To progress in one's career... effective to potentially earn more money for the family
I am required to study for my professional development. Recently had a course where it said I could bring my partner. My mind says I don't have one of those I wonder whether I could take my son instead. I do talk with my son about it and we have agreed when I have to study I will do it alongside his homework!
I certainly know how Barbie feels! I study for me because I love learning new things but then I get frustrated when I can't balance it with work and all the stuff around the kids! I suppose I'm my own worst enemy but shouldn't I be able to do something that I want to do without feeling guilty?
I know that feeling...it will be easy/fine/ok. When will we ever learn that generally we regret or actions when deciding to enrol on an award! I am still recovering from completing my MA last January and guess what I am idly considering doing more...somebody please stop me!
I always thought that the next course would advance me in a career which would create opportunities to earn more money (as a single Mum) and get me out of survival mode. I went from one path of study to the next to the next. I am still in survival mode!!
I have to say though, that most of the courses I did I enjoyed. I enjoy studying. It gives one a feeling of achievement. And, if you happen to like the subject, it is also very gratifying. I loved my degree course because I was fascinated with the subject. I could have gone on studying the subject forever. But unfortunately it didn't pay so I had to go back to the grind.
I now work as self employed in an area I love. And this has come about by putting together all the areas of study that I have taken and enjoyed over the years and moulded them into a business. This is the most satisfying aspect of my studying experience.
After a change of career in order to "be there" for my children during holiday time, I have started again from the bottom. I'm not one to be content in staying where I am and can't help myself but to keeping learning and progressing! Circumstances which led to me being a single mum of three got me thinking that I needed to progress and earn more in order to provide for them. Doing a part time degree whilst working full time in a challenging job is a challenge in itself. Sometimes the only quiet time I get is after 10.30pm, so burning the candle at both ends is a must. However, my children see me working hard, and I have noticed that they have become very conscientious in their own studying. Often staying up late in order to finish homework. This is a good indicator to me that they are learning from my behaviour!! I am learning so many interesting things which is motivating me more and more and I am excited about the future. The tiredness and late nights are definitely worth the effort! (Most of the time!)
Usually always because I like to learn new stuff.
Often also because I think I need to know that new stuff for work.
Sometimes because I actually really need to know that new stuff for work.
I diversified when I needed a job in an economic recession. This took all our savings to pay for a post graduate diploma but it meant that I got a new job and continued earning so it was worth it. But not all pieces of paper are worth the same. The government tried training people for the "green deal" and before that for house buying packs that came to nothing. Be careful Barbie that your training is really real.
Training and learning has (and continues) to help with my career progression. That is not the simple answer; I find learning expands my view of this ever changing world and a way of retaining my identity as an indivdual and this, I feel, makes me a better role model and mum to my children. It's hard at times, but when my boys pick up their books to "study" with me because it's more fun doing it together, I know I am showing the benefits of learning. I have learnt to be selective in the learning I embark on, as not all opportunities are relevant or intersting!
I love studying for my doctorate and find it enriching and exciting to challenge and broaden my thinking. It feels like I am being myself when I read and write at this level, so that is a liberation. I have found this has got easier as the children have got older, so they are all teenagers now. It is interesting when I think back to my husband who did his PhD about 6 years ago when the children were quite small, I think the timing was right for me as I wanted to be present so much more when they were younger. I feel I have given myself permission to study now and am relishing it. But am not pretending how much massive effort it is, and observe I am part time employed and have stayed that way (as my husband has always been full time) and this enables me to study, but am missing out on the full time pay.
I studied for my teaching degree when my older children were young (ages 2-12) in order to provide for them as a single parent.They knew that there was a purpose to my study and that we would all benefit from it in the long run. They were patient when I needed to study, although most of this was done after they went to bed, which meant that I was in a permanent state of exhaustion. I believe that it was the right thing to do at the time, that I was a good role model to them and that they developed an understanding of the importance of education and working hard toward a goal but I know that no matter how hard I tried to protect family time it did affect the opportunities that I had to spend time with them, time that cannot be replaced. I remarried and have 2 younger children. I work full time and have turned down many opportunities for further study and professional development as I feel that the time I have with them and my grandchildren is far too precious to give up.
Since I completed my bachelors degree part time whilst working full time with two children I have always found that studying, while definitely not an easy option, has been hugely rewarding. As I've progressed and been able to dictate the focus of my own research through my MA and now PhD I have found it almost a necessary release from the daily job and home tasks, something I feel may eventually make a difference to other people too. While I study and develop new ways of thinking and open up new vistas I feel I learn a great deal about my subject and about myself. Also I have the opportunity to engage with other researchers and experts in my field which is very enriching. I'm writing this from a residential library where I am lucky enough to be working for a couple of days - a protected silent study space where I can be fully immersed in my reading, thinking and writing. It's a very different experience to writing on the kitchen table tryng to cook the tea, answer the phone and deal with family stuff and it is something I treasure- when I am studying I feel as though I am truly myself. Even though my children are older now - early 20s adults - they are learning to operate in the adult world and still need support and parenting albeit more arm's length. We're currently in mid wedding fever with one of them and time for study is short, adding caring for our parents with serious health conditions into the mix means that study is a real form of escape - and the sheer indulgence of this generates alot of guilt but not enough to make me stop.
I feel I was almost pushed by my institution towards doing my doctorate to meet the current HE profile of an ideal academic, as the challenges of combining my day job with the pressures of level 8 studies did not excite me! Nevertheless, now that I am finishing the second year of my studies, I have say that I am thoroughly enjoying the process, and especially the sessions/readings that make my brain hurt. I feel that my doctoral work gives me freedom... Freedom to achieve something significant; freedom to have an increased job security; freedom to satisfy both my curiosity and my ambition. I feel that the knowledge that I acquire truly empowers me - just as Francis Bacon put it: "scientia potentia est". This power is well worth investing time and resource into my studies.
Whew - I can identify with this one! I did part of law school on a distance learning course while I had three young children at home (including one who was still breastfeeding) and I had to stick to a tough schedule. But the desire for career advancement was strong in my early 30's. I wanted it so badly! Now in my 40's, I toy with the idea of doing a PhD and I find the idea positively nauseating - perhaps I am burned out on work? Despite my education, I have never achieved the recognition I sought - or the salary. I found myself "leaning in" and exhausting myself in the process. My kids needed me. Can any mother achieve her career ambitions? Is it possible to have it all? And I found that in many ways, especially in America, strong women are perceived as...uppity? I knew my value, but somehow...I had to fight for the same pay and work much harder than some of my male colleagues. On less sleep. So now I hesitate because it's more than just the impact on my kids. It's whether there will be any payoff for the sacrifice.
In a work appraisal I was informed I needed to think more 'out of the box' and undertake an MSc to enable me to expand my role.I was supported financially (and study leave for most of the time) by my institution.
Explaining to my family about needing time to study helped me to reach any looming deadline. Some times my daughter would interrupt and I would explain that I needed to work and to 'ask daddy' for help. I did feel guilty about this but I had to just get on. Recently I discussed this with my daughter, she said she didn't understand what was going on when I was studying but didn't feel hard done by.
I really gained a lot from studying for a MSc and the benefits continue to have a very positive impact on all aspects of my life.
I always question why I enrolled on the PhD, why I agreed to do that extra project or why I have no time to do any of it! I have a moto of family first but that doesn't always work when family isn't always helpful in allowing me to get to the books! I have had to be creative with my time and how I work so that my phd progresses slowly.
Ill get there but slowly...I just need to manage my guilt, insecurities, feelings of being a fraud and everyday life of working and being a mum.
I've recently had so much upheaval that my phd is the only thing that is truly mine. I love to study and question and I love my topic but I do often consider stopping because I don't seem to quite meet the bar. I often feel like a gymnast who doesn't do the parallel bars very well.
I did not enter the world of education until I was 37 a single parent with two children, at that time studying evolved more out of necessity that over the years has become self-fulfillment. Although my children are now parents themselves (I don't seem to have had anytime without children around) the phone call at the weekend 'what are you doing today...' when you have planned your reading/writing time does initially cause a sigh - but then how can I resist spending time with young lively minds!
Studying for me is purely about me, my interests - I do get the opportunity to visit London most months engage with peers: chat awhile about where we are up to, but probably more importantly about how we are managing studying at doctorate level, working and...living - a great support network...
I did toy with the idea of studying for a PhD when at work but made the decision not to as I had learned through a period of stress–related illness brought about by a work- life imbalance, what my boundaries were.
Now I'm retired and have no need to study or gain formal qualifications to advance my career. But I’m delighted to say that the bug for learning is alive and kicking and stronger than ever. The delightful thing is I can pick up and follow trails of enthusiasm, go off on tangents or just let them peter out or lay dormant for a while. Sometimes I go on courses, sometimes ‘just’ read. Although I have no formal career I have voluntary work commitments which require writing, ‘research’ and meeting deadlines, and even though I suppose the stakes are lower in that I’m not worried about what my managers would think, I still get wobbles and think ‘why did I commit to this?’ the deadline always comes sooner than I would like it and half way through I always think I can’t do it. I think the commitment to learning and growing, is about self-expression, or in Maslow’s terms about self-actualisation and the attitudes and mind sets developed through work- related study leave a hunger for learning and the motivation and wherewithal to know how to search this out so it can continue to enrich your life, when formal work demands are over.
I ask myself this question repeatedly when I have a deadline looming! Usually now it is to fulfill my continued professional development requirements for work so that I may continue to practice. Once completed, I do sometimes consider doing extra study, having gained a bit of enthusiasm, however that doesn't last long when you know there is no incentive. Personally, I also feel a sense of achievement having completed a course, learning something new somehow makes you feel youthful (I am still capable of learning) and boosts confidence in s challenging work environment.
Hope this helps?
I studied for my first degree in optics via distance learning when my first child was a baby (she is now 14). As much as I adored being a mother, I also wanted to be me! I wanted the sense of achievement in being able to balance it all. I also wanted to prove wrong all the people who said I couldn't do it and saw it as a challenge.
Although it was incredibly difficult at times and there were a few tantrums(from me, not my daughter), I achieved my goal.
My family and friends thought I was mad when I decided 4 years ago that I wanted to do it all again, as well as having a full time job and now 2 children (son,10).
My reason this time was that I was bored! Work had become monotonous and my children now have their own interests that don't involve me! I had developed an interest in audiology so decided to do a foundation degree in this field.
I found it more difficult second time around, possibly because I'm older and it takes longer for things to sink in??!! I also found it much harder to manage my time.
There were times when I wanted to quit, but then my daughter would tell me how proud she was of me for doing it and this kept me going. I've now being qualified as an audiologist for 2 years and I love my job.
I want my children to face challenges head on, and know that they can achieve whatever they want in life with hard work and determination, just like I have.
My desire to learn and continue learning was prompted from an early age. I enjoyed reading and found it broadened the rather narrow experiences I was having at home. My father, in particular, wanted me to be ambitious and do weekend spent time reading with me.
Once children appeared, studying became harder but I always felt it enhanced my identity and sense of worth. I also wanted my children to have a positive role model. In this way, it was good for me and good for them!
Yes, i remember this feeling. I remember the comprimises I had to make to continue my PhD. My daughters were very young. On summers days, whilst Craig took girls out at weekend, often I'd be at my desk. I worked full-time with a full-on job so rhe only time to study was evenings and weekends. I worked - at the time - in an environment where research was secondary to research, so I needed lots of Intrinsic motivation. However, I studied and did the research PhD not because I had to - but because I believed in it and rhe power of research findings to challenge inequality. I paid for my PhD for the fusr few years and that was a struggle - but U knew I needed to get the learners voices, many marginalised, into the public domain. I was driven by my politics and a drive fir social.justice - not a performative exercise.
Being a mother, working full-time and studying was very challenging --'but that's life, so either get on with it or don't. Pragmatic but true.
Working mum and 4 children .. thinking of total change of career at the moment ... we have one lifecwe have to live it .. and follow our dreams ...
A distant learning course appealed to me because the notion of being a mother combined with working full time appeared to be the perfect way to advance my personal development. It enabled me to add more strings to my bow career wise, and thus showing my children what can be achieved with sheer determination and hard work.