going back to work in a 18 months or less - what to do!

  1. Now that I'm finally sleeping and our little one is not so dependent, I'm thinking about going back to work. Problem is, I don't know what I want to do and what I "CAN" do.

    Here's the situation. I have a degree in Spanish (minor in anthropology). I have a master's degree in educational administration with a university emphasis. My ENTIRE career has been in university administration and I do love it, but... it's who you know... and I KNOW no one. I have been out of the workplace for 4.5 years and my last employment was in Canada. The first year was because we were living in a state for only 9 months and it just didn't make sense to find a job and then "go". Then, we moved here and just after we moved here, I found out I was expecting a baby, so we just had me stay home. My little one is now 2 years and 9 months.

    What I'm finding is that now that I've been out of the loop for awhile, I am overqualified for the lower jobs and not qualified enough for the higher positions. I've applied to appealing jobs and those even LOWER than my qualifications here and there over the last year and I have gotten ZERO nibbles. The ONLY job I got an interview for and offered a position was for a secretary... and it paid $20,000 LESS than my last job!!! it's VERY frustrating to feel like I'm starting all over again!

    So... what to do?!?!?! My son will be 3 or perhaps 4 when I go back to work, so daycare is still something to factor in. Also, my DH is away 12 hours a day. My older son who is 11 and will be 12 when I go back to work.

    The things I've thought of are 1. to get a teacher's certificate and teach in elem. school or middle school. They have a shortage of Spanish teachers, but, I haven't used my spanish in 14 years!!!

    or, get an ESL/ESOL certificate and work in the schools. There are Short track and traditional tracks to getting into that, but I'm not sure how marketable that is.

    Or, just get an MBA and go work at some business, but what???

    I'm so at a loss... I just know it needs to be a job local to me and not super long hours because of DHs job. Salary, ideally, would be no lower than $45,000 (and that's STILL lower than what I used to earn), but it's enough to make it worth me going back to work.

    Am I missing something in ideas? Thoughts? experiences?
  2. I am in the same situation!! I have been out of work for the past three years taking care of my son and now I am thinking about going back to work, but it's been so long that I couldn't get a job in my field paying what I used to make. I would have to start all over again and then when you factor in day care, is it worth it? I am dealing with the same thing......if you could go back to school, then you should and getting a teaching certificate is probably worth while. As a teacher, you will have a flexible schedule with summer breaks and all, and there is a need for teachers. In my situation, I feel that I missed my opportunity for a career. I had my son right when my career started to take off and now I feel like I missed the boat. Continuing my education, like getting a masters, costs money and is time consuming....I really don't know what to do myself. Gosh, I even considered getting a job in retail and I was a Business Systems Analysts!!!
  3. ^^isn't it tough?^^^

    I'm 38 years old, so starting over is not my idea of fun. I worked hard to get where I was and then to be considered in career dead zone just because I stayed home with my kids is just super sad. I KNEW It would happen going into it, but we chose the stay at home thing anyway.

    The most difficult thing is DH, to be honest. He doesn't want me settling for something less than I'm qualified for because he thinks I'll be unhappy and he doesn't GET IT, that i'm basically not employable in my former field. He doesn't think the same thing would happen in his field - economics and actuarial science...

    And, like you said for yourself, getting further education means spending money when money is tight AND not only spending money, but being away from home to take classes too.

    I'm just so frustrated!
  4. I get the same thing from my DH about settling for less...he laughs when I mention retail and then in all seriousness he tells me that I wouldn't be happy. Okay, then what am I suppose to do? My DH actually thinks that employers will be understanding of the huge absence in my work history. I don't think anyone will give me the time of day, especially in a technical field where everything is so fast-paced and constantly changing. I have lost my edge, I don't remember things from my previous work, and I cannot even imagine going for an interview!!! And even if I did find a start that would jump-start my career, I don't know how committed I can be to it. I think of the hours I will spend commuting and working, the stress from working.....won't those things affect my job as a mother? It seems as someone has to lose in this situation and I don't want it to be my son, so I guess I will keep on staying at home....
  5. I had that dilemma before too. I was working forward in my career, but I realized I had to make a choice - be the employee my job needed me to be and do what I needed to do to get ahead, or, give more to my child. I had THIS dilemma when my MIL was watching my son (she watched my older son for us). I stayed home for one year with my oldest son, and then she took over, but to BE THERE for him as much as possible, I had to let career ambitions go. I did fine in my job, but I didn't go up and beyond and I KNOW in my last job that was an issue with my last boss. I had a high up position (in his mind) and he expected me to breathe my job... but I had a 6 year old and wanted to have another baby and a DH who was working and finishing his PhD dissertation!

    Now, my MIL can't watch my child, so I've been staying home and I have tried to tell Dh that it doesn't really matter WHAT I do because I don't think I'll quite like anything while my little one is still young and he doesn't quite get that. My heart is with my kids and my dedication is THERE now... not on getting some report done and so on.

    But... I can't stay home indefinitely because our mortgage is too high. DH earns well, but we moved here and bought this townhouse when the prices were high (well, they are still high), so we don't have much buffer.

    DH has thought about switching to business sector over gov't because his salary would be WAY higher, but at what other cost? Money doesn't buy happiness. I would feel AWFUL if he got a job to make things easier financially only to find he hates his new job!!! He loves where he is now.
  6. It's tough and employers DON'T overlook the lapse in your work history. I've been home for almost 11 years now. First child has special needs, and it was clear from day 1 that he was going to need me FAR MORE than any job would. Added 2 more children and been a caregiver for my grandmother and dad who both died of cancer. My first degree was in CS w/an emphasis in security/virus. Well, things have CHANGED so much since I worked that I went back to college and did a 180 w/my field. I'm now looking towards grad school in psychology and then a PhD to become a counseling psychologist. I use to volunteer my free time (back in the day) at our local Grass Roots and Domestic Violence Center. It's never too late ladies, never. I'm 43 and I see more and more and MORE women my age returning to school for a degree in a new field. HTH and best of luck!!
  7. ^^I just can't commit to years of re-education when we need my income. Once I AM working, going back to school part time is a possibility, but we need my income. But what?!?!

    I have done volunteer work and such during my "baby time" but, it's not the same, unfortunately. Sigh.... maybe that's why some moms turn to prostitution! (Not that I would EVER do that), but it's a way to pay the bills! Gasp! Choke!
  8. Honestly, sales is where the $$$ money is. I went back to work part-time (until my schedule changed) and I hit the mall and worked at Kays Jewelry. The money was amazing; esp during Christmas, Valentines and Mother's Day. Yes, I was paid for less than I knew I was worth (and I think everyone above me who saw my resume thought the same), but you know what? You do what you gotta do to get where you wanna go. It's hard, I know. What about teaching at a private school? I know many who went that route as the qualifications (certifications) were NOT needed they way they are at public school. Good luck!