Changing Career Path in Later Life


It might be somewhat of a harsh reality but instead of celebrating your 50th birthday with similar celebrations of retirement and bowing out of work, chances are you’re going to be facing another decade or two of graft.

With state pension boundaries continually rising, many of the independents in modern Britain are going to be facing a retirement age closer to 80 than 50. Reaching those oh-so sought-after twilight years might seem like a lifetime away when you consider this. But, in fact, it offers you a new opportunity.

According to John Lees, author of the book How to Get a Job You Love, more people over the age of 50 are changing their jobs than ever before — but, why? Whether it be the boredom, fulfilment, stress, or the threat of pension age not being their to support them, the result is the same — new careers, when you wouldn’t quite expect them…

Thanks to Open University, Higher Education institutions offering night classes, and government funding, many people now have the opportunity to change career path in later life. In this article we take a look at what is involved in changing your job in the latter stages of your professional life, what opportunities it presents, and the support on offer to you.

What you need to do?

By this stage in your career you should be aware that enjoying what you’re doing will go a long way in ensuring that your job is suitable — Mark Twain was hardly wrong when noted: “choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”.

“But, I don’t know what I enjoy?”. Well, this is the perfect time to find out. Call upon the help of a careers advisor or a recruiter and embark on completing a self-assessment — this is the perfect way of determining what sort of person you are.

Of course, not everyone is uniform and can be categorised into a specific box. However, by carrying out such a task, a wide range of appropriate occupations will come to light, and ones which are irrelevant will become apparent.

At this stage it is worth remembering that what may have been an easily accessible job in your early 20s might not be as suitable now. Roles which require a lengthy stint back in education, such as that of an architect or a doctor, could be counter-productive — although, if you feel as if you have the time and are willing to commit, as cliché as it is, there is nothing holding you back.

Furthermore, look at the skills you have already obtained and see how they can be applied and transferred to another job. This is the time to get your head into the books and learn what the new role involves. What will your everyday duties entail, what are you likely to earn, and most importantly, are there sufficient career prospects?

A new horizon

In a year of 365 days, the average person will work 260 days — a considerable amount by anyone’s reckoning. Considering that you spend approximately eight hours of your day in work and however many hours commuting, if you’re working in a job you hate, you can often find yourself wishing away Monday to Friday. Before you know it, the week is over, and this vicious cycle repeats itself once again.

By changing your career, not only will you transform the hours of 9-5, you’ll also positively influence your overall life. Someone who is happy in their job will have a better outlook and, ultimately, better mental health.

Waking up in the morning and looking forward to work is something easy to achieve but also something very few people can claim they do. Don’t get excited by the prospect of retirement, be enthralled at what lies ahead — the following day!

What support is there?

You might be under the impression that you couldn’t possibly afford to change jobs because of the double headed coin of expense and time — think again.

The government and industry specific organisations offer a range of bursaries and grants which are solely for adult learners, helping people in later life re-educate themselves and take the next step in their professional career.

Moreover, and this is often one of the mitigating factors in why people choose not to take the leap, children often need looking after, especially if long hours and re-education is involved. These aforementioned bursaries also lend themselves to assisting with childcare costs.

Zenith People are just one of example of a plethora of recruitment agencies who take the difficulty out of applying for jobs. A Newcastle recruitment agency, they use their experience to gather information on candidates and assign them to companies which match their profile.

With a recruiter the pressure of hunting for a job is removed and allows you to focus on the job and excelling in an interview.


In the past, making such a change may have been deemed to be foolish. Now, in 2020 with the various assistors in place, why not do what makes you happy?

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