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Job/career dilemma!

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by 123Vanilla, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. 123Vanilla

    123Vanilla New commenter

    If ANYONE can offer some advice. I would be very grateful.

    Left teaching a decade ago. In hindsight I should have found another job, perhaps in education, perhaps not. Instead, I took a break, moved south to north, had my son and looked after my then three year old daughter. Once son was 18 months old, thought about returning to teaching, but was then struck down with cancer. Had treatment etc etc recovery was long physically and mentally. Decided not to return to teaching and took a home based job for a few years. Funds dried up, unemployed for a few months, then took a role as welfare assistant. That ended December due to fund cuts. Once again, unemployed. Have had many interviews for different roles this year and either the job has not been suitable for me or I was unsuccessful. Now here I am, mid forties and have no clue what I am doing. I currently volunteer at my local CAB office and have started to apply for jobs within the civil service. Had thought about retraining, perhaps in social work or MH nursing, but unsure if I have the stamina.

    Is anyone else in a remotely similar situation to me. Or if you have been, which direction did you take?

    Just feel a total failure really.
  2. First Snowdrop

    First Snowdrop New commenter

    So sorry to read your experiences over the last few years. You are certainly NOT a failure - and those who are not employing you are missing out on the excellent skills you have to offer. So many jobs end after a short while due to budget cuts, etc and that's not your fault. I can't help with the direction you might take other than suggest things you might have already tried, like Careers Advice (if it's still on offer to adults these days - search online to check). Regarding retraining as a Social Worker - one of my children trained 5 years ago, did lots of temporary work through an agency, and finally got a permanent post a couple of years later - only for it to disappear within a couple of months due to the next round of budget cuts. I'm not sure what opportunities are available now in that field, but she's still trying to find permanent work of any sort - and feels much like you do, although she, like you, is very capable and would be a credit to any employer. She's an Adult Social Worker, but if you are interested in being a Children's Social Worker, though, I think there are a lot more opportunities.

    Your CAB voluntary work will give you very valuable experience for your CV and will hopefully help you find a job soon. I hope your search goes well and you find something quickly. Meanwhile, just remember it's not you who is a fault - it's the job market, cuts etc.
  3. 123Vanilla

    123Vanilla New commenter

    Hello Snowdrop
    Thank you so much for your lovely reply, it has really cheered me up.

    I am surprised your daughter has struggled to find work being an Adult Social worker, how disappointing. How did she find the social work course if you don't mind me asking? Was it the step up to social work programme? Did she receive a bursary of any kind?

    It feels extremely tough and my frustration levels are through the roof right now. Almost a year of job searching and have got no where fast!

    Thanks once again Snowdrop.
    First Snowdrop likes this.
  4. First Snowdrop

    First Snowdrop New commenter

    Hello Vanilla, I'm glad you feel more cheerful now!

    My daughter did a 3 year Social Work degree, having carefully chosen a career path that motivated her and which seemed to offer a good chance of employment after graduation - and, yes, she did get a Bursary, which was an indication that Social Workers were much needed. Then, lots of Social Work jobs disappeared in the cuts, and the system was reorganized (at least by some Councils) to rebrand Social Workers as 'Care Managers' (who were paid less). I'm not sure how things stand at the moment, as very few jobs have been advertised in Social Care locally, recently. Children's Social Work is, I think, a shortage area. Employment prospects might well depend on the area you live in. Certainly, check out the chances of employment near you (or wider if you can move) as there do seem to be regional differences. And, find out about more people who've trained as Social Workers, as their experiences may have been different to my daughter's.

    I can really understand your frustration - what a nightmare for you. Keep believing in yourself - and it'd be lovely if you let us know what you decide/how things work out.
    sabrinakat and pickles124 like this.
  5. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    I would definitely see if you can try and speak to existing social workers or do a bit of research on the job role, pressures etc as i know social services is quite a challenging area.

    Have you looked at learning mentor roles? Family support worker/ family liason? Home School Link Worker?

    Have you looked at childrens charities- mencap, action for children?

    Retail work, admin to tide you over. Im suffering too. I have god awful headaches everyday because the stress of finding a job is actually a job in itself.

    I pray everyday- and i believe that He will hear us. He will help us. There is a job out there for us.

    This is a fierce battle and only the brave and determined will get through. Perhaps take a week off to recollect your thoughts.

    And remember people are getting jobs...so if they can do it, so can we!! The law of the universe says that it is our time.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
    First Snowdrop likes this.
  6. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    Keep the faith and keep strong...all of you are in my thoughts. Xx
  7. First Snowdrop

    First Snowdrop New commenter

    Good luck with your job hunt, too, Pickles.
    pickles124 likes this.
  8. Tinycat1234

    Tinycat1234 Established commenter

    Wow you’re amazing!! Look at all you’ve achieve - 2 children, fought a battle with cancer and relocated!! It’s more than most people achieve.

    Have you thought about doing a bit of supply? Or do you def not want to be a teacher?
    123Vanilla and pickles124 like this.
  9. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    @123 vanilla- i know its not my place to ask but you must have worked so hard to qualify as a teacher. Have you not looked at learning mentor, cover supervisor or progress coaching roles.

    Could you not do a return to teaching course?
    123Vanilla likes this.
  10. DaisyBill

    DaisyBill New commenter

    maybe look at teaching assistants positions first and see how you feel about working back in schools first. I have a few friends who have recently left teaching and are instead working as TAs.
    phlogiston likes this.
  11. 123Vanilla

    123Vanilla New commenter

    Thanks all. I am my own worst enemy as I should have focused on a career after leaving teaching. However, now is not the time to focus on the 'should haves' else I will go round in circles.

    I am going to hold my head up high and try to re discover my usual determined persevering character, in the hope that one day, someone somewhere will give me a break and I can be back in work before retirement age! ;)

    Pickles, you are right, I did work hard back in the day, both in training and on the job. But somehow, I let it all slip and forgot to look back for far too long.
  12. 123Vanilla

    123Vanilla New commenter

    By the way, has anyone retrained later on in life, like mid forties? I am contemplating this, but unsure at this moment in time what I would retrain in. I would also have to self fund I believe (as I have done a P.G.C.E previously??)
  13. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    You could well be a desirable TA. Having said that, the mainstream schools near me seem to be shedding TAs rather than recruiting them. This would give you a chance to see what schools are like at the moment and give you a flavour of whether you could see yourself working in one.
    Good luck. Well done for remaining upright after all you've been through.
    123Vanilla likes this.
  14. curias

    curias New commenter

    Re retraining, try the free govt scheme TSST. I don’t know what your subject specialism is but this could very well help. I’ve signed on to retrain to teach Maths, she says, bravely!
  15. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    I have tried retraining and changing career, I know which career I want but I'm not there yet. I have several units from the OU under my belt but I am back in teaching right now, which leaves little time for working towards my ambitions. I'm in a good school though, and am happy here for the time being, building up my savings for further training. I am slightly older than you!
    Tinycat1234 and 123Vanilla like this.
  16. 123Vanilla

    123Vanilla New commenter

    Do you mind sharing what you are are planning on retraining as dunnocks? Just interested in peoples experiences.

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