Where now? Or what to do when your old career doesn’t seem to fit you any more.

Retrain before I’m 50?

Gathering new skills and experiences wasn’t my idea.

An understanding of diagnostic pathways, the ability to spot an ASD child at 200 yards, a working knowledge of the Children & Families Act, or when a policy is lawful or simply made up to fox SENCO’s & carer givers alike. How to re-appeal a DLA decision, to make a case for a personal budget, or complete tribunal paperwork.

I didn’t ask to build an ocean of patience. To aim to be a better parent than my friends will ever have to be. To signpost struggling playground friends.  I didn’t ask for any of it.

And yet here they are. Shiny new knowledge,experiences and skills. Pooling, collecting and somehow fueling a disconnect with the me of old. With the career I once loved.

And now acquired I don’t know what to do with them, those shiny new skills.

As the only breadwinner do I try and move to a management role in a NFP? Advocate for people in my position? Take years to retrain for a 2nd professional career as I creep slowly closer to 50? Risk lowering my income? Risk taking on debt? Risk not having the energy to start again? Risk failing. Or sit and wait and hope that when these skills aren’t shiny and new any more I’ll be glad of that old life?

I’m stuck in a mental loop not of my making and it’s keeping me awake at night.

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