Life Changes: My New Career After 50

Life Changes: My New Career After 50

It’s never ‘too late’ to consider a career change after 50. Read testimonies from those who have made this change and found.

Starting over can be scary and challenging, but these over-50s have also found a career change incredibly rewarding.

From arts to teaching
“I was working for many years in the Arts, creating educational programmes for museums to help school children engage with exhibits. I loved it, but as Arts fundingkept being cut, there was less and less work around. So I did a one-year PGCE teacher training course, and qualified as a secondary school English and Drama teacher at the age of 50. I’ve had my current job – teaching at a state school near Cambridge – for three years now. I can’t say it’s been easy. I work incredibly long hours, and the money’s not great – but at least it’s guaranteed. And I love making a difference to young people’s lives. It’s the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. But I have no regrets.”Emma, 53

From directorship to hands-on travel
“I have always worked in travel customer services, in both the private and public sector, and that led to a number of directorship roles. But increasingly I missed interacting with people, so my new career involves creating tailor-made experiential journeys for clients through my internet business, which I launched three years ago. It has been really tough, but the freedom to work with lovely, interesting people; to work from anywhere; and to have a valid reason to travel, makes it all worthwhile. I am completely enriched by working with people in a field that I am passionate about.”Debbie Suenson-Taylor, 55,

From retail to novel-writing
“A head injury in my early 50s affected my short-term memory and concentration. My company was unsympathetic and I was ‘managed out’ from my job as a retail manager. I was furious at first, but after some career coaching I realised it was unrealistic to try and cope with such a challenging job and all the travelling involved. By changing my focus I’ve achieved a much healthier balance. I’m now working remotely, doing admin for a small company, plus some freelance bookkeeping for local businesses. My real passion is researching and writing a novel that’s been knocking around in my head for years. At last I have time to make it happen.”Angela, 62

From teaching to business coaching
“I used to be a teacher in inner city London, and then went into a business partnership as the training director. But I yearned to do something different, harnessing all my skills and using them for something meaningful. After the loss of both my parents I knew it was time to take action. So I trained as a coach, and now have my own business helping 50+ women launch their own businesses. It is my absolute passion and I’m so glad I decided to trust my instinct and take a new path.”Karen Knott, 60,

From procurement to entrepreneurialism
“I was a procurement professional in the Civil Service for over 20 years, then for a charity, but I wanted to do something more meaningful. On my 50th birthday I started training as an NLP Master Practitioner. I started a business supporting midlife women initially, but in my heart I knew I wanted to work with childless women. I was 51 when I launched my current site, supporting childless women to heal and to create a life they love. I’m very glad I made the change. For the first time in my life I am doing something I love, which is authentically me.”Lesley Pyne, 54,

From management to running a pub
“Up until September 2015 I was working in London, managing a busy test centre. Then my life changed. My daughter and her husband decided to leave London and move to Bath. One night they overheard the landlord in their local pub mention he was looking to leave, and my partner Tom and I decided to apply to take it over. Six months later here we are in our newly refurbished pub. It's been hard work, with exams to take in order to gain a license, and working out how to please the public and make the pub as inviting as we can. I work long hours and get little sleep but there’s something great about running a good old traditional British pub. I love it.”Diane Herrera, 67,

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