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Need to change job but have no ideas to what. Help..?

(19 Posts)
Mij Thu 31-Dec-15 11:59:18

I work part time (28hrs) in a job that is killing me, in an emotional wellbeing sense, mainly because while I'm good at most of it the company has outgrown my capabilities and the role is actually unachievable in the hours available. But I've been doing the same thing for 15yrs. I tried all the things I thought I had a burning ambition to do before I started that work, and was either injured out or discovered it wasn't for me (or I wasn't for it - ie not good enough in a very crowded marketplace).

We don't have the cash flow for me to take eg a year out and pay for training, at least not for a few years, and without a 'dream job' or any discernible ambition that would feel a very risky investment anyway. But I'm interested in lots of stuff in disciplines a fair way away from what I'm paid to do, always have been. But it's very hard to job search when my parameters are so vague.

Any suggestions as to what the hell to do to get myself out and moved on? Considering handing in my notice in order to give myself a deadline. I'd be giving about 6mths notice as it's a tiny company that can't be left in the lurch.

I have a post-grad qualification, if that helps. I've been freelance in the past so I'd consider doing that again, though that was before having any financial responsibilities beyond my own rent.

Mij Thu 31-Dec-15 14:05:44

Bumping cos I'm flippin' fed up.

EssentialHummus Thu 31-Dec-15 14:16:21

Can you start doing the freelancing thing now in your spare time (if that's realistic), build up your hours, then resign when you've had a good go at it and determined whether that meets your financial needs?

Mij Thu 31-Dec-15 14:38:36

Thanks Essentialhummus but I don't see how to find any spare time! I work school hours to get my 28/wk in, and then spend post-school dealing with clubs/social lives of DCs (primary age so need supervision/transport), and everyday domestic stuff (which is shared with DP but he works away/late a lot), other than watching less than an hr of TV while we eat a late tea (and I often do some ironing during that anyway). We've never sorted the house out since moving (we moved in the middle of a horrendous patch at work when we were both working past 1am at home) so any window of time that does appear I don't feel I can use for anything other than trying to sort out a pile of crap or mending clothes or organising something I promised the kids 6 months ago.

This is, of course, partly wrapped up with why I feel so shit about my current work. Failing there, failing at home, blah di blah etc etc.

There's also the issue of deciding what freelancing I'd actually do. I have a, ahem, diverse portfolio of skills but nothing you could actually put a name to. Plus I seem to be good at stuff I don't particularly want to do. God I sound whiney - poor me, having to do a job I don't really like to earn perfectly respectable money. 'sake. [slaps self round the face]

EssentialHummus Thu 31-Dec-15 15:04:01

Hey, no, you don't sound whiny - you sound stretched in a zillion directions. What was the last freelancing thing you did? Would you be interested in doing the same job you're doing now, but for another company? (I.e. is the problem the company, the work itself or something else?)

Mij Sat 02-Jan-16 19:24:43

Well interestingly enough that's just come up - an almost identical job in another company in the same city (and what I do is fairly niche, so that ain't gonna happen often) but they're possibly in an even more stretched position than we are. Going to talk to their chair tomorrow to see if it'll be a 'frying pan to fire' transition. Though any change might be good, as I'd at least have more distance between work and home: current company is tiny and we've all known each other a LONG time and EXTREMELY well. So we really take each other for granted.

The last freelancing thing I did I can't go back to - was injured out and now very very out of date (huge technology change) so it would be impossible anyway. And not at all doable with kids - ultimate ridiculous hours and time away from home.

I guess I also just have the niggling feeling that (now I know myself pretty well in my 40s) that I'd end up working all hours as a freelance as I'm a) pathetically conscientious and really care about the quality of my work and b) a terrible prevaricator so work always expands to fill and overflow the time available. I probably need the discipline of working with people who'll notice if I'm dicking about on Twitter and then having to stay late, and going to an actual workplace. Which I can then leave behind. Without worrying about it at 4am.

Mij Sat 09-Jan-16 10:20:13

(didn't go for the job)

AKAmyself Sat 09-Jan-16 14:00:28


on one of my rare MN visits (just never seem to have the bloody time...) and I came on to this part of the website with a very similar situation to yours. To me it sounds very much like your burnt out - unmotivated, unstimulated, and very very meh. unsurprising you can't figure out what you want, it's almost impossible to feel creative and visionary in this low-energy place! I feel very much the same, so I think I know what you're going through...

so I would look at your situation from a slightly different perspective: what can you do (outside of work) that can excite you and give you a much needed boost in energy and confidence? it could be anything - an evening class in something you've always wanted to learn, taking up a sport, volunteering... i know you're going to say BUT WAIT A MINUTE I ALREADY HAVE SO MUCH ON! but I think it's a case of sometimes, you add one more thing to the mix and it's the spark that sets you on fire again. if that makes sense (I hope it does!).

Invest some time and energy (and maybe some £££) into feeling great - once you're there, or even halfway there, I bet it'll be amazing what you can achieve on the work front, including some much needed confidence to put yourself out there and look for work that might not immediately be an "obvious" fit (which, reading between the lines, is what you want - something different!)

Hope this helps. I now guess that, having given you the advice I needed to give myself (amazing how it's so much easier this way!), I will go back to googling mindfulness classes!

Mij Tue 12-Jan-16 09:07:38

Oh dammit I wrote a long reply and it didn't bloomin' post.


The jist of it was a) thanks for your response b) I'm also excellent at dishing out wisdom and not heeding it myself c) I've started shedding the additional, non-essential things in the hope that I might have the headspace/bit more actual time to deal with the stuff that's bugging me at home and if that works then d) I may feel I have the right to do something I actually like.

Though, just to make life more complicated, I have already tried making the things I love into a job, and they either pay really badly or I'm not good enough at them. Which is really at the root of how I'm here, with zero ambitions or dreams.

I'm really not giving anyone much to work with here, am I...

Goldrill Wed 13-Jan-16 13:45:29

Wotcha. Very similar position here. I feel like I need a careers advisor to tell me which of the myriad possible options I should actually start investigating seriously!

I like my job a lot but it's very stressful - hours, pay, conditions are excellent so I feel like I would be mad to leave. But it's also very niche; we have to live in a certain place because DH's job is equally niche (in fact we have adjoining niches), unless I can get a job which is so much better that he can afford to risk a move. So we are basically stuck in a lovely place but with no actual job opportunities in my area at all. Two small kids and a house which has had no diy done for nigh on a decade.

We could probably afford for me to retrain, but there is nowhere near enough for me to do it. Which means distance learning, which severely restricts my options. Or changing to a field I've so far not considered.

Actually, I think I need more than a careers advisor!

frannie2013 Wed 27-Jan-16 19:21:49

I feel - some of - your pain.
I'm also really good at stuff but not excellent at anything. Though I bet my mates would say differently but it's about commoditising that. And I struggle at that!
Anyway It sounds like you are at a deadend and can't see anyway out. Some suggestions- write a pros/cons list. I was hating my job recently then write the list - inc flexible hours, know the routine etc - and saw it slightly differently. Going to a new job can include so many unknowns - new politics etc, settling in, new processes and people - that actually the current one would be much better.
Also any chance you can speak to the boss and / or your boss? Often people leave a job without talking honestly to their current employer to find out what/if they can make changes.
Could you book a week off. Kids at school. And be strict on yourself. 2 hours do chores. 2 hours go for a walk/swim. 2 hours drinking coffee, researching and putting a life plan together. 1 hour nap. It may feel like a luxury when you are supposed to take holiday with/for your family but if you don't look after and invest in you you can do everything else you need to do. And this is for the long term. (I've got 3 days off coming up where for family/logistical reasons and I can't wait!!!)
If you find the answer let me know! You are not alone.

Avpixie27 Wed 27-Jan-16 23:55:33

Have you thought of working from home? I hated my job and then ended up on maternity leave, my job didnt pay smp so had ma which was no where near my salary. One night when watching tv i saw an advert to do avon but freaked at having to take the pram door to door. Im now a sales leader and do it all from my home. Means i can do the house work and play peek a boo whilst running a business. Pm me if you want to talk about that option. But id say it gave me my confidence back and meant less money worries

Mij Thu 04-Feb-16 10:27:20

Goldrill We sound in very similar positions! I actually work with my DP (though rarely physically next to each other) which makes things more complicated, not least because when he's working away, I get all the work and all the domestic responsibility.

A few years ago I did actually go and see a careers advisor. She had no idea what to do with me: she was used to dealing with grumpy 17yos.

Frannie Well technically speaking my OH is my boss (along with 1 other), though in reality we don't really work that way. We're a tiny company (though don't own it - we're 3rd sector so voluntary board of directors) so while you're right in normal circumstances, I don't really have that option. And DP is in quite a difficult position.

avpixie Thanks for the suggestion but I'm not good at working from home, ie I might end up with a much cleaner, tidier house but the work would be left undone. Plus I think I'm pretty much committed to 3rd sector/public sector/non-profit employment.

I keep scouring jobs lists just in case something jumps out at me as a feasible sideways move. From the look of the mumsnet jobs lists I'd be best off retraining as an IT engineer.

gandalf456 Thu 04-Feb-16 14:28:32

I am sorry you are feeling poo about your job. I am the same. I have no advice but it's reassuring to hear others going through the same thing so I am just marking my place here

I'm scouring job sites and MN today for a wfh job I can do that uses some of my web development manager/project management skills for a salary that will cover childcare and leave some spare, and involves minimal travel. Different issues, but I sympathise OP, changing direction once you've built a career in a particular niche seems hard. Maybe you could tell us more about the skills you already have, and the type of things you enjoy/know about? (If nothing else it will distract me from alternately crying and eating nutella with a spoon after narrowly missing out on my perfect rare-as-hen's-teeth job yesterday, so you'd be doing me a favour!)

crazedidea Fri 12-Feb-16 11:14:35

Mij, I utterly empathise with you and many others on this, it's so lovely to hear I am not alone in this.

I'm not quite as old as you but been working in my field with the 3rd/nfp sector for practically 20 years (longer I guess if you count the voluntary work I did in 6th form / gap year / uni) and really want to move, I'm not sure if it's just work or loads more but work feels the most achievable goal! I work pt so actually have a couple of school hour days a week now my children are at school so in theory have "loads" of time to sort myself out but have been very "meh" about it and am about to start sessions with a life coach / counsellor as I just don't know where to start.

Mij Thu 03-Mar-16 09:09:03

Yeah, I think when you've just been on a conveyor belt of getting everything through the day for a few years (til all DCs are at school I guess, if that's your choice), it's easy to suddenly look up and go fuck, where did that time go? And you haven't had a chance for so long to think 'what do I want?' or even
'do I even like this?' it's pretty disorientating when it happens.

ChoccyJules Mon 28-Mar-16 21:13:25

I had a really odd moment about ten days ago, well not odd but affecting, shall we say. We were talking about my job as my family know I am struggling as the conditions are making me ill (confirmed by occy health) but management don't care, anyway my DStepdad asked what I' d like to do, as a job, if I could do anything. I started describing a germ of an idea I had over Christmas, when I was feeling desperate and looking at vacancies, which links to a love of a topic I've always had, but in a lay way, i.e. I have no qualifications in it. I started crying. This was quite a surprise to me (and probably those around the table) and I knew at that moment I'd love to get out and try this kind of role.
DH and I have discussed it since and he's more supportive than I expected (he's never understood my bewilderment at families having to spend the vast majority of their waking hours apart to earn a crust), though he pointed out I would need a PhD in the subject to do it at a level vaguely commensurate to my current pay. I don't even have a degree in that subject.
Over Christmas the job I'd seen was an assistant, very part-time (11 hours a week) which I was more than qualified for but didn't think any more of due to the hours. I guess it may never come up again but DH thinks if it did, it may be a way in.
I have no idea why I'm even posting as I have no specific question but people here do seem to come up with good advice.
Oh and about my current job, DH thinks they are perilously close to constructive dismissal but I don't have the energy for a fight. I am too young to retire and wouldn't be able to do so on ill-health grounds without a similar extended struggle. So that's another topic but not necessarily this one.

crazedidea Tue 30-Aug-16 15:37:43

Mij Thu 03-Mar-16 09:09:03

Yeah, I think when you've just been on a conveyor belt of getting everything through the day for a few years's easy to suddenly look up and go fuck, where did that time go? And you haven't had a chance for so long to think 'what do I want?' or even
'do I even like this?' it's pretty disorientating when it happens.

Apologies for resurrecting an old thread but 6 months on, how are you getting on Mij and other?

I'm now working 29 hrs pw - 25h paid and another 4h in a totally different voluntary role. The life coach thing didn't click, the paid job is continuing to cause me sleepless nights and I'm starting my "wtaf can I do differently?" stress again as I know this contract finishes in March and I'm 99% sure I don't want to be there if it gets extended.

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