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Finding the confidence to get into work

(14 Posts)
Member85426 Sat 14-Jan-17 03:59:59

I've been a SAHM roughly 7 years. I have 3 DC the youngest is 2. It's not for financial reasons that I need to go back to work but that I want to meet new friends mainly. I'm feeling a bit lonely now the youngest is a toddler. The baby friends I've had have long since gone back to work. I've found it harder making friends to see outside of toddler activities and school runs now I have 3 children. I feel guilty that by not working I feel like I'm not setting a good example to my daughters. I feel the toddler would be better a couple of days in nursery now and make little friends than be around me all the time. I realise now I probably did the having children too soon I should have built more of a life for myself because now the kids are growing up I realise I have very little for myself it all revolves around the kids and family.
I just don't know where to start. I only want to do a part time job so that limits the options. I'm just finding it so hard to find the confidence to start looking.
I only did temp work after uni and helped my husband build his career and that was 7 years ago. I've got no recent work experience and jobs I'm confident I could like soft play areas, cleaning jobs all request experience. i'm sure I could get references from DCs' school, children's centre the scout group I help out at but it's not work experience. I just don't know how I can sell myself and as I mentioned I'm a bit lonely and self esteem quite low I don't want to apply and get my hopes up to be rejected straight away. I've thought I could do a voluntary job as money is not important but I think I would make friends my age in a paid job. Has anyone got any advice or positive stories for being in this situation I.e Starting to work after being SAHM for so long?

OP’s posts: |
3littlebadgers Sat 14-Jan-17 04:15:50

Here with a hand to hold, I am in the same position as you flowers

I've been volunteering in school and I'm starting to apply for TA roles! Hard finding the confidence though and the idea of interviews terrify me! shock

seven201 Sat 14-Jan-17 04:20:20

If you're not doing it for financial reasons could you start a hobby instead? Quite a lot of jobs aren't that social.

isthistoonosy Sat 14-Jan-17 05:46:17

What want / need long term? Guess you are late 20's / early 30's that's a lot of life ahead of you to build the career or lifestyle you want.
Did you enjoy your degree so want to look for something related Would some.further study boost you confidence and increase your work options?

hutchblue Sat 14-Jan-17 15:22:25


1) The Confidence Code
2) Lean In

I check in here pretty frequently - so come back after you read these and tell me how you're feeling and then I'll suggest some more/other stuff.

I was like you. No confidence out of work for 8 years.

Got myself back out there in the end, found my dream job part-time. Got laid off last year though. Looking again a bit now but spending more time making music which is what I've always wanted to do... and coaching people like you a bit.

But anyway, yes volunteer, - but really just do something new. Test yourself.

Fear lives in our heads, not in reality. We hold ourselves back all the time. We listen too much to that crappy voice in our heads.

Keep going you'll get there.


Member85426 Sun 15-Jan-17 16:13:24

Thank you for all the replies.
I've started running again and joined a running group and volunteer with scouts but still feeling sad about not having a career. I am in the age range that one person guessed above. I had my children young and helped my husband with his career was very supportive to him but now my children are getting older I realise I have very little in my own life. sad lost a lot of uni friends because I was first to have children - my Mum friends with my first baby have long since returned to work and school run and baby activities since no 3 was born I don't seem to be able to make any good friends just people to say hello to.
I just don't know where to start when applying. I feel a bit put off applying for anything due to them all requiring experience - feeling that I'm not good enough. I read them and feel there's no point to apply or how would I answer interview questions about skills you have. It's all lack of confidence. I wasn't trying to get anything degree related maybe retail work or office admin for a start.
I will try to reserve the books mentioned by hutchblue from my library. I took my kids to the library yesterday and had picked up a self help book but not the ones that have been recommended.
Thanks again plenty of encouragement and inspiration to look again this week.

OP’s posts: |
milkmoustache Thu 19-Jan-17 12:22:27

I would recommend using the Do it database for voluntary work, you can tailor it to match your interests and the hours you are available, and it covers a lot more than working in charity shops. I volunteered for an office in a charity, built up my very rusty IT skills, and after a few months they gave me a job. It was a great way to build up my confidence, it got me some recent references, and it felt like a much less scary way to re-enter the world of work. Good luck, you can do it!

LIZS Thu 19-Jan-17 12:27:51

Agree with volunteering. Also check whether your local children's or school run any confidence building or back to work skills (cv writing, IT etc) courses. Alternatively your local FE college or adult ed provider may run a variety of short leisure or skills courses.

PO25 Tue 24-Jan-17 18:00:45

Hi Member85426

I udnerstand where you are coming from. And you are so young, that you have a lifetime ahead of you.

There are many jobs that allow you to work part time, so don't be discouraged. The trick is find those jobs.

Now first, do a career/skills inventory. WHAT DO YOU REALLY LIKE DOING?
Not what jobs you THINK you can do, but what do YOU REALLY ENJOY DOING?

1.write at least 5- 10 things you are good at.
2. How many days/hours a week do you want to work
3. what type of industry do you want to work in
4. lists 5-10 companies in the companies you want to work in
5. Find the key senior person that makes the hiring decisions
6. Reach out to them and tell them you are researching roles following a career break and would like to get their advice.
7. FOllow up and hopefully through this interactions you will get interviews.

p/s: Dont be afraid to state that you want to work part time.
Dont be afraid/embarassed to address the career gap. I think its a very important job nurturing a young family and say now you feel its time for you to rebuild your career and you find XXX interesting .

These may sound overwhelming, but take it bite size at a time.

I returned to work after a break ( 4 years) and followed the same process above ....

Of course nothing is easy and if you are keen to return, then you will have the motivation to do it. Though if you are only dabbling ( i.e. unsure whether you really want to return) ....then it might not work for you.

thesandwich Tue 24-Jan-17 18:04:38

Volunteering is a great way to build skills and networks. Look for your local volunteer centre or try the do- it website. Some great advice on this thread!

gingercoffee Wed 01-Feb-17 02:07:37

I agree as well, volunteering is a great way to get some experience in something related to what you want to do, or build some skills that are transferable to other areas. It also shows employers that you are trustworthy, and can handle the commitment of a job. It builds up your own confidence too, and takes you out of that awful limbo where you haven't had a job for a long time, and you don't know how to even go about getting one.

Yes, the do-it website is great, and also find volunteer sites relevant to your area (via google perhaps), as thesandwich says, above.

To illustrate all this, I volunteered in schools for a long time, not really as a means to get paid work, just because I loved it. But then when a temporary admin post came up at the school I got it, mainly because I was already there. And later when I was ready to get a different paid job, the experience, confidence (and reference!) that I got from my time volunteering made all the difference. Now I work two days a week in an office, (and I still volunteer too because I enjoy it), but it was volunteering that opened up all the doors.

SmileAndNod Wed 01-Feb-17 02:15:39

I am completely in the same boat OP so will watch with interest. I am wanting / needing to work but the rejection I know I'll face will crush me.

In going to have a look at that volunteering site though. Just in case there's anything in my area.

Member85426 Thu 09-Feb-17 09:43:51

Thank you for the kind and helpful responses. I offered to help my at my children's school to teach some languages one afternoon a few weeks ago it went well and the school have since agreed to volunteer there for two mornings a week after the half term. I do have the qualifications to get on a teaching course though I would need to gain experience but I feel worried about interviews, the workload, managing behaviour and speaking to parents. I am looking forward to helping out and asking lots of questions about teaching to see if it is something I could consider going into. I am pleased to have made some small steps. I also looked at the do it website and there is a post for a nearby museum - there's some really great jobs there for me to get some work experience if I don't think teaching is right for me. Thank you for your help and I'll keep updating for people who are in similar position as me x

OP’s posts: |
Oly5 Thu 09-Feb-17 09:50:03

OP, it is never too late to start a career, you just need the confidence to go for it. Yes you will face setbacks and rejections, but that's all part of building a career.
You have a degree which is a brilliant place to start.
You don't have to become a TA or teacher just because that would fit with school hours. I work full time but in a very flexible job so still see loads of my kids.
What do you want to do, have you a hankering for a particular career?
It sounds like you need to write a list of what you Enioy and maybe get some careers coaching.
Don't set your sights low and day you're only good for minimum wage jobs etc.
Set your sights high. You can have a career and be a great wife and mum.
I agree that volunteering will help build your confidence up. You sound lonely and I think all these avenues will help open new avenues for making friends.
Good luck OP. Shine!

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