My maternity leave ends in six weeks and I have no job to go back to. I’d planned it that way; I was (and am) ready for a change anyway. I’d been a carer to my grandma for around four years and I’ve left her in great hands, so now I need to move on. The trouble is that with the end of maternity leave comes the end of maternity pay, and it’s just sort of crept up on me. I’m totally unprepared and have made absolutely no financial provision for the time after I stop earning. Clever, huh?
So with six weeks to go, what are my job options?
I’ve always worked. Whether it be full time, part time, three jobs at a time… it’s been varied. I’ve been a mortgage underwriter, a benefits advisor, a carer, a nursery nurse… I’m not exactly career focused. A job is a job to me, though caring is definitely my forte. When my nine year old asked me what I want to be, I simply and honestly replied ‘a good mum’. That’s my aspiration. If I can manage to create three fairly well rounded young men out of these small people then my work here is done. They are my priority and the rest is just detail.
So, I could get another job. But what? Go back into care work? Silly hours, crappy money and not much in the way of respect from my employer? Sounds great(!). Having said all that, being a carer is one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had, and knowing you make such a big difference to someone’s quality of life is endlessly rewarding.
Blog? Plenty of people make a living via their blog and associated activity, but I have been blogging on and off for six years and haven’t made millions, exactly. I think that’s unlikely to change now. I just don’t have/make enough time to put into a blog to make it pay, and I certainly can’t create a decent income from it in six short weeks.
Do something on a self employed basis? This is something I can definitely see in my future. I don’t want to work to make profit for someone else, I don’t want to miss out on important events and milestones in my children’s lives, and I don’t want to have to rely on someone else to take care of them. So some kind of self employed business is really appealing to me. Again though, it wouldn’t be possible to create a business and generate an income from it within six weeks.
So I think a mixture of all three options would be the best route to take. Register with some care agencies for bank work, maybe pimp my parenting blog a bit and see if I can generate some income through it, and put some plans together for a business of my own. Who knows what I could be doing twelve months from now if I just set my mind to it. Maternity leave has been lovely but it’s time for the next step.
In the meantime, I’ll just pop out for a lotto ticket…