Today I heard that the OU module I was interviewed for at the end of last year, and for which I was deemed ‘appointable’, doesn’t have enough students for me to be formally appointed. Which is disappointing, but not an enormous surprise – I think the current financial situation means that many people who were considering doing some study, and employers who previously might have sponsored employees to do so, are thinking again. The ‘appointable’ thing lasts a year apparently, so this time next year if they have an influx of students there is the possibility of work then. Ah well – a year is a long time, and lots can happen.
I have now got myself signed up to the nurse bank here, which means that when my manager returns from leave next week I am going to hand in my notice. This is the worst-kept secret ever in my workplace, as I have been trying to leave almost since I started, so it’s kind of ironic that I have worked out this is the longest I have ever stayed in one nursing job ever! In many ways it is a big big gamble – I have my current OU tutoring which will tide me over financially for a few months, plus any bank shifts I can get, but the OU modules only run till June and don’t start again till October, which will leave me with 3 months with no guaranteed income unless I can get bank shifts (not guaranteed). And if student numbers continue to fall I may not have all the OU work I currently have come next October. But. I have known for some time that I want to do research work, and in order to get into that field I need to be published (which, apart from one book chapter, I’m not at the moment). Before Christmas I had an interview where I came close, but the feedback I got was that one of the main reasons I wasn’t offered the job was because I didn’t have enough experience and publications. So I have decided to take this gamble. Without the regular health visiting, I will be able to do my OU work, do the odd bank shift, and have time left over to write and try and get myself published and ‘out there’. I am so lucky that I have the OU work and the nursing qualification which means that I am somewhat cushioned against the risk. But it is a risk nevertheless.
I was thinking about my early 20s (twenty years ago, eek), when I first graduated and didn’t know what I wanted to do. I ended up temping for a year or so, not knowing from week to week or month to month where the next money was coming from. But I managed, and survived, and managed to save some money even, and I remember that time as really ‘alive’. It did me the world of good, taught me to manage and fend for myself, and live without relying on a regular income. Later on I took similar(ish) risks, giving up good jobs first to do nurse training, and later to do the PhD, and both are things that I am so glad I took the risks for. Of course I am in a different position now, HD has a regular good income, so it’s probably not as brave as any of my previous gambles. But it’s still a bit scary. And I am sure that once again it will do me the world of good, in ways I am yet to discover.