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Suggestions for a career change?

(41 Posts)
Roma2013 Fri 21-Jun-13 20:04:02

Really fed up with the lack of opportunities for a permanent full-time appointment in academia. Need to rethink/retrain. This is the situation:

1. I have done nothing except university lecturing - and being a full time SAHM. I'm not sure I know the full range of possible - if any - jobs available in other working environments

2. I have a good (ish) degree and PhD in English

3. I am old (think 50 hmm)

4. I would like to earn £40k p.a.

5. Am happy to spend a few years retraining but would like to fast-track as quickly as possible.

6. Am better working as a team than in isolation

7. Not especially numerate; am good at brainstorming.'s not looking promising really is it?

redexpat Fri 21-Jun-13 20:46:18

You say you're good at brainstorming and working in a team, and with an english background - media? I don't know how quickly you would go up the payscale.

josephinebruce Fri 21-Jun-13 21:08:37

I'm sure that being in academia has given you far more skills than you mention. What about teaching experience, for example? Mentoring? The trouble is whatever you do now, you will not be able to get the same pay grade as you are currently on. Added to this is the fact that you will be seen as less experienced - which is damned hard for someone of your age and experience and will be competing with the 20-somethings.

JackNoneReacher Fri 21-Jun-13 21:17:43

Recruitment - sounds quite cut and thrust but good money.

You're post is quite vague. Would you be prepared to go back to university for eg and become a midwife/nurse? Or are you looking to learn on the job?

Will you be juggling children with study/work?

quietbatperson Fri 21-Jun-13 21:19:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FariesDoExist Fri 21-Jun-13 22:34:29

I think there aren't many opportunities for permanent full-time appointments in any area, not just in academia. You could go to the careers advisors at the Uni you studied at (or the Uni you are working at, if you are currently working).

ProphetOfDoom Fri 21-Jun-13 22:52:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TwasBrillig Fri 21-Jun-13 22:57:36


Ed psych - take a few years but paid for part of the training.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 21-Jun-13 23:01:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Confuseddd Fri 21-Jun-13 23:05:33

Writing text books or working for academic publisher

Working for a professional organisation such as a guild or union

You should get some careers counselling and do questionnaires to generate some more job ideas. Given you are mid-career, your particular experience may qualify you for a niche job of which there are few but can be honed in on straightforwardly.

abitlikemollflanders Fri 21-Jun-13 23:13:24

With Gove in the process of abolishing teacher payscale s (in the form they currently exist), the above pay projections for 2-4 years are probably wildly optimistic!

ProphetOfDoom Fri 21-Jun-13 23:19:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Roma2013 Sat 22-Jun-13 08:38:13

Am NE UK. I'd be willing to do a part-time distance learning course (legal, social work qualif, etc). Juggling kids a bit but they are 8 and 12 now so not littlies. Surprisingly, I hadn t thought of publishing. What sort of jobs in publishing are possible exactly - and how much do they pay? What qualifications would I need? Can someone tell me more about recruitment and procurement?

Roma2013 Sat 22-Jun-13 08:39:44

TwasBrillig - what jobs result from educational psychology exactly?

raisah Sat 22-Jun-13 10:29:46

Have a look at the recruitment pages of your local universities and see what management & other opportunities there are. I know lots of lecturers who have moved into management/ mentoring opps with good earning potential. Take on more admin posts to make contacts & to get to know issues affecting higher ed.

You have a lot more transferable skills than you are giving yourself credit for. Have a look ar HEFCE & Ofsted for posts, see what you might like to do & then try & gain the experience for those posts.

Sleepyhoglet Sat 22-Jun-13 10:54:31

Ed psych jobs are scarce and wouldn't pay as much as you would like for quite a few years down the track.

primallass Sat 22-Jun-13 10:59:22

Publishing is not well paid. There will not be many publishing jobs in the NE that will pay 40k (if any at all). You could approach publishers about writing textbooks or consulting on books already written, but you won't make 40k a year from it. I speak from experience, a publishing degree and 15 years in the industry.

primallass Sat 22-Jun-13 11:04:12

What about an Education Officer role somewhere? Or something similar? This is in Scotland but gives you an idea of what I mean.

Roma2013 Sun 23-Jun-13 11:47:44

Thanks for these replies and links. All interesting and useful info/feedback.

What would be ideal is a system where I could shadow different jobs for a few weeks to get a realistic flavour of what jobs are like, sone of the highs and lows, etc. i'm not sure it s possible to do this, is it? What I'd want is not to be shadowing a shelf-stacker or role lower down the ladder (but rather the level where I'd ultimately like to be, even if this takes a few years retraining).

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Sun 23-Jun-13 12:04:32

What do you like about your job?
What do you dislike about it?
Do you like working with people?
Do prefer writing and researching?

If you like researching / analysis maybe
TV research
Education publications
Think tank/ policy research teams etc
Professional research co

Google - what colour is your parachute - it's a really good book

scarlettanager Sun 23-Jun-13 12:14:07

Hospital based occupational therapist - teamwork, problem solving etc

Phineyj Sun 23-Jun-13 12:16:59

Seconding recommendation of 'What colour is your parachute?'

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 23-Jun-13 12:17:23

To be perfectly honest I think if you are a lecturer in a university you should be capable of researching this yourself. I retrained after 8 years off at 43 (was a banker now an H R prof) - started at the bottom, part time on about 8k, went full time and did prof quals - took 2 years. By 50 I was on about 42k - just changed jobs and am now on over 50. It took me nearly 10 years and a lot of hard work to achieve this but I like to think I've another 10+ years in me at this level.

Can you look out of the box where you work now and look at things like registry, SN specialisms, even H R or marketing and offer to pitch in in those departments when you aren't working to get a flavour of things?

Phineyj Sun 23-Jun-13 12:30:32

Organising training post within a company? Conference or event organising? Personnel/HR? If the thought of secondary school teaching appeals but you can't afford to spend several years on a low or no salary while you retrain, possibly independent school marketing combined with some teaching? (you don't need to be qualified to work in an independent school). State schools increasingly need people with marketing skills too - in some areas there is fierce competition to attract sixthformers (don't know about NE specifically).

Publishing and editing jobs mostly pay peanuts and you'd need to be able to get to London for meetings at least now and again.

I think £40k in the NE when starting at the bottom in a new career is a big ask, but you could plan to work your way up to that.

Would a medium term plan be a sideways move within your university to get experience is some of the above areas? e.g. offer to help with schools' outreach to get into schools etc.

If you put the word out to friends and friends of friends you could probably sort out some days of job shadowing. Also a university context gives you a massive network potentially & access to a careers service, even if they are more used to advising students.

Phineyj Sun 23-Jun-13 12:31:02

Oops cross post with married

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