Mature person - career change? Return to school? Watch

Philip-flop
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So I'm 27 years old now and have finally realised that I'm no longer in denial about my accounting career as I absolutely hate it. I have never been interested in my "chosen" career as I merely just fell into it as I don't have many options. I still have a lot of ACCA exams left in order to be awarded a bit of paper to say that I'm now qualified to the job that I already do in practice. But I have no motivation to finish the course as I've been hit with the realisation that I hate spending 8 hours a day in a job that I've never been passionate about, followed by 2 to 3 hours of studying each night for something that I don't even what to do! I feel like I'm wasting all the hours that I'm awake away. I have a girlfriend who I love dearly but I think my happiness has become solely reliant on her. She's always happy because she loves (sometimes only likes) her job. I have become very envious of her because of it! It has made me wonder whether I should properly pursue another career which may cost me my perfect relationship (as I'm at the age where I should be settling down, getting married, mortgage, etc).

I don't want to spend the rest of my life being miserable for 8 hours a day only to come home in a bad mood in hope that my gf can bring a smile to my face for the few hours that we get together in the evening (that's if my bad mood hasn't already put her in a bad mood as well).

I have been playing with the idea of moving to a health care field as there is nothing more rewarding than helping someone (besides helping them complete their tax return like I currently do now - wish is very unfulfilling). Should I be selfish and do an Access Course in hope to enrol on a health care degree? Or am I just imagining that the grass is greener on the other side?
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Philip-flop
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Any advice?
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Docxx
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Do it!

I am 38, I had a career in the military and I hated being away from my son and wife constantly. Didn't much like the job either. So I left, I did my English GCSE last year (only one I was lacking to do my Access) and I am currently doing my Access to Science Diploma. I'm loving it, I've so far had all distinctions in my assignments and predicted the same for the rest. I've had 5 University offers to study Zoology, two of which are top universities.

I would say that I've discovered after leaving a pretty well-paid job is that happiness in your career is vital, I don't care that the money will be pretty poor when I start my new career, the most important thing is that I enjoy it. If you're not happy then change careers. You're only 27, that's still pretty young. Get out there and do something you'll love.
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Philip-flop
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(Original post by Docxx)
Do it!

I am 38, I had a career in the military and I hated being away from my son and wife constantly. Didn't much like the job either. So I left, I did my English GCSE last year (only one I was lacking to do my Access) and I am currently doing my Access to Science Diploma. I'm loving it, I've so far had all distinctions in my assignments and predicted the same for the rest. I've had 5 University offers to study Zoology, two of which are top universities.

I would say that I've discovered after leaving a pretty well-paid job is that happiness in your career is vital, I don't care that the money will be pretty poor when I start my new career, the most important thing is that I enjoy it. If you're not happy then change careers. You're only 27, that's still pretty young. Get out there and do something you'll love.
Thank you! Your story is very inspirational. You're right, money isn't everything! No amount of money can make you happy if you hate your life because of your job.
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Philip-flop
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Would love to hear more inspirational stories from others on here.
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FV75
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I'm 44 and am now in my 3rd year of a degree, having given up a well paid, full-time job to study full-time and work towards a complete career change - I have no regrets!

I didn't hate my previous career (in the public sector) but the culture and constant shifts in Government policy led me to a point where I no longer gained any satisfaction from it.

So I would say go for it - why endure a job you hate, you have at least 40 years of work ahead until you can retire (sorry) - and definitely don't leave it as long as I did!

Returning to studying might not improve your relationship though - now I'm in my final year, I'm working so hard I feel like I never see my partner!
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Philip-flop
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(Original post by FV75)
I'm 44 and am now in my 3rd year of a degree, having given up a well paid, full-time job to study full-time and work towards a complete career change - I have no regrets!

I didn't hate my previous career (in the public sector) but the culture and constant shifts in Government policy led me to a point where I no longer gained any satisfaction from it.

So I would say go for it - why endure a job you hate, you have at least 40 years of work ahead until you can retire (sorry) - and definitely don't leave it as long as I did!

Returning to studying might not improve your relationship though - now I'm in my final year, I'm working so hard I feel like I never see my partner!
That's amazing! Hats off to you! I doubt my partner will even stick around if I told her I want to go back to school - I would have to do an Access Course first. We're at the age where we "should" be getting a mortgage/married and having kids. She has a well paid job (she earns more than me), and rather likes her job/career too. I think her outlook is that I should be focusing on my current career so that I can someday earn more than her. But I honestly hate my current career. Is it worth sticking at a career just because you love someone?
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jamiejay
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(Original post by Philip-flop)
That's amazing! Hats off to you! I doubt my partner will even stick around if I told her I want to go back to school - I would have to do an Access Course first. We're at the age where we "should" be getting a mortgage/married and having kids. She has a well paid job (she earns more than me), and rather likes her job/career too. I think her outlook is that I should be focusing on my current career so that I can someday earn more than her. But I honestly hate my current career. Is it worth sticking at a career just because you love someone?
These are just hypotheticals, you need to actually talk to her. And if you're spending so long at work, whats the difference spending this time at college/uni?
If she genuinely doesn't care about your happiness, and just the money, then she's not the one anyway.
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StriderHort
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Kinda the same, I spent most of my late teens and 20s in a variety of admin, finance (book keeping/credit control kind of level) and office management roles. Didn't really like any of it, I found it a constant ordeal, but because I was basically competent at it, I assumed it was 'for me' for years :/. 25-30 I basically burned out and was a bit of a waster....temping (I temped for ACCA funnily enough :P ), benefits, playing in bands ect.

About 30 a court politely suggested I help out with some community projects and that got me out using my hands again and learning practical skills, a few jumps later they'd got me a job with my local council as a garden maintenance guy and it was an eye opener. Sure there were some brutal shifts, nasty weather, crap pay...but in terms of what i'd done before it was so simple and satisfying, not a job i need to take home with me or dread the next day, no office politics, (Helped me get back into good shape as well, working out is far easier when someone is paying you.)

Did a few of those contracts and bit the bullet and decided to go back to school, that and a driving licence were the two things really holding me back so i was able to get on a college City & Guilds Diploma, loved that. and that opened up access to HNC/HND then Uni. Definitely one of the best life choices i've made, even if it has killed my income for a wee while.

I can still just about remember what having a job i hated was like, it drained all joy from my life, the alarm clock made me want to cry, finishing every shift and thinking 'god i need to work tomorrow', finishing every Friday night and thinking the same, having a two week holiday and spend all of it staring at the wall in dread of going back to work *shudder*
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Philip-flop
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(Original post by jamiejay)
These are just hypotheticals, you need to actually talk to her. And if you're spending so long at work, whats the difference spending this time at college/uni?
If she genuinely doesn't care about your happiness, and just the money, then she's not the one anyway.
That's true! They are just hypotheticals. I don't think that time would be the constraint in the relationship it would be lack of money and distance from going to a university elsewhere in the country.

But I guess you're right in saying that my happiness should come first.
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Philip-flop
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(Original post by StriderHort)
Kinda the same, I spent most of my late teens and 20s in a variety of admin, finance (book keeping/credit control kind of level) and office management roles. Didn't really like any of it, I found it a constant ordeal, but because I was basically competent at it, I assumed it was 'for me' for years :/. 25-30 I basically burned out and was a bit of a waster....temping (I temped for ACCA funnily enough :P ), benefits, playing in bands ect.

About 30 a court politely suggested I help out with some community projects and that got me out using my hands again and learning practical skills, a few jumps later they'd got me a job with my local council as a garden maintenance guy and it was an eye opener. Sure there were some brutal shifts, nasty weather, crap pay...but in terms of what i'd done before it was so simple and satisfying, not a job i need to take home with me or dread the next day, no office politics, (Helped me get back into good shape as well, working out is far easier when someone is paying you.)

Did a few of those contracts and bit the bullet and decided to go back to school, that and a driving licence were the two things really holding me back so i was able to get on a college City & Guilds Diploma, loved that. and that opened up access to HNC/HND then Uni. Definitely one of the best life choices i've made, even if it has killed my income for a wee while.

I can still just about remember what having a job i hated was like, it drained all joy from my life, the alarm clock made me want to cry, finishing every shift and thinking 'god i need to work tomorrow', finishing every Friday night and thinking the same, having a two week holiday and spend all of it staring at the wall in dread of going back to work *shudder*
How old are you now? Are you still currently studying for your degree? What subject did you choose? What kind of work are you hoping to do after?
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sinfonietta
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I went back to uni at 25 to do a second degree. I'm currently on a year-long placement with a biotechnology company, working in their molecular biology lab, and will graduate in 2021 with a degree in Biomedical Science. Best decision I made.
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adam271
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I am like you I can earn decent money but I just cant stand the work.
I figured I'd rather by skint doing a degree I enjoy compared to driving around in a nice car and spending money on useless tat and being miserable.

The only thing is the access course is I suspect going to be the hardest part of the journey.
You will have tons of assignments e.g. about 25 yet when your on your degree you may only have like 8 a year.
The topics in the access course are covered at such speed that you never really get to enjoy them.
I cant think of a good example of this offhand but imagine your covering maths .. one week your doing fractions next week your doing algebra and the week after your touching on differentiation.
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Philip-flop
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(Original post by sinfonietta)
I went back to uni at 25 to do a second degree. I'm currently on a year-long placement with a biotechnology company, working in their molecular biology lab, and will graduate in 2021 with a degree in Biomedical Science. Best decision I made.
What was your first degree in? Did you have to do any extra studying before starting your second degree? Unfortunately for me I don't have a degree under my belt so I will have to start from scratch and do an Access Course.

(Original post by adam271)
I am like you I can earn decent money but I just cant stand the work.
I figured I'd rather by skint doing a degree I enjoy compared to driving around in a nice car and spending money on useless tat and being miserable.

The only thing is the access course is I suspect going to be the hardest part of the journey.
You will have tons of assignments e.g. about 25 yet when your on your degree you may only have like 8 a year.
The topics in the access course are covered at such speed that you never really get to enjoy them.
I cant think of a good example of this offhand but imagine your covering maths .. one week your doing fractions next week your doing algebra and the week after your touching on differentiation.
Yes that's the problem. It's actually doing the Access course which seems harder than uni-life itself. It's difficult to support yourself financially whilst at the same time getting good grades for an Access Course. I would have to carry on working at least 30 hours a week. But that means less time focusing on the access course. At least at university you have student loan for accommodation whereas I will be homeless if I can't afford rent
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adam271
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(Original post by Philip-flop)
Yes that's the problem. It's actually doing the Access course which seems harder than uni-life itself. It's difficult to support yourself financially whilst at the same time getting good grades for an Access Course. I would have to carry on working at least 30 hours a week. But that means less time focusing on the access course. At least at university you have student loan for accommodation whereas I will be homeless if I can't afford rent
Yep, that is the problem you will get almost zero financial help.
You get quite a few people on here who will tell you getting 45 Distinctions is not hard which is true. But you still have to put the time in.
Just don't get fixated on top top universities unless you know you can cut down on work. Because people often apply for top universities who ask for 45 credits at distinction only to give up when they start getting merits/passes because they cant manage work with college.

Also by applying to universities that ask for 45 credits at distinction you are leaving yourself no room for error and some of the criteria on some of the assignments you will get is not very clear cut and often open to interpretation.

It is doable though, I average over 30 hours a week of work easily mainly by weekend work. Just make sure you give yourself room for error. Because applying for a university like Oxford or Cambridge while working 30+ hours a week is nuts.
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SpaceShipJanitor
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Are you sure that going back to university is the right way to go? Also, you can go straight for Masters in any discipline anyway.
I've done degree in Physics, biggest mistake of my life. STEM degrees are about as useless and irrelevant as any degree in Humanities or arts. Zero transferable skills, you can only get a job that you would get without a degree anyway.

It is not that difficult to support yourself while at uni. I am originally from Slovakia, so I got no support of any kind. I only needed about £420/month to be Ok. I spent about 3 years as a semi part-time Shift Manager in Domino's, about 70% of their staff are students so they can be very flexible when it comes to your study needs. This applies pretty much for any fast-foodish environment. Just don't go London, way too expensive and you get nothing in return.
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adam271
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(Original post by SpaceShipJanitor)
Are you sure that going back to university is the right way to go? Also, you can go straight for Masters in any discipline anyway.
I've done degree in Physics, biggest mistake of my life. STEM degrees are about as useless and irrelevant as any degree in Humanities or arts. Zero transferable skills, you can only get a job that you would get without a degree anyway.
Disagree with this.
Granted many people with physics and humanities degrees often compete for the same job but most places require a degree at the minimum. It's not so much about what the degree is it's just having a degree that matters.
e.g. civil service jobs and interships and grad schemes.
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StriderHort
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(Original post by Philip-flop)
How old are you now? Are you still currently studying for your degree? What subject did you choose? What kind of work are you hoping to do after?
In 37 just, now, finishing up my HND so basically 2nd year. (i had to take a leave of absence as my mum's been ill). Did my City & Guilds & HNC at College and that got me a place at the Uni I wanted, honestly found it all sooo much easier as a more focused adult, being able to properly talk to staff as equal helps a lot as well.

It's Horticulture I study BTW, I'm likely to go out on my own as a high end contractor after this, but i've shown a surprising flair for the science/genetics side, enough that i'd be confident of finding a reasonable desk job if i wanted it

I actually found finance pretty easy, I got a full bursary + travel plus 2500 discretionary funding for my C&G, then went onto normal student loans with a similar discretionary top up (If you don't ask you don't get) In 2nd year my uni basically told students with jobs at the same time to quit and they would cover the lost income.
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DCDCo
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Worked for 15 years in one career.
Didnt want promotion.
Did my A-Level equivalencies
Got told 1000+ times "Are you sure this is right for you? How will you cope? Isn't it going to be hard" - Ignored them all.
Now in my second year of Uni.
Currently applying for new jobs.
Wish I'd done this 5+ years ago.

If you have any practical questions, let me know. Btw, if you are looking at going into the public sector... this is where I have come from. It has its own host of issues that you need to contend with.
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SpaceShipJanitor
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(Original post by adam271)
Disagree with this.
Granted many people with physics and humanities degrees often compete for the same job but most places require a degree at the minimum. It's not so much about what the degree is it's just having a degree that matters.
e.g. civil service jobs and interships and grad schemes.
There are very few jobs that require "any degree of any kind". Usually some older not very recently updated government stuff. 99% graduate jobs ask for a specific degree often chartered and/or relevant experience which simply means being employed for 5 years. You can even do most of Masters without Bachelors if you have 5 years of work history. STEM degrees are only good if you go all the way. I mean PhD, PGCE, and then teaching somewhere.
Humanities are completely worthless and usually done as a last resort by not the brightest kids.

"It's not so much about what the degree is it's just having a degree that matters" no it does not. But I can imagine, that's the mindset pushed onto every teenage failure making it into a history degree via the Clearing

I got to see close to a 1000 CVs of people applying for a job as a full time instore pizza maker (min wage job, the real min wage set by age). At least 300 hundred humanities graduates, few lost souls with degrees in Biology, Medical Science, etc. I could also see that they were unemployed for quite a while and that they applied in all our stores in the city (we shared CVs). I am pretty sure that they went to pizza hut and McDonalds or KFC too... I didn't get to see any Law graduates, Nurses, Paramedics, Electricians, plumbers, Civil Engineers. It was always Humanities/Arts/STEM, no one else.

By the way I gave a girl with First in English a part time job for about £120/week and it added to the statistics "93% of our graduates found employment in the first 6 months after graduation" proudly on the university's front page
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