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Help needed for career change

(4 Posts)
LilyW36 Tue 09-Feb-16 11:39:06

Hello everyone,

I am hoping to change careers but would be grateful for some advice as I know roughly where I want to be but have little idea of how to get there.

I have a 2:1 degree in English Literature with Creative Writing and after taking a year out to do some temp admin jobs after university, I studied for a PGCE and became a primary school teacher. I've been a teacher for about 5 years now but have gone down to teaching part time for various reasons. Although I enjoy parts of it and I get very good feedback for my lessons, it's no longer what I want to do and I'm looking at leaving in July.

My dream job has always been to write for a living and get paid for it. I write constantly in my spare time and am currently working on a novel which I hope to get published. I am also interested in scriptwriting for TV/films. I know these are big ambitions but really, I just want to start off by getting paid for writing and work from there. I did well in my creative writing modules at university and I would like to make a career out of it, perhaps while supplementing it with admin work to pay the rent.

I live within commuting distance of London so I'm thinking of doing some admin courses and trying to get a decently paid admin job in London to supplement my income while I try to get my writing out there. I've looked at Pitmans training, MOS training, shorthand courses (all of which are useful skills that I think would look good on my CV) but I'm not sure which ones would be of interest to employers.

Any advice about which courses to take, or possible next steps would be appreciated. I am in my late 20s with some savings, so I feel that this is a good opportunity to try and start again.

PhyllisDietrichson Tue 09-Feb-16 15:22:47

Just a thought, and only if you can afford to, I'd strongly advise you try to make writing pay first not second.

Once you start being an administrator to gap-fill, that can become what you do and months turn into years and you don't do what you really want to do - write. Finish your novel get it out to publishers, write for magazines or papers, submit short stories, do creative writing courses to get some contacts and if you have to do something paid, make it not too demanding a typing role (though Sylvia Plath did), or you'll get RSI! Work in a shop or pub or anything that leaves you the necessary energy and keypad-friendly opportunities and time and energy for writing if you can.

I stopped teaching when I had the DC's and worked as an artist - it paid some nice pocket money, not bill paying amounts sadly but I sold almost everything I did and I got to do what I'd always wanted for a while at least and am grateful for that.

LilyW36 Wed 10-Feb-16 20:50:58

Thank you for your post.

Yes I'd like to start getting paid for writing now. I'll start sending stuff out soon. It just feels a bit random as I have no contacts in newspapers or magazines but I suppose everyone has to start somewhere. I wish I had the money to do an MA in creative writing but it's not looking likely.

Would anyone recommend Pitmans or does it not make a difference to employers? Thinking MOS training would be more useful maybe?

gooseberryroolz Wed 10-Feb-16 20:54:36

Do a NCTJ. That will qualify you for better, more relevant work than admin and help you to build contacts.

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