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desperate need help rebuilding a career - Carers UK Forum

desperate need help rebuilding a career

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Hi

I have been caring for my mum on and off for the last ten yesrs.

I had a really tough time last year as she became bedridden. I had therapy and it took a while before I was able deal with everything again.

Since then she's recovered, as always my siblings have taken her in to give me that supposed break. In reality it because she's better and requires little help. This has been the story over the last ten years.

I have 3 friends that have stuck with me through this, find it difficult to make friends, and really don't trust people much to share details about my personal life.

I then got a job as a contractor and am working in a place that's so disorganised and it's been really hard as well as people who lie, ignore your calls and email you the very last minute and then when everything is about to hit the fan expect you to sort it out. Everyone is telling me to stay there for the money and that there's a good lesson to learn from it. They don't see that I wake up in a panic worried feeling dread. I have to deal with the same environment as the family one when mum is sick and no one wants to help. The people I work with are two faced, unhelpful, and if they do help it's very quickly said and explained before you can write it down or understand it. Then it's am busy I've explained it too you already. My boss doesn't support me and offers face value advice, but without her interjection no one offers any help or does anything. I struggle to find files and reports. I looked for documents for 2 months before giving up only to find that one of the girls has a drawer full of documents that she is the key holder for, when I asked she either ignored me or told me to check the hard drive. This only came out because another department requested the files from my boss, who thought I had them. I feel my boss needs me to stay to keep her numbers so that she can fully staff the department after the staffing review has been conducted.

The general attitude is to blame someone else, take no responsibility for anything.

To make matters my husband isn't working, and has been setting up his own company which has taken a lot longer than originally thought. Honestly he should have ditched it and it annoys me. He has tried to get a job but after a year find have any luck.

He has been in sales all his life, he never went to uni or attained any qualifications. I feel it's all down to me and if I give up this it will finish off my career.

I don't feel I have learnt or achieved anything being here other than the money which is good. I make stupid mistakes, say things completely out of context. My knowledge is very limited as I am working on things I don't know or understand. My initial workload was passed to another department after some re- structuring. I constantly work on things trying to gather info only to find out after I have submitted that crucial information was held by someone I have already asked and offered after the information had been passed to heads. Again I look incompetent it happens so often I don't even try to avoid it. I was only supposed to be there for 3 months, extended to sept and now to Dec.

Mum also wants to come back to me and I am having a stairlift put in which will be more to handle as she isn't the easiest person to deal with.

I feel if I just want a job that doesn't have so much responsibility and easy to handle doesn't matter if it pays less. I just want to be happy.

I have to go back there tomorrow and today I woke up panic and worried again.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Being miserable in a job is the pits. If I were in your situation, I would definitely be looking for something else.

Your post seems to indicate that it the company group mentality and ethos that is making you unhappy, which means nothing that you do is likely to change the situation. Use your experience there to write yourself a good CV, and start looking for something new.

Switch your perspective around on the things you see negatively about your experience and you will actually see it paints you in a very good light! You want to reduce your work responsibility because your situation is changing your mum = I am loyal, responsible, I can plan for the future, I am level-headed etc.

It may not happen immediately, but you may find work easier to cope with if you know you have a plan for moving on. Good luck xx
Hi Sympathies- plenty of experience of contracting here- you need to accept that you only get called in when chaos is already in place and are paid handsomely for it. My advice is to play it as long as it is working for you and when the fire is getting too hot bail out. That is a great advantage of contracting- those you leave behind that are being unhelpful are stuck there on lower pay . Pick up another contract and don't stay there long enough to have to explain the gap with a poor reference later down the road just because you've been used asa scapegoat. People expect contracters to be mobile so sounds like it's time for a move to me. Don't loose site of that contractor head!
Oh IsThisIt,
Your life sounds SO stressful!
I juggle work and caring too. I've found I can cope as long as either the home or work situation are running smoothly. I start drowning if I'm experiencing problems in both at once. This sounds like what is happening to you.

I feel if I just want a job that doesn't have so much responsibility and easy to handle doesn't matter if it pays less. I just want to be happy.

Then this is what you should do. You will be in no fit state to be working or caring if you carry on as you are. If you need more money coming in then your OH will have to get some casual work/ part time work until his business starts to make some money!

Are you ready for your Mum to move back? If yes, that's fine but if not you could always stall the stairlift for a bit, let her stay with your siblings (it is their turn,) and sort the job situation out first.

Melly1
I agree with the others! Your life has enough sources of stress in it without having to survive in a toxic work atmosphere.

As you know, 'temps' of any kind are very often both marginalised and scapegoated in organisations, not to mention resented, so the odds are against you from the off.

I've worked in toxic work environments and it is soul-destroying. The stress is appalling. I can remember going to church service at Christmas and at the end I simply sat in the pew on my own and bawled my head off! (The vicar rose to the occasion and was very kind - said to me what I'm saying now, that nothing is worth a toxic work environment.)

If you are concerned about your professional record in leaving 'too soon' you could always use your mum's moving back with you as a reason.

Wishing you a better new placement before long - best wishes, Jenny
It seems that there are three main issues troubling you.
Work
Husband
Mum
Can you afford to give up or change work? If not, adopt and "instrumental" attitude to work. You are there for the money, not for social interaction, make friends etc. Just the money. If someone is hiding something, then don't keep it hidden. As a contractor, the ultimate responsibility lies with someone else, make them do their job properly, so you need to develop more "Teflon Shoulders".
Husband not working, living off your earnings? Not good for your relationship. Can't say much else.
Mum being shuffled around isn't an ideal solution. Do you want her back? That's a very direct question, which may not be easy to answer. Does she not have her own home now? When did she last have a Social Services Needs Assessment, or you a SSD Carers Assessment? This may be a "Life Changing Year" for you. Explore all the options before making any decisions. I don't see how you can work and care for someone with high care needs and no support. How is this going to work? Especially as needs increase with years. It partly depends too on mum's financial position. If she is dependent on the state for care, or "self funding"? Maybe some sort of family conference to discuss, openly and honestly, their ability to care for mum in the future?
There is little point in changing your job only to find you have to give it up because of mum. Until some long term decisions are made about mum, there seems little point in thinking about work?
Thank you

I think after posting I made the decision that no job is worth the sleepless nights and stress.

I don't even want to go back there, but I should at least be a little responsible and finish with 1 months notice as it was what was agreed at the start. I really just to wanted some experience.

I feel so much better now that decision has been made, hubby says its fine and agrees with me.
I think making a decision always help - almost to the point of 'any decision is better than no decision'.

Sometimes, making a decision helps us decide whether we've made the right one, if you see what I mean! It could be, for example, that going back into work next week knowing you are quitting, may actually help to take the pressure off you and you may start to feel, actually, I don't mind this too much. I think, speaking personally, that having the OPTION to quit, or stop or change your mind, does help endure things. I think the worst things to endure are the ones where we have no choice (which is what happens to so many carers!!!!!)

It's great, too, that you have reached an agreement with your husband as well, and I hope this means you will be able to share finances between you now.

However, I think BB is right - and coming to terms with your mum's care needs, what they are, how they are likely to develop, and how best to supply them (and by whom!), is essential.

All the best with it, and I do hope that having tackled in your mind two sources of the stress in your life, you are geared up to tackle the third one!!

Wishing you a more relaxed rest of Sunday! Cheers, Jenny
Since I decided to give up the job, I feel so much better. I don't have Teflon shoulders when it comes to work. Your comments have been really supportive. I have never wanted to be someone that quits when it gets hard, however I don't have anything to prove anymore. I just want to be happy, for me that goal is bigger than money or getting on with everyone, it's changed now I care only got that goal, everyone else can do what they want.


Being to be of sound mind rather than ill health and which realistically will just get worse. I smoke now which is terrible given I have sleep apnea, work hasn't helped.

Hubby has been a really there's for me and mum when needed, taken her to appointments and the everything else in general. He does more than his share of work hard and takes care of all the other things that if they weren't done would put me in a real mess. His business once up will make an income, however it's taken so long to set up which is frustrating for him and me.

Our spending is very low, I buy everything when it's on offer and stock up we don't like going out much and prefer to go for a drive or walks.

I feel I could use my professional knowledge and create some income from that working from home.

Your comments have been really helpful and supportive. I now have to deal with how to submit my resignation.

Thank you everyone, I love this forum it has given me sense and support when the world is collapsing around me. It's really been a life line and helped make sense of a world that is so different when you become a carer.
As you have decided to give up work, this might be a good time to ring the Carers UK helpline, to make certain that everyone is receiving the appropriate benefits. For example, I understand that if you claim Carers Allowance and income related benefits, you cannot be forced to look for work. One of our members, Scally, is expert on how to remain eligible for CA even if your earnings are above the limit of around £100, because he knows exactly how the rules work. I wish I'd known when I was caring and working!!