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Dead end at 40. Ideas for good general training?

(11 Posts)
JenniferYellowHat1980 Wed 29-Mar-17 18:29:04

I quit teaching to look after my dying DM last year, having had quite a lot of absence before that when she got really ill. I have no regrets about that, but am now stuck in a low paid NHS role with no real prospects with a PT maternity contract alongside. The school I'm working in is lovely but they've just given the permanent post they as good as promised me to a NQT. I really struggled with the stress of behaviour management while my DM was ill so I don't want to go back to teaching in just any school - and anyway I'm on top whack pay and wouldn't be most schools' first choice.

I've been considering retraining as an allied health professional or even a nurse, but I have big reservations about taking on a massive debt to do something I can't be sure I'll enjoy and being broke for three years training to get there.

What I'm thinking now is that I'd like to get a decent business admin, HR or IT qualification under my belt so I have something specific to offer instead of waffling about tenuous transferable skills in job applications.

Any recommendations for well regarded courses that I can do via distance learning please? I did access to science and got a distinction so maybe I could build on that, but that was really with a view to retraining in healthcare.

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bluebelltippytoes Wed 29-Mar-17 19:41:07

What do you actually want to do? An allied health professional is very different to business admin, HR or IT.

I think if you're going to do some training you need to be clear on what you want to achieve.

JenniferYellowHat1980 Wed 29-Mar-17 20:01:34

Sorry I wasn't very clear. I'm trying to think of a general qualification that would help me find any job so that perhaps I don't need to go back to uni. I live in quite a rural area and have been looking for jobs for over a year. I beee to be quite open minded about what I could do because there isn't very much choice.

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annandale Wed 29-Mar-17 20:10:01

I don't suppose there is a hospital school locally? Just a thought to combine your current experience.

Or what about going to your current manager and saying you want to progress? I know that you will have to apply for other jobs, but any NHS manager worth their salt will help you think about ways forward.

If you can cope with low wages for a while longer, what about going into AHP assistant or technical instructing work? You don't have to be qualified and it allows you to see the actual job up close, plus get lots of patient experience. E.g. this Reablement Assistant type role - there are quite a few round the country as all hospitals are desperate to get people back home asap.

newnoo Wed 29-Mar-17 21:17:36

There's the CIPD you could look at Level 3 for getting into an HR role.

If you've been used to nuturing people and helping them grow in a structured way, there may be some overlap from being a teacher to moving to HR?

IT I'm not sure about - it's much more logical and requires a different set of skills - but IT is a very wide industry - there might be something but as PP suggested need to know what you enjoy and are good at so you can get the right path.

Good admin role... I'm always unsure about that. Admin is always first to be cut in a downturn and also not so much room for growth.

HR and IT offer better pay as well if you climb up the ladder.

Admin can be a good stepping stone to other roles - but very much depends on the organisation you work for you and who you work for etc. Got to be lucky/rightplace/rightime.

Just my view, I'm sure others may have something contrary to say.

Hope that might help.

bluebelltippytoes Thu 30-Mar-17 00:29:55

I would start by looking at which jobs are available locally and go from there. There's no point in doing some new fangled IT training if all the relevant jobs are in Docklands.

Very difficult to know what you are good at or will like until you dip your toe in the water. How is your financial situation? Could you take a few months out and do some volunteering? That would be really helpful if you want to go the healthcare route at least. Admin is dead end. Don't go down that route.

JenniferYellowHat1980 Thu 30-Mar-17 05:46:31

Thanks for al the brilliant advice so far.

My managers did offer to train me but it involved a substantial period living away from home which I don't want to do with young DCs at home and because of the geography, once I'd done the training there wouldn't be much scope for progression. My current job is fine for now but there's no real future in it.

Financially, no I can't take time out but I suppose I could quit the teaching early to give me time to volunteer part time. Yes there are loads of reablement posts. What I'd really love to do is physio rather than OT but there aren't any courses locally enough. SALT is tempting too but would involve a four hour commute each day!

With CIPD would I have to be in post to make a success of the course?

I'll knock the business admin idea on the head. I really want to feel that I'm on a career path and not stuck in yet another dead end.

Nursing. There are aspects of nursing I really fancy (research, maybe palliative care, progression to physician associate) but it's one of those jobs - like teaching - that you hear of so many people desperate to quit. Anyone got an alternative point of view on that please?

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PossumInAPearTree Thu 30-Mar-17 06:37:33

Nurses. Know who are unhappy generally are ward nurses. Saying that I know happy ward nurses. The good thing about nursing is there's so many different areas so if you get fed up with one move elsewhere.

I'm an allied health professional, but work closely with nurses in a hospital.

Other thing to think about is the nuw Nurse Associate role. Band 4, so worse pay but no three years of training and no debt. Might be worth thinking about that even to see if you like the role before the commitment of training? Or sign up to the hospital bank as a health care support worker....only band 2 but would get you experience which you'd need for any applications for nursing anyway.

bluebelltippytoes Thu 30-Mar-17 09:47:31

Other than being paid grin and some career progression, what do you want from a job?

My background is HR but I want to become an OT primarily because I want to work with people, helping to make their lives better and generally to give back.

In business, HR is probably most closely aligned to a caring/people role but you need to be pretty thick skinned as you are dealing with business people who are just really concerned with the bottom line. You basically ensure that the company stays on the right side of the law. This involves keeping difficult managers and staff in check - managers who would rather be firing people and staff who would rather be consistently late/on long term sick.

At this stage, pull together a list of all the jobs you are interested in and see if you can shadow or volunteer. My friend (SLT) recruited for a therapy assistant a while back and she lasted a week. Apparently couldn't cope with the swallowing/saliva accept which is a big part of the job. I guess you would find this out if you spent some time in that area.

Also, if you manage to get a job in one area (i.e. OT) it won't preclude you from another area (i.e. SLT). It will just broaden your experience. That's what I've been told anyway.

Like a pp said, Assistant Practioner jobs could be a way forward for you.

JenniferYellowHat1980 Thu 30-Mar-17 12:39:17

You know what, I'm thinking my low paid role in the NHS is ok for now. I could continue to do supply alongside as long as it lasts, then see how it goes as the pay creeps up (and I mean creeps - my 1% pay rise will give me about a tenner a month). I think I'm looking for something I'm not going to find TBH, and at least in the role that I've got I'm not being told to fuck off, having stuff thrown at me and being hounded for results that the kids just don't want to work for.

I think I'll keep nursing in mind - my current role is clinical and I have some association with nurses so my experience isn't a million miles away. I think the issue with working in the NHS - my dept anyway - is that massively top-heavy hierarchy that keeps you in your place and prevents you having much autonomy. It's ok though.

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bluebelltippytoes Thu 30-Mar-17 13:47:23

I think every organisation/job comes with its problems!

Is there any way you can pick up any other skills/responsibilities with the NHS job? Sometimes the answer to the question can reveal itself as you move further along the road IYSWIM. If you say yes to everything then it could move you in a direction that you hadn't thought of.

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