Looking for a job after 22 years

I’m a single mum of two grown-up kids and haven’t worked for 22 years, but need to now for financial reasons. I am desperately trying to find a job, but have looked online and in papers, but nothing really grabs me or the jobs require qualifications or experience. As I’m not qualified in much I am limited to finding a job which will be challenging and enjoyable. I am hard working and enthusiastic when I am interested in something. I have ME so I want the precious energy I am awake to be thrown into an interesting and varied job. I love tidying, rearranging, gardening and walking my dog and have painted/decorated our previous homes. But that’s what everyone can do and I am going round in circles to even to know where to start to find a varied job. Have you any tips on how I should be wording my jobs searches?

I’m sorry to hear that you have not been having much luck with applying for jobs.

I hear that you need to find something challenging, interesting and enjoyable and when you find this you will be hard working and motivated. As you are going around in circles looking for anything that catches your eye, it is not surprising that you are struggling to focus your attention.

I’m sure you don’t need me to say this, living with ME you need to really focus your finite amount of energy on being productive.

In my opinion, you’ve got 2 options… find a job or create a job.

Find a job

If you want to find a job, look at all jobs in your local area and see what grabs your attention. Ensure that you tailor your CV for each job you apply for. If you break down what being a mum entails – planning and organising, problem solving, managing, budgeting, transportation etc. all for no pay, little rest etc. capture this in your CV. Also, if you have participated in any voluntary work put that in too.

You might want to have a look at apprenticeships (trust me, they are not only for 17 year olds!) and returnships also – the money isn’t great, but you’ll learn a new skill and earn some money at the same time.

Create a job

If you want to create a job, you need to take a step back and really think hard what you have to offer and what would motivate you.

I would suggest grabbing a paper and pen and making a list of the things you are good at and enjoy doing (believe me, not everyone likes being organised, tidying and rearranging!) and complete a SWOT analysis.

Answer these questions:

What are your strengths?

What are you good at?

What do you like doing?

What skills do you have that other people don’t? (examples – organised, eye for detail)

What motivates you?

What are your weaknesses?

What are you not good at?

What don’t you like doing?

What opportunities are there for me?

Could there be an opportunity to help others with things I am good at?

Would people pay me to help them?

What is stopping you doing something you love?

Could any of your weaknesses lead to threats?

When you have your list, do your research. Ask your friends and family if they would pay you to design their garden, pet sit, decluttering their house etc.

There is loads of help available to help people start up on their own, so make sure you get as much help and advice as you can find.

Hybrid model

Of course, there is a hybrid option where you get a part-time job to bring home a wage while you set up your business, get customers etc.

Good luck!

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