Tuesday, 7 April 2015


Okay I'm going to admit it. I'm jealous. Yes the green eyed monster is definitely dwelling within me most of the time. And for why or what? 

Those people who jump careers. There I've said it. The ones I read about who have fled their high-flying banking jobs for freedom on a farm, making butter or some-such activity. Or the mother who managed to write that novel whilst breastfeeding a newborn.

My tone may sound mocking but, no, I'm merely jealous of their drive and confidence. I guess I'm a little in awe of people like this; who take a leap of faith and risk to follow a dream or explore a talent.

But I often wonder what the back-story is in these cases? Does everyone really have a nest egg ready to hatch on a rainy day? What happened on the day when someone gets home from the daily grind and says 'That's it. I've had enough'? Are partners and offspring involved in the decision?

Having watched seventeen years worth of 16 and 18 year olds leave an institution to seek pearls in far flung oysters, I am struck with the support and guidance that they receive before making crucial decisions . I remember being bamboozled by Radio One's Which Way Now? fledgling campaign and daunted by the deluge of leaflets AWOLmum brought back from a careers evening (which bizarrely school pupils were not invited to). And that was pretty much it to set me on my life's path.

Now in my forties I find the career advice I require is still inadequate. Am I expected to be settled in my job or self-reliant at career progression just because I have been in the workforce for twenty odd years? The marketplace is changing and whilst I have reached middle management in my career choice I now find that I am stagnating because the opportunities are not forthcoming due to financial / political constraints in the education sector. In addition to my age and pay grade working against me, what chance does my CV stand alongside younger, less expensive, recently trained employees? I am no longer naive enough to believe that experience can withstand those parameters - believe me I have tried. 

So I am considering moving out of my comfort zone to pursue new directions but where to begin? Googling 'What job can an ex-teacher do?' often ends up with more questions than answers. And giving everything up to retrain is not always a viable option with a family to support.

Have you jumped careers? Where is the best place to go for guidance?

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