I can’t afford to go back to an office job

From time to time, I like nosing around the jobs board to see what’s on the market and at what price positions are going for. In the last six months, what I’ve seen is alarming. Managing editors go for £29,000 pa. and journalists for £26,000 pa. Unless you’re trained in finance journalism, there doesn’t seem to be many jobs offering over £40,000 pa.

I’m currently working for myself, but say if I wanted to go back to being an employee, I’m seriously questioning whether I can even afford to do it.

Working for somebody else means putting my two children into full-time childcare. When I was doing this a year ago, childcare costs me about £1600 a month. Then there are kids’ miscellaneous expenses, travel costs and weekly grocery to factor in. And, as of April, another baby will be joining the brood.

In my job, I often have to work late too. Which means either paying extra for childcare (that I can’t afford) or my husband stepping in. His work often stretches into the evenings too, and I don’t like it when we have to negotiate our schedules. It can be stressful when the conversation creeps dangerously close to the critical ‘my work is as important as yours’ point.

My career was built in print publishing. But with the Leveson inquiry, News Corp crisis and the impact of a fast changing digital environment on print, who knows what the world of newspapers and magazines will look like in two years’ time.

For the first time in my professional life, I am really worried.

I’d better go back to the drawing board and take stock of other skills I have. Anyone needs a Mandarin speaker with over 10 years of UK magazine publishing experience who’s also handy with tweeting and blogging?


7 Comments

  1. I’ve been writing a post this week about my need to go back to work and it’s a nightmare! I’m a French teacher but don’t want to go into teaching because the cost of childcare is so high plus without family support I need a more flexible job and I am now faced with the question of what to do now that can fit in and isn’t going to result in high childcare costs. I don’t know what the answer is but it is a worry!

    • It’s a huge worry for me too. After publishing my post, I read this ‘Squeezed Families Using Payday Loans And Loan Sharks’ http://huff.to/w24MSh on Huffington Post. What a morning.
      My ex-French teacher has classes in her home. She has a little toddler, and a neighbour helps with childcare while she has lessons. They do a barter so she helps out her neighbour too. Is that a possible solution for you?

  2. This is a subject that is in the forefront of my mind too at the moment. It is the most ridiculous situation to find yourself in. Years of fantastic experience, yet, because of the lack of decent, cost-effective childcare options, so many of us are snookered into not being able to continue our careers in the way we thought we would once children come along. On the positive side, it is an opportunity to try something different, but on the negative, that means a lot of financial stress whilst you are in the process. I am thinking of starting a meme on the subject.

    • Meme is a great idea!
      I do feel that it’s much much worse this year. I went back to work full-time after the first two kids. It was tough but generally ok. There were also more job vacancies available back then.

      • Yip, current economic climate exacerbates the situation. I just have one child at the moment, but if another came along, it would totally put the kibosh on any kind of employment other than self-employment for me. Meme is a coming…

  3. Hi K.! What a nightmare we are all in! I changed my career to be able to look after my daughter! Keep perservering, personal development is key(when U can), try to do something U love because it will help & motivate U when U have lows!

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