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Ramping up the career - 10 years on?!

(5 Posts)
Soveryupset Sun 23-Nov-14 12:34:00

Hi all,

I have 4 children - 5, 7, 8 and 10.

The last 10 years have been a mix of maternity leave/part-time working although I have now worked solidly full time for the last 2 years. My employer is very flexible, BUT my career is pretty dead. It isn't a personal issue, is more that I have reached a career ceiling with my employer and basically if I want to progress I would have to move on, as most of my most talented colleagues have.

Most realistic options are in London, which is a fair commute and also would mean probably overnight stays/travel 3 or even 4 nights per week.
I am 42 and I am starting to worry that if I stay in my job another say 4 years then it will be even harder to make a move and progress? Or is this just in my imagination and I will be able to still have options open to me then? (I am in an IT Programme Management but have done lots of other related middle management jobs too).

I feel very frustrated in my job as I can give so much more but have zero opportunities to progress. I know family is very important and I have always put them first, but I now feel the children don't need me 24/7 anymore and my DH is around an awful lot too...was wondering if anyone has been in this situation at all? Would be very interested to hear opinions...maybe it's just the case of wanting it all, I feel really confused!

OneHandFlapping Sun 23-Nov-14 16:15:36

You will be able to progress in four years. Or even ten. If you are well qualified, and have great stuff on your CV, you will be absolutely fine. Many employers are increasingly OK with womens' careers having coasted for a decade or two few years, while they bring up children.

I am sort of you, ten years on. I am an IT project manager. However, unlike you, I didn't manage to work in my field while the children were small. I have clawed my way back into the work place, and have just received an offer of my dream job. So while ageism still exists, and I didn't even get interviews with companies who would once have bitten my hand off, it is still possible to climb the career ladder in your fifties.

So it's your choice whether you make that career move now, or when the children are older. I think either way will work.

Soveryupset Sun 23-Nov-14 17:22:30

Thank you so much, OneHandFlapping, your post has made me feel 1 million times better.

The work I am doing now looks really good on my CV - it's just I feel ancient already, maybe it's just tiredness from having a full time job and running around after 4 children!!!

It's really heartening to know I can make a go of it later on. I think when my children are teenagers I will feel much better about being away 2 or 3 nights a week or travelling more - and scarily that's just 4-5 years away for the older three anyway!!

Thanks again for your input!!

Applejack2 Tue 25-Nov-14 15:13:10


I am in a similar position to you and feeling very frustrated in my job. I am 42 too! I have 2 children 10 and 6.
Like you, I have been part time. I was actually thinking about it this morning. I went part time in February 2005 and I always said I would return full time after 10 years. Well, my 10 years is fast approaching!
I have put the children first and, as we had to pay for all childcare, it made more sense for my to go part time (hubby earns less than me though).
I have experience of senior positions and the qualifications but when I went part time I knew that all of the dreams and aspirations would have to go on a back burner for the time being. I have hated watching others moving up the ladder while I have been stuck.
Funnily enough, a senior position has just come up where I work and the manager has told me to apply. It is open to internal candidates only so I am thinking there are only 3 people available to apply. Both are FT although one has just been married (female) so I guess they will be thinking mmmm maternity leave soon? I guess I would stand a good chance and it would be nice to get myself back into the swing of things again (and start to bring my brain out of hibernation). Money would be great (full time plus promotion) especially as we have been living on a reduced income and paying childcare for 10 years. My eldest starts secondary next year and hubby has just applied to change his hours so he can be home for school coming out. As DS10 has to get a bus home (school bus) he won't be home until 420pm.

I would think that even in your 50's you would be ok. Just try it!

Soveryupset Wed 26-Nov-14 14:19:13

applejack2 thanks for your post, and it would be great to know if you ended up getting the job and how it all pans out for you.

I was just discussing this with DH that it is always one big compromise when you have children, and like you, I have watched more senior people apply for jobs and thinking "I could easily do that".

Anyway, I will keep my eyes open at work and see if anything comes up. Unlikely though! I would need to be very lucky, as promotions are so far between these days! I also think that when the children will be at secondary school, and gain a little more independence, maybe I will feel less guilt ridden?!

Good luck with your application!

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