Potentially moving back to hometown, what would you do in my situation? | PCSPECIALIST

Potentially moving back to hometown, what would you do in my situation?


Prolific Poster
I've discovered that there's a possibility of moving back to Southport where my relatives live which is about 3 hours from where I am now. I'm pretty keen for a move as I've been a bit down in the dumps lately with work and stuff and there's no real reason for me wanting to stay in Malvern any more but I wanted some advice about my options and what you guys might do in my situation.

I'll be moving with my parents and brothers as it's closer to my sister and stuff and although I called it my hometown, I only lived there for 4 years between the ages of 8-12 (now 20) so I don't really have many contacts there still. We've moved around a bit so it's difficult to define hometown :D

Basically I'm seeing this as a clean slate where I can start on a career path that I want to be down. I'm in Admin at the moment and I find it extremely dull, it's not stimulating me at all and I'd love a change. So basically this is what I'm thinking my options are, any advice would be brill:

1) Find a similar job to what I'm doing now but will obviously be a change of scene - 40 hours per week, okay pay for my age, might possibly find somewhere with more potential for promotion than where I am now..

2) Go back to college/Uni and start a fresh. I didn't get through my A levels because of illness and have thought about going back ever since. I could get a part time job somewhere doing 12-20+ a week and scrape by like all the other people my age. Still need ideas about what to do for a career though. I like the idea of something like social work but then I also enjoy working with computers, etc.

3) Find a completely different area of work that doesn't require formal qualifications or previous experience but possibly with some scope of progression. I don't know how easy it is to get into like manufacturing, engineering, etc without experience (pokes Booz for help).

To give some background about my current experience, I did fairly well in school, went to college to do my A levels and became ill with Glandular fever/Chronic fatigue and haven't really bounced back 100% yet, after 6 months or so after I dropped out of college and got an admin apprenticeship at a university. Stayed there for 18 months and got level 2 + 3 NVQ in Bus. Admin and a level 3 in Customer Service, moved to a Sales Admin job at a surveying company and here I am... Not progressing, not developing at all, sat in an office 9-5:30 mon-fri.

I'm open to anything really! Any ideas guys?


Prolific Poster
I'll get some more in depth info to you soon mate, but one thing I will say about manufacturing and/or engineering is that, while it can be challenging, interesting and rewarding, it can also be strenuous work both mentally and physically. If you're not 100% over your fatigue mate I'd really give it some long hard thought as to whether you're up for it before making a decision. I will get back to you with more info though, I'm rattling a few ideas around.


The BSOD Doctor
At your age I would opt for option 2. You'll be well looked after at your parents and even though I'm sure you'll pay your way you will never find a cheaper or more convenient way to live than with mom and dad. So use that advantage to go back to college/Uni and start afresh on whatever interests you. I remember being 20 so I know that you probably don't have any firm idea of what it is you want to do. That will come to you later I'm sure, for now you want to be giving yourself the best base you can to build on and to maximise your options in the near future. Prospective employers will also see someone who went back to college as someone who makes smart choices, is motivated and self-starting, and these are all qualities employers value.

I realise you're a mature adult but your working life hasn't really got started yet, so use the chance to broaden your knowledge base by returning to college/Uni. Social work is one of those massively valuable but terribly ignored professions, if you sense a calling in that direction I would pursue it. Computing crops up all over the place these days so you might well find opportunities to use those skills inside a social work environment? If this was America I'd suggest you did a Social Work major with a computing minor.

Life is like sitting in front of a conveyor belt watching opportunities pass by. You have to grab those that look interesting and run with them, each opportunity seized changes the opportunities available on the conveyor belt, so life is a series of jumps from one opportunity to another (at least mine has been). Going back to college (Uni would be even better) will give you way more opportunities to choose from on your conveyor belt.

Sorry if I seem to be preaching, that's not my intention. But life looks very different looking back from 62 where I am than it does looking forward from 20 where you are. I have no doubt it will work out for you. :)


Prolific Poster
Thanks both :)

I think you're right Booz, I've read a bit about some college courses and stuff to do with manufacturing and it probably wouldn't be right for me at the moment. I was never very hands-on at school with like woodworking classes and stuff so I imagine I'd be no better nowadays! Plus from reading some college information and finding out I need to wear blue overalls I really don't think I could pull it off... having a blue onesie already is enough I think!

I think college will definitely be the best shout and both of yours wealth of experience is really helpful. I've just been looking at the college courses for where I might be moving and even though I didn't think it would appeal to me on paper, the Level 3 Diploma in Computer Science is sounding really interesting. They do a few IT courses and the rest look a bit basic, there's a level 2 in IT which is basically about how to use office software and install programs so I think that may be a bit low.. The level 3 doesn't mention requiring any previous qualifications in IT so I think it would be a nice challenging start.

What do you think? http://www.southport-college.ac.uk/courses/detail.asp?leaflet=4854&ac=13/14 - It would introduce me to a more in-depth process of IT but leave my options for which field I want to go down I think. And although Social Work would be great I do think I'd love to do something a bit more technical (I attempted Sociology and Psychology in my A levels before I got ill and although it was okay, I didn't see myself as massively stimulated by the lectures). Plus like you said, I could always get into Social work by teaching IT at a community centre or something in future :D

P.s. The bloke at the top of that link is extremely scary. Yet so memorising..


Life Serving
As for Social Work, if you want any advice on applying or whats involved just give me a shout on steam/origin. In my third year at the moment, its certainly rewarding and will completely change you forever.

If you were to go down that avenue, you would need to go back to college either go for another two years of A-levels, alternatively go for a one year access to HE course. - http://www.southport-college.ac.uk/courses/catSearch.asp?cat=ACCESS TO HE (lol, whats with all the smiley people?) Most students that go for Social Work, (at least at my uni) are slightly older so many have been through access to HE courses.

You would also need to get some voluntary work under your belt. As SW is all about communicating with people, building positive relationships and working directly with people. But this can be achieved one or two days per week whilst you are at college.

Uni wise, fees are about 9k at the moment (thanks clegg), but you would be eligible for student tuition fee loan, maintenance loan and maintenance grants (pay the loans back I think once you ever over 21k per year, grants are free). You would also get bursary from which ever uni you go to, some offer small incentives like 500quid per year. Also There is a SW bursary, however, its recently changed so only 2nd and 3rd year undergrads get it, (thanks to Dodgy Dave) The courses are pretty much 5 days per week, mixture of placement and uni although specifics depend upon wherever you study. If you went down this option it would be wise to try and study sociology and psychology in the Access to HE course. Will give you some good knowledge ready for uni.

Anyway give me a shout if ya wanna know more :)


Bronze Level Poster
Hi Grimezy,

I work for a an IT company and can say that as a grounding, skills in software development (C/++,asp .net and java) are a hot commodity, at present if you want an area to invest in. There is likely a 70/30 split between those that rely and implement upon the software and those that can actually create and mould it themselves - not to mention the flexibility of those skills and their potential to allow you to move between companies and employ the languages at any of them.

As for the more generalist areas of IT (virtualisation, web dev, networking, linux, microsoft infrastructure) I am pleased to see the course you're looking at covers a good variety of areas. Would like to think you should be well covered (should you go down that route) for a foundation.

On the flip-side I have seen a fair few interviewees who have come in the door - sprouted knowledge of every software language and application under the sun and gotten nowhere but a boot out the door because they had no appreciation for the wider business and that it's not always about what you can develop or build, but how you can interact with those around you, manage yourself and relate to potential clients/customers.

Obviously I have only a small vantage point and my experiences and employment are likely far from the areas you wish to approach :)