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Career change - help me work out what I can do..?

(20 Posts)
Mij Wed 13-Aug-14 10:09:08

For a variety of reasons too long to set out here, I'm looking for a job, possibly career, change. I wouldn't do my current job for anyone else (work with my OH) because it's stressful and no longer really what I'm good at - a result of mission drift over years and years.

I'm in my early 40s, have post-grad qualifications, write well, good at problem solving, management (mostly), can write budgets, reports, good negotiator, understand contracts, very good at detail, and talking with enthusiasm about what I'm doing and I'm pretty persuasive. And I like what I'm doing to matter to someone, change something, make a difference in some way, however small. I've always worked in creative/public/third sector and would probably seek to do so again.

Also have voluntary experience peer supporting, and decades (on and off) leading kids'/young people's groups.

I'm struggling with not being able to take more time off in the holidays now both DCs are in school. They're not having much fun this year with only one week completely off from a variety of childcare settings. I'm not full time and don't want to be for the time being.

Is there anything term-time that isn't actually teaching? Or that I can concentrate my hours in some parts of the year to leave others freer, that doesn't mean being freelance? I've been freelance before and I don't think we can afford the instability. Also, I know how the work can completely take over your life as clients forget that you have a right to evenings and weekends.


Supermum222 Wed 13-Aug-14 21:06:52


Similar story here.
I am early 40's and have post grad qualifications like you. I have 2 children at primary school now and, like you, struggle to get time off in the hols. They are stuck with the childminder (bored). My job is also moving away in September so I will have a long commute each day. I am part time so, to me, it isn't worth continuing. I have lost my spark over the last few years and know that this has to be my final year.
I am looking into teaching (I come from a science background) and have spent time in schools over the last 3 years. I am still a bit scared about it though and get cold feet. I am also looking for something else that is term time only but struggling. I really want to use my education if at all possible.
I will keep an eye on this thread. I hope someone comes up with some ideas smile.

lilacmamacat Fri 15-Aug-14 21:06:52

You sound like a potential landscape architect. You'd need to do a 2 year post-grad conversion course (or longer PT) but it's a really varied and interesting career. If you have budgets and contracts experience, and a friendly practice nearby you might even get some work or job shadowing (always good to see if you'd like the profession) while you study. Have a look at the Landscape Institute website or stick "I want to be a landscape architect" into google.

BranchingOut Fri 15-Aug-14 21:18:03

Wow, that's quite a good one!

I was going to say working in a university.

But we need to know a bit more about your qualifications and interests to give accurate info.

mipmop Sun 17-Aug-14 22:38:31

I'm in a similar position, and have been thinking of teaching in a FE college. No teaching qualification required, industry experience is appreciated, part-time work can be available...

Mij Tue 19-Aug-14 00:28:39

lilacmamacat now that's a job I'd never have considered! How interesting. Not an artist myself though. And I'd need an income while I studied, which is an issue with a lot of career changes of course.

Mij Tue 19-Aug-14 00:35:42

branchingout BSc in Sociology & Drama and PGDip in film production. Worked in theatre for last 14yrs.

I have lectured and tutored before and do have skills in that area but opportunities to teach arts management are limited and I'm way out of date on critical/cultural theory.

I'm finding it difficult to be motivated to consider big changes/sacrifices for something that isn't a passion if I'm honest. Feeling a tad pathetic :-/

BranchingOut Tue 19-Aug-14 07:22:46

I didn't really mean teaching or lecturing within a university, more working on the support side.

Does that appeal at all?

lilacmamacat Tue 19-Aug-14 10:58:22

Mij,you don't need to be an artist to be a landscape architect. Plenty of work out there for non-designers (including me - I can't draw to save my life, but you learn the techniques to get you through if you need them (fancy squiggles basically grin), and these days nearly everything is done on a pc anyway): landscape planning, environmental impact assessment, green infrastructure, project management...

MsAspreyDiamonds Wed 27-Aug-14 16:00:07

The local council education dept often has term time posts, have a look & see if anything is suitable.

Mij Sun 31-Aug-14 14:58:51

Branchingout I have started having a look but it seems unless it's in my specialism I'd have to take a jump down the ladder and a hefty pay cut. Also lots of ads saying internal candidates get priority.

Mij Sun 31-Aug-14 14:59:35

Lilacmamacat it sounds interesting but we'd need a good couple of years to plan how we make retraining work financially.

Mij Sun 31-Aug-14 15:01:44

MrsAsprey have had brief looks but I don't know where I'd fit. I'm too experienced/qualified for general administration but not specialist enough for leadership by the look of it.

NuggetofPurestGreen Sun 31-Aug-14 15:30:38

Not sure how it works in UK but I believe the civil service in ireland has term time only positions.

PumpkinBones Sun 31-Aug-14 20:11:30

I know I keep popping up on threads trying to lure people into fundraising like I am on commission, but what about grant / trust fundraiser, writing funding bids and project proposals? Vol sector is fairly family friendly and flexible and there are lots of arts / theatre organisations where you could use your knowledge.

Mij Tue 02-Sep-14 20:54:48

PumpkinBones that's pretty much the bits of my job I'm trying to get away from! Sorry, you weren't to know :-)

BranchingOut Wed 03-Sep-14 10:08:46

But I think some kind of pay cut or retraining cost is inevitable in a career change...

I made a career change three years ago - I took an initial pay cut, although my salary is equivalent to what I would get in a normal role in my previous job (I had a senior role). I have also spent the best part of £5k on a masters degree.

But it was worth it as my new job 'works' with our life so much better and I am 100 times happier at work.

TSWForever Wed 03-Sep-14 12:40:13

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

PumpkinBones Wed 03-Sep-14 16:30:32

Haha, oh dear, I clearly don't have a future in careers advice grin good luck!

Mij Thu 04-Sep-14 13:47:56

Branchingout I would expect a drop, but what I'm looking at is a 1/3 cut. I can see this may look a bit like cake/eat it but we're on tight margins. We don't have savings. So we either have to have a long term plan or I need to look at similar job/different sector. I used to have brining desires to follow particular paths. Decisions are much harder when you no longer really give a shit. Motivation to save/make plans pretty low :/

And yes I know I'm very lucky to have a job/have choices. Moany moany moan...

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