When I Grow Up

What do I want to be when I grow up?

 Well I can tell you what I don’t want to be. I don’t want to be a 9-5 grinder in a role involving spreadsheets, Gantt charts and the management of the unmanageable….oh hang on.

 You know that feeling when you realise you are too far down the road now and there is little opportunity for you to change tack?  I’m there. Sitting in an open plan office, not hating my job, but feeling there has to be more to my life than this. Obviously there is, my family, but I spend 30 hours a week here……..that’s a lot of hours doing something I don’t love.

 I was thinking the other day about my hope for my children’s future. How I might encourage them, support them and do some of the leg work to see what options are available to them when they show an interest in something. I never got that you see. My parents saw me as an office worker (it’s easy, basic stuff) or at best a flight attendant (that way I could meet a pilot who would support me to stay at home).  Even my Grandmother suggested a Doctor’s receptionist would be good, that way I could meet a nice doctor who would support me…..you get the picture.

 Actually, what I ended up doing (later rather than sooner but never the less) was nothing short of amazing.  Having come to the UK to study acting and dabbling in it a little bit, I happened to work for a company that was run by a guy who was a little like a cross between Mr Selfridge and Alan Sugar.  Great ideas, constantly changing his mind, but needing a supportive team of people to mould and shape and promote. I was one of them.  So in the space of 8 years I went from part-time data entry clerk, through several different and interesting roles to working for a different company as a Project Manager.  Decent money, flexible hours (sort of) and definitely re-employable if I so needed to find another job.

 So I’m here, running a team and saying “What’s it all about, then”. Because surely this isn’t it.

Image courtesy of e how.com

Image courtesy of e how.com

 Admittedly a very BIG reason for me not moving into something else (I quite fancied being a police woman at one stage) is that I have very much got used to the money I now earn.  Any loss of earnings would have a serious detrimental effect on where we live and what we can afford.  That’s the problem with climbing the pay ladder…….you get yourself in a position where you’re outgoings always sit just behind your earnings whether you earn £700 a month (my data entry earnings) or what I’m now earning.

 I have done a Psychology degree. I completed and graduated in March 2012 but in order to do anything with it I’d have to go on to at least a Masters and in most cases a PhD too.  I have yet to see any options open to me for anything without the extra study and of course you need to do work placements, voluntary work etc… which is difficult with a job and children.  Of course it makes me more employable for having a degree and perhaps the fact I have a psychology background makes it all the more interesting.

 The fact is, I’ve always fancied running my own business but I’ve never happened upon an amazing product/skill that I could sell.  I don’t want to be part of a pyramid selling scheme (Avon/Tupperware) I want to do something interesting and exciting and ideally creative.  I’m not a  massive risk taker either, so anything I started up would need to be done alongside my job for a while until I felt secure about it.

 It’s a pretty scary prospect to me that my profession is THIS ONE…………and it makes me kind of sad too. I’m properly stuck in a rut and can’t see the way out.

 Anyone out there find themselves in a similar predicament?  Major career change?  How did you manage with little money?


About freefallinginto40

I am 40 years old. I blog about how I'm coping with my "new" age at www.freefallinginto.com . I'm a married mother to two after years of infertility. I have a 6 year old called Pickle and a 3 year old called The Monster. I work 4 days a week. We are also planning a move to the country! I blog about that at www.ourmovetothecountry.wordpress.com
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4 Responses to When I Grow Up

  1. Helen says:

    I can empathise. I got a job straight from Uni as an IT geek in banking. HATED it but the money was good and I got used to the lifestyle. Married a Dr, had a baby and realised if I worked full time, and he worked full time (shifts, including weekends) we would a) have to have a full-time live in nanny b) would never see each other. So I gave up work (lucky enough I was able to) but our household income dropped by 50% (women don’t earn pin money anymore). So we don’t have a huge house, luxury cars or holidays (unless the parents help) but we do get by. I do miss the independence of having my own money and find it difficult to spend what I class as his money on myself.

    I was lucky enough that I was made redundant the same time I was going to leave anyway and used the money to retrain as a personal trainer who specialises in the over 50s. I LOVE what I do now, wish I had done a sports science degree at university etc but find it difficult to find the time to do it as looking after 2 young children and a husband who does irregular shifts. However the most difficult bit about being self-employed isn’t doing what you love it’s the bit that goes around the actual job such as marketing.

    Sorry that turned into a bit of an essay and I’m not sure it helped you at all. Have you talked to your husband about how you feel?

    • I love hearing stories like this though. Sounds like you’ve worked it out and are doing something you enjoy with earning potential. Gives me hope. Thanks for the advice on Twitter too.

  2. I met someone at the weekend whose mother retrained to be an architect in her 40s. However her children where grown and the mortgage smaller and her partner had a good income.
    Is it do-able are the sacrifices needed too great? Such a difficult call. There are changes you can fit in, obviously you fitted your degree in. Maybe volunteer one evening somewhere different? Sometimes it’s finding the inspiration to take a make a bigger change or discovering a smaller tweak could be the thing.

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