I can’t afford to go back to an office job

From time to time, I like nosing around the jobs board to see what’s on the market and at what price positions are going for. In the last six months, what I’ve seen is alarming. Managing editors go for £29,000 pa. and journalists for £26,000 pa. Unless you’re trained in finance journalism, there doesn’t seem to be many jobs offering over £40,000 pa.

I’m currently working for myself, but say if I wanted to go back to being an employee, I’m seriously questioning whether I can even afford to do it.

Working for somebody else means putting my two children into full-time childcare. When I was doing this a year ago, childcare costs me about £1600 a month. Then there are kids’ miscellaneous expenses, travel costs and weekly grocery to factor in. And, as of April, another baby will be joining the brood.

In my job, I often have to work late too. Which means either paying extra for childcare (that I can’t afford) or my husband stepping in. His work often stretches into the evenings too, and I don’t like it when we have to negotiate our schedules. It can be stressful when the conversation creeps dangerously close to the critical ‘my work is as important as yours’ point.

My career was built in print publishing. But with the Leveson inquiry, News Corp crisis and the impact of a fast changing digital environment on print, who knows what the world of newspapers and magazines will look like in two years’ time.

For the first time in my professional life, I am really worried.

I’d better go back to the drawing board and take stock of other skills I have. Anyone needs a Mandarin speaker with over 10 years of UK magazine publishing experience who’s also handy with tweeting and blogging?