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Starting my career? In what though?!

(15 Posts)
WishYouWereMine Sat 11-May-13 21:25:33

This isn't really a 'going back to work' more a 'starting work' thread!

I left uni to have my DD 18 months ago, and have been studying with the OU in order to finish my degree. I'm hoping to graduate at the end of this year with a 2:1.
Then what? Should I be looking at grad schemes? Obviously because I have a family, I can't be as flexible as other people my age or younger. (I'll be 25 by then!).
I've been thinking about doing a Masters too.. would this be a good idea or should I have industry experience first?
I'm struggling now just to get some part time work to subsidise us and get me out of the house with grown ups for a couple of hours.
I have little to no experience of much - a bit of shop work and bar work, a couple of summers packing in a factory.
It all feels so hopeless. I was a 'high flyer' through school and I feel like I'm not fulfilling my potential at all. Ah, I also massively lack confidence in my abilities and in general sad Doesn't look good does it?

Thanks in advance!

NumTumDeDum Sat 11-May-13 21:30:09

Hey, first, well done for finishing it. Second, what is it in? What do you fancy trying?

WishYouWereMine Sat 11-May-13 21:32:08

Oh yeah I probably should've mentioned that eh?
It's French and History. I've had a gutsful of the languages and am happy to go for something completely unconnected to my degree. I've thought about accountancy or something like that, but then I make daft mistakes (like not mentioning degree in OP!), which makes me think I'd be a liability.

tribpot Sat 11-May-13 21:35:25

Yep, there's no way I could have been studying with the OU whilst caring for an 18 month old - well done you for sticking with it.

I know the OU's a bit different, but does it do any networking events for its soon-to-be-grads? I just did one at my alma mater (hilariously, I was paired with someone who is a film producer and just back from Cannes so literally no-one wanted to hear about how they might forge a mighty career <cough> in NHS IT like me). It was a great way for the grads to begin to see what diversification of career paths can follow a degree with no obvious industry - mine is a languages degree. Most of the ambitious ones were already knee deep in grad schemes; you might need to look at something less intensive but you don't know til you ask.

tribpot Sat 11-May-13 21:40:52

Ah x-posted with you, a soon-to-be languages graduate, then!

Accountancy is not about being able to add up numbers without making any mistakes (they have calculators and all sorts these days) so I don't think you should be put off for that reason. It does mean a bucketful more studying, though. So you might want to look for something that would give you a flavour of accountancy before you commit to it as a career path. Some temping might even help?

WishYouWereMine Sat 11-May-13 21:41:54

Thanks Tribpot, I started the OU when she was 3 months old. No idea how I've got through it to be honest!
Will investigate networking, thank you. It sounds like the type of thing I'm after really - I'll probably end up in something completely bizarre that no-one has ever heard of..

NumTumDeDum Sat 11-May-13 21:42:23

Accountancy gives you the opportunity to learn and earn. That is going to be pretty important to you I'd have thought. A masters is all very well but you need to have a clear idea of what it will do for you and what doors it will open. If you can get onto a decent career path without one I'd do it. Two reasons 1. You are already competing with graduates of the last three years with no work experience and 2. It's very expensive. If you do it, be confident that it will actually lead to a job. My sister is currently doing one after working for years in her industry and her employer is paying half the fees. You don't always need it first.

WishYouWereMine Sat 11-May-13 21:44:44

Yes.. or maybe some work experience?
I'm doing some work experience at the moment but it's only answering phones and basic admin/sales stuff. It's (hopefully) not what I will be doing for the rest of my life.

WishYouWereMine Sat 11-May-13 21:46:43

Good point NumTum. I can't really afford to do one.
Think I will definitely investigate the accountancy a bit further. Possibly send some letters to some firms?

NumTumDeDum Sat 11-May-13 21:53:08

Another career is law, you can study to be a legal executive whilst working for a law firm. It is common for them to pay the fees or at least contribute significantly. Look up the Institute of Legal Executives. It can eventually lead to becoming a solicitor (although it takes a long time). But you get experience whilst training and more importantly you get paid and don't get into masses of debt.

WishYouWereMine Sat 11-May-13 22:14:35

I always wanted to be a solicitor. Well, a barrister, but it became clear that standing up in court and arguing would not suit me whatsoever. I will look in to the Legal Executive side of things too. Thank you.

NumTumDeDum Sat 11-May-13 22:23:54

Well you could do it the way I did but it will mean taking out loans and I think if I knew then what I know now I'd have gone the Legal Exec route. But you can do a one year conversion course followed by the Legal Practice Course. You then do a two year training contract before qualifying. You are not guaranteed a training contract so it can be stressful. But it's faster than the other route. College of Law is a big provider of the courses, but there are lots of others.

On another note do not let a fear of public speaking hold you back. I used to be sick with nerves at first, but you get over it. You can do it.

WishYouWereMine Sat 11-May-13 22:36:33

Thank you NumTum.
I don't think the LPC is going to be an option for me. I really can't afford to go down that route with no guarantee of a training contract.
I will DEFINITELY look at the Legal Exec option though. Thank you for pointing it out to me.

RMPM Sat 11-May-13 22:47:59

I am a criminal barrister with a 4 year old DS. I am now looking for a career change as its not a child compatible profession. I am surviving on 3-4 hours sleep a night when conducting a trial. Its very stressful working late into the night and morning, preparing trials and raising a small child. Wishing you all the bestsmile

LTtemp Fri 17-May-13 09:55:40

Have any of you thought about teaching? Particularly great if you have school age children as you then have all school holidays off therefore don't need to find childcare.

Primary teaching is very varied and so rewarding. Obviously you need to have a fondness of young children and a passion for knowledge.

If you already have a degree it's easy to join a teacher training programme.

I am currently looking into it myself. I found a really useful book On amazon called 'tips for women in primary schools. Everything you
need to know about how to be a primary school teacher'

It even tells you the different pathways into the training schemes. Highly recommended!

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