SAHM for the last 9 years - where do I start?

(16 Posts)
Apanicaday Sun 05-Jun-16 20:25:11

I stopped working 9 years ago when I had my eldest ds. 9 years down the line and my youngest is approaching full time school age, and I'm at the point where I want/need to get a job. Pre-dc I was a science teacher for 5 years, but I have absolutely no desire to get back to teaching - I hated it back then, and from what I've heard things haven't improved.

The trouble is I feel totally deskilled and have absolutely no idea where to start - even writing a cv seems impossible as I feel like I'm unemployable. My references are from back when I was teaching, and I know the headteacher I worked for is no longer at the school, so I don't know how that would work. I have no idea what I want to do either. I'm mid-thirties, so have lots of years of working ahead of me, and I really don't want to make another mistake career-wise. I have a science degree, but again I graduated 15 years ago so that will be out of date too.

I think I could do with some sort of careers advice, but I don't know where to go to get it! Is there somewhere that advises people who have been out of the workforce for so long? I'm absolutely terrified about the whole thing, to be totally honest - at the time being a sahm seemed like a sensible decision for us, but I'm questioning it now!

isthatmytshirt Sun 05-Jun-16 21:06:16

No words of advice, but you sound just like me! Only I'm at the start of my stay at home life, after teaching, after a science degree...

I totally get what you mean about not wanting to go back to teaching and not wanting to make another mistake. Though I think you'd be surprised at what might be open to you. I took a break from teaching for a while, and did some admin and some healthcare assistant (auxiliary nurse) work, and both were interesting and something I'd consider again (though not big earners), and for both they were really not bothered about my lack of relevant experience. They were happy that I had qualifications and could come across relatively competently in the interview.

I think its worth just going for it, and not being shy, to be honest. You're clearly smart and have qualifications behind you, so have a think about what you'd find interesting and fulfilling, maybe apply for some lower positions and work your way up. Or could you afford to study again and get qualifications that would give you the extra foot up?

Honestly I think you'll be in a better position than you think smile

CassandraAusten Mon 06-Jun-16 06:50:07

I agree with isthat. Like you, I was a SAHM for nine years until my youngest started school, and I didn't want to go back to my previous career (although in the end I went the other way from you - towards teaching rather than away from it). Like you, I lacked confidence and felt de skilled after so many years out of the workplace. And I was older than you too. But I took the plunge, applied for a job, got it and am now working part time and loving it!

Re references, I'm sure your old headmistress would still be able to give you one even if she's at a different school or retired? I gave two referees, one from my old company (he'd moved jobs but I tracked him down) and one from a voluntary role I'd held while I was a SAHM (so that it was more recent).

If you're interested in part time work, I recommend www.timewisejobs.co.uk. I didn't use a careers advice service, but I'm sure such things exist. Most importantly, just start looking and applying for things! You have to start somewhere.

Good luck!

Mrscog Mon 06-Jun-16 06:56:22

Recruiting manager here. Firstly don't worry about references, they're not used to check performance really, more that you simply held that job at the times you say you did. I never even see the references of people I recruit - only the HR team do. Ditto for a degree being 'out of date' it taught you to think, analyse and evaluate and these skills are timeless.

My advice would be to start by just getting a job - it won't be your dream job, and you might not stay long but it will help you start to get some uptodate skills together and to think about what career you might want to follow. See it as a 6-12 month thing, and it will really help your CV. Have you done any voluntary activities? You might be able to draw on skills from these too.

Feel free to message me, i love helping people with job stuff.

GinAndSonic Mon 06-Jun-16 10:25:29

Similar position here, 7 years out of work to raise the kids.
I'm on my way to the library to retype my CV and some covering letters and drop them into some shops that are advertising for part time staff, I've applied to aldi, and I'm going to apply to Asda.
I did a "world of work course" at the local women's centre which focused a lot on how many skills you have as a mother that can transfer into work skills.
As for references, I assume they will contact HR at my old job to check my work dates and I've got a personal reference from the manager of the women's centre.
I wonder if I need a second personal reference?
Really I think it's just a bite the bullet thing. I'm quite scared but it will be nice to actually go out to work.

2Creamteas Mon 06-Jun-16 14:55:49

Hello, it's always a good idea to start with something very part time at first. For my first part time job since having children I used the school secretary and a neighbour (who had quite a good job) for my references.Going back after 12 years was hard and I was a nervous wreck! Had other jobs since then and I'm still looking for something better despite difficulties balancing it all with kids etc! You can do it ! X

SherryRB Tue 07-Jun-16 12:11:12

this is what I do for a career - helping women who've been out of work for a while. I would suggest that first you get really clear on what your skills and strengths are. What skills you use as a teacher, in everyday life, as a parent. Ask friends who know you well for feedback - what am I really good at. Often the things that come easy to us, we take for granted because they come so easy. Look for patterns in the feedback.
Then get clear on what's most important to you i.e. your values - do you value flexibility, creativity, security, stability, integrity, loyalty etc.
Get clear on what you want from going back to work - is it simply money, is it intellectual stimulation, adult conversation. I run a 15 Day Back to Work Essentials challenge (free to enrol) to help you with the practicals such as updating your CV and LinkedIn, but first you need to get clear on who you are. I hope that helps. And good luck.

GinAndSonic Tue 07-Jun-16 18:02:52

Looking at the form for the school kitchen job I want to apply for it says one of my references must be my most recent employer. I left that job in 2010. I can't even remember for sure if I worked on ward 5 or 6. I certainly can't remember my managers name. What on earth do I do?

Mrscog Tue 07-Jun-16 21:33:22

Ginandsonic, just put the department and the hospital (presuming it is a hospital by the 'ward'. Or just the of the hospital - their HR dept will have to match up the dates.

Therightthing16 Wed 08-Jun-16 17:44:44

I'm trying to get back into work after 8 years so following with interest!

toffeetree Sun 19-Jun-16 19:43:44

Hello,
I understand and it's very daunting. Even though teaching within a school may not be your cup of tea which is understandable but have you considered being a private tutor? You would be able to choose your hours, term time only I imagine and as you're a mum yourself, you have a networkof parents and friends of parents ect. so it should be something easier to get in to rather than a whole class of children? Utilise what you already have and maybe your child's school would allow to put an advert up as a tutor? Either way, you're better off than some people going back to work, you're educated and experienced as a mother and teacher, it's just the thought of going back that's the scariest and doing something different, wish you luck.

JenniferYellowHat1980 Mon 20-Jun-16 20:39:10

Mrscog are you NHS? And if so would you mind if I send you a couple of questions please?

agapanthii Mon 20-Jun-16 20:43:42

What about a role in science communications? It's an area which is growing quickly and much needed. You could re skill by contacting digital mums ?

agapanthii Mon 20-Jun-16 20:44:47

Should have made it clear digital mums is an organisation ... Not just some mums with Twitter accounts!

JenniferYellowHat1980 Mon 20-Jun-16 20:48:06

I haven't been out of work for any length of time but left my job early this year before my DM died and haven't been back following my bereavement. I secured an unqualified NHS post not long afterwards which I'm still waiting to start and I'm hoping it will open up opportunities to get something that pays more in line with my postgraduate qualifications though not related to healthcare.

That's part time and alongside it I'm examining for two boards and have also just secured a post as a distance learning tutor for home ed children. The freelance board on here also led to some home-based telemarketing work (genuine, not MLM). I have been pretty obsessed with making opportunities for the last few months. I live in a rural area with very few jobs so I've had to.

HRHlikeahornyponywould Mon 20-Jun-16 20:52:49

I'm exactly the same!

I'm a teacher, but had two children. We've moved around a bit but finally little one is in school.

I need money for me, to get out of the house. I want to pay for a holiday!

I tried supply for a year but hated the agencies and how they worked. But loved the teaching.

I've had 3 interviews, applied to 6/7 jobs but nothing.
I'm not sure I'd like to go back to teaching or if I do someone's maternity, part time would be ok.

My son has an SEN and I wonder whether this makes me less employable because they see "time off", I included this because it was working with a child who has ASD, like my son

I think I'd enjoy just working in Costa

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