reply to post by HelenConway
Helen, thank you so much for this thread and I hope life gets better for you quickly...and everyone else who has posted here. I'm not much of a
thread starter but was going to start one on this very subject, but I'm more than happy to contribute to yours.
Your situation could be mine, almost exactly. I've been working in some form since I was 15, (I'm 47 now) and working full time since I was 18 apart
from the time I spent at uni, studying architecture, although I didn't finish my degree. I have a long history with many large companies as a senior
retail manager, in some cases running very high turnover, high security stores. I was ill last year, mainly due to the workload, which just about wore
me out, and decided to take a step down, work for someone else, right on my doorstep, part time, just enough money coming in to pay the bills. WAY
below my experience and capabilities, but it allowed me time to heal. Well two weeks ago, I was dismissed by my former employer illegally, because I
asked for a 5 minute break. I know it sounds Dickensian, but I swear to all the gods it's true. I wanted 5 minutes to nip next door to where I live
to make sure my mum (in her 70's, quite ill at the time, staying with me for a few days) was ok. Former boss went nuts, and yelled at me that I knew
where the door was and just get out! So I did. Mum is more important than potty employer, so I reckoned.
So....for the first time, like you, I'm unemployed. I live way out in the sticks, so there are seriously limited job opportunites out here, and if
you could see where I live, you would understand why I would be totally reluctant to move back to the city. It's also much cheaper for housing where
I am, on a totally practical level.
Yesterday was a day of decisions for me. I absolutely don't want to go back to the corporate grind and slavish mind control that made me ill in the
first place. I could very easily with my experience and get a pretty decent salary in the process, but I would have NO life...none...and I would be
miserable, ill, almost certainly. The pressure in environments like I worked in is so massive now, it's impossible not to work a 50 or 60 hour week
for nothing extra, and competition for jobs is so great that you either put up with it to keep your job and learn to think it's ok to be treated like
some grunt with no brain or right to opinions, or ship out and get a life, albeit a frugal one. (We need a thread on how to survive on £71 a week!
My first decision is that I will stick out for a job as close to home as possible. I don't want to be travelling 3 hours a day and spending £250 a
month on diesel for minimum wage. Economically it's pointless anyway...I simply wouldn't have enough left to live on. While the job takes it's
sweet time to turn up, as I suspect it will sadly, I'm going to enroll on as many courses as I can, some of which will be free, and there are loads
of free resources online. I'm going to take the route of skill building as much as I can, although I have so much management experience, and do
things like ECDL, (an absolutely basic requirement now) and as many language courses as I can fit in. Multilingualism is a very sellable skill, and
still something we're very lazy about in this country. If you have any talent for language at all, I would recommend finding an online course for
free and studying like your life depended on it. I'm starting today, with a French course to brush up already reasonable skills, then the same with
German, then something completely new, maybe Japanese.
If anyone has any other resources they would like to share, I would love to see them posted here. I will post links to language courses when I've
rummaged through them some more and found the best.
Above all....keep your chin up...yeah, we're skint, but it's an opportunity to do something productive.