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Help me get my working life back on track! Career change early 40's!!!

(26 Posts)
Gottogetmymojoback Mon 01-Feb-16 22:26:40

Hope I can get some help/inspiration from peoples experience. I have been a SAHM for five years and feel I have 'lost it'. Really struggling to see how I am going to get back to a working life. I worked lots of different roles within the arts sector and it was okay but badly paid. I am now needing to carve out a new working life for myself but with two small children I am struggling to see how as would need to hire someone to ferry them around. So I am thinking I might as well use a few years retraining for something that maybe is more flexible, pays reasonably and that I can do until I retire. Just confused about what to do. If I could start all over I would probably do law as aspects of that really excite me. However too late for that. I am also thinking of psychotherapy/psychology as this interests me. I would have to start from scratch though. Can anybody in these fields tell me what it would take to carve a career in them? Is it possible to start at my ripe old age of early 40's? I feel with bad choices I have made and my circumstances. ( I have no family in the country I am living in), I have not been able to get a fulfilling career. Just don't know if I will be able to know. However still 20 years to go to retirement age (if I am lucky). So I guess I would just like feedback from women who are in these jobs or have don't a career change after kids to give me an indication if it is possible?
Thank you

Gottogetmymojoback Mon 01-Feb-16 22:37:55

Forgot to say youngest is two so a couple of years to go before he is in school.

MissTriggs Tue 02-Feb-16 20:04:22

Have you got the money to retrain?
I do have a friend who has retrained as a psychotherapist. She is still officially in training but does now do paid work. However, her son is 10

Can you tell us some more about what used to do please?

Can you also tell us more about what excites you about law.

Wanting to get your Mojo back is a valuable first step in itself

MissTriggs Tue 02-Feb-16 20:08:34

I think you are going to have to tell us what country you are living in by the way. If you live in Estonia for instance there is little point in doing a law degree there then returning to the UK to seek work as an expert in Estonian law. So you are also going to have to tell us what country you are likely to return to please

Thissameearth Tue 02-Feb-16 20:13:12

Re law - might not take too long. If you're already a graduate you can do a 1 year grad entrant course in England, 2 years in Scotland. Then it's a 1 year practical course before you would be seeking a two traineeship (essentially paid legal apprenticeship) and at the end of that you're an NQ and can earn a fairly decent wage. So potentially as little as 2 years and you'd be working (and earning) in legal career, with a decent salary within 4 years (assuming you can secure traineeship and an NQ post). I studied law straight from school but work with two people in their 40s who are doing it as a second career. flowers

Thissameearth Tue 02-Feb-16 20:18:03

NB - if you qualify overseas you can apply for recognition in the UK if returning, there is a qualified lawyer transfer scheme:

Duckdeamon Tue 02-Feb-16 20:21:20

Few well paid, interesting jobs - or degree courses - are all that flexible. will your partner share or pay for childcare etc?

Psychology jobs are ultra competitive, many years' expensive training and often low paid.

Have you explored opportunities in a field related to your old one?

Duckdeamon Tue 02-Feb-16 20:21:52

There's a long thread on law somewhere: mainly negative!

JemimaMuddleDuck Wed 03-Feb-16 19:30:55

You need to study some employment forums. There are lots of miserable lawyers and teachers! Always thought I would become a teacher but it sounds pretty awful at the moment.

Not sure what to suggest. In full time employment but completely fed up with what I am doing and feel very stuck.

Gottogetmymojoback Wed 03-Feb-16 20:03:52

Thank you guys and sorry for not being here earlier. Yesterday morning I went to the physiotherapist and fell apart as I am also suffering from incontinence post babies and it has all really knocked my confidence. Poor woman. She promptly discharged me and said she could do nothing for me but I should take medicine!! Anyway I digress. Thank you for your replies. Seems I have chosen two options that are competitive AND tough to succeed in. Just don't know what else to consider. My previous job was in the arts. And if I am going to work full-time I want it to pay. Or if psychology I am hoping that will give me flexibility in terms of childcare or when I get closer to retirement as do need to think about that I guess…..
I am in the UK and staying here for now.

MissTriggs Wed 03-Feb-16 22:06:12

You are at the beginning of a long process. don't worry if you dot have a credible plan yet.

MissTriggs Wed 03-Feb-16 22:10:57

Happy to listen if you want to talk more.

JemimaMuddleDuck Sat 06-Feb-16 13:00:57

Yes definitely! Let's talk about some options. We can't have you falling apart!

JizzyStradlin Sat 06-Feb-16 13:05:27

You don't mention what you did in the arts, but if you were a creative or practitioner, could you look to teach/tutor in that?

emsyj Sun 07-Feb-16 22:08:34

Hi OP, I've posted about my job loads on here before, but since you mention you're interested in law I thought I would post it again as it may be good for you.
I'm on the TSP scheme at HMRC. It's a 4 year grad scheme basically. I was a lawyer in the City and then in a regional firm until I had children. It wasn't very flexible and lots of aspects of the job made me very unhappy - stress, hours, culture etc. The scheme I am on now is full time, but once I finish the course I will be able to go part time (planning to do 3 days a week, term-time only). We don't have official flexi time as trainees, but unofficially you can work flexi hours - I keep a flexi time sheet and I can come and go within normal office opening hours (our building is open 7am to 7pm but I imagine this varies around different offices) as long as I do my hours over the month.
We have tutorials once a week, which is a short day, and I study at home one day a week - so although I am full time, my hours are very flexible when I'm in the office and I finish in time to pick up DD1 from school mostly on tutorial days and I also pick her up on my study day.
The work has many similarities to the work I did as a lawyer: legal research, interpreting legislation and case law, giving advice on technical issues, drafting and customer contact. It also has other interesting aspects such as involvement with policymakers, looking at new legislation and how to implement it etc. There is lots of interesting and high-profile work in regional offices and you absolutely do not need to be in London to do good work, which is great.
Any questions let me know. There are downsides - the pay is much less than being a City lawyer (although not terrible - and for the hours I work and the low stress and interesting work, I'm happy with it) and the offices are drab and need refurbishment - but with the new regional centres and restructuring I think that will improve (a bit).

Gottogetmymojoback Thu 11-Feb-16 22:31:39

Thanks for the replies everyone. much appreciated. I struggle to get the time to log on as I have my little one full time and he is in the process of dropping his naps so I am exhausted!

Mrs Triggs did you have a career change/second career.

Jizzy I was not a creative. It was more the arts admin/organisational stuff. I did a wide range of things over the years so events management, funding, project management, research project management.

Thanks for the suggestion Jemima. I have looked at the law forum. Not that encouraging……. I guess I have a few barrister friends and their lives seem so glamourous and flexible too and makes me think 'if only'! I did not want to ask them direct though.

emsyj I took some time to read about your job. I searched for your previous posts about it. It actually seems an interesting option. However someone else wrote how few people pass the exams to get on the course. I have not worked in five years and since the application for this year has passed I would first be able to apply end of this year at which point I would not have worked for 6 years. Sounds like you were doing a quite intense job before with similar stuff (tax). I really don't know if I would pass. It actually sounds a bit dry initially but it seems there is a bit of scope to do different things. I actually used to write reports and do lots of monitoring and evaluation stuff and actually did not mind it. My only reservations might be in case one wanted a change would it be transferable to other organisations or jobs or are you kind of stuck with that? Even though I have no plans to now, if for any reason I was to move to another country I guess it would be non transferable as well. Do you still get the holidays of after the training or can you? If not what do you plan to do with your kids once they start schools and have holidays?

Ilovecrumpets Sun 21-Feb-16 21:12:05

emsyj would it be ok to pm you at all? Am very interested in what you have posted ( lawyer looking to change post children and relocate back north!) ?

Op - sorry to jump on your post

emsyj Tue 23-Feb-16 20:52:54

Hi Ilovecrumpets, feel free! I will PM you in case this thread has fallen off your watch list.

emsyj Tue 23-Feb-16 21:11:09

To answer the questions OP asked in her last post (she has PM'd me separately and I've answered the questions in a PM reply, but just in case anyone is reading who's interested) - the qualification you get is transferable, it's fairly common for senior tax specialists to move to big 4 accountancy practices late in their careers for a few years of making lots of money. You can move when more junior, but people don't do that nearly so often as the work is interesting and the work/life balance is so good. I don't plan to leave anytime soon!

Re: school holidays, part-year working is a flexible working option that's available. This enables you to work term-time only and that's what I will be asking for once both DDs are in school.

WifeofDarth Wed 16-Mar-16 15:15:17

Not sure if I should start a new thread or if I can join yours.
I'm also early 40s, slightly similar background to Gottoget and don't see myself slipping back in to where I was any time soon. And even if I could, I don't see it as a sustainable career for the next 30 years (I am assuming that we'll all have to work until we're 70).
My dream job would be a midwife, but I think I'm too old to start down that path (by the time I'll be any good I'll be struggling with the long shifts, and besides I don't want to be caught in the horrible politics of the NHS being torn apart).
I also thought about psychotherapy, but there's really no point if there's no promise of work at the end.
I have the urge to use my hands and my brain together and I like problem solving,
I would welcome any suggestions, stories and thoughts.

superoz Sun 20-Mar-16 00:04:37

Watching with interest, I'm very much in the same boat and keep on changing my mind from attempting to go back to my previous sector or doing something completely different. Still none the wiser.

DitheringDiva Sun 20-Mar-16 18:14:12

I am also in a similar situation. Used to be a teacher pre-kids, left due to the school being run like a dictatorship, working silly hours, nothing ever being good enough, constantly being checked up on all the time. I've been doing some supply recently, and even though the staff are lovely, I'm finding I still hate teaching, and I really think I just need to do something else - but that means a career change, and like all of you, I'm mid-forties. I love computer programming - one of my hobbies is writing apps, websites etc. - basically I'm an analytical, problem solver kind of person. I've started applying for programming jobs, since that seems an obvious career change, and even though I go for junior/trainer level jobs, I never even hear anything back. From a financial point of view, I don't really need to go back to work, but now the kids are older, I want to get out and do something un-child related, for myself, something that I enjoy. I don't want to do any courses or re-train, I just want to feel that I'm being useful to a company/organisation, and earn some money at the same time. I'm sure there's some ageism going on - I reckon if I were an early twenties graduate, I'd at least get an interview for some of these trainee programmer jobs. It's all so demoralising.

superoz Thu 31-Mar-16 14:01:13

DiveringDiva Sky currently have a retraining opportunity for women wanting to get into tech if you live near London or Leeds. Training is possible part time and evenings too, sounds like it could be for you:

DitheringDiva Thu 31-Mar-16 19:14:52

Thanks superoz, it sounds really interesting. I live in the midlands, probably equidistant from Leeds and London, unfortunately! I've sent off an email anyway though, maybe there's a possibility of doing the part-time course and staying with relatives.

stumblymonkey Thu 31-Mar-16 19:24:06

How about going full time into project management?

Did you enjoy it? You could get an entry level job as a project administrator and move up from there into business analysis and project management.

It can pay very well in financial services...I work for an insurer and they can be flexible to a degree....what level of flexibility are you expecting?

If you mean can you work four days a week, work the odd day from home, etc then definitely.

If you mean more flexibility than that I would agree with PP who have said well paid and very flexible are not two things that often come together...

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