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change of career

(25 Posts)
Gaga Mon 16-Sep-02 12:52:18

I am a nurse and since having my two children really do not want to work unsociable hours especially weekends and xmas. So I am contemplating a career change for working part time hours during the daytime. I could study part time for two years and become a solicitor (due to previous qualifications). Does anyone know once I am qualified how long I would have to be an apprentice for etc.? Ha s anyone already done this? or do you know of any other careers that fir well around children and school hours that you find rewarding? Please tell - I would be most grateful for any advice.

cazzybabs Tue 17-Sep-02 18:13:51

There is always teaching - good for the holidays, but don't think its a 9-3.30 job, more like 8-6 depending on school/age range.

threeangels Tue 17-Sep-02 19:42:47

How about some other kind of medical work since you already know a lot in that area. Or do you think that would most likely need full time workers? There are a lot of places open only on weekdays and closed on all holidays. Maybe something in the medical administration line. Not necessarily in a hospital but maybe a private place.

Janeway Tue 17-Sep-02 20:13:01

the Health visitors at our GPs surgery are trained nurses, they job share and I've not yet found one available outwith office hours

gillymac Tue 17-Sep-02 21:37:44

Hi Gaga,

I changed career nearly two years ago for the same reasons as you, i.e. incompatability of children and unsociable hours and I'm now a Health and Safety Inspector.
The job is varied and interesting and, so far, rewarding. Also as a qualified nurse you may be able to join as a specialist Occupational Health Inspector which would mean you'd got paid more than me. The hours are basically 9-5 (ish) but being part of the Civil Service, they are (fairly) family friendly with various possible working patterns, eg job share, part-time, term-time working.
Only problem may be with the training, they are very keen on it - I have just returned from my third course away from home in as many weeks (although this is exceptional). Also, all trainee Inspectors are sent to Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh to study for a Post-Grad Diploma in Health and Safety which would mean nine weeks away from home (unless like lucky me you live in Edinburgh). They do pay for extra childcare expenses relating to courses though.
Hope this helps.

threeangels Tue 17-Sep-02 21:49:47

Hi Gillymac, Can you tell me exactly what your career is all about. I have an idea but I'm not totally sure. Im seriously thinking of going to be a medical assistant but I am also looking into other ideas as well just incase. Can you tell me how much schooling it involves? Thanks so much.

Meid Thu 19-Sep-02 14:38:37

After getting your qualifications at law school you would be "articled" to a solicitors office for 2 years. I'm not sure if being a solicitor would particularly fit in around a family. It would depend entirely on the area of law you specialised in and the type of firm you went to. I have a friend who after her law degree went into local government work specialising in trading standards. Says she loves the job and finds it very rewarding. Local government is my tip for a career to fit in around children - part time probably available and the best bit would be flexitime. Not sure about the money side of it but might be worth thinking about which departments might need legal advisors.

gillymac Sun 22-Sep-02 18:20:00

Hi threeangels,

basically what I do is ensure that workplaces such as factories, farms, hospitals and many more, comply with UK health and safety law. This is done by carrying out inspections of these workplaces (usually unannounced) and by investigating complaints and workplace accidents and/or cases of ill-health caused by work. Where there are found to be problems with an organisation we can take action ranging from giving advice to prosecuting the organisation in the criminal courts.
It is an interesting job. I don't know for definite what qualifications are needed to join. It used to be a degree but that isn't the case any longer. However, because the Health and Safety Executive (the government dept I work for) puts all trainee Inspectors through a Post-graduate course they do look for people who will be able to cope with study at this level.
I think the US equivalents would be NIOSH and OSHA, both of whom have good websites. I don't know what qualifications/experience they would be looking for though.

threeangels Sun 22-Sep-02 20:25:37

Hi Again Gillymac - Your job does sound quite interesting. When I used to work in daycares here and I would see the health department people come out to inspect the centers I always thought it would be an interesting job. Its something I might keep in mind on the inspection side of a career.

prufrock Mon 23-Sep-02 13:42:58

Just a thought after having to use it at the weekend - have you looked into working for NHS Direct? Don't know where it's based, but they might be able to accomodate more flexible hours and you still get to use your experience.

nics1stbaby Mon 23-Sep-02 16:28:52

Health visitor is great idea. My friend is one and she does 2 days a week to fit in with her newborn.

You have the qualifications already, just an extra year doing a degree on this area I believe?

nics1stbaby Mon 23-Sep-02 16:29:43

sorry, adding a message before I've read the thread properly!

Gaga Mon 23-Sep-02 22:22:46

Thankyou everyone for your advice. Jane way and nics1stbaby I did think about health visiting but jobs don't seem to come up that frequently in the North. Solicitors - something I have thought of before and was thinking would give me 9-5 hours, part time and possibly taking home more salary for less hours and not as physically demanding (i.e. more energy for the kids!)- maybe I am not being realistic?

floops Wed 25-Sep-02 11:27:37

Does anyone know how long the health visiting course is? I've tried accessing the universities and schools of nursing on the internet this morning and can't find the course anywhere.

floops Wed 25-Sep-02 12:06:00

o.k managed to find the course at a university. Unsociable hours - do health visitors work them does anyone know as I too do not want weekends / bank hols etc. Do they offer term time contracts etc?

bells2 Wed 25-Sep-02 16:19:28

Sigh.. after 12 months of utterly loathing my job I had taken the decision of taking up the offer of moving to a different area of my firm and doing a more pressured, higher profile job (still 4 days a week) that would however be interesting and fulfilling. As you can imagine with 2 small children (and hoping for a 3rd) it was a tough decision but I am seriously thinking of chucking it all in in a year or so and wanted to leave on a high note. I also wanted to try and assess whether I feel like I want to stop working because I want to be with my children or because I hate my job.

Anyway, the powers that be have come back and said that I cannot move until a replacement is found for my present position. As hell is likely to freeze over before they find ANYBODY else who is a) willing to work for my firm given its reputation and b) do my job for anything like the money I get paid I am very disappointed. Anyway not sure why I am boring you all with this but just feel very disappointed.

jemw Wed 25-Sep-02 16:25:39

Oh bells2, i can understand why you feel disappointed, it must be v fustrating to make a decision like that and go for it only to be knocked back,
Fingers crossed that someone will apply for your job, if it is advertised as a 4 day week job you may get some responses from someone wanting shorter working week

good luck, jemw

Tinker Wed 25-Sep-02 18:57:12

Sympathies bells. Horrible to be trapped in a job you can no longer stand. Very envious of your plan to leave the world of work behind in a year or so though.

Marina Wed 25-Sep-02 19:29:25

Ditto, Tinker. So sorry your carefully-laid plans have been scuppered by your delightful employer, Bells, what a blow for you.

bossykate Wed 25-Sep-02 19:38:31

hi bells.

i think jemw has a good point - part time jobs are like gold dust in the city... and the market is so quiet i bet there are quite a few people who would like to make a move but have been unable to for the last 18m - 2y... is there a parents network where you work? it might be worth putting out a few feelers through this means for someone who wants an internal transfer. will you be finding your replacement yourself? if so you could perhaps attract candidates by more "unconventional" means - i.e. by advertising on working options (pt/flexible work for professionals) or even mumsnet notice boards. do you really feel the job is so bad noone would want it?

i know exactly what you mean about wondering whether you really want to give up work to spend more time with the kids or just because your current position is getting you down. i wrestled with this during maternity leave - fortunately for me it turned out to be the latter, as i can't really afford to give up work!

one note of caution. i too work in a high pressure job on a reduced hours basis. it was quite a step up when i was offered this role on return from maternity leave, so i was delighted. keeping up with it on a less than full time basis has been very, very tough. but still i think you're right to give it a go - when you get the opportunity - as you say, if you do decide to go, it will be at a pinnacle of achievement.

best of luck

bundle Wed 25-Sep-02 19:40:16

bells, what a p***er, i hope something nice comes your way soon.

bells2 Thu 26-Sep-02 08:27:26

Thanks for your kind words. Sadly my current 4 day week is extremely unpopular with my department and there is no way they would consider offering it to anyone else on this basis. Our department has gone from 25 to 8 in 12 months through a combination of redundances and resignations and the mandates to hire 6 new people have gone unfulfilled for around 8 months now. Oh well, at least I'll be able to maintain my Mumsnet addiction!.

And fair point Bossykate, when I was woken at 2am and then 4am by son and daughter respectively this morning, it did cross my mind that it wouldn't have been easy. I often think that I would love to start a boutique investment bank offering EVERYBODY the option of 3 or 4 days a week. I'm sure you would get some very talented people for a fraction of their normal cost.

bells2 Thu 26-Sep-02 08:34:07

Other irritant is that new job was covering the Leisure, Consumer and Retail sector. If anyone was born to do that it was me!. Oh well, back to semiconductors (yuck).

tigermoth Thu 26-Sep-02 10:53:11

Sorry you're feeling stuck Bells. With so few of your left at work, the place must echo a bit, too.
Hope your plans to quit in a year go well. jitw

I just wondered, talking of leaving on a high note, could you use the offer of this high profile position to your advantage outside your company? Looking for other interesting jobs you could mention your company's offer - they obviously think you are of high calibre.

I have to say I am trying hard to convice myself that I still like my line of work - the dud work situation in my last job has sapped so much of my enthusiasm. I don't know if it's this or my desire to stay at home with my children that has changed my attitude.

Batters Thu 26-Sep-02 12:33:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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