The end of the summer holidays is fast approaching and I have been busily getting the girls ready for the new term, new uniforms, new kits and new shoes. They are both excited to be entering the last years in their schools, beginning to think about where their lives may take them. However, I now find that it is increasingly more difficult for me to advise and guide them…
When I left school back in 1995, I had a great out look on life. I seemed to think I knew exactly what I wanted and where I would be going & that I would get there within ten years. I was going to go into acting! Unfortunately though I failed all my A levels and ended up working in hotels for a while, just to earn some money to live on. I never went back to the idea of acting as my life took a new direction.
I became a mum in 1997 and my priorities changed dramatically. I adored my baby and would always do everything I could for her, providing a home, food and clothes being second to giving her love and affection.
I took on part time work so that I wouldn’t have to leave her with child minders. I once worked out that to work full time, with my child being looked after by another, I would in effect only be earning £1.50 an hour!! Obviously the system has since changed and there is financial support for child care costs, but I am a parent who believes in being there for my child, not someone else.
So over the years, I have changed my path several times. I worked in retail for a while, but found that the hours were too demanding on my time and chose to spend it with my children instead. This was when I went self-employed, running my own little market stall and website selling crystals, incense, candles and aromatherapy oils, unfortunately though after several years I realised I had been working as a hobby and I knew that it wouldn’t be enough to pay the bills.
By this time both of my girls were in full time education, and I was finding that being a stay at home Mum was getting quite tedious. So I started volunteering at the local primary school as a classroom assistant. After a couple of years I found I was enjoying working with the children and decided that it was time I earned some vocational qualifications. Three years later I had completed both Level 2 & 3 qualifications in supporting teaching and learning in schools and had secured my first educational contract.
Unfortunately though this was where I began to find that the education system seems to have its own set of rules and politics, due to the way the government provides funding to schools, especially if you are only a teaching assistant!
I am now at the end of my third “1 year fixed term contract” and this year has been more difficult for me trying to find a new contract to start next week. I have been searching, applying and attending interviews since April. I even appealed to my current school to keep me on (Job hunting in education), wrote to all the other schools in my education authority self promoting my skills and experience, but to no avail. As of tomorrow, I will join the national statistics of the unemployed. Not a great place to be when you own your own home and have children to support…
So I get to wondering, maybe this has all been a sign that this chapter on my life is to close. Do I now need to consider a new career path? I have no other qualifications to help me on my way and I have no idea what area of employment I want to go into. I have begun trawling the Job Centre plus website to see what local jobs are available, and unless I have managerial experience/qualifications or I can drive a fork lift then there is not a lot else out there.
So where does this leave me? Trawling newspapers & websites, improving my curriculum vitae, learning to write cover letters and all with a waning hope, as each rejection letter brings with it another stab to my self confidence and I can feel depression lurking in the shadows. I understand that what will be, will be but that doesn’t help with the looming fear of insecurity!
And that brings be back to my initial point, the reason for this blog… In the current climate of employment and government in England, how on earth can I guide my own children on to their prospective paths when I don’t even know where I am heading? I am supposed to be setting them a good example on how to manage adult life, something that is not possible when my own adult life is hanging in the balance, soon to become another of the governments statistics and through no fault of my own!
I don’t have the answers and I am not asking for them either! I am putting my faith and trust in the “universe” while I battle on; applying for every position I can, knowing that all in good time-the right job-at the right time-in the right place will become available to me when the time is right!