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Trying to go back to work after 18 years. Any advice?

(10 Posts)
Graze8 Fri 15-Nov-13 14:00:14

My DC are growing up and will no longer need me. I'd like to go back to work. I left my last job 18 years ago when I had my first DC.
I'm happy to retrain. I'm 45. Is it too old? I have O'Levels, A'Levels and an HND in Business. Although my qualifications are probably extinct now!
Was thinking about doing a Pitman course and retraining as a PA. Am I hoping for too much. Does anyone have any other ideas? Would the job centre fund any training courses? (I don't sign on).

Graze8 Fri 15-Nov-13 14:41:24


LePetitPrince Fri 15-Nov-13 14:44:49

Hi Graze - what area do you fancy doing? Is it PA?
Do you have an interest that could become a job, e.g. reading books-> librarian, gardening -> gardener or whatever?

By the way 45 is young and many people retrain at that age, even if they've been working since school/uni, so you are not alone!

Fiveleaves Fri 15-Nov-13 14:50:23

Not much advice as I have never been out of jobs market but have you done any relevant voluntary work that might prove a foot in the door somewhere. Have you kept your hand in work wise over the last few years freelancing or anything like that? Are you familiar with current IT packages, move to cloud computing etc? As a PA, you would need to be on top of technology.

People may be able to suggest ideas if you list the stuff you have been doing since last job such as courses, volunteering etc, then you can audit your skills and start honing in on some appropriate jobs...good luck!

Fiveleaves Fri 15-Nov-13 14:50:55

I agree 45 is still young!

Graze8 Fri 15-Nov-13 15:15:03

Most of the volunteering I have done is in my children's schools. I have been on courses but they have been school related. I don't really want to work in a school.

I am quite happy to do a PA course so that I can become up to date in new systems. I haven't been able to work over the last 18 years due to not just having DC but also caring for my parents who have had quite serious illnesses.

I know this may sound silly but I have done enough caring in my life. I don't want to care for anyone but my DC now.

I am really at a stage in life where I am ready to put me first. I believe I
am reasonably intelligent. This may sound selfish but I need to do something for me.

Salbertina Fri 15-Nov-13 15:22:34

Not selfish, not silly. Go for it. Contact local college for IT courses? Or volunteer in career-related area- charity PA?

TheEyeofHarmony Fri 15-Nov-13 17:36:19

I have just returned to work after a similar amount of time at home with the kids. I'm loving it.

The work experience in the school will come in handy for all sorts of jobs not just school work. Shows you are organised, trustworthy and a willingness to work plus lots of other stuff depending on what you have been doing exactly.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

Lavenderhoney Fri 15-Nov-13 17:44:16

Do you really want to be a PA? Unless you work for someone very ambitious and driven its pretty dull IMO. Doing email for some old dinosaur who thinks he's too important to do it himself is a bore.

What do you like doing? Where do you live? If its a touristy area, go and have a coffee at the local top country house hotel and ask to see the manager. Ask him if he is looking for staff like events organising or retrain for HR qualifications.

Have a look at your local companies and see what you like the look of. Go and see agencies just for the info they could give you on companies in the area.

Go temping in lots of jobs to see what you like- never do more that a couple of weeks at the start.

There is a really good book called " what colour is my parachute" which you could work through and see what happens as it will help you get direction.

CareersDragon Mon 18-Nov-13 14:11:59

Hi Graze8,

Forgive me but it sounds as if you are expecting somebody to just come up with the perfect career without even really knowing you.

You say that you want to do something for you - that's brilliant, but you need to spend some time thinking through who you are now. You've been through a lot over the last 18 years. How have those years affected the real you? What have you learnt about yourself? You know that you don't want to do something in a caring capacity. There are probably other things that you wouldn't want to do either. List them.
List the things that interest you, and also the skills that you have. NOT just the ones that you might want to use to impress potential employers, but all of them. You'd be surprised how many of them are relevant in today's workplace! The transferable skills that employers are looking for you will have used throughout the last 18 years: communication, team-work, negotiation, customer service, prioritising workload, IT. Don't sell yourself short.

45 is the new 30 - you're still young & in a perfect place to reevaluate your career & direction. You can get information & help from
Good luck! smile

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