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Ditching Freelance To Retrain at 40?

(8 Posts)
plus30 Wed 17-Aug-11 22:04:27

I'm a freelance tv producer with two young children and am finding the industry increasingly family unfriendly and work harder and harder to come by. For the past year or so I've been contemplating retraining to do social work -have always had a yearing to do something a bit more worthy and at 40 I think it's now or never. If I went back to study now I could in theory still have another 20 year career. Have any of you brave ladies ever been in this position. And if so, how do you start. I'm guessing my local college is the first point of all call to see what's on offer course wise?
Perhaps it's just me but I'm feeling mildly depressed at the fact that I've still so much uncertainty about my professional future at this stage in my life. My husband has worked for the same company for 25 years, enjoys regular promotions and is happy as larry. I know the media encourages us to look upwards for inspiration when infact many of us should be looking downwards and taking time to be grateful for the things we've already got but it can feel like a bit of a challenge at times. Inspirational stories or thoughts that will make me feel better....anyone? x

Eviz Sat 20-Aug-11 20:44:39

Hello plus

Your post struck a chord with me. Have you thought about volunteering/shadowing in social work? I would imagine it's a very different environment to the one you've left/are contemplating leaving behind.

Am at a similar crossroads myself, but never settle on a new direction for longer than a week. I've been like this for years.. and I'm now totally stagnated.

Good luck!

hatwoman Wed 24-Aug-11 22:55:43

I know nothing about social work, but, like you, am contemplating retraining at 40. I had a light bulb moment when a friend - also thinking about retraining - said "well, if I qualify by 45 I've still got 20-odd years". and I thought wow, yes. you've clearly already made that calculation. useful sources of information - profession specific websites on training - often populated by 20-somethings but still useful (if only to make you realise what your experience and age could bring to the job); friends and contacts - old uni friends? talk to as many as possible; and universities - assuming sw involves a degree or post grad look for subject specific events and open days - even if at places you don't intend to study at - there;s lots of potentially interesting info and people to talk to.

joshandjamie Wed 31-Aug-11 07:07:05

I'm in the same boat. Approaching 40, spent the last five years running my own business, now have sold up and ready to take on a new career, something completely different. I just have no idea what I want to do. But there's no way I can spent the rest of my life doing what I've done for the last 20 years.

LuckyC Wed 14-Sep-11 13:15:16

Am in the same boat! We need a support group.

Mimi40 Sat 24-Sep-11 20:48:31

I was so relieved to read this thread! I've been working part-time in a very sensible educational management job since before the kids arrived, and I'm doing well at it. I too am 40 and really want to be a freelance writer. I've even paid a careers adviser quite a lot of money to think this through, and she's helped me to see that my track record points to a strong possibility of success with this. So why does my confidence feel about as robust as a crumpled hanky?? What happens to us in the early motherhood years? There are so many reasons why I just need to go for this - what's holding us all back??

Mimi40 Sat 24-Sep-11 20:49:25

And that's a 'yes' to the support group, LuckyC!

plus30 Fri 07-Oct-11 13:29:13

Hi all, thanks for your posts and sorry for taking so long to reply! I'm working on a contract at the minute and got bogged down in work. Contract coming to an end now, and with it, all my old insecurities and uncertainties. Mimi40 you are so right, early motherhood does crumple your confidence - and it's completely at odds with what I was expecting. I've had so many friends talk about how motherhood empowered them and I just can't relate to them. I adore my kids but since having them spend most of my time feeling overwhelmed....with work, with home...what's holding us all back. My guess is ourselves. But how to break the cycle? Big "yes" to the notion of a support group!

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