Turned 30 and suddenly in a panic over my lack of career...

(15 Posts)
juneflowers Tue 25-Jun-19 20:25:21

I'm a married mother of one, I turned 30 on the 20th June and I'm suddenly having a serious panic over my career (or lack therein)

My DH has a good job with a healthy income but works very long hours (86 hours a week) and our DD starts school in September. I work part-time cleaning at the weekend. When I first met my DH I worked full time in customer services on a help desk, I decided to go back to college and enrol on a motorcycle mechanics course. I went into cleaning and have never come out of it. I have never really had a career as my DH has always had a good wage so, to be frank, I've messed around.

I completed my mechanic's course but didn't go on to do my level 3, I then became pregnant and I've kinda just been stuck in this rut ever since. My DH has suggested I go back to college in September and retake my GCSE's (I have only one C and that is in English) then once I have achieved those then maybe look towards something in education, like a teaching assistant or something.

I personally have no idea what I want to do but I know I definitely don't want to be in cleaning for the rest of my life, I've recently passed my driving test and got my own car something my husband said will open doors for me. I have looked online and there aren't many jobs for someone like me with no qualifications or experience in anything but cleaning for the last 10 years.

I'm scared that I'm too old to start a career, once I have achieved everything I need academically I'll be too old to actually get a job in a sector that interests me. Up to now, we don't have any plans on having more children, my DH is very set on buying a house in the next year or so and I'd like to help bump up the savings with a decent wage rather than the very small £750 I earn a month...just feeling like I'm in a rut and I'm not able to see the wood for the trees.

I feel like such a drain on my husband, he works very hard and although he tells me he couldn't do the job he does without me being home all week for our little one, I do feel very much like a let down of a wife.

Recently a colleague of mine made a comment of me probably being a gold digger because my husband is 12 years older than me. It's made me think about what I actually bring to our marriage and besides running our house, looking after our dogs and looking after our DD, I don't feel like I do that much for my DH.

He tells me I can do whatever I like and he will always be happy as long as I am happy, but I feel like I need to make him proud of me. I can't imagine him feeling very proud when his MD asks about me and my DH has to tell him I'm a cleaner that doesn't apply herself.

Btw I am in no way shape or form attacking cleaning in any way, I'm just feeling sorry for myself and maybe feeling a little embarrassed that I'm such a letdown. I'm worried that I've wasted my 20's and now I'm not going to be able to turn it around...

I'd like to have weekends with my little one, being home all week when she will be at school then working all weekend while she is off will be horrendous sad

OP’s posts: |
Basketofkittens Tue 25-Jun-19 20:40:40

You probably have 37+years left to work so you aren’t too old! I imagine job roles are really going to change the world of work in that time.

Going back to college and resitting GCSEs will be a good start - you will need them to be a TA! You could then look at a TA course at college too. The work is quite badly paid but would fit around school aged children and you could become a higher level TA with experience or a cover supervisor. I suggest you get voluntary work experience in a school as TA jobs tend to have loads of experienced applicants. But there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to get a job.

The NHS is also a good place to start. You could start as a ward clerk or receptionist and move into medical secretary work or a senior administrator.

Vision2Learn do free, government funded courses at level 2. I’ve done the business admin one and have the certificate:



juneflowers Tue 25-Jun-19 20:59:07

@Basketofkittens thank you very much for reading my long and drawn out moan. I very much appreciate it and when you say 37+ years, I do feel silly! That is definitely quite a bit of time.

You make very good suggestions in regards to the NHS. My best friend works with patient discharges, and she has moved around within the NHS a lot in the last couple of years. She has suggested it a handful of times but I believed it to be out of reach to someone with my skill set. I have a very bad habit of talking myself down.

I very much appreciate the Vision2Learn links. Thank you very much! I've had a quick look and it looks like something that would be perfect for someone like me.

I'm just looking to contribute a bit more financially, my DH really does work very hard. It would be nice to take the load off, plus I don't think it would hurt our DD to see her Momma pulling more of her weight! Thank you very much.

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Basketofkittens Tue 25-Jun-19 21:34:22

smile As you say, there is nothing wrong with being a cleaner! Have you thought about being a self-employed cleaner and having your own company?

Is your husband supportive?

Getting in the NHS for example, will open doors for you. It’s a huge employer and there is no reason why you can’t get a clerical job there.

juneflowers Tue 25-Jun-19 21:56:11

My DH is very supportive and quite savvy. When I got my car, he made the suggestion of maybe joining forces with my mum (she works in cleaning but higher up on the pay scale) and becoming self-employed.

We live in a very good area, further up from us are lots of big houses and he thinks that if I did go out on my own or with my mum as a domestic that we would have a regular flow coming in.

I won't lie I do like the idea, I can choose when I work so could put the hours in when my little one is at school and be there for her when she's home and at weekends.

I lack self-confidence. It's a huge issue and I find I hold myself back so have never really gone further than just thinking about it. I know if I mentioned it to my mum, she would likely jump at the chance and once the wheel starts turning, there isn't any stopping it.

It's very scary haha!

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PerfectPeony2 Tue 25-Jun-19 22:05:51

Your colleague is an idiot and most likely jealous.

Or generation will most likely be working till we are 70, so you have plenty of time!

I don’t really have a passion but have a good career path in finance that I’m proud of and I can progress if I want to. Tbh all I care about right now is being there for DD- I’m not a career orientated person. I want to be the person doing the home stuff while DH earns the majority. I’d be a SAHM if I could!

I think your self employed cleaning idea sounds brilliant. There are some great cleaning companies around here and I have found them to be very professional. They are in demand and can charge a decent hourly fee. It’s where your experience lies and with the support of your DH and Mum it could be really successful!

Or depending on where you live- could you find a big company to work for. Admin may be a good place to start? It’s adaptable to different places and can still be flexible around school hours. If you decided against the self employment.

Basketofkittens Tue 25-Jun-19 22:10:19

I’m really glad your husband is supportive! Makes a big difference. Being self employed with your mum sounds like a good opportunity to explore.

I wonder if getting some more GCSEs would help your confidence? Or maybe counselling? I’m not suggesting anything is wrong with you but most of us could benefit from some talking therapy.

It sounds like you have a happy home life, you just need to do some fine tuning and find a job you like. It doesn’t need to be exciting and well paid but something that boosts your self esteem and that you half enjoy.

I sometimes which I had worked harder at school/uni and done engineering or medicine at university. But then I don’t want a high pressured job like that. I ended up in office work that is reasonably well paid and I can switch off when I leave work. Exciting or interesting? NOPE! I do sometimes wish I had more of a career. It’s never too late though!

I am half thinking of going back to university and retraining. You could too. Open University is great.

Landlubber2019 Tue 25-Jun-19 22:20:29

I work in the nhs, approx half my colleagues undertook nursing degrees as mature students!

I would also add that I had a very good career in my 20s but it all changed as I had a family and i had to effectively retrain as my managers created many obstacles as I couldn't return with the same level of commitment. Life changes and as your family grows up, you may wish to consider retraining or j even building a good cleaning company!

MoodLighting Tue 25-Jun-19 22:26:18

Wow, motorcycle mechanic course, how cool! Do you not want to go back into that field?

Having your own cleaning company sounds like a really good option to consider. Could you take your maths GCSE and perhaps do a business course to get the skills to develop your company?

Good luck!

SunnySomer Tue 25-Jun-19 22:27:52

Someone has already suggested it, but I was also going to suggest running a cleaning business. Someone local to me has a mini empire which is hugely successful because they’re thorough, reliable, DBS-checked, fair sized team so can be flexible. The woman who runs the firm certainly drives a very fancy car, so can’t be doing badly!

RaininSummer Tue 25-Jun-19 22:40:05

Go for the cleaning business with maybe some education as well to boost your morale. Teaching assistants are very badly paid.

juneflowers Tue 25-Jun-19 22:52:16

@basketofkittens Open University is very good! My husband did his degree in Business Management (Leadership Practise) and it seemed to catapult his career. He studied full time and was completed in 3 years, although he found it very tiring and stressful (he worked full time alongside it and we had just recently had our DD)

I had looked at OU myself but honestly, I don't think I could achieve it quite yet. I think going back and getting my GCSE's would be a really good start though. I have also registered on Vision2Learn for the Business and Admin Level 2. 10 hours a week is manageable, 2 hours a night whilst the little one is sleeping will help get that one plugged away.

Counselling is very good. I know because when I first got with my husband he forced me to go! That sounds terrible but it was for my own good and really helped my anxiety bucket loads! I didn't have a very good upbringing and carried a lot of baggage from that.

I do very much like the idea of domestic cleaning though, I'd like a career but nothing too crazy where it's high stress and I can't switch off. I need something that will add to my self-worth rather than take me away from my family. Right now buying a house is at the forefront of my husband's mind, but I know chances are we'll end up probably having another baby so I need to really think about something that would be easy when it comes to maternity leave and such.

I'd hate to work my butt off, get a really good career only to find that it doesn't work with my new family life. The more I think about the domestic cleaning, the more I really do like it. It gives me control over Christmas, Easter and New Year. I had to work Easter just gone, so my DH and DD had all the fun without me which gutted me! He sent me photos of their day through WhatsApp but it's not the same really!

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juneflowers Tue 25-Jun-19 23:00:32

@PerfectPeony2 well my colleague comes across as a bit of a woman hater, he isn't very pleasant to start with so I usually don't take what he says to heart but that comment very much stuck with me.

I'm definitely giving the self-employed cleaning serious thought. I work in a delivery station and warehouse for a very well known American company, and the place makes you feel very, very depressed. The managers walk around like they are Gods and look down on people like me. It's not a very a welcoming working environment so think that plays a large part in why I want to get out of cleaning.

But working for myself sounds much better and you are right, it is where my skill set is so I may as well use it to my own advantage rather than someone else's?

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juneflowers Tue 25-Jun-19 23:08:12

@MoodLighting it was very cool! It was something I was really interested in and if someone gave me the chance now, I'd go back in a heartbeat. I tried to get an apprentice job in quite a few garage's and dealerships as I had the academic knowledge but no hands-on experience.

What frustrated me was that I kept being told I didn't have the stature for it. I personally ride motorbikes, so if I can handle my own motorcycle, I know I sure as hell can put someone else's up on a work ramp and not strain myself. All in all, I don't think I was taken seriously. I kept getting offered jobs behind the parts desk which annoyed me. I decided not to go on and do my level 3 as I felt it would just be an expensive waste of time (the course was £3,700)

I'm going to go back to college and retake my Maths and see if I can do Combined Science too. I have signed up for a Level 2 in Business and Admin so hopefully, that will give me a good foundation to start my own domestic cleaning business.

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juneflowers Tue 25-Jun-19 23:11:52

@SunnySomer @RaininSummer It has been mentioned TA's aren't very well paid, but I think that working times is what is attractive about it.

I do think cleaning is the way forward, it's looking very appealing and being able to work in school times whilst having my weekends back will be amazing!

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