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where to start with career change

(9 Posts)
AmericasTorturedBrow Tue 11-Nov-14 14:49:54

I am at a total loss and need some help.

31, out of work due to moving abroad and being unable to work since having DC2 3 years ago. Previous to this I was a theatre director, have BA in Drama and English but no other qualifications or experience - I haven't even used a spreadsheet in years.

I desperately love and miss theatre but it's a struggle to earn a living, to even get a job in the first place, and I'm tired of my life being meaningless. I'm not a good SAHM, I don't enjoy it, I am frustrated and unfulfilled. I am actually ambitious but after years of not working my confidence is rock bottom.

I should get my green card early next year - finally - which will allow me to work again. But I don't know what to do and where to go to get some guidance. I'm currently volunteering with foster children, I'm interested in women's rights and advocacy, have considered going back to university and getting a teaching qualification or something in social work. But applications tend to be in by January and if I don't have my Green Card by then I have to apply as a foreign student which is so so so expensive, to be honest applying normally is horrible - I even looked into law conversion but don't have $45K to spend! There is a community college I have looked into which is cheap and credits work towards a degree eventually but long term I don't think the qualifications will be that useful.

My friends at my age are now in management positions so it's hard to seek advice as they did the low paid, long hours jobs all pre children and I of course have them now.

DH is supportive but he can't do reduced hours to allow me to work outside of school hours or whatever because we can't afford for a reduction in his income.

Any ideas of where to start? Should I just put DC2 into full time preschool and try to get more volunteer work for now? I don't know how long we're going to be in the States either which makes it a bit difficult too...but right now I feel like my life is being wasted and I have achieved and am achieving nothing, while DH is going great guns in his dream job.

Buddy80 Thu 13-Nov-14 08:17:26

Are you either going to live in the UK or USA? If so, maybe explore avenues for both countries.

If the UK, have you thought about becoming a English/Drama teacher at secondary schools? There is now a fast-track, 12 -week teaching programme for graduates.

Applejack2 Thu 13-Nov-14 12:07:06

Could you study with the Open University online? It may be an option if you qualify to pay UK rates.
I was going to suggest teaching. Does the USA offer any incentives for teacher training or would you be unable to get help due to being from the UK?
I would look into careers that come with fees paid if possible. In the UK you can do a social work degree paid for by the NHS (with a bursary).What difference would it make if you have the green card when applying for courses? It may be worth waiting until your little one is in FT school.

AmericasTorturedBrow Fri 14-Nov-14 06:12:24

We're in the US for now and will be for at least the next two years. No idea what will happen beyond that.

I've been looking into a teaching qualification anyhow as I think there's lots of scope to use it outside of traditional teaching (I've done some Theatre for Development and Theatre in Education before and am interested in how theatre can be used to politicize, engage and inform)

But all courses in the U.S. Are so so expensive - I haven't found the equivalents of what seem to be in abundance by comparison in the UK

I think I'd really like to use theatre in settings like prison or the foster system (group homes) or homeless shelters, and currently volunteer with foster youth, so maybe some more volunteering? There are no theatre companies in my city currently working with offenders

AmericasTorturedBrow Fri 14-Nov-14 06:15:12

Sorry AppleJack didn't really reply to you

My youngest won't be in school for another 3 years (sob) as they start at 5, though to be honest school finishes at 2:30 at the latest!

I'll have a look at OU though, my sister in law has a degree through them - I may not qualify but worth looking

I think having the Green Card will reduce the prices somewhat - but most masters at the secret uni's in my city cost upward of $35K a YEAR!

iamthenewgirl Fri 14-Nov-14 21:54:47

Drama therapy or working with some sort of charity that goes into schools/prisons and runs workshops?

DriftingOff Sat 15-Nov-14 11:05:37

If there are no theatre groups working with offenders currently in your city, then would it not be possible to set up you own theatre company of amateur/volunteer actors with you as the director? I get the impression you don't need the money, rather, you want to do something fulfilling, in which case there seems to be a great opportunity for you here. I'd forget courses - they're too expensive, and it sounds like you have the skills to do what you want anyway, you just need the confidence to do it? With the foster volunteering you're doing, do you meet any foster children who would love to do some acting, so could you set up an amateur dramatics group of foster/ex-foster children? And then they go into schools, prisons and put on performances? You may be able to set it up as a charity, and pay yourself something (probably not much, but at least you'd feel like you were earning something). Then in the even longer term, if you do leave America or move onto other things, just think about how amazing your CV would look. It shows you've had some initiative to get off you backside and follow your passion, rather than saying "I did course X or Y", which basically anyone could do if they had the money.

flack Sat 15-Nov-14 11:11:51

Is there scope for you to do local am-dram production support?

If you look for paid jobs involving art or drama, even at a group assistant level, what kind of qualifications or certification do they ask for?

Were you RADA certified in the UK?

I know Med Schools in the UK pay well, operate mostly in school term time hours, but they demand actors who are RADA members or qualified.

AmericasTorturedBrow Sat 15-Nov-14 17:23:49

Yes I could set up some sort of community in prison group or something and would def like to find a way of using theatre with foster kids (the work I'm doing now is more one on one and working to advocate for them in court)

Confidence is Definately a big issue - I set up and ran a fringe alternative company in London for years so I do know I have the capability and I do at least know a company in Kentucky doing Shakespeare in prisons so could ask them for advice in set up at least

I think you're right, actively making something happen might be the way to go. I just need to work out exactly how to make it work as my experience is mainly with professionals, although I've done some theatre and development work in the psy

We could do

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