The Life of a Self-Employed Mature Student
Posted on 22nd September 2021 at 15:56
When I left school, I had absolutely no idea what it was I wanted to do with my life. My mother was a nurse and somehow, I fell into nursing too (perhaps a feeling of security – if my mum does it, it must be OK!). While I found nursing a fulfilling job, I think I always knew it wasn’t quite the job for me. So, after 5 years, I left the NHS and became a sales representative for various medical equipment companies. I enjoyed the salary (especially after nursing!), the company car, the expense account, but once again, I knew I wasn’t really in the job I wanted to be in. So, I left. I had no job to go to. I was at a major crossroads in my life. What on earth did I want to do?
I applied for all sorts of jobs and was offered a few, but it was when I was offered a job within the finance team of a solicitor’s firm, that I found my niche, my dream job and something I am still practicing today. I had always loved maths and I never had any trouble keeping up with the accounts and processes at the Law firm. It was at this stage, because I knew I didn’t have any qualifications in finance (after all I had been a nurse and that was where I gained my diploma), that I began to research my options for gaining qualifications. I felt that if I didn’t do anything about my lack of qualifications, I could be pipped at the post when applying for future jobs, by a more qualified person. So, I started small and studied Microsoft Excel (great for anyone working in accounts), gaining my ECDL Excel qualification. Once that was complete, I was needing to feed my brain more and studied a small People Management course (just a one day, face to face course, followed by an exam). I had ignited my passion for study at the ripe old age of 36!
I left the law firm to relocate to my home town and found another position in finance within a school. It was now that I wanted something a bit weightier to get my teeth into. So, I embarked on a School Business Management Diploma. It took 11 months to complete, while working full time. I’m not about to say it was easy, there were times where I thought I might defer, or give up altogether! But I plodded on through, worked most evenings (not weekends though-my relationship would have suffered had I done that) and managed to complete and pass the Diploma with a Merit. I was so excited, and I felt really accomplished. The whole studying thing gave me a buzz, one which I did not feel while at school.
Fast forward to 2019, where I was working full time for another school as an Assistant Bursar, thriving in my job (it really is my area) but somehow needing something else. So, off I go again (not much of a surprise to my husband!) and embark on a Bachelor of Science with honours degree (all remote learning). I am now in my third year of a 6-year course, which has to be fitted around a full time job. Back in March 2020 I was made redundant from my role as Assistant Bursar because the school went into liquidation. This was a real blow for me as it was my dream job, and I was working my way up to the position of Bursar. But, one thing, one constant, that kept me going was in fact my study. I threw myself into starting my own business and continuing my study. Today I run a successful Virtual Assistant business and am almost halfway through my BSc and I am 47 years old! Studying makes me feel more confident about my subject matter, it gives me that feeling of “I CAN DO IT!” There is nothing quite like receiving those results at the end of each module/course/diploma.
It’s never too late to study, learn and expand. There is one lady on my module this year, who is in her 70’s and just finding further education at her age – that’s proof enough, surely, that it is never to late to start studying! Visit and see if there is anything that lights a spark with you – start small, start big, start wherever you want, but do it – you won’t regret it!
Tagged as: Self employed
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