big, big step down to get a foot in the door. My salary halved - now after five years I'm earning triple what I was in my academic job, so for me it's been worth it.

I have mixed feelings about prince2 and pmip... You learn on the job imho, and the courses are very jargon-y but not (in my opinion, I guess industries vary) very useful. I'd certainly rather hire someone with experience over one with just the qualification. Project management is a good skill to have though - very transferrable!

fatpony Fri 31-Jul-15 09:41:11

Thanks Skiptonlass, I'll bear that in mind!

PosterEh Fri 31-Jul-15 09:47:14

Swindon has a large financial/insurance sector too. Wouldn't live there but it's worth checking the commute. I know project managers at GCHQ in Cheltenham too (although maybe that's just cover for something top secret).

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