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Career-wise what do you do...

(21 Posts)
mugglelady Sun 28-Dec-14 12:27:05

Wasn't sure whether to post this here or under the work section. I'm a single mum with 2 children. I don't get any financial help from my ex. I work fulltime in a stressful full-on job at the moment which leaves me exhausted and feel like I'm being stretched too thinly. I would like to make it clear I'm not afraid of hard work I go into work early and often pick up work after hours when the kids are in bed but my current job doesn't offer much back in the way of flexibility. I need to look for something in the new year and wondered how some of you guys do it... What careers do you do, hours, looking for ideas really. I need to pull in a fulltime wage but need to find a solution around the long hours expectation (I get some help from family with some dropping off and cover the rest with childcare but that's likely to change in the new year).

Thanks in advance!

MissWimpyDimple Sun 28-Dec-14 12:31:38

Do you need to work full time? How old are your children? Do you own or rent?

I have found that with Tax credits, my overall income is much the same on half hours as it would be on full time. With that in mind and as my DC is still at primary I don't work full time.

The fly in the ointment is housing benefit. If you rent they will pay. If you own they won't.

Rents here are so high and wages low so for me to be off housing benefit completely I would need to earn an unattainable salary.

As it is I work in lettings as a property manager.

Ohbollocksandballs Sun 28-Dec-14 12:38:31

When I split with DS' dad I went back to uni (previously dropped out due to pressure from him). My income is not fantastic, in terms of student loans etc, but it is enough, and I'm very grateful there are support systems in place to enable me to study, to then provide a better future for my DS.

Where I am, rent is fairly cheap (North west). I do receive housing benefit, although I pay a top up each month.

mugglelady Sun 28-Dec-14 12:46:57

Thanks both for the quick replies. I'm currently renting - this is alot cheaper than usual as is through a friend and is a temporary arrangement. Ill be looking for something more permanent around spring/ summer - so yep I will be renting. I'll look into housing benefit to see if that will help me with decision making at all as this is something I'm worried about (hence why I mentioned before having to earn a fulltime wage).

Ohbollocksandballs Sun 28-Dec-14 12:49:47

If you look on the directgov website, there is a benefits checker so you can see what you are likely to be entitled to.

mugglelady Sun 28-Dec-14 12:52:39

Thankyou, will take a look ��

Wotsitsareafterme Sun 28-Dec-14 19:04:08

For me its not just the post its the whole package. I work 22 hours a week and claim tax credits. I commute 40 miles but where's work offers flexi time. If I work overtime I get toil. This is public sector though not sure what the situation is in the private sector. If you are considering a career change you need to consider flexibility and how likely that would be grin

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 28-Dec-14 19:40:48

I work full time including nights and weekends. It is my own business and in the last 7 days I have had 14 hours not on call.
I have an au pair to enable this.
Is it worth it? Absolutely DD and I live comfortably, but not extravagantly. I don't need anything from ExH.

mugglelady Sun 28-Dec-14 21:06:32

Thanks for keeping the ideas coming, it's definitely giving me food for thought. You're right, flexibility is key it works both ways - perhaps the public sector is better for this (I have heard that previously, I'll do some digging).

Just out of interest with the au pair, how did you go about finding one you were comfortable with, vetting them etc?

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 28-Dec-14 22:42:21

Au pair world, then Skype interviews and references. I am looking for a driver so keep insurance manageable only recruit over 23s.

ThePerUnaBomber Sun 28-Dec-14 22:53:30

I am a senior civil servant - contracted to work 42.5 hours p/w - though often have to work late nights, travel overseas, work at home. I have to work f/t as DS is at an independent school and also still goes to childminder (most flexible option for me as I need overnights and live v rurally). My DP (not DS' dad) who we live with can't help with childcare as he works in the opposite direction - so nothing has changed since I was living alone, bar a slight reduction in bills. DS' dad and paternal grandparents do also pick up the slack where possible which I am grateful for.

It's a huge juggling act, organisationally and financially. But DS is v much part of CM's family, he sees his dad and grandparents every week. His dad pays for half the school fees, nothing more (which is waaaay less than the CMS would take, but it's easiest in order to remain on speaking terms and have the ability to be flexible).

Good luck with whatever you do.

radiobedhead Mon 29-Dec-14 00:53:49

My DM had an au pair to look after my brother and I. This meant we shared a room when we were 7 and 13.

radiobedhead Mon 29-Dec-14 00:55:31

Posted too soon.

Which we did for a few years. She went through an agency.

mugglelady Mon 29-Dec-14 20:34:27

Thanks PerUna and RadioBed for your input - will definitely be exploring the au pair route. Seems alot of us have demanding hours at some point but some job flexibility and definitely flexibility with childcare is key!

SezaMcGregor Fri 02-Jan-15 01:35:01

I work full time as a legal secretary. I'm lucky that I work for a small firm and so work 8-3. I'll start working 9-5 in September when DS is 8.

My salary is pretty low £12,500 but with tax credits my income is around £20,000 which is pretty nice. I feel very lucky that I can have such a good income from such a low salary.

There's no point me going to a larger firm to get a higher salary as it would all be eaten in childcare and transport and I'd also lose all of the small firm benefits such as their flexibility, the week off paid at Christmas and it generally being a nice place to work.

My income isn't much higher working full time compared to part time, perhaps £30 per week but I like working full time as I shake off some of the single parent stigma which though I may imagine, I haven't noticed it being foisted onto me dice I went full time - though I do miss (a hell of a lot) the walks and freedom of having days off while DS Is at school. Pros and cons I suppose....

mugglelady Fri 02-Jan-15 13:20:49

Thanks Seza - useful to look st this from a variety of angles. Thanks for your input

fedupbutfine Fri 02-Jan-15 14:30:49

I teach. It is pure madness during term-time but I spend most of the holidays with the children and don't have any real concerns about holiday cover (our holidays don't always match so there's the odd couple of days here and there). My colleagues regularly tell me to go part-time but like Seza the single mum stigma makes me feel that I really shouldn't. I am also over 40 now and don't have much pension to speak of so feel that I should be doing what I can to maximise it for my own future. Let's face it, one day the children will have their own lives and whilst I hope they'll take care of me, their own career choices, size of families etc may well make that difficult. And I'm responsible for me, no one else!

mugglelady Sat 03-Jan-15 21:49:12

Thanks Fedup. I have that in the back of my mind also, like you say one day the kids will be grown up and off doing their own thing so it would be nice to have a career established to carry on with.

gillybean2 Wed 07-Jan-15 11:44:00

I currently work 30 hours a week term time only (although I do work half of the summer holiday but only tue/wed/thur on those 3 weeks). I usually do 8.30-2.30pm, but have flexible hours so can change if necessary and can work from home to catch up if required.

I also tend to do overtime in December/January and June, working late and some weekends as that is my busy times.

I started off working 18 hours over 3 days (every week) with a child minder doing school pick up for me. I had to swap to 4 days a week (10-2.30) to do the school pick up when the child minder stopped working and I had no other options for school pick up.
It actually worked out well for me, and I could change my day off to be at school events (assemblies, sports day etc) or work it and take time in lieu during the school holidays instead.

My hours have increased over the years as ds has got older and moved schools.
I upped my hours and swapped to term time only when the holiday child care setting he went too closed and ds moved on the secondary school. I still do the school run both ways as school is on the way to work and there is no bus option (we live rurally and it's not our closest school - 40 mins drive to school and a further 20 mins on from there to work).

WTC and CTC make it doable, but I am concious of the fact I will need to significantly up my hours to be in the same place financially once those stop.

I work for a medium sized accountancy company, and they have always been very flexible and have said that as long as the work gets done they generally don't mind when I do the work. I was originally employed by someone who had been a single parent himself and so was sympathetic and understanding to my situation, which I was open about at my interview when they asked why I was looking for a job after being a SAHM for 5 years. This was all before the flexible working hours changes came in. I'm not sure how much easier to is now, but we do have several part time members of staff (both male and female), and it's not necessarily because they have young children either but suits them and the company.

Avagracesmum262 Sun 11-Jan-15 20:27:24

I work 8:15-4:15/5:00 Monday-Friday

I work term time and am on 18k

I do a fair bit of work at home, planning ect. I work in a priva school for all boys who have history of behavioural issues and emotional issues who're unfit for mainstream school, work closly with social services helping to build case studies. I do a lot of physical work, mechanics, forest skills ect, my jobs a support worker in a school still on first year and wage increases each year.

But fits in with DD and it's mind from house. I was teaching assitant before HLTA pays okay once tax credits have bumped it up like say hours fit well

mugglelady Mon 12-Jan-15 21:56:16

Thanks Gilly (apologies for the late response) & Ava - really helpful to hear different perspectives smile

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