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Would I be nuts to do this? Need sensible advice please!

(12 Posts)

I'm currently on maternity leave, due to end in december although aml is until february. I don't want to go back, for 2 reasons ;

1 I want to be part time and after speaking to my manager he would be happy for me to do this as long as I could be on the weekend rota and work one evening per week. Initially I didn't have a problem with this but on doing loads of research on childcare it just won't work. DP also works evenings and weekends but as we would both have different shifts every week or childcare requirements would be different every week.

2 My workplace is horrible. There is a culture of bullying and intimidation that I hate. It's not aimed at me as I am more than able to stand up for myself but I find it a very negative atmosphere to work in. I'd only been there a few weeks before discovering I was pregnant so just tolerated it knowing I would be going on maternity leave. There is no point in complaining as the MD is the person who leads this.

So, I was thinking that if I hand my notice in in December when my maternity pay comes to an end (4 weeks notice) I will have in my final pay my smp and outstanding holiday pay, in total around £2000. We have very little savings but also small outgoings. We can live on DP's wages but they do just cover our living expenses. The £2000 pay would give us a few months for me to find another job. I'm already applying for jobs daily and am happy to do anything at all, I don't expect to get anything close to my current salary.

DP thinks I should do it, he is happy to cut back wherever we need to to make sure I don't have to go back to my old job. BUT, he is one of lifes eternal optimists who always thinks everything will work out. I need a more cynical audience to tell me what they think. Would I be mad to leave a well paid job in the current climate?

Sorry for the essay, I just want to give as much information as possible. What do you think?

Bumping smile

annh Mon 22-Oct-12 10:46:53

Short answer is if you have the support of your partner and you can genuinely afford to live on less money, then I would say go for it.

Longer answer would be:

have you worked out a proper budget of outgoings, any places where you can economise and how much money you could earn if you do get another less well-paying job? Also what will happen if you don't get a job? Don't forget to factor in any additional tax credits etc you may receive if you are not working.

What job do you do? What could you do if you do not go back to that role and how likely is it that you can find such a job in the present climate?

Have you remembered that if you do find another job you will still need childcare and your husband will still work shifts - will you be able to afford it given that you will be earning less and you will probably have to pay for fixed days even if you don't always use them?

If you don't go back to work in your previous job, what else are you missing out on? Career progression, training, pension, another lot of maternity pay if you have another child quickly, etc?

Ok, great questions.

We've been living comfortably on my SMP so as long as I earn equal to that we'll be ok. I was the higher earner so if my wage was part timr, around minimum wage we would be eligible for child tax credit and working tax credit.

I'm a retail manager but currently working in head office. I don't have any concerns about finding a retail managers job in the future should I want to. I had 2 years of to travel not that long ago and was able to get a job fairly easily on return. For now I would be happy to do any shop or admin work.

Childcare - we would be eligible for tax credits to help, our choice of Nursery also opens on a saturday so that gives me a little bit of flexibility.

I wouldn't want to progress within that company anyway due to the culture. Retail management is reasonably transferrable and most companies will expect a new manager to have a training period before taking over a new store. Realistically I would probably have to go back as a Deputy Manager or into a small store if I have a break. My pension is private so I can continue paying in- no-one in retail offers final salary pension schemes any more! Ditto with maternity pay, SMP is the norm, not much above.

Its good to think all of these things through!

janji Mon 22-Oct-12 12:07:51

I am in exactly the same position (albeit in a different area of employment). Am leaving with no job to go to and will have to take part time work / manage on dhs wage / accept that I'll have to take a backwards step in my career. However, this is all preferable rather than spend my weeks in an unhappy job that impacts Jon my overall happiness and my family.

janji that's exactly it. My workplace is so negative and aggressive it really effects my mood and I just don't want to bring that home with me.

Its just such a big leap, apart from travelling which was planned and saved for for years, I've always worked full time.

BlackholesAndRevelations Mon 22-Oct-12 18:10:42

Sounds like you have it all worked out! Go for it. I wouldn't as I know I'd regret it but the difference is I generally enjoy my job. If you hate it and it's making you miserable, plus you could survive without it, I'd say it's a no brainer!

I'm starting to talk myself into it. I just need to get my head around the idea odd leaving a job with nothing to go to. I'm generally very cautious, particularly with our finances, so its daunting to take the risk.

LCarbury Mon 22-Oct-12 21:21:14

How much notice do you normally need to give a new employer going into a new job in your line of work? Could you look for jobs now, interview in November and start in December / January? If so, looks like this worry would not need to arise, you will be sorted for a new job before the end of maternity leave. I would carry on looking for a job while on AML too, don't give your notice yet, as it's all continuity of service on your CV (whether OML or AML).

janji Mon 22-Oct-12 21:35:50

English we sound very similar. I have worked full time since uni and took minimal maternity leave. I worked part time from 15yrs old to getting my degree. But it's taken me to be in an unhappy new work situation to realise the old cliche that money can't buy happiness (though I concede that it can help)! It's taken me being on sick leave for anxiety and depression to reassess what I want out of this life (sorry for the over philosophical
slant), and it's to have kids who remember a happy mum who isn't too tired or stressed to be with them and enjoy being a mum. Think I'm learning to prioritise the hard way.

Standard notice period is 4 weeks so in theory that would work. The only issue is that if I'm looking for part time at this time of year its mostly temp work so I'm not convinced I'll get anything offered before Christmas.

I hear what you're saying about Aml but if I don't resign I won't get the holiday pay so we won't have much of a cushion. Its something to think about though, thanks.

janji you sound like me so much. I haven't got to that stage thank god but I hate the thought of going back there, I could really imagine it starting to get me down. My (female) md's last words to me before my mat leave were that having children ruins your life, people with kids never do well and its a waste of time employing parents. Nice.

ProbablyDoingTheWrongThing Thu 01-Nov-12 10:03:48

i weant to halloween party

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