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Anyone taken time out for a 'career rethink'?

(7 Posts)
crazyhead Wed 17-Feb-16 10:51:19

Hello everyone,

I have two young kids (2 and 4) and work four days a week in theory, more in practice, in comms/PR - I've been there a decade and have risen to manage a large team - it is a good job on paper. I am pushing 40.

I've had very, very a hard year on many fronts (including a major bereavement) and my job is becoming increasingly unpleasant (restructures, mad workload, long list of issues) but I'm just not sure what to do next.

My OH is in a secure, high-earning career and we don't really need my income, so I'm starting to question why on earth we both work so much and whether I should be doing something taking less hours. Work has started to affect my mood and behaviour at home - I'm not depressed but I am pretty strung out - drink too much wine, exercise too little. It doesn't feel sustainable.

However, if I moved jobs to something similar, part-time options would be very limited and I just don't know that I'm in love with my field of work. I'm wondering about changing careers. But to be honest, I have so little time to myself, I'm finding it hard to think straight.

My OH is of the opinion that I should choose an end date and just resign and take time to myself to think stuff through a bit, decide if I want to study and retrain etc, just relax. His overwhelming motivation is for me to be happy. I feel slightly terrified by it all.

Any thoughts/similar experiences?

Snarklepoo Wed 17-Feb-16 11:03:24

Just done this myself after a disastrous year. Realised I wasn't capable of sustaining going to work doing things I really didn't want to do and it was becoming damaging.

Have had about 6 months on very reduced working time in total and have spent the past month setting up a horticultural business. Not sure if it's going to be what I want to do in the long term, but is very satisfying to know I'm going to be more in control and therefore more motivated.

What I do find scary is that I now can't remember how I used to get up at 5.30 and go to work all day every day. Getting back into that routine is going to be hard I think.

Also, since I stopped working, I am more busy doing other things and feel obligated to take on more at home to 'earn my keep' so to speak. This is pressure I put on myself and not from DP apart from the odd arsey comment ( which he thinks I ignore). I now don't understand how I ever had time to go to work. This might be a pitfall to watch out for?

Best of Luck. What I have got out of it is that I don't care about work as much as I thought I did.

CountryLovingGirl Wed 17-Feb-16 13:23:00

I would re-train in your position. If your OH earns enough for you to do so then go for it. It sounds as though you are very unhappy where you are.

Canyouforgiveher Wed 17-Feb-16 13:37:47

I was you a few years ago. husband very high earning, didn't really need my salary but I never considered not working, was well enough paid, interesting but stressful. my husband's reaction was exactly like yours.

I didn't resign, soldiered on managing 3 children, worked from home, became increasingly unhappy with it all, too much wine, too little exercise.

I finally resigned - last day is soon. I am thrilled. I have no idea what I will do next but I realised I could do nothing new until I stopped doing my current job. I wish I had done this way earlier.

When I put in my resignation I realised that I have great experience, made a great contribution, have a network of people who would help if I wanted to get back into that particular game again and that it is ok to take a break for a while - it doesn't mean forever.

crazyhead Wed 17-Feb-16 16:15:38

Thank you for this very helpful reactions - they've given me a lot of food for thought.

Snarklepoo - I'm sure I'd put myself under pressure to do more at home. Canyouforgiveher - you sound very similar to me. Good for you! are you just going to 'be' for a bit and see how you feel?
CountryLovingGirl - yeah - you probably have a point.

Until I got together with DH, I simply had to work to pay my mortgage, and had always done so - always had a Saturday job, worked through university, so it is an odd thing to think about.

Not having to work for money is obviously a huge privilege but a pressure in a certain way, because when work is rubbish I just can't say to myself 'you've got to do this, you need to pay for your family' because one salary is enough. So it's a new way of thinking for me.

elfofftheshelf Wed 17-Feb-16 16:47:10

I've done exactly this. I spent years in a high pressured, high performing role, earning a lot of money. My husband is also a high earner, and I was definitely drinking too much, exercising too little, and when I did have time off I was still "on" with emails etc. After a very stressful 6 months at work I realised that enough was enough. With the exception of quick Net A Porter orders, I didn't have time to spend the money I was making, and it really wasn't making either of us happy (we also spent a lot on eating out, grabbing food at 9pm on our way home from work etc etc). As a result, I decided to "step off" try to get our lives organised, get fit, healthy and generally take care of myself. 2 years later I do some occasional paid consulting work, but I also I work with friends on something that started as a hobby which has now become something much more exciting (but will never make the kind of money I was earning before) and most importantly, our lives run so much better. My husband's life is easier as he doesn't have to worry about his "share" of home admin etc and we also eat well. I've also learned to love my time in the gym / exercising. It improves my mood and it's become a daily part of my life.

I appreciate that my circumstances (a career in which I earned and saved a lot of money and a high-earning partner) have allowed me to do this and am grateful every day.

JeanSeberg Tue 23-Feb-16 00:01:08

Glad I found this thread as I'm considering resigning from a director role with nothing to go to. However in on a 6 month notice period so no immediate panic.

I've been with this company 10 years and in my late 40s so feel it's last chance to have a re-think/change.

Interesting to see none of you have regretted your decision.

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