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Has anyone completely changed their career before?

(20 Posts)
sparkler Wed 26-Sep-07 21:25:49

I've worked as a medical secretary for years now. Took a break from work for almost eight years to be at home with my two dds and swore I would take the opportunity to learn something new. Time went by and I didn't. I'm now back working as a temp medical secretary now.
Not sure if I'm starting an early mid life crisis but I really don't want to see myself doing this forever although I'm not even sure what I do want to do/try.
Just wondered if anyone has changed their career and interested to hear what they've done and how they go to what they do now. If that makes sense! smile

sparkler Wed 26-Sep-07 22:17:43

hmm ?? smile

Frizbe Wed 26-Sep-07 22:21:20

ah, you need that what colour is your parachute book, check Amazon for it, sure it'll point you in the right direction smile

LucyJones Wed 26-Sep-07 22:22:43

I would like to but it's so much easier to stay what I'm doing, pays morte money etc than if i trained to be a teacher etc which would fit better with the childcare aspect of it all

sparkler Wed 26-Sep-07 22:28:24

Frizbe - sounds interesting. What's that all about then? smile

Freckle Wed 26-Sep-07 22:32:20

I did, but I didn't have children when I did it. That might alter the dynamics.

I originally trained as a linguist and worked abroad. When I returned to England, I didn't want to work in London (where the jobs requiring languages were mainly based), so did a few jobs until I found one which offered on-the-job training. I then trained and qualified as a lawayer.

Perhaps this is what you could look for - a job which offers training as part of the package.

scienceteacher Wed 26-Sep-07 22:36:16

I switched from being an engineer in the FMCG sector to teaching. I made the change after my second child, did my PGCE and then worked for just over a year. When my third child came along, I quit completely.

After an eight year maternity leave and a total of five children, I slowly returned to teaching - but on my terms. I decided that I didn't have to work, so held out for the perfect job. I'm pretty content now - teaching full-time.

I earn about the same that I did 15 years ago, but I wouldn't trade it. I like my 20 weeks holiday a year.

MitfordSisters Thu 27-Sep-07 12:32:07

I was an arts administrator and now I'm a careers adviser - did a postgraduate course that took 8 months, and got a job straight away. I'm going to be an accountant next, then run a cafe wink.

What Colour is Your Parachute is an excellent start. Also 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey suggests that a mission statement is useful - I agree. Although I've never had a clear idea of what job to do, I can say what my values are and the patterns of work I prefer. Get these things down on paper and it should give you a steer.

Also use the internet to research careers of interest and have short meetings with people who do those jobs that interest you, and ask for their 'warts and all' views. Then imagine yourself doing it, really dream it for weeks at a time if necessary. For instance I thought about running a health food shop until I had a clear image of me standing in a little stock room surrounded by cardboard boxes and getting awfully muddled!!

If you have secretarial skills, you have transferable skills, so could join another agency and ask to try a different culture on a temp basis - eg advertising, media, finance. GOod luck

Anna8888 Thu 27-Sep-07 12:33:06


But I took a year out and did an MBA in order to achieve it.

Anna8888 Thu 27-Sep-07 12:35:12

Could you do a PG management diploma and go into practice management? You must know the medical world very well, so that would be building on your previous experience and skills.

themoon66 Thu 27-Sep-07 12:35:15

Sparkler... I did the opposite. I became a medical secretary! grin

I was a psychiatric nurse, but then I got really fed up with the hassle of shifts/physical assaults etc. I took two years out and did the Medical Secretarial Diploma. I sat the exams 3 weeks before DD was born.

I love my change of job.

choosyfloosy Thu 27-Sep-07 12:46:14

I'm currently a medical secretary too smile. Wanted to stay in the NHS but to move to the clinical side so am retraining as a speech & language therapist. Quite a journey.

I found the most useful thing was to be completely clear in my own mind what kind of change in general I wanted (professional training; clinical qualification) and then start researching options in this area.

Did try What Colour is Your Parachute - lots of people have loved it - it did make me feel/act more proactively (i.e. when looking for work experience, NHS limit it so I rang round independent practitioners until I found someone who would give me some).

Best wishes!

themoon66 Thu 27-Sep-07 12:59:13

I've been sitting on matching panels for Agenda for Change, so have had sight of loads of different NHS jobs. Knowing what I know now, I'd say Occupational Therapist is the best of the bunch. Or Physiotherapist. If I had my time again (am too old to retrain now) I'd go for OT.

Anna8888 Thu 27-Sep-07 13:24:03

Out of interest - why OT?

ludaloo Thu 27-Sep-07 13:29:01

scienceteacher How did you find a PGCE, with children too?
My plan is to do a PGCE in a couple of years time, when my youngest starts school...I have 3 children in total. I would be interested to see if you coped!!

themoon66 Thu 27-Sep-07 13:54:40

OT coz it's a 9 to 5 job, but with plenty of opportunity to do part time family friendly hours. It is very well paid. Most of the qualified ones we matched came out at Band 6. It appears to be a satisfying job.

3andnomore Thu 27-Sep-07 14:12:55

the moon..Occupational Therapy is something I have looked into, and one of the things I would love to do...but oh, I am not gutsy enough to do the moment...another thing I looke dinto is Dietetics....Social Work...and so on....I so wish I never went into Nursing....that much I

EmmaJW1976 Thu 27-Sep-07 14:43:14

Hi Sparkler
I have been a med sec for 15 years but now my youngest has started pre-school I just couldn't juggle everything.

Anyway, I have got a bit of outsourcing med sec work from home, just a few hours, and am retraining as......a swimming instructor!!

It's ace, I'm really enjoying it, teaching primary school children. I can't wait to qualify and have my own classes!

Good luck x

scienceteacher Thu 27-Sep-07 23:19:35


I did my PGCE when my children were 3 and 1. I had worked and already had a childminder. I kept on the childminder, which was a big financial burden with no income.

I found the PGCE easier than working for an American FMCG, so it didn't really faze me. I was able to plan lessons during the day because, at its peak, my teaching timetable was 50%. Basically, I worked school hours, which was OK.

fortyplus Thu 27-Sep-07 23:23:04

Hi. I used to be Sales & Marketing 'Executive' (sounds better than it was!) Gave it all up and was sahm for 12 years. Then applied to Local Authority for job I'm completely unqualified for but previous experience enabled me to bullsh*t my way in - now I've been there for 2 years. LAs are great to work for though the money isn't wonderful.

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