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New career in 40s with two small boys

(12 Posts)
Loveacupoftea77 Tue 12-Nov-19 15:06:42

I am in my 40s with a ds of 5 and another of nearly 2. I have a university degree but currently work in a low-paid admin position. I'm tired of struggling financially and considered training to be a teacher, as there is funding available and a year later I could be on a decent wage. But a thread on here quickly put paid to that idea! It seems utterly un-family friendly. I have previously worked in publishing (no money unless you live in or are willing to travel to the right place), and as an office manager, where I reached the top salary. I want a job where I earn a wage that is in line with my academic achievements, as well as experience and skills earned since then. But I can't afford to pay tuition fees or give up work to study... I'm out of ideas. If anyone can think of anything or has their own success story please let me know!

OP’s posts: |
BumblebeeBum Thu 14-Nov-19 14:35:58

What is your degree in?

Loveacupoftea77 Thu 14-Nov-19 19:29:50

My degree is in English and French (not that I have used the French much since then so that bit's not much use to me now!).

OP’s posts: |
clareykb Thu 14-Nov-19 19:33:37

I wouldn't retrain to be a teacher (and I am one) Someone who I used to work with writes content for educational websites, I wonder if you could do that with your language skills perhaps?

CmdrCressidaDuck Thu 14-Nov-19 19:35:17

I hate to be blunt but minus relevant skills in a field, an English degree doesn't qualify you for anything and commands fuck-all in terms of appropriate salary. Your best bet is to find a marketable angle on your existing experience plus degree.

Freelance proofreading and editing, perhaps? Tutoring in English? Or if you're very organised and that was why you succeeded as an office manager, you could look into project management - corporate project management is well-paid and relatively cheap and quick to study.

Theresa17 Thu 14-Nov-19 20:40:37

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Loveacupoftea77 Sat 16-Nov-19 10:25:28

Thank you, I will definitely look into the website content writing and project management ideas - great suggestions. I have done freelance editing (still do on the side occasionally) but as with any self-employed work it's not very secure. Some months I had more than enough work, other months nothing booked. And it doesn't pay particularly well (especially when you have to factor in quiet periods). But I still do it when I can because it's very satisfying and helps towards Christmas and birthdays etc. Btw I agree, an English degree really isn't worth very much!

OP’s posts: |
AwkwardPaws27 Sat 16-Nov-19 10:32:33

Civil service fast stream? It's a 4 year graduate scheme, open to mature applicants (I was accepted at 30, and there were a number of people in their 40s at the induction day)
You wouldn't have to move around as you have young children. It pays around £28k in the first 2 years, rising after that. There are a number of "streams" - HR, finance, IT, social research.

YeOldeTrout Sat 16-Nov-19 10:34:01

Project management qualifications... Prince? Business support with view to move into contract management?

AwkwardPaws27 Sat 16-Nov-19 10:34:32
Looks like applications for 2020 have now closed, but you could apply next year?

Loveacupoftea77 Thu 21-Nov-19 09:34:31

Ooh, that looks interesting! Thanks, I'll check it out. And tbh it probably makes sense to wait a year or two as my youngest is still so little (and not a great sleeper...).

OP’s posts: |
Monsterinmyshoe Fri 22-Nov-19 10:35:24

Thanks for this post OP. I'm in a similar position - have two boys (5 yrs, 8 mnths) and feel fed up of not really earning to my potential. I have started a course on Udemy on data science, but I just can't give it my full concentration with two young children (and it involves statistics, so it definitely needs it!).

I think Awkward's suggestion is a good idea. The pathway I would choose would take 4 years and I should be earning more than that after a couple more years in my current role, but the earning potential after looks good. I expect it is very London based, so not for me. Project management is a good one and you can do a cheap overview of PRINCE courses online (although it's not the qualification) to see if it's for you and it will demonstrate an interest in this field.

I would have a look at what skills you have and try to fill in any gaps with online courses. I always read job specs and think I'm not qualified experience wise, but might have the skills, so still apply.

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