A big part of who I am is what I do. Although it sounds dramatic my identity was taken from me the day we became expats, living in a country where I wasn't permitted to work. This wasn't something I was prepared for and we trusted the relocation company when they said that once we'd settled the children into school, found a house and our container arrived, that they would then assist with the job market. They hadn't checked the law on foreigners working other than organising the inter company transfer for Peter. I did eventually find volunteer work and as satisfying as it was, there was an assumption that I baked cakes and fund raised at the local golf club, or read to a primary school class once a week, when I said I volunteered in Education for charity.
So on moving to Dubai, just after 2 years ago, my focus after settling into our new home was to find work. It took 10 months before I started teaching in FS. In hindsight, I took the first (and only) job offered to me and as much as I loved the job, the environment wasn't for me, so I left 3 months ago.
My visa for the past 6 years has read 'housewife' I'm not even a SAHM, since the kids have left home, I'm just a SAH and I'm bored, lonely and at 45, life is now passing me by.
We're staying in Dubai another 2-3 years, at 60 this year, Peter is looking forward to retirement in a couple of years time and despite having our finances sorted, I will need to work as we want to continue living this life style of travel and having nice things, so the reality is I need to find a job that will enhance my opportunities when we return to the UK.
I've applied for 2 positions. 1 in Dubai and 1 in the UK. The Dubai job is teaching life skills to 15-18 year old in several school across the UAE. The UK job is with The Football Association and in Child Welfare. The UK job is probably out of my area of expertise these days, as things in Child Welfare have moved on so quickly. It will throw up huge problems as I will need to live in London and Peter will remain in Dubai.
The job in Dubai has offered me an interview, the beginning of May. I need the time to get my disclosure processed from the Disclosure and Barring Service, a police check for my time in both Dubai and South Africa and a variety of other documents that need collating. I also need to do a first aid course.
Both jobs leave me with several dilemmas:
I really want The FA job in London, but although I'd be closer to my family, the kids and be able to see them on weekends, I'd be using my 4 weeks annual leave for long weekends in Dubai to see Peter and he'd have to use his to make trips to see me. My salary would be spent on my cost of living and flights, but it may encourage Peter to make an earlier return to the UK as we could rent out both our UK properties and live off the rent as well as my salary.
If I take the job in Dubai, I'd earn far more money than I could ever dream of in the UK, although if I hadn't left the UK, I'm fairly positive my career would've developed to earning around the same amount now, but then Peter wouldn't have earn such a high salary staying in the UK as he does from working abroad. And I'd be back in a similar situation as to when I was working as a teacher here, bound by the school holidays, and restricted visits to see the family and adult kids in the UK.
At the end of the day, attending interviews won't do me any harm, I can always turn the job down, money isn't really a factor while we're living here, especially now we are free of boarding school fees.
But I do need to be doing something other than travelling back and forth to the UK, the months in-between drive me mad, I do the same things over and over and it's boring, my brain is turning to mush, although I do several study courses online to keep up to date with things. I'm 46 in a couple of months and in 2-3 years I'll be approaching 50, I'm not sure after 8-9 years of doing nothing I'll actually be that employable to do a job, have a career that I can excel in.
So watch this space, who knows I might not got offered either job and I'll be no worse off than I am now.