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Feeling so stuck

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by parachute89, Aug 4, 2020.

  1. parachute89

    parachute89 New commenter

    Hi everyone. Please be kind, I'm a little emotional today.

    I have been a Primary teacher for 6 years. I have been thinking about leaving the profession for the past year and a half, and after a relationship break down last year moved back home. I decided that I would leave teaching this year and have living at home to fall back on in case it took time to find a job, then pick myself up for the next step of looking to buy a house etc.

    Then Covid. I decided it wasn't wise to leave my job (in a very nice school, might I add) at this time. Living at home during lockdown and everything has had quite an impact on my mental health, and I am desperate to have my own space. I want to buy a place, and can afford to as I have saved up a very healthy deposit. I have considered renting but all of my friends and family tell me not to waste my money when I can afford to buy.

    My issue is - should I buy at a time where I hope to leave my teaching job next year? My hope is to buy something that wouldn't be at the top end of my borrowing range so that even if I have to (and most probably will have to) take a pay cut, I could still afford the mortgage. What would your advice be?

    In regards to a new career, I'm not sure what I want. I like to think that I am quite a creative person, organised, calm, reflective. I will try and find a new career potentially honing in on these skills if I can, I'm currently scoping the market to see what's out there, and re-writing my CV.

    I just feel so stuck in every aspect of my life at the moment - living situation, relationships, career. If you have any advice it would be very much appreciated. Thank you in advance.

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    Sorry to hear of your predicament, though being able to buy a property is quite a nice problem to have !
    Banks like teachers because they work hard and have a steady income ( which is why you're in your current position) You need to do one thing at a time.
    I'd stick with the job, tbh, and look to buy yourself somewhere nice. It's an investment you will not regret if you buy wisely -remember that when you buy you are looking for location as well as the price !
    I know of people who bought a nice house in a sh** location. They've been robbed three times, are met with open hostility on the street and cannot sell the house.
    Check the crime map for the area you want to live in....All of this should take your mind off things for a bit.
    Life does throw you problems but you can become stronger because of them. Think of this moment in your life as the launch pad to something better.
    Good luck.
    VeronicAmb, Catsoup and agathamorse like this.
  3. thejudgesscoresarein

    thejudgesscoresarein Established commenter

    I first of all agree with your friends- if you can afford to buy a property and have the deposit to do so, then buy. Do not rent. You pay a landlord to live in a property, where you could be paying that money towards a mortgage and at the end of the mortgage term, the property is yours.
    I, would however, take time to consider your career options. Why do you want to leave teaching? Is it the current school? If so, have you considered different schools - maybe a promotion opportunity? If you’ve had enough of teaching, I would hold off with pursuing a mortgage until after you have changed your career and you are happy in your new role. Mortgage lenders will be hesitant to lend money out if the applicant (s) cannot forecast if they can afford to pay the mortgage once in a new role.

    May I add that the further north you go, the cheaper house prices are! My friend purchased a 4 bedroom property with garage and large gardens in Blackpool for £165,000. In southern parts of the U.K. - West Midlands, South- you’d expect to pay £275-£350k for a property of this style.
    Good Luck
    agathamorse and Catsoup like this.
  4. Caramel2308

    Caramel2308 Occasional commenter

    Hi parachute89. Sorry to hear that you feel in a bad place at the moment. I agree that you should buy if you can so you are paying for something that will be yours eventually. I also agree that you need to carefully consider your next move career wise. Could your feelings towards teaching be because you associate it with the whole package - you mentioned that you feel stuck in every aspect of your life - so does it require a change of career or a change of school? As previously suggested, would a complete change of area help? New area = new school + new friends giving you a fresh start. When it comes down to it, you have to do what is right for you. Perhaps, if you do decide to buy, focus on that first and then re-evaluate how you are feeling. If you still feel that it is the career that is not for you rather than the school, think carefully about what it is you would like to do. Good luck with whatever it is that you decide.
    ACOYEAR8 likes this.
  5. Catsoup

    Catsoup New commenter

    Have you considered taking a break from full-time teaching, but then returning to it in some shape or form once you've had a further period of reflection? Doesn't sound like you've had the mental space to deeply and calmly reflect on your career situation. You could:
    a) get a mortgage on your current salary, then look to change 'jobs' rather than 'careers'. I think a decent HT would understand if you'd taken a year's break and decided you would be keen to return to teaching.
    b) do this, then try doing Supply (you are primary, so Supply teaching is a viable career - long term or short term - and once you have got used to it, is a LOT less stressful than full-time teaching). But don't try and get a mortgage as a Supply Teacher - it's just highly difficult.
    c) rent on a short-term contract (eg 6 months? Extended AirBnB?)see what your cohort is like next academic year (give it 2 or 3 months): if you're finding it difficult, hand in your notice and you're not tied into paying a mortgage. If you're managing, then maybe you'll be able to decide what is best for you at that time.

    I agree VERY MUCH with ACOYEAR8. Take one thing at a time. Whatever you decide to do, take one decision at a time. Be mindful and conscious of the decision-making process. And sometimes, you only need to make one slight change in life, and other things begin to fall into place...

    Good luck"
  6. edenhendry

    edenhendry New commenter

    I have just left teaching after 6 years.

    I was trapped in the career as I was single and had a mortgage. I couldn't find a job outside of teaching because of the resignation dates being upto 5 months notice! No employer will wait that amount of time and I lost 3 opportunities because of it.

    However, I was lucky to find a new partner who supported my decision to leave teaching. I resigned with no job to go to in June this year.

    One month later, when I could predictably say when my leaving date was, I had received 3 job offers, and start my new job next week.

    Having your own place is wonderful, but it can also trap you in teaching. You would find it difficult to be able to get a new job while you have inflexible notice periods.

    Weigh up how much you can cope with teaching for the next 10 years +. Can you commit to this in order to achieve your home, or would it break you mentally to be doing this role, even if it brought you financial security?

    fjoy15 likes this.
  7. parachute89

    parachute89 New commenter

    Thank you so much for your very useful advice and kind words. I have certainly decided that renting would be the wrong way forward.

    In regards to changing school, I have worked across two different schools in my six years and my current school is actually wonderful- great staff, supportive SLT, generally lovely children. It is simply the demands on the job that grind me down, I feel there is a constant cloud hanging over my head, of work that needs doing. There is a constant feeling of “how to be better” in teaching and I’m so tired of this. And I’m in a far lovelier school now than my previous, so I think it is a case that teaching is not what I want as opposed to being in the wrong school. A horrible ofsted experience last year was the nail in the coffin for me. Reading your message asking if I could stay in this job 10+ years made me wince! I really can’t.

    It is certainly food for thought, and I will spend some time thinking about whether the timing is wise, your advice really has been most useful, so thank you everyone.

    Edenhendry, how did you feel about leaving during covid? How did you go about seeking a new job/career?
  8. br0wnsugar

    br0wnsugar Occasional commenter

    I was in your position 4 years ago, after losing both parents and a health issue and not feeling valued in my job as a mentor/coach/teacher so I literally had to grin and bear the fact that the income from teaching helped me to support my sons through university and save up some money to live off later on. I would advise that as you extol the positives of the school that you are in, make that your reason to stay a while longer, and see whether there is a counselling service for teachers, though union membership, (NASUWT) is pretty good but TES Ed Support can be of use as well, to support you as it really sounds like you have had your confidence knocked but have no one to share the effects of this as a teacher in a profession that is highly stressful.

    The counselling services is there as an outlet to help you to look at the role as a job but one in which if all main bases are covered; planning, differentiation, teaching and learning, pupils progress, etc are adequately done, there is no other time for more. Let this be your measure of success rather than all the other demands that others (SLT idealism) wish to place upon your shoulders. Broaden the shoulders and carry your load and know when enough is enough, in the role of a teacher. If you can be satisfied with the achievements of your pupils, your work life balance adjusted and you can proudly hold your head high knowing that you are a damn good teacher and it is not your 'fault' if others cannot see this, then you have a chance of applying for the mortgage, work for another 1-2 years, through the best parts of teaching and stick with that. While in this circumstance, consider other means of an income, with a view to moving on.

    After my 3-4 years of planning, my sons graduating from uni etc, I decided in Feb this year to resign and did. The school asked me to stay on longer as the Easter deadline wasn't convenient for them then covid came to town. Everything was then put on hold but I still saw through the resignation and deferred the leaving date to summer. In those months, I earned money to put into the bank to allow me to not worry about securing a job straightaway. I cannot say for sure that I will return to mainstream but I do know that a job in education is what I would like to look into. If nothing is available, then another route must be sought. I will add that I have no mortgage to worry about and so I was able to make decisions based on my circumstances, as should you. Good luck.
    agathamorse likes this.
  9. mrjack

    mrjack Occasional commenter

    So what did you leave to do ? I was bullied out of a role a few years back and have been on supply ever since. My salary has been halved going on supply and I am getting fed up of the uncertainty. I feel stuck, I'm mid forties and I just don't know what to do next career wise.
  10. Jonntyboy

    Jonntyboy Lead commenter

    Don't completely dismiss renting, at least shorter-term. Ideally, of course, you want to be putting your money into your own property, but in the UK we seem to be a bit obsessed with that! In Germany, for example, it's very normal to rent - about half the properties there are rented - and the systems are, as you would expect from that efficient nation, well-designed and seem fair. In Switzerland far more people rent than buy.

    We're actually thinking of selling, and will then rent, at least for a while, as we have various plans for the next few years that will need capital.
    jarndyce and agathamorse like this.
  11. edenhendry

    edenhendry New commenter

    I'm 42 and starting a new career scared me.

    I am working for a local council, in the school transport team, doing the monthly budget and finances.

    37 hours a week, 5 weeks annual leave (I can take holidays whenever I want!) and I have flexible working hours.

    Yes, there's a slight pay drop compared to a permanent teaching position, but so much happier.
    agathamorse likes this.
  12. mrjack

    mrjack Occasional commenter

    Thanks for getting back and your input. I need to make some changes.
  13. mrswashi

    mrswashi New commenter

    Can you tell me please what job you have now moved to?
    Is it still in education or something completely different?
    I'm currently thinking about what to do.
    Many thanks
  14. edenhendry

    edenhendry New commenter

    I'm working for a council, in the school transport team, doing the finance and budget.

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