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career change

(6 Posts)
Anders24 Tue 07-Dec-10 21:30:29

I am looking for a change in career and want to ask if anyone can give me any advice.

I am 36 and a National Account Manager. Since returning to work after my 2nd child (I don't plan to have any more) I have realised I no longer want to be in sales. I am fed up of travelling up and down the country to visit clients, although I only do this about once a month it can sometimes be an overnight stay or long journey and it kills me not to get home to see the kids even for one night! I've also got the added pressure of working to budgets.

I am considering a career as a paralegal and looking at training with ILEX level 3 distance learning (I cannot afford to go back into full time education). I accept I would have to take a drop in salary but not too much which is why I am not considering a legal secretary

This is the only career path that appeals to me at the moment.

Any advice on the paralegal route or other career paths would be much appreciated.


caramelcoffeelover Fri 10-Dec-10 10:55:39


I would think carefully if I were you. Depending on which area you are looking to work in, the law can be quite demanding. It might not involve overnight stays at your level as a paralegal but will most definitely involve long hours so sometimes not being able to put your kids to bed might become a problem further down the line. And before anything else you might need to consider there is one thing that is quite important - there are so many lawyers out there nowadays looking for a job, having been made redundant in this current climate topped with graduates, against whom you will be competing whilst looking for a job. I'd say your choice of a career path in law would be a very difficult one to take. And I am sorry to say that you wouldn't want to have the title of paralegal in law for long if you are serious about the whole thing. It is a very competitive profession and if you are a perfectionist like me and will want to get to the top eventually you will have the same issue of nit being able to spend time with your children. Unfortunately, us women cannot have it all despite how much we want to believe we can!

Midgeroo Fri 10-Dec-10 15:23:18


Many thanks for your advice. Having no knowledge of the legal environment this is very helpful. Obviously I would prefer a 9-5 job and don't like the sound of long hours. The area's i'd considered were family law/wills & probate/employment law, do you know how demanding these areas are?

I had considered the current climate and my plan was to train whilst working and look for employment in this area. I also wouldn't be happy staying at this level but would hope to continue training and work my way up. Although as you have mentioned there are X number of candidates applying for the same job so who knows how long it would take.

I am currently liaising with 'next steps' to speak to a careers adviser so maybe they will suggest some alternative options?

However I am ever the optimist and believe we can have it all, or at least have a good go at it!! Andersx

caramelcoffeelover Fri 10-Dec-10 15:38:46

Hi again,

I've not worked in the areas you mentioned but they shouldn't be as bad as commercial. They are quite "female friendly" too so are probably your best option. Don't get me wrong, we, women can be excellent in any area of law but unfortunately it is the reality of us having to rush back home for our kids that stops us getting to the levels we want to be at. See what next steps say but, speaking from experience and having spent a few years in the law, it can be quite demanding although is enjoyable most of the time. Out of the areas you mentioned I'd look into employment myself as both wills and family can be quite depressing. Most people I know who work in family are very sceptical about the whole marriage thing and there are children care cases too of course, which aren't fun. Wish you all the best!

Sequins Fri 10-Dec-10 19:44:08

paralegal can actually pay less than legal secretary so I wd say research the jobs market in the location you want to work first.

Midgeroo Mon 13-Dec-10 08:53:58

Hi again,

Many thanks for your advice, most helpful . I had also heard the child care cases can be quite distressing, especially having a family yourself.

Maybe the employment route may be the best option. In addition to the above I have work experience as opposed to being straight out of Uni?? I had been told by a law lecturer that this could also be an advantage.

I've also looked into the jobs market and the salary is what I had expected. I'm also planning on ringing a few legal recruitment agencies to find out what the potential is in this area an future career prospects.

See what pans out...

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