Midway through my life and out of the blue, changes in circumstances led me back into the careers market.
I had begun my career life in publishing, first as a secretary, then as an assistant editor. But I longed to write my own material, not just help others publish theirs. So after I got married, I gave up full time work, and worked from home, doing some part time freelance editing and proofing, as well as writing material for publications such as The Lady - 'for elegant women with elegant minds' (gosh, here's hoping, in my case), Woman Alive, and Best of British (nostalgia/oral history).
But writing is a very solitary job, and I craved some team work, so found a part time job in the mornings working in a specialist library.
When the marriage broke up I needed to go back to full time work. Writing paid a little, but not enough to live on. I could have gone back to publishing but I found librarianship much more about interacting with people, which I enjoyed, whereas my publishing experience had mostly meant sitting with my head in a pile of proofs, looking for typos and layout funnies. The letter killeth but the spirit giveth life.
So in the end my love of people, academia, and books, led me to enrol at City University in London to study for an MSc in Library and Information Science. It was stimulating to go back to university about 15 years after my first degree and to engage analytically and critically with so much new information. I struggled particularly with the Digital Information Technologies and Architecture module, taking an online test in it every week which frequently led to tears and a feeling I couldn't hack it.
But somehow I did - and even managed a credit in that course, and a distinction overall. Now I love my new role working in an academic library with bright young students and such intelligent colleagues.
Next stop chartership of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. I'm still awaiting the result of my portfolio submission. I want to never stop developing...and yes I'm still editor enough to be aware that is a split infinitive.