12 career change ideas for the over 50s

If you want to change careers in your 50s the world is your oyster. Instead of winding down towards retirement, more people than ever before are looking to change direction. And there are opportunities aplenty. According to the Department for Work and Pensions employment rates for the over 50s grew from 55.8% in 1984 to 71.2% in 2016. Our recent analysis of data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) also showed that last year, 82% of the UK’s employment growth was fuelled by the over 50s.

People over 50 are an attractive option to employers for a number of reasons. They possess lots of useful experience, have a strong work ethic and are organised, efficient and confident. 

Being 50 or over can be a great age to choose a new career. You have lots of skills and experience and the agility of mind to learn new things. While many of you are happily settled in your careers, others may want to change theirs for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • A desire to learn new things
  • To follow their passion
  • To reduce stress levels
  • For a change of pace
  • Are bored with their current career
  • Are facing redundancy
  • To be more satisfied with work

12 ideas for alternative careers after the age of 50

Whether you’re yearning for a brand-new challenge, facing the prospect of redundancy or simply looking for a more rewarding job, here are some ideas for a new career path in your 50s. Whatever your experience or qualifications, there are a range of interesting opportunities out there for you.

1. Teacher

teacher in classroom with children

Put your knowledge of a particular industry to fantastic use by turning to teaching. There are a growing number of people in their 50s and 60s going back to retrain as Teachers. You could be a regular Teacher, Supply Teacher, offer private tuition or even give classes at adult education colleges. It is a fulfilling job where you can draw on your experience and expertise to inspire and educate others. There are openings right across the education sphere in all sorts of subjects.

People retrain to become Teachers in a number of different ways; some prefer to complete a degree to achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) whilst others prefer to take a more vocational, or school-led route. For example, Now Teach offer specialised training programmes for people who want to retrain as Teachers later in life (and don’t necessarily have a degree). The programme is designed to respect and understand the leap of faith that people take when they consider starting a teaching degree later in life and will help you achieve QTS.

If you don’t like the idea of having to formally retrain to achieve QTS, then you may want to consider becoming a Teaching Assistant instead. Nothing brings back your sense of youth more than working with children, especially in that golden primary school age.


2. Driving Instructor

If you’re calm and confident behind the wheel and you’d love to help give others the gift of driving – then why not retrain as a Driving Instructor? You’d get to help people of all ages develop skills and confidence in the car. Some will have never have never sat in the driver’s seat before, whilst others may have passed their test but want to refresh their skills. Each student will be on their own unique journey and you will be the one to help them get there safely!

If you’re interested in working in this highly rewarding role, then it’s worth visiting our career change guide for detailed information on how to get started.


3. Learn a Trade

Learn a trade

Skilled tradespeople are always in high demand and apprenticeships and training programmes for the older generation are supported by the government. Among the many options are carpenters, electricians, stone masons, painter decorators, plumbers and roofers.


4. Retail

retail shop

If you’re good with people and like to keep busy, consider a job in retail. Stores and supermarkets are always looking to fill cashier and customer service roles. It can be a great way of keeping socially connected in your community and staying physically active. If you don’t want to work on the shop floor there are numerous management and administration positions.

5. Pet Sitter

pet sitter - beware of dog

Turn your love of animals into a rewarding job as a part-time or full-time pet sitter. You’ll be your own boss and provided you’ve got lots of energy, are enthusiastic and love pets, you’re good to go. Among the responsibilities of pet sitters are feeding, dog walking and taking animals to and from the vets.

6. Virtual Assistant

work from home

Wave goodbye to the relentless grind of a 9-to-5 job and the infernal rush-hour commute by becoming a virtual assistant. This is a chance to earn a good income without leaving your home. A virtual assistant or VA is someone who provides administration support to companies, entrepreneurs and anyone who needs help with routine tasks. You can work from the comfort of your sofa or kitchen table or from anywhere provided you have a computer and good internet connectivity.

If you want to start networking and meeting clients, then the best way to get started is to join websites for freelancers, such as Fiver or People per Hour, where you can list yourself as a Virtual Assistant and start applying for jobs. Some people will need help with one-off tasks whilst others may need help on ongoing projects, or may be able to offer more regular work. 

7. Life Coach/Mentor

hr courses

Among the options when changing careers is to become a Life Coach or Mentor. You have a deep well of life and work experience to draw from which can be passed onto others. While you don’t need any formal qualifications to be a Life Coach or Mentor, it is a good idea to study for industry-specific qualifications in your chosen field. You’ll come across as more credible to your clients and it will help boost your confidence when you start out. Among the types of mentoring jobs are a life coach, a business coach and a mentor to young people/students.

8. Carer

carer in cafe

This is a job where you can really make a difference to someone’s life. As a live-in or visiting carer, you will be helping people to have a better quality of life, one that’s happier and more enriched. Examples of careers in social care are personal carers, care home managers, occupational therapists and bereavement support coordinators.

9. Salesperson


If you are smart and dynamic, are skilled at the art of persuasion, can make good presentations and like a challenge then a new career in sales could be for you. Among the job options available are anything from a telesales assistant, through to an account executive or sales director.

10. Volunteering

Jobs with Care UK

Volunteering is a gift that keeps on giving, providing individuals with an enhanced sense of purpose and new skills while they help worthwhile causes and people in need. Many organisations and projects need volunteers all the time from local charity shops to international aid organisations.  Volunteering can also help you to transition to a new job by giving you new skills and experiences that enrich your CV.

11. Jobs in Government

Work in Government

You may not be considering a run for public office, but you can channel your interest in the public sector by looking for government jobs. Local government organisations and the civil service welcome applications from mature people. Careers span a wide range of job roles including planning officers, building control officers, administration roles and environmental health officers. The sense of perspective that experience brings can be particularly helpful in social and civic roles.

12. Childcare

Perhaps you’re interested in becoming a Nanny or a Childminder?

If you love being around children and like the idea of working flexible hours, then a role in childcare could be just what you’ve been looking for. You’ll usually care for and support children in a range of different areas – from helping with homework, through to cooking dinner – whilst their parent(s) or carer(s) are away or at work. 

As a Childminder, you will typically look after children in your own home – parents will drop off and pick up children at agreed times. You don’t need any academic qualifications to get started, but you will need to have a clean Ofsted DBS certificate and a full UK driving licence. The best way to build up clients is to visit websites like Childcare.co.uk; here you can advertise yourself as a childminder or babysitter so that local families can get in touch if they need your services.

Nannies tend to work in children’s homes and may be offered the option to live-in or live-out (sometimes depending on whether it the role is full or part-time) by the hiring family. For those living in and around London, nanny agency Koru Kids take on Nannies of all ages, offering training (including First Aid) and placing them with a suitable family.


How to get started

Before you get started on your new adventure you need to make a plan. Here are a few suggestions to help you focus your mind:
  • Determine what you want to do.
  • Find out as much as you can about the industry you want to work in.
  • Understand the financial impact and associated consequences of making any career changes.
  • Speak to people you know with experience in the area you want to move into
  • Identify your strengths and transferable skills.
  • Rewrite your CV to bring out the skills most relevant to your new career path. Get started by taking a look at our CV writing tips.
  • If you’re going after a professional role, create a LinkedIn profile to make your online presence known. Use our guide to maximising your LinkedIn profile.
  • Learn any new skills that are required.
  • Write a cover letter that enhances your CV and lets employers know why you’re the right person to help their company succeed. Find out how to write a cover letter with impact.
  • Start applying for jobs!


The excitement of something new  

Whatever the reason behind your change in direction, you have a wonderful opportunity to embrace something new and exciting. With many active years ahead of you, it is never too late to find a rewarding new career. Many of the skills you have acquired in previous positions will be transferable but if there are gaps in your knowledge you can always go back to school for a qualification in a field that interests you. And remember you have the experience and maturity that is going to make you a very attractive proposition to prospective employers. Good luck with your next adventure!
Links with an * by them are affiliate links which help Rest Less stay free to use as they can result in a payment or benefit to us. You can read more on how we make money here.

70 thoughts on “12 career change ideas for the over 50s

  1. Avatar
    Kay on Reply

    Is there possibly guidance on working or training further within a caring role as an Information, advice and guidance advisor, whom already has level 2 IAG.


  2. Avatar
    Sally Watts on Reply

    I am a carer and I have been a carer for a long time
    I feel I need a change of career change but not sure what I want to do.Can you help .

    1. Avatar
      Helen on Reply

      Hi Sally.

      Thank you for your question. It’s both exciting and challenging starting to contemplate a different career, particularly when we’ve done the same thing for a while. It’s great to start by asking yourself LOTS of questions (or better still, work with a friend who you trust and get them to ask you them). Initially, there are no off limits questions or answers. Allow yourself to dream a little – there will be plenty of time for getting practical and working out the ‘how’ later. Start with questions like:

    2. Why are you looking to make a change and why now?
    3. What improvements in your life do you hope to achieve?
    4. If you could do anything what would you do?
    5. What do you regret not having done/tried?
    6. What attracted you to your current job?
    7. What do you still love about it (what would you miss)?
    8. What do you dislike most about it (what wouldn’t you miss)?
    9. From there, you are likely to spot some patterns and possibly uncover some surprises. Some people discover they don’t want to change everything, just some things; others find out that there is a whole new adventure waiting to unfold. Armed with this knowledge, you can start your research. Read widely, get really curious, ask other people about their jobs (not what you should do, that is for you to discover).

      If all that feels a bit daunting, you might choose to work with a coach who specialises in career change as they will walk you through this discovery process, be able to suggest possible career options and signpost you to required training.

      I hope that helps! Let us know how you go.

    10. Avatar
      Sandra on Reply

      Hi Sally. I’ve been at home many years and am now trying to get back into work. I read a great book, “Working Identity” by Herminia Ibarra. She recommends ACTION. Her advice is don’t stress too much with self-analysis. Get your feet wet in activities or areas of work that interest you, start small with volunteering or meeting people in different professions. This will give you a chance to explore different areas of work and find out what’s attractive or not to you. I like her advice, hope it can help. You’ve done a tough job so far!

  3. Avatar
    Penny Rutter on Reply

    I’m an experienced Social Worker. I have thought about life coaching for when I retire. I have considered the course but reticent as I have a lot going on at the mo.

    1. Avatar
      Helen on Reply

      Hi Penny. There is a good synergy between social work and coaching as both are about helping people be the best they can be. As far as studying for your coaching qualifications, you’re wise to think about timing. Coaching is a skill that benefits from regular practice, so it’s best to choose a time when you know you can commit to your own development both during and after your training. Good luck with it!

  4. Avatar
    Nicola Goodhew on Reply

    This is a great post and resource thank you so much.
    I do the work before the change of direction.
    Ensuring. People are at their optimal health and trusting their soul, so they can make change their own, and a success.

  5. Avatar
    Sarah Hayes on Reply


    I will be 58 this year and currently work as a supervisor in the food sales industry. I hate my job what is there available for me. I am interested in training

    Any help would be great

    1. Avatar
      Helen on Reply

      Hi Sarah

      Thanks for your question. I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling with the job that you do.

      I’d suggest starting with a list of what you DO enjoy – about this job, about previous jobs, in your social life. You might come up with a list that says people, travel, sales, writing reports, being outdoors.

      Now write down as many jobs as you can think of that might use some or all of those skills. For example – garden centre sales rep, construction sales etc. (don’t over think any of this just yet and don’t censor any of the ideas at this point). Then do some research, using sites like Rest Less, and the National Careers Service explore careers pages to come up with jobs you may know nothing about.

      Once you have the large list, start narrowing it down – for example,’I don’t like plants’ will rule our becoming a garden centre sales rep – and then start to research the jobs that appeal. What training/retraining might you need to do, what is the demand for those people?

      I hope that gives you some ideas to get you started. Wishing you all the best.

    2. Avatar
      Rachel on Reply

      I’m interested to see you haven’t listed digital roles such as coding or anything else tech related. I’m 50 and it’s definitely something I’m considering. There are apprenticeships in this as well.

  6. Avatar
    Chris Barber on Reply

    I’m a car mechanic and as I get older the heavy work is taking its toll on my body and the stress is getting even more so. I’m not sure how to get out of the trade but use my hands on skills to do something else.

    1. Avatar
      Helen on Reply

      Hi Chris.

      Thanks for your question. It is a great starting point (as you have) highlighting that you still enjoy working with your hands as that is the basis of your research. Start by writing a list of every job you can think of that make use of the hands (don’t over think any of this just yet and don’t censor any of the ideas at this point). For example: Chef, plumber, gas fitter, welder, gardener, blacksmith, sculptor, carpenter etc. Then do some research, using sites like Rest Less, and the National Careers Service explore careers pages to come up with jobs you may know nothing about.

      Once you have the large list, start narrowing it down – for example,’I don’t like cooking’ will rule our becoming a chef – and then start to research the jobs that appeal. What training/retraining might you need to do, what is the demand for those people?

      And finally, don’t forget your other, transferable skills from your current job or life in general. Are you organised? Maybe you’re great with the customers. Do any of your outside work activities such as committees or volunteering show aptitudes in other areas?

      I hope that gives you some ideas to get you started. Wishing you all the best.

  7. Avatar
    James on Reply

    Hiya..am 56 and would like to train horses..do you think its to late in life as this can take many years, and there are no short cuts to learning abt these beautiful creatures..

    1. Avatar
      Helen on Reply

      Follow your heart! It may, or may not, lead to a new career, but you won’t have wasted your time trying if you love working with them. Your (and their) lives will have been enhanced.

  8. Avatar
    Christopher on Reply

    Hi. I’m 46 and work as a vehicle damage assessor and have done for 26 years. I have never been interested in cars at all, but I persevere with my job. I am currently furloughed with the worry of being made redundant. Thought it would be an ideal time to think about a change in career. My ideal areas of enjoyment would be travel, photography learning a language and cooking. How could I retrain?

  9. Avatar
    Depressed Sophie on Reply

    Hi, I have a doctorate and am currently working as a covid-19 researcher for a large university. I am tired of fixed term contracts and have been told that in the future work is most likely to be given to younger and BAME applicants. I am a breadwinner and aged 55. I’ve effectively had these contracts for more than 15 years now as I need the flexibility and cannot lecture.
    I need to shift to another career and away from the university system but am unsure of my skills or what I have to offer.
    I am capable of organising myself and can easily work from home without any direct supervision. I have extensive IT skills, statistical, analytical and mixed method research skills in medicine.

    1. Avatar
      Nikki on Reply

      Hi Sophie,

      Have you looked at roles within contract research organizations? That may give you a number of possible options. PhD’s are desirable in this sector.

  10. Avatar
    Unhappy Justina on Reply

    Hi, I’m 49 and in a job I hate. I have always been interested in the health sector, is it to late to re-train?

    1. Avatar
      Helen on Reply

      Hi Justina.

      I’m so sorry to hear that you’re frustrated in your job. And no, it’s never too late to retrain! There are a couple of first steps that you can take:
      1. Start with what you love – not job titles, but tasks and activities – either in your work or in your home life. For example you could say – I love the part of my job that involves helping people and listening to their stories. I love arranging events.
      2. Consider what you’re good at. It might be – I can talk to anyone, I’m very organised, I’m excellent with numbers. You can also think about your transferable skills and we have a great article on that, here.
      3. Think specifically about what you don’t like in your current job. Even when we’re miserable, it’s rarely with every aspect, just some aspects. So you might say – I get frustrated at bureaucracy, I hate having to clock in at 8am every day, I don’t enjoy sitting at a desk all day

      From there, start to get curious about what sorts of jobs might exist where the special blend of person that is ‘you’ would be happy and useful. The National Careers Service website is a treasure trove of jobs you never knew existed! Get curious with what your friends do for a living. Ask them what they like and don’t like. Look on job boards like Rest Less or some of the larger, generalist boards and see what jobs catch your attention (now you have a sense of what you like and don’t like).

      Once you have an idea of your possible direction, do some research on what training or courses you might need to do. Speak to people who do the job and ask them how they got into the work.

      Hopefully that’s given you some ideas for moving in a positive direction. Wishing you lots of luck!

    2. Avatar
      Gill on Reply

      Hi Justina- no, it’s definitely not too late. I’m 52 and am about to start a 3 year degree in Occupational Therapy at university. Many healthcare jobs such as nursing, OT, physiotherapy, radiography etc are ‘shortage’ occupations and in demand, and in my experience the course tutors value the life experience and emotional maturity that older applicants bring to the role.

      You don’t even need traditional qualifications to access a degree course in these areas. In my case I did a one year part-time course called ‘Pathway to a Degree in Healthcare’ offered by my local university to adult learners. This essentially gave me the qualifications necessary to apply for the full-time degree at the university and also gave me an idea what to expect from academic learning. You may also be eligible for an NHS bursary depending on where you live, which means the NHS will pay your fees & living expenses while you train, as long as you agree to work for the NHS for a certain amount of time once you qualify.

      Even if you don’t want or are unable to commit to a three-year degree, there are other ways to get into healthcare jobs such as an assistant role. It’s definitely worth you looking into further training if you’re interested in healthcare, there are definitely plenty of opportunities.

  11. Avatar
    Ellie on Reply

    I am 58 and a finance director looking at redundancy. I want to change my career but have no other skills! I love children and I was thinking at one point of being a probation officer but seems so complicated! Any suggestions?

    1. Avatar
      Helen on Reply

      Hi Ellie. Thank you for your comment. As a Finance Director you will have LOTS of transferable skills, I can assure you! I’m not sure if you’ve seen our article on the subject?

      I’m not sure how much you’ve looked into changing to the Probation service? I had a quick look at the National Careers Services and they have a helpful guide here. Given that you love children, I wondered if you had considered becoming an Education Welfare Officer?

      Redundancy can feel pretty overwhelming, particularly when you’ve had one long career. Many people will say that, in hindsight, it was the best opportunity they ever had, allowing them to get really clear about what they really wanted to do with their lives. We have a whole section on the website to help you through, which you can find here.

      Wishing you all the best with wherever this adventure takes you.

  12. Avatar
    Jules on Reply

    Hi! – I’m currently serving in the armed forces (23 years), specialising in training, personnel and strategy. I need a change of direction and with a bit more flexibility than I currently have (my husband is a bit older than me), but am slightly lost as to what to do. I’d like to start retraining now to give me a chance for a proper 2nd career and some mental stimulation. I had thought about counselling/education support – I’m not sure I’d want to go back to the beginning as a teacher but would like to put something back into the community. Equally my husband is keen that we find something to do together. I have no idea where to start! Any suggestions very welcome!

    1. Avatar
      Helen on Reply

      Hi Jules

      thank you for your question. It sounds as though you have lots of different ideas and options available and are at a bit of a loss of which direction to take. Have you ever considered working with a career or life coach? They can be very helpful in working with you to untangle your options and reflect blind spots or ingrained thinking back to you. From there, they will help you gain clarity of the direction you want to take and hold you accountable to your action plan towards your identified goals. Even though you have skills in both people and strategy, it is very difficult to coach ourselves! We have some more information on coaching here.

      For general reading, research and information, we also have a wealth of information in our jobs and careers section.

  13. Avatar
    Alison Magill on Reply

    I am interested in becoming a Registrar. What qualifications would I need to work in Scotland and who would I approached to gain experience? Many thanks

    1. Avatar
      Helen on Reply

      Hi Alison

      Thank you for your question. I’ve done a little bit of reserach on your behalf and found the following useful links to get you started:

    2. My World of Work page on the job profile of a Registrar in Scotland
    3. An archive document on the Association of Registrars in Scotland
    4. The main site for the Association of Registrars seems to returning an error, but I did find this organisation who may be able to help.

      Wishing you all the best in your new career.

      Helen at Team Rest Less

  14. Avatar
    Latha on Reply

    I am Latha here. I am a graduate in physics from India. I have been a homemaker for the past 25 years and I want start studying and working again either in relation to physics or teaching. I am 52 years old now. I want to relocate to UK due to personal circumstances. Is it too late to begin? How to I give a LOR for college?
    Thank you

  15. Avatar
    SPA... on Reply

    Hello, I am a 57 year old Primary School Teacher…. I have been a Teaching Assistant and a Learning Mentor previously. I have been applying for permanent jobs in schools but I have never even been short-listed for any of the countless jobs I’ve applied for, in schools! I am Supply Teaching at the moment and am finding that schools are taking on young NQTs as permanent staff. Experience is NOT counting for anything and instead schools are looking at their budgets and going for cheap, inexperienced staff whom they can mould. Unless there is a promise of a job for you, don’t waste your time training to be a teacher if you’re over 50 years of age!… So I am now thinking of giving up on the career that I love, but go onto what?..
    Please help… I have thought about going into NHS but to do what??

      1. Avatar
        Nick Humphries on

        Ageism is rife in all walks of the job market. I am a very highly qualified engineer but at 61 I was actually told by one company that I would not be able to cope with climbing round their site. I have just cleared a medical for working on oil rigs. I was in a meeting where a manager asked the question, “Why do we keep employing old people?” Another expressed, “I do not think anybody over 35 should be employed in this position.” I will say I have just retrained as a lorry driver but with the pension crisis I do believe the Government should be employing state sponsored employment by employing them with no retirement income so they can earn the benefits. Leave the private sector to the young ones.

  16. Avatar
    Isabel Williams on Reply

    I am 61 just lost my job but think it’s time I looked for something different as I had been in the caring profession for a long time and not time to retire so I would like to know how to make that transition and retrain I have considered in the past to train to be a life coach but not sure as I feel lost at the moment and not sure who to turn to or get the right advice hope you can help me thanks

    1. Avatar
      Helen on Reply

      Hi Isabel

      This article is a great place to start if you’re considering life coaching as a career. Have you worked with a coach yourself? It can be a very powerful process to go through when you’re in the midst of a period of transition.

      I find the National Careers Service a great resource when starting to think about what you’d like to do. have a look at a couple of the comments I’ve added on other comments including a few exercises you can do to get a unstuck and moving forward.

  17. Avatar
    Shaun on Reply

    I am 57 also a Plumber who is looking for change, cold wet miserable winters on building sites are such a drain (forgive the pun) I so want to change as retirement ages keep creeping up and someone being 70 on a building site just wouldn’t be healthy or practical.
    I am looking for a career change maybe to become a college teacher for my trade or something similar?
    I must add not all plumbers are rich and wealthy with pots of money so costs is of big importance.
    Can you help?
    Thank you

  18. Avatar
    Lynne Harrison on Reply

    I am a carer have been a number of years I have had enough of being a carer I have worked in the community care worker I have worked in care homes the whole system for me needs a shake up I have worked with Dementia patients i love the older generation I just find everything is to rushed your rushed in the community you have so many calls you rush in a care home you have that much to do some homes are so bad inductions are sad you get thrown in the deep end your expected to know everything it becoming danger zone I love the elderly I would like to know how to become an advocate a voice for the people how do i go about training for that I am losing heart

      1. Avatar
        Cary Ann Hillman on

        Hi Helen,
        I feel similar to this lady, any advice you have would be much appreciated 🙂

      2. Avatar
        Helen on

        Hi Cary-Ann

        I’m sorry to hear that you’re experiencing similar frustrations to Lynne. I’m attaching the suggestions I gave her, in the hope that they might be useful to you, too.

        My starting point when exploring any new career is the National Careers Service. Their site allows you to review your skills, look at a wide range of job descriptions and source courses. Each page also has suggestions of other roles that might be of interest. Often this process is one of sorting and elimination as I don’t believe there is one path for the kind of work you’re describing. They also offer a phone service on 0800 100 900.

        Looking at organisations that work with the elderly will also be a good source of information – I found a good list of charities, here.

        Do take a look around our wonderful Career Change hub, for inspiration, too.

        Wishing you all the best. Helen

  19. Avatar
    Mrs hunter on Reply

    I’ve got a small flower 🌸 shop and would like to take on a older person like myself with floral experience to work part time if this is not aloud let me know

    1. Avatar
      Helen on Reply

      Hi Mrs Hunter. That sounds wonderful! If you’re thinking of employing someone and wanted to post an advertisement with Rest Less, we’d be happy to help. Just send us an email [email protected] or complete this form and we’ll come back to you. Kind regards Helen at Team Rest Less

  20. Avatar
    KevinH on Reply

    I’m finding it difficult to get back in to a creative role (graphic designer/artworker) maybe because the creative industries have been hit hard. I’m 59 with no degree but BTEC qualifications which have got me by in the past, but I’ve also worked in a number of areas so built up lots of experience of design and layout for example. I’ve tried freelancing, but it’s still pretty tough.

    I’ve taken a part time job a few hours a week in a supermarket but I feel my experience will be wasted if I don’t do something creative. So I’m thinking a part time tutoring could work. So with this in mind I’m looking at giving something back and want to train to teach design or using design software. Any ideas? I’ve seen something at my local library where they were looking for tutors and it might be a way to start as I have time mostly in the week. Any ideas?

  21. Avatar
    Anonymous on Reply

    I am finding life very difficult
    I list my-husband to cancer after avery shortIllness Just 9 weeks
    i have been suffering From arthritis in all joints and I was due to have knee replacement and spinal fusion L3L4
    In march I was diagnosed. With breast cancer for the second time
    I first had it 16 years ago so here I go again

    Looking foe bright interests and friendship
    Kind regards

    Dodie Kerry

  22. Avatar
    Sarah on Reply

    Hi I am currently working in a call centre but have been thinking about changing career. I would like to work in the NYS Scotland as either a health care assistant or maternity care assistant. Do you have any advice please on what experience or qualifications I would need I am 57

  23. Avatar
    Susan on Reply

    I’m just at a stage in my work where I have struggled in the current climate on a family therapy MA after completing the third year I have Made a decision to withdraw. I am finding my confidence at 57 has been deeply knocked and although I already have an MA and lots of experience in the therapy area of work and a social work degree I am doubting my work and ability.
    How can I pick myself up in my current role for eleven years I am thinking of a change but springing between doing something in an area that’s totally new and less pressured or staying with the same and re valuing the skills I have But each job I look at I feel incapable of applying for. I’m thinking this is a temporary feeling but it’s a hard place to be any ideas helpful.

    1. Avatar
      Helen on Reply

      Hi Susan

      It does sound as though you are at a cross roads. It’s often tempting to start with the job in mind, where, actually, a bit of a personal audit can be very useful first. Set aside some time to ask yourself lots of questions, without feeling the need for a specific outcome – this is more like an individual brainstorming session. Useful questions might include:

    2. What made me choose my current path?
    3. What do I still enjoy about it?
    4. What are the aspects that no longer bring me joy?
    5. What was my favourite job ever and why?
    6. Who was my favourite manager and why?
    7. What do I think I’m good at?
    8. What do other people tell me I’m good at (and do I care about those things?!)
    9. What did I love to do when I was young and irresponsible?
    10. What dreams have I missed out on / am i afraid of missing out on?
    11. If money (time, training, family etc) were no object, what would I do?
    12. What does my personality naturally lend itself to?
    13. What hobbies/interests/activities do I have in my life that I’d be happy to do all day, every day?
    14. Take your time, even if it takes a few sessions. What comes out of this are themes, patterns and clues. Armed with this information, you can start to look at what careers might suit you. What it will often do is show that you don’t need to completely walk away from what you’re doing, but you may need to tweak or refocus but in the seeing, comes the re-engagement.

      If you’d like to start a conversation about this, (or see how other people are dealing with similar questions), I’d recommend you visit the Rest Less Community. Incredibly supportive and friendly people who appreciate your struggle.

      Wishing you all the best.

  24. Avatar
    Meryn Williams on Reply

    Who would want me? A musician ? I have no transferrable skills. I do not want to teach,care, or be a life coach. I am told there are thousands of life coaches out there. Help!

  25. Avatar
    Jacqui on Reply

    Hi… I’m a 52 year old woman, ex salon business owner and ex hair product distribution owner. Due to personal family commitments, gave up my businesses to become full tune carer to a parent and disabled sibling. My family are all grown up and I’m looking to change career to possibly work from home. I’m absolutely scared to get back out on the job market and have lost a lot of confidence in myself. I feel I can’t even fill out a cv never mind go for interviews.. am I a lost cause ?

    1. Avatar
      Helen on Reply

      Hi Jacqui. No one is ever a ‘lost cause’ so please don’t give up hope.

      Please do make use of the resources on this website, particularly our Jobs and Careers section. There are tips on how to write your CV, interview techniques, and inspiring personal stories from people who have felt like you at one point, but have gone on to recreate their lives and rekindle their passion. We also have an extensive range of courses, which can help build your confidence and curiosity again.

      Lastly, I’d recommend heading to our lovely Rest Less Community, where you’ll find conversations happening where people feel or have felt the way you do. Sometime it helps to know you’re not alone.

      I do hope some of those resources are helpful to start you working your way back to some confidence. It’s a gradual process, so go gently – you’ll get there.

      Helen at Team Rest Less

  26. Avatar
    Emma on Reply

    Hi I am 49 and I have worked for 20 years as a practice nurse (qualified as a nurse for 25 years).Though there are aspects of my job I really love I am becoming increasingly stressed and unhappy. The job is not what it used to be when I first started and the responsibility v’s pay is unbalanced. I have dependants at home and I’m worried about the financial impact a career change may make. I am at a real cross roads in my life.

  27. Avatar
    Gideon Agware on Reply

    I’m just at a stage in my work where I have struggled in the current climate on a family therapy MA after completing the third year I have Made a decision to withdraw. I am finding my confidence at 57 has been deeply knocked and although I already have an MA and lots of experience in the therapy area of work and a social work degree I am doubting my work and ability.
    How can I pick myself up in my current role for eleven years I am thinking of a change but springing between doing something in an area that’s totally new and less pressured or staying with the same and re valuing the skills I have But each job I look at I feel incapable of applying for. I’m thinking this is a temporary feeling but it’s a hard place to be any ideas helpful.

  28. Avatar
    Richard on Reply


    I am 52 and been in sales for 20 years. I hate my job its very stressful I lost my son to leakuemia and I struggle nearly every day to motivate myself. I have 2 lovely children but I need a career change .I coach rugby to children which I love but just need to get out of sales

  29. Avatar
    Jim on Reply

    I am nearing 58 in a few weeks and always had Car Sales jobs in the motor industry. Over the past few years it had become very stressful (similar to Richard). I am now on a “wind down “ and just want to change my mindset and outlook on things. I am just a thinking that I need to focus on “me” and to now stop looking over my shoulder at the past and what successes I had and what I achieved.

    I now just want a normal life and without all the panic on deadlines and stress. All I want is a simple job where everyone is happy and you can just do your “bit” and go home happy. My life was a work work balance and I want a work life balanced job without all the pressure….

  30. Avatar
    Jim Currie on Reply

    Hi Richard I can well understand this is a difficult time given what has happened and why it is hard to motivate yourself. This wanting to get out of Sales. Is this due to specific circumstances around your current job? If this is the case you might find it helpful to distinguish this from the longer term. It may be that you have worked in some form of Sales for a number of years quite happily. So ask yourself some key questions. How much is it down to current circumstances? Have I wanted to leave Sales for a long time maybe across different sales roles? What aspects of Sales do you dislike so much? Maybe a shift from say frontline sales to Sales Admin or a back office role.
    Beyond investigating the above if you conclude a big change is needed then have a think around some of the answers given to some questions above. They are good and make you think about yourself. As explained above The National Careers service has some sound guidance on questions and a host of info on alternative careers. There is always opportunity if you look for it. Sometimes though I find people don’t always need a radical shift. Sometimes a tweak on where we are can be the solution. Hope this helps. Jim

    1. Avatar
      Sara Stephens on Reply

      Hi Dave,

      Thanks for leaving a comment. One of our writers Paul wrote this. We understand that these ideas aren’t for everyone, however, we have had a lot of positive feedback on a number of the types of careers listed above.

      We’d be interested to hear which ones didn’t resonate with you and which you think you’d like to see listed? We’re always keen to hear about new and alternative ideas.


  31. Avatar
    Debs on Reply

    I am Mel I re-qualified in the UK as a BAME solicitor but realise I HATE the office ethos/politics in the UK ( London) I was 8 years in my professional career at the time and now am nearly 30 years qualified. I want to follow my passion but not sure how to go about doing this. I love art and drawing. I want to improve and follow this as a passion but I suffer badly from “imposter syndrome!” and feel like I am being indulgent just following what I feel to do…. BTW – I was ALWAYS top of my class in painting and drawing but never followed this as not economically viable.

  32. Avatar
    Martin on Reply

    Hi, I am a teacher, aged 60, having retrained 10 years ago after a career in engineering. Schools now (certainly in South Wales) are so uncertain of continuity of funding that they are offering very few full contracts. As a consequence, I have spent the past 10 years on either fixed term contracts such as maternity cover or on day-to-day supply. This is even more frustrating than a full-time teaching position, as it is hard to gain the trust and respect of the students, causing problems with discipline. At least part of this has been due to my age, as heads of department are wary about taking on anyone older than them who may have more experience. Teaching is a vocation – a large number of trainees drop out of teacher training when faced with placements – but even more frustrating is the skill and desire to help youngsters but being frustrated by the limits of the education system. Do not consider becoming a teacher unless you have an empathy with children and considerable patience with an outdated education system.

    1. Avatar
      steve c on Reply

      Agreed I’m 49 but I have no issues on employing members of the team older than me in my D&T department. I have learnt a lot from those older and more wise, you are a valuable asset. 🙂

  33. Avatar
    Jo on Reply

    I’m a coach driver and at 59 looking to renew my LGV license as the tourism industry has taken a big hit in 2020 due to COVID

    Any advice greatly appreciated thanks

  34. Avatar
    Bob on Reply

    Hi, I have spent all my career working in banking. Now faced with redundancy I am using it as a positive experience to think of a new direction. and maybe part time. I would love to work with animals but maybe I am being unrealistic. Any thoughts about how I could achieve this or where to explore?

  35. Avatar
    Dave on Reply

    Hi there, I’m 46 and have enjoyed a hugely successful 29 yr career in the live event industry as an audio engineer and more recently as head of audio for a live event rental company. With the current situation my entire industry has been shut down and as a consequence I find myself not only facing redundancy but the stark reality that until large gatherings are allowed to happen again everything that I have ever worked for or known has gone. And whatever market can be salvaged will be saturated with thousands of workers in the same position as myself.
    This may be temporary, but until a vaccine is rolled out and the green light is given for events to restart, no one can put a time on when we may return to a viable industry.
    This life is all I have known, it’s what I know how to do, I do it well and I love it, but what do I do now that it’s gone.
    How do I start over again doing something else?

    1. Avatar
      Steve on Reply

      Hello Dave, I’m 49 year old D&T Teacher who loves making music in my spare time. I create really naff quality home recordings using badlab cakewalk and know nothing really about mixing!

      It cost me £350 quid to set up my DAW in my frontroom. Just thinking there must be loads out there like me who would love their wav files mixed properly, Is there an opportunity for and online service?

      I’ll do your wordpress, website and branding 🙂 If so I get free dibs!!

      Hope things work out

      1. Avatar
        Collette on

        Love this comment. My brother is at a bit of a cross roads with his sales career but he loves IT and setting up audio equipment. Perhaps this is something he could do.

  36. Avatar
    Priti on Reply

    Hi, I am 50 and working with NHS for the past five years as Nursing Assistant. I have a B.Sc. Degree with physics from abroad and converted through NARIC is equivalent U.k. B.Sc. Degree. I love to do Adult Nursing as I am already trained but you have to pay for study and no bursary, stop me enrolling as I am the main person to manage financially. I am very good with maths and IT. I visited national career service but no luck. I really want to change career and eager learner. If I get good advise, really appreciate.

  37. Avatar
    Kay on Reply

    Hi, I’m a recruiter working in house at the moment, I have a little over 10 yrs agency experience.
    I am looking to get out of the stressful environment but want to put my client facing skills that I have gained over the years to good use.

    I would be open to hearing about new opportunities.

  38. Avatar
    Teresa on Reply

    I’ve been an office girl all my live and though I love working in a office and help people by being sure my job is done properly (my last job was in payroll, and colleagues loved being paid right and on time), I’d like to find something less stressful, something I’m looking forward to get up in the morning. Working with Nature would be ideal though I have no idea of gardening or farm working. Have moved to Suffolk after my divorce (yeah!) and I thought I would find something here. Any ideas of where to start? Can’t see any agencies offering work in that sector. Thank you in advance.

  39. Avatar
    Reita Billington on Reply

    Hi I am 53 and just been made redundant from my supervising kitchen assistants job of 18 years after being furloughed for the last 8 months, I was wondering weather to retrain for hairdressing and beauty but feel I am to old for it, and am nothing to really look at.?

  40. Avatar
    Iain on Reply

    Any professional mature recruitment consultants that can understand and interpret what my professional experience is. Often feel like I’m doing “the proverbial into the wind” when talking to recruitment “consultants” straight out of uni with zero application skills or life experience. Amazed when someone says you have too much experience!!

  41. Avatar
    Jenny on Reply

    Hi, I am a jewellery designer with good CAD skills. Although I enjoy my job I need a new career for personal reasons. I’m concerned about the financial hit that comes with retraining and don’t really know what direction to go in careerwise. I feel quite stuck and don’t know how to get going. Any suggestions much appreciated! Thanks.

  42. Avatar
    Marie Huggins on Reply

    I was a press photographer and also a directorate level PA. I’ve been volunteering with dogs for the past 5 years but am constantly overlooked for paid roles, always seeing a young face get the job.
    What can a photography graduate retrain as that isn’t going to take years, as I’m now 55.
    Thank you.

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By providing your email you agree to receive emails and communications from us and acknowledge that your personal data will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. You can unsubscribe at any time through the link in our emails.