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Does anyone know where I can get decent career advice (apart from Mumsnet, obv...)

(12 Posts)
YeahBut Wed 13-Feb-08 23:08:57

Am at the point of thinking about returning to the workforce for my own sanity and development. I just have no idea what to do. I do know that I don't want to go back into my previous career (PR), but 9 years of being a SAHM kind of knocks the confidence to do anything different. I have a pretty generic degree and enjoyed study so retraining would be OK, if I just had a clue about what I want to do with my life.
Has anyone got any ideas of where to get advice? How do real grown-ups decide what to do, anyway?

dolally Wed 13-Feb-08 23:20:22

a PR background is a pretty good one for many areas I reckon.

Have you thought about the usuals, like full-time part-time, areas, commuting, self-employed, own business...all that stuff?

How about the UCAS website to check out what kind of adult courses are available...?

or the recruitment pages of the broadsheets to give you ideas...

Good luck, I'm still trying to decide what to be when I grow up (after 15 years in the same job!)

elkiedee Thu 14-Feb-08 00:19:59

I would have thought your PR skills would be relevant in various different sorts of jobs - inhouse communications? Monday's Guardian might be worth a look? Or try employment agencies - register with a few and see if they come up with anything that makes you think yuk, or hmm, yes, I'll give that a try.

Or see if your local FE college could make course suggestions that appeal.

Good luck

micegg Fri 15-Feb-08 16:09:35

Oddly enough I came across a site today. Its learning direct and they have a section for careere advice. They have a quick questionnaire you can complete and it comes up with some suggested jobs and how to qualify for those jobs. I thought it was really good but didnt have time to read fully so will wait till DD is in bed.

micegg Fri 15-Feb-08 16:10:07

Could be 'Learn direct' actually.

Coachbeth Fri 15-Feb-08 22:47:00

I'm a coach who works with people on a range of issues - including wanting to change careers. The first thing I try to do with people is identify what you really enjoy doing, what you'd really love to do and then work out how you can earn money doing that! It's good to step back and think about what you'd like your working life to be. Have a go at writing your an ideal job/work description before you start to fix on specific career or jobs - what would your ideal working week look like? Who would you be working with? Would you be working on your own? What kinds of tasks in the day would you be doing? What would you feel like when you get out of bed ready to start a working day? What kind of clients or customers would you be dealing with?

Once people have done that, they often find it alot easier to work out what kind of job or work they want to do.

I coach people in person (in London) and via the telephone and I always offer a free initial 30 minute conversation so you can find out more about coaching, how it works and then you can see whether it's right for you. I'd be more than happy to chat to you if you like! Email me at

Beth Follini

jivegirl Tue 19-Feb-08 20:59:55

Hello Yeahbut,

I am pleased to hear from someone else in the same situation as me! I am about to start an indefinite period of SAHM-dom (an 18 month old with number two due in June). I have found the web severely lacking in sensible careers advice aimed at grown-ups. Career coaches are also prohibitively expensive (imho) and I can't help feeling that I really should be able to make the decision without paying someone else to help me get there!

The usual advice re 'do what you love' is great if you have a burning ambition, but not so great for those of us who don't, especially where the implications of retraining are so much more significant when you have children to take into account (unless you are lucky enough to have a wealthy partner who can support the household whilst you try different courses!)

Plus I think we have to be more realistic about our earning potential once we've retrained - it's one thing to tolerate a low starter salary when you're in your early twenties, quite another to be faced with the prospect of doing it when you've a mortgage and childcare fees to worry about!

I don't think I've been very helpful really - sorry! Just wanted to say that you're not alone really. I drive myself mad with it all - have considered being self-employed, law, being a mechanic, journalism.. but haven't had the conviction to see anything through yet!

Will be watching this post with interest..

Best wishes


jivegirl Tue 19-Feb-08 21:04:05

Just re-read my last post and realised how negative it sounds - that was not my intention! Although I think retraining is a harder decision later in life, I know I will eventually 'make my mind up' and am confident that I will be able to raise to the challenge of making it happen! Your experience in PR would be invaluable to many employers, and I am sure you will have no difficulty in finding a new career which fulfills and challenges you.


Hulababy Tue 19-Feb-08 21:07:45

Next Steps is the information, advice and guidance aimed at adults (Connexions is for under 19s). Nextstep is part of the Learning and Skills Council funded national framework for information and advice about learning and work.

I do IAG for adults, but currently within a prison setting. There are often IAG advisors working in many areas these days - and all univeristies, colleges, etc and I imagine job centres too should have them.

Next Step

Hulababy Tue 19-Feb-08 21:08:20

Learn direct does online and telephone IAG also - via their website.

SueW Wed 20-Feb-08 11:40:22

I went through the websites mentioned and found a tool where I had to answer lots of questions. At the end it came up with a list of potential careers, all of which sounded like the kind of things I am looking for.

Like you (OP) I have been away from my previous career for a long time - over 10 years - and I am suffering from a crisis of confidence, even though I have just qualified as an antenatal teacher. That's great and my skill set is huge, I know from all my voluntary and life experiences too, but antenatal teaching is never going to bring in the kind of income I need and is very family-unfriendly.

jeannie8 Sun 19-Jul-09 18:42:37

Whatever you decide to do make sure you love what you are doing! If you are not sure because evrything that has happened in the last 10 years has made you forget who you are, remember what you loved to do as a child!
I have spent 15 years studying and now have the perfect balance. As a writer I write a couple of days a week, writing courses in Child Psychology, Child Care and Education, Life Coaching, Counselling and Mediation. I also write a problem page for a newspaper.
On my other days I run 3 day intensive courses teaching people who would like to have a career in one of the above areas. We have such fun, vibrant times when I am teaching my courses. As a Psychologist I know the best way to learn is by having fun. I really care about my students so offer what I really believ to be the best courses around at the lowest prices (50% discount for mumsnet members.
I am the luckiest person in the world as I do a job that I love and then teach others to love the job that they choose to do. How cool is that?
We have one life (that we know of!) and we should all make the most of it. When we look back over our lives on our last day on earth, it is not the things we did that we regret, but the things we didn't. Enjoy life, spread your winds and have fun! x

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