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Leaving my job and turning my back on my career? Scared to do it!

(15 Posts)
Rinkydinkypink Mon 17-Apr-17 06:38:34

Ten years ive been working in mental health and the social care sector. Im thinking of calling it quits. Im potentially heading for burn out for a second time. I enjoy the money but that's it. I dont need the money. I do want to work. I hate the stress, the no control, the hopelessness, i get limited job satisfaction and feel the whole social care and child protection system is about to crumble. Its getting dangerous. Too many people under too much pressure putting people at risk. Im not doing a good job. Im not able to do my best for people. I cant unsee or unhear any of it and the tower of shit i carry around just keeps building. Im scared to make the move but my gut tells me i must get out of it and shut the door behind me. I must move on. I know people do this all the time but I'm wanting reassurance and experience!

bigchris Mon 17-Apr-17 06:40:15

Go for it, life is too short to endure all that when you don't need the money imo

bigchris Mon 17-Apr-17 06:40:37

You could always volunteer in a similar field and feel good about yourself for doing that

handsoffmecrownjules Mon 17-Apr-17 06:50:55

So Rinkydink my heart tells me to beg you to stay as the sector really needs people who still give enough of a shit for it to affect them. However for the sake of your own mental health it sounds like you need to call it a day. I think it's really scary to give up what we know and move on to something new, but if you can afford to perhaps just take a little time off from it all and think about what you'd like to do next, this could be a really exciting time for you and a chance to perhaps try something new? Yes perhaps volunteering (in the interim), where you don't have the responsibility - or perhaps thinking how you could integrate aspects of the job that you still enjoy into something else, where you are less emotionally invested. For what it's worth I suspect that you are still doing a great job and have done so for many years (or you wouldn't care), but as soon as you start to feel that you aren't - or perhaps are fighting a losing battle, as sadly seems to be the case for many in this sector with the way things are going, then it's time to get out. Good luck OP with whatever you decide,

Rinkydinkypink Mon 17-Apr-17 07:06:21

I'm not up for volunteering. Ive done that for years as well. I do have other options open to me. I'm happy to work in a coffee shop or behind a reception desk although i also realise this will be frustrating at times.

I'm worried I'm taking a step backwards. I love working i just completed hate what my job exposes me to and the feeling I can make no real difference to these people. I can't take their children to school forever. I can't parent 40+ children. I can't remove the abuse and damage the adults have lived with. I can't unselfish really selfish people.

I don't want to become numb to it all but in order to continue that's exactly what i have to do.

daisychain01 Mon 17-Apr-17 09:10:55

Sometimes a change is as good as a rest. You could pursue a different path and see where it leads. Maybe in the future you will be able to get back into the sector in a completely different context. Or maybe you won't want to and will have moved away for ever.

Focus on the very near term, get a job you can slot into easily.

Think about it in terms of survival atm, to rebuild yourself. There are loads of resources online helping people refocus after redundancy, life changes, career burn out etc. Good luck. Today is the start of the rest of your life.

Junebugjr Mon 17-Apr-17 17:57:15

I feel the same Rinky.
I work in a similar field more domestic violence and CP, but as you know lots of other problems come hand in hand with that like mental health, housing issues etc.
I'm looking to leave this year, now I've decided the sector - particularly the third sector - isn't for me, I've felt better. Am just waiting for redundancy which is imminent I hope. I'm also about 11 years in.
I also don't need the money but I've always worked and felt passionate about what I was doing.
I think the constant pressure from both the organisation I work for, all that more for less shite which I feel just puts people at risk as professionals are under too much pressure and pulled in all different directions, and the service users total dependancy and helplessness makes the job impossible. And the paperwork 😩
It's not a job you can switch off from either, I'm on annual leave and I've had calls everyday about court and god knows what.
There's another added pressure from colleagues, as rescuers are generally attracted to jobs like these.
Do you have any idea about what you want to do in the future?

Junebugjr Mon 17-Apr-17 17:59:07

I'm quite fancying dog walking.
Not sure I want to work with people ever again. A sure sign of burnout I think wink

Rinkydinkypink Mon 17-Apr-17 20:43:42

I think ordering car parts. Working in a school/college office. Serving soup and quiche to chatty old ladies all sounds very lovely.

I'm done with the ugly side of humanity.

movpov Tue 18-Apr-17 16:35:47

I think this is a sign of just how bad the whole system is becoming - you sound like a caring, committed professional and if it's got you feeling like this that's such a shame. You have probably seen things most of us can't imagine and they have taken their toll. For what it's worth I suspect you have made a huge difference and there will be many people out there with a lot to thank you for but you are only one person and you can't do it all. It's affecting your health now and you have to listen to your body. I don't have personal experience of what you're talking about but in terms of reassurance - you will have so many skills you can take elsewhere. You've done your bit OP, look after yourself now. Good luck with whatever you decide.

hatgirl Tue 18-Apr-17 23:33:07

I think I've just about made the decision to leave the sector as well. Life is too short. It doesn't matter how much I care any more, I can't make a difference with no resources and no support. Caring is no longer enough and I'm no longer prepared to make the personal sacrifices when it no longer makes a blind bit of difference. I drink too much and sleep too little. It's not good.

As a society we are having a mental health/ social care crisis. It's disgraceful.

Junebugjr Wed 19-Apr-17 08:26:17

i can't make a difference with no support and no resources
Spot on.
Coupled with the high expectation to achieve outcomes from the families, with lack of the above, the job feels a lot like arse covering.
Sometimes I feel I'm just waiting for something to happen, the shit to hit the fan, and I know that I would be in the firing line.
And rightly so, as I usually haven't had enough time to properly work with the family.
Have you thought about what you would fancy doing in the future Hatgirl?

hatgirl Wed 19-Apr-17 09:53:45

something completely different where I leave work at the end of the day and go home and enjoy my family rather than worrying about someone else's. A garden centre perhaps grin

I think its the same across the whole of the public sector. I think the goodwill from many has finally run out. Particularly now it looks like we are going to be under Tory policy for many years to come. It used to be worth the shitty bits for being able to make a difference sometimes, the job security and good benefits but we don't even have any of that any more.

Junebugjr Wed 19-Apr-17 10:18:03

Benefits etc, they've taken all ours away, we even do oncall for free now, and our agency are trying to get us to accept a 1% pension and cut our pay, while trying to frame it as an opportunity.
Talk about getting pissed on and them calling it rain.
We also get constant reminders of how overpaid we are. When I think of the difference my work has made to people's lives, I'm incredulous.

I can't believe the whole thing hasn't collapsed yet, I don't think the government realise how vulnerable and helpless people are, I actually had a SU call after an incident and it didn't occur to her to call the police. She wouldn't have done it on her own.
They need to bring in classes on life skills at schools for those not getting it at home. Actually that's a good business idea!
How long have u worked in social care Hatgirl?

ChestnutsRoastingOnAnOpenFire Wed 19-Apr-17 19:57:16

I feel the same. 25 years in the NHS has taken its toll. I feel knackered. Used to go home and worry about decisions maybe one weekend in a while, now it's every weekend, hanging over me until Monday when I can rush back in and check. No time to think anything through and constant interruption. Phone and email is never off, have to check emails on holiday as I have no time to go through them when I go back. Everyone is so snappy with each other. Endless reviews and CIPs. Pay and pension cuts year on year. I'm in a wage trap unfortunately until we stop paying school fees or I would be gone.

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