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I'm losing my job and I feel lost.

(79 Posts)
HotTamales Wed 16-May-18 18:53:20

I'm new here but very much a regular on MN.

As I had my children when I was young I am a young Grandma in my mid 40s.

I'm about to lose my job, although my employers can't say this ultimately, it's because I'm 'old' and expensive.
It's the same all over my type of career, I would like to begin another career but I have no idea where to start.

I feel bad at the loss of income, DH is fantastic but I feel like I'm letting him down and I feel lost and I've no idea what I could do next.

Our adult DCs are young, successful and gorgeous, obviously this is excellent but it also reminds me how old I am.
They are full of energy and optimism whereas I feel dragged down by age and responsibility.

Any useful advice for getting my mojo back would be appreciated.

Fennel Wed 16-May-18 19:05:45

"old and expensive" - I know what you mean HT.
I found the same result many years ago when I tried to move to another area in my 50s.
You're so young though. Is there something else you've often thought you'd like to do, but needs training? Think about it, and if so, go for it. You'll enjoy the challenge.

Telly Wed 16-May-18 19:09:53

In your 40s you are still young and lucky you have many more working years ahead! I would sit down and think about the skills that you have - many of which are transferable to other positions. What do you enjoy about your current job? What are you good at? People? Figures? What do you dislike? Ideally what form would you new job take? Large organisation? Small? Working from home? Giving this some thought and writing it down may well give you and idea of where you need to start and how you need to approach your job search. Many jobs are not advertised so don't be afraid to let people know when you are in the market. This is an exciting opportunity - make the most of it! Good luck and best wishes.

tanith Wed 16-May-18 19:28:00

My late 40s daughter was made redundant from a job she’d had for 20+ yrs she was very worried about where she went from there. It took 8mths and one false start but she’s now very happy she looked at jobs that were completely different from her previous job as she’s now doing something different and so far it’s going really well.
So do consider jobs that might be out of your comfort zone and list all the skills you have, good luck.

HotTamales Wed 16-May-18 19:34:54

I don't want to seem obnoxious or arrogant but I'll try...

My greatest skill is with people, I'm a good manager and have experience of dealing with people in crisis, from those who are violent or distraught to people who are ecstatically happy and everything in between.

I'm good at managing conflict.

My problem seems to be getting employers to take my CV seriously.

I have been dealt a fait accompli so I've had to hand in my notice, as I have to give 6 months I will be available for a new post in late September. I originally gave my notice in 6 weeks ago.

Willow500 Wed 16-May-18 19:38:15

Due to a family business closure I found myself in a similar position at 49. I'd never had what I called a 'proper job' having worked for my husband for over 20 years so I felt completely at a loss what to do next (as did he actually but that's another story). I registered with a couple of agencies and started looking through the job ads for anything within my skillset. One of the agencies came up with a job which I thought would be ok and they thought I was suitable so gave me the position. It wasn't where I wanted to be but it did give me breathing space to look round for something else which I found 6 months later. 14 years later I'm now looking at redundancy at the end of the year due to the takeover by a global company but as I'm only a year off my pension that's not so scary as it was all those years ago.

If you are sure you're going to lose your job don't wait until it happens - unless they have to pay you redundancy in which case don't leave voluntarily! Start to look at available posts in the job market which fit in with what you're currently doing - it doesn't have to be the same job but you will obviously have skills which will be useful to other companies out there. You're still young enough to start out again - even to have training in a new career if that's what you want. Don't think of it as the end of the world - it could be the start of a whole new exciting one. Good luck!

OldMeg Wed 16-May-18 19:54:22

There’s a shortage of teachers. You could retrain.

janeainsworth Wed 16-May-18 19:59:34

You sound like an ideal dental practice manager HT.
All sorts of people to deal with and various conflicts to manage!

Or could you market yourself as someone who could teach these skills (listening to people & managing conflict)to other small businesses?
Everyone I know who has ever been self employed says their biggest headache is managing difficult people!

Menopaws Wed 16-May-18 20:05:35

I lost my sense of purpose at 48, my beloved racehorse job came to an end as I was also no longer needed but not by my dear bosses of thirty years but the young upstarts who bought them out although I was well aware I wasn't the eighteen year old I was at the beginning but I was still working hard and usefully. I cried a lot as I realised the two things I was good at had gone, racehorses and raising children, and I had no idea what to do.
I did all the things I could, dog walking, cleaning, house sitting until I very luckily found my present job with old people, something I never ever said I would do but I'm not a nurse or carer but liaise with all their important stuff large and small and basically use communication skills that I do find easy, so you just never know what you might find, take your time, grieve a little bit for who you were and be proud of that but just begin to realise what you could now do, all the best

TwiceAsNice Wed 16-May-18 20:10:18

I did 2 degrees and changed careers completely in my 40's. I know it's scary and I,m sorry you've lost your job but try and look at it as an opportunity. I,m still doing my second career and loving it in my mid 60's.

Daddima Wed 16-May-18 20:12:56

I’m confused, hottamales. If they’re paying you off, why do you have to give notice? I’d say it’s they who should be giving you notice.Is your post redundant?

I’d be ringing the ACAS helpline.

Good luck in your new career.

HotTamales Wed 16-May-18 20:28:53

Daddima they aren't paying me off unfortunately, they are trying to move me to a different post, lower pay, not as much responsibility.
I could take the job they are offering but we've recently been taken over, the atmosphere is one of fear and resentment not just me! and I'd rather take a pay cut and demotion elsewhere.
It's very clear they don't want me, it's not just me, they have done this to others too.

I've spoken to ACAS but I don't really have anywhere to go.

Not so far off Jane.

Although I have a degree and a masters I wouldn't want to be a teacher OldMeg, I have friends who are teachers and they are all looking to leave. There was a time when I would have considered teaching but I think that time has gone.

Thank you to everyone for your stories - the ones that worked and the ones that didn't - they have given me comfort.

Jane10 Wed 16-May-18 20:39:18

So you're not without options. You could stay. You could use your degrees. You've got months to plan. Get to it! You'll be fine. Just think, where could you be this time next year... sunshine

Chinesecrested Wed 16-May-18 22:23:01

Looking from my viewpoint of mid sixties, you're still young. You've got qualifications and a recent employment record. Who is going to be your next lucky employer? Have you looked at the charity section? A sister in law of mine worked for Victim Support - something like that may be suitable?

jenpax Wed 16-May-18 22:36:10

Not clear why you handed in your notice! If your employer wants to make you redundant they have to show that there is no longer a need for the job, any aspect that includes your pay grade or age is a sham redundancy! If they have forced you to resign it will possibly be constructive dismissal and I would take legal advice! It sounds as if you should have been protected by TUPE regulations if the company was taken over which means they had to keep your existing contract! The very worst thing to do is offer your resignation! I would withdraw it now and force them to either make you redundant remembering the post they offer as an alternative has to be suitable (which it doesn’t sound as if it is) or take them to an ET for unfair dismissal

OldMeg Thu 17-May-18 07:21:23

Perfectly understand who no one would want to teach HotTamales just a suggestion as I know the government are desperately trying to recruit with those rose-tinted adverts.

OldMeg Thu 17-May-18 07:21:42

is not are

HotTamales Thu 17-May-18 09:25:47

jen I would be making the same argument if someone else was posting. I have taken plenty of Union advice, I agree there is possibly a case for constructive dismissal.

However, for the first time ever my recent annual appraisal was lousy, I have plenty of proof to back up my case that my performance is as good as it always has been and I will be fighting their appraisal vehemently and with evidence.

Having said that, it’s clear that they want rid of me and that the atmosphere at work is now awful because this isn’t just happening to me.

I could fight it legally but that will cost me a lot of money, and for what really? So I can keep a job I no longer want in a place I no longer want to be.

Redundancy isn’t being offered, to come to a settlement I’d have to go further down the poor appraisal process and I feel too long long in the tooth to drag this out for—potentially— months and months. All for the sake of maybe £10k. In that time I could have earned that sum and more without putting myself through the misery. We aren’t rich by any means but the potential of a payout at the end just isn’t worth the upheaval to me. DH supports this completely.

Thank you to everyone saying I’m not old, I wish someone would tell that to potential employers!

I’ve looked at charity jobs and I’m tempted, competition for them is fierce but it’s certainly something I’ll try.

HotTamales Thu 17-May-18 09:27:15

Only one long there, obviously.

cornergran Thu 17-May-18 09:35:57

So sorry you are in this situation, it happened recently to a - young - family member and the stress was almost unbearable for them. Do you know what you would like, or maybe love, to do? I began re-training in my 40’s. It took a while but I was able to establish as a respected professional in something I loved doing and where there was no age discrimination. I understand teaching isn’t for you but have you considered adult education? Mr C found that interesting and not too stressful at the end of his working life. He began part time and it grew from there. Chin up, there will be something better that you enjoy doing.

eazybee Thu 17-May-18 09:51:27

You do need to get rid of the idea that you are 'dragged down by age and responsibility; 'too long long in the tooth'.
I don't know the area in which you work but you have clearly been made to feel old and past it, a deliberate tactic to free up places for younger, cheaper, and less experienced staff.
If money isn't desperate, take the time to experience low-level jobs in different fields until you find an area you actively enjoy, then explore the opportunities and go for it. You have so much to offer: experience, balance, common sense and intelligence.
You sound as though your confidence has been badly knocked, again quite deliberately; some managers are only interested in short term balance sheets and profits, for their own advantage.
And you are very sensible in rejecting the idea of teaching; don't consider it unless you feel it is something you really want to do. Exactly the same ethos pertains there; young (cheap) whizz-kid teachers are valued above experience and knowledge, and funnily enough, many of them don't last more than five years.

Franbern Thu 17-May-18 10:41:14

Being in your 40'ssound incredibly young to me. All my children are in that decade, the older two fast approaching the big five O.
I stopped paid employment when my eldest was born, and then being a Mum, foster Mum, and also a carer for my husband, and also quite ill myself for sometime. So, no paid employment between ages of 28 years to my early 60's.
My young child died then and in an attempt to make life changes I applied for a part-time administrative job at my local hospital. This was in 2002, and I can remember saying at the interview, that this was my first job interview since 1967. I had acted as a volunteer administrator for many years, to give myself something other than being a Mum and a Carer/housewife. The work I did in that role was on my CV and it obtained me the job at the hospital. I was 61 years old. I worked there for the next eight years, increasing my hours and obtaining promotions. I really loved that job. I said, in your 40's is a good age to start a second career, and there could probably be a third one in the future.


HotTamales Thu 17-May-18 10:59:24

In fact, cornergran I have applied for two adult education jobs as I have some quite specialist skills, I’m waiting to hear back, one hasn’t even closed to applications yet so I’m not in any panic.

You are right eazy, I’ve allowed them to knock my confidence badly, which is one of the reasons I won’t fight to stay. Even if I ‘won’ I can’t imagine that staying there would increase my confidence, I’d always be looking over my shoulder.

If I could do anything at all I’d like to be a registrar (births, deaths and marriages). Daft as it sounds, that would be my ideal job. Unfortunately, there’s nothing around in my area at the moment.

I’ve spoken to some agencies who are keen and looking on my behalf. I’ve just had a conversation with an agency during which I rejected a job because the commute would have been 2 hours each way. I could have taken it and to have a job would have given me peace of mind but I just don’t want to spend 4 hours a day travelling.

I’m sorry for your losses Fran but your professional story gives me hope. I admire your courage and tenacity flowers

Pittcity Thu 17-May-18 11:57:45

Around here all the jobs go to under 25s as the minimum wage goes up after that. DD is 31 and is losing out to younger people!

humptydumpty Thu 17-May-18 13:07:45

HotTamales I know what you mean about being a registrar - a long time ago I saw an ad for one here and it sparked my interest, but I guess they are few and far between.

Have you considered social work? They're very keen on having more mature people with life experience, I believe..