Advice for career change - accountant to teacher

(23 Posts)
TranceMum Sat 01-Jul-17 08:04:31

Hi,
I thinking of becoming a teacher to teach at the school nearby so I can be present in my daughters' life - both physically present in half terms and holidays but also mentally connected to her young person's world. Has anybody done this and has it worked?

I am a corporate accountant in London with a comfortable salary. Motherhood has been amazing so far, even though my 14 month old has been full time at nursery since 9 months and I needed periodic help from my mother/husband/MIL to look after her while I needed to stay in the office until 10pm and on some weekends. If this continues I will miss out watching her grow up and I think this will be a great loss. I don't want to lose it!

OP’s posts: |
somewhereovertherain Sat 01-Jul-17 08:08:30

Don't think being a teacher will get you anymore time in your child's life. It's a full time job and a half. Missing Sunday's planning missing the last week or two of the school holidays planning.

If you're doing it properly you'll be marking and planning most nights. Teaching is not a family friendly job.

SleepWhatSleep1 Sat 01-Jul-17 08:11:19

I changed from accountant to teacher. Teaching is way more hours and stress and I'm going back to accountancy to be there more for my children.
Yes you have the holidays, but term time I barely saw my children.

SleepWhatSleep1 Sat 01-Jul-17 08:12:47

And parents evenings and open evenings and other events like Twilight insets still mean staying late

WhyNotDuckie Sat 01-Jul-17 08:14:10

There are lots of posts in The Staffroom about how dreadful teaching is at the moment. It is NOT a family-friendly job. Please at least read the posts before you decide!

Eolian Sat 01-Jul-17 08:16:06

Now is not a great time to re-train as a teacher. It's not for no reason that teachers are quitting the profession in their thousands.

It seems quite odd to become a teacher just so you can ger a job at your daughter's school tbh! Presumably there is no guarantee that a job would be available there when you wanted it. Plus schools usually avoid allowing teachers to teach their own child.

I teach in my ds' primary school but for only 1 hr a week. It isn't an opportunity to spend time with him. Nor would it be if I were there all week. I'd be too busy doing my job!

SleepWhatSleep1 Sat 01-Jul-17 08:16:19

Oh and after 8 years of teaching with a responsibility allowance I was still nowhere near my accountancy salary - even though I worked way more hours in the year - heavily weighted into termtime!

perhapstomorrow Sat 01-Jul-17 08:23:12

A friend of mine became a teacher 4 years ago. It's hard work. She is never there for school plays and sports days. Her evenings are spent marking and planning. Most of her Sunday is spent planning. Not sure the holidays would make it worth it.

ThisIsNotARealAvo Sat 01-Jul-17 08:23:12

Lots of friends have thought this when they became parents, that teaching is a mummy job and because they find their own child so fascinating they will be brilliant at it. None have gone through with it because it is so many hours in the week you are out of the house and so much work when you are at home. I leave at 7 and get home at 630 on an average day with a very short commute. I work 4 days a week at the moment so I see my children after school one day a week. I usually spend at least half a day at the weekend working or dragging my kids round as I collect up resources. DH who has an office based job is hoke much more and doesn't have any work outside of office hours.

CountryLovingGirl Sun 02-Jul-17 18:47:14

Hi,

I considered changing NHS to secondary science teacher a while ago. I didn't for the reasons mentioned above by previous posters. Careers in the public sector should be avoided at the moment anyway due to serious cost savings.

If I were in your shoes I would start up as an accountant working from home. Surely, with your experience, you could earn more money anyway. You could even take on less work school hols.

ceeveebee Sun 02-Jul-17 19:07:07

Could you not look into flexible working arrangements at your current employer? I'm also a corporate accountant and I have a really progressive employer so I can work full time during term time, have a lot of the holidays off (or go down to 2 days a week if needed) and leave the office at a reasonable time to collect kids, picking work up later on in the evening when they're in bed.

ceeveebee Sun 02-Jul-17 19:07:30

Could you not look into flexible working arrangements at your current employer? I'm also a corporate accountant and I have a really progressive employer so I can work full time during term time, have a lot of the holidays off (or go down to 2 days a week if needed) and leave the office at a reasonable time to collect kids, picking work up later on in the evening when they're in bed.

hellybellyjellybean Sun 02-Jul-17 19:13:06

How do you know you'd get a job at your daughters school? Even if you trained there you may not get a permanent job there?

RockNRollNerd Sun 02-Jul-17 19:50:32

Another one suggesting negotiate more flexible hours in your current role. Accountancy can be pretty good in terms of options - things like Flex/TOIL would let you do sports days, class assemblies or negotiate more holidays for a pay cut perhaps? In my experience both practice and corporate can look like they are resistant to flexible options but if you put together a sensible arrangement and explain how impact will be managed they are normally quite willing to look at proposals and accommdate them where possible.

I'm an accountant and a child of teachers and having seen my parents lives towards the end of their careers and spoken with friends who are teachers I'd second that teaching is not at all family friendly. Yes on paper you get the long holidays but as others have said a large part of that is taken up with planning, the same goes for the evenings and weekends too; and there is very little chance of being able to attend school events, docs appointments etc on any kind of regular basis.

smu06set Sun 02-Jul-17 19:54:24

Thinking outside the box - why not look at finance roles in schools?

ceeveebee Sun 02-Jul-17 20:45:52

Good suggestion smu06 - ive known people leave practice to take up a bursar role or similar
Another suggestion would be teaching ICAEW/ACCA etc at one of the colleges like BPP - one of the school mums I know does this and she seems to have a good balance there

ceeveebee Sun 02-Jul-17 20:46:10

Good suggestion smu06 - ive known people leave practice to take up a bursar role or similar
Another suggestion would be teaching ICAEW/ACCA etc at one of the colleges like BPP - one of the school mums I know does this and she seems to have a good balance there

ceeveebee Sun 02-Jul-17 20:46:45

Sorry about the double posting, seem to be having some connectivity issues

TranceMum Mon 03-Jul-17 17:08:55

Goodness me, thank you so much for taking the time to reply! You have opened my eyes about teaching: a romantic idea, but not one that will deliver what I am after. I will look into teaching the ACA/ACCA and consider changing to a role internally that will be as flexible as ceeveebee suggests. My company is immense, a flexible role in Finance must exist!

OP’s posts: |
BobbinThreadbare123 Mon 03-Jul-17 17:20:46

Yeah, don't teach. It's life sapping and currently soul destroying. You would be looking after other people's kids and missing out on the parents' evenings and school plays of your own mini-me.

user1497480444 Mon 03-Jul-17 17:39:27

so I can be present in my daughters' life I left teaching because most nights I was struggling to find half an hour to sit and eat with my teenagers

WhyNotDuckie Mon 03-Jul-17 18:15:57

Oooh user1497480444, what did you do instead?

RockNRollNerd Mon 03-Jul-17 19:27:37

Oh, so glad you've taken this on board. It must have been a bit of a shock but glad you've seen that it was a lovely idyll but one that was highly unlikely to get you what you wanted.

Thinking about this a bit more you sound like me when DS was aged 1-2 - I was drowning in work (was in practice at the time) and working late nights, weekends etc. It was soul-destroying, I felt I was failing as a mum and as a professional. I wonder if it's a thing that happens fairly often at this stage - I definitely think you can 'have it all' as a parent and an accountant but working out what 'it all' looks like may require some readjustment. This all sounds a bit naff and patronising and I'm not given to introspection much but looking back (with the benefit of 10 years hindsight now) I think part of my problem was I was fighting against adjusting my expectations and also what I was physically capable of and wanted to do.

For me it was also realising that asking for help wasn't a bad thing. I just kept accepting more work and not saying I couldn't get it done. I was worried that if I did that I'd be badged as 'just a mum' who wasn't committed to my job - what I hadn't realised was that anyone would have asked for help in that situation. Accountancy can be brutal in this respect as for the first 10 years of your career (assuming you're ACA/ACCA) you're fighting to get qualified, putting in all the hours to get promoted etc and it just keeps going.

I did two things - firstly I realised when I was in the office on yet another Saturday afternoon that things had got beyond what I could manage - I used the rest of the day to pull together a list of everything that I had to manage, pointed out how many hours it was taking and said that there was too much work. I got a secondee manager within a month to help. Secondly I stopped saying yes to everything I was asked to do and started saying 'no I don't have the time available for it' and then negotiating the alternatives eg someone else to do it, different deadlines, agreeing that something else was to take a back seat etc. I think this is a 'maturity' (not quite the right word but hopefully yswim) that you get around that level in any case - I certainly saw it in other colleagues as well who didn't have kdis so it's not just a 'mum thing'.

Longer term I trod the well worn path of jumping ship to a client - because they wanted me I was able to negotiate flexible working from the beginning and that stopped the long away jobs/endless travel etc. My career has continued to progress with promotions, surviving redundancy rounds etc.

Although all finance role have peaks and troughs, my experience has definitely been that if you're good at your role a firm/company will want to keep you and provided you have sensible arrangements/plans for your work (and that's not checking email/phone constantly outside of working hours - that's taking a pay cut for the same amount of work!) then you should be able to find something that works whether it's compressed weeks, annualised hours, TOIL, extra holiday etc.

Bear in mind as well that your needs will change as your child grows up. Whilst they're at nursery flex/toil might be best and will give you down time/the ability to be around if things go wrong etc or a guaranteed no. of evenings etc. Once they start school flexibility to attend school events can be great (I used TOIL) but you might prefer shorter days so you're there for after school or longer holidays to cover the endless weeks of school hols.

Sorry - this has been an epic post but I hope it helps to see there are options and that in my experience where you are now and the casting around for something else is not unusual.

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