Embarking on a Career Change Later in Life: All You Need to Know

A career change is a daunting prospect at any point in your life, but never is it more daunting when you’re over 50 or older. Having spent your whole career finetuning your skills in one particular field and climbing the career ladder, it can feel scary starting from the bottom again in a new career.

But as the saying goes, it’s never too late to start and one is never too old to try a new challenge. If you’re considering a career change later on in life, here’s what you should look out for and consider before making any big decisions.

What’s your motivation?

Friends and family might be surprised – even dismayed – that you want to change your career path so late in life, but that should not stop you from trying it all the same. When making the change, it’s important to keep in mind your original motivation. What exactly do you want to get out of this change in career?

Sometimes it can be as simple as building on existing skills in a professional setting. Maybe you’ve always been a savvy electrician around the house, and you have all the required electrician’s tools at home, and now you want to make some money out of it. The same can be applied to almost any career path.

What options are available?

Before throwing in the towel at your existing job, research how you can develop the skills you need for your chosen career. Look around for evening classes or part-time university courses that can get your skills to the level they need to be in a professional setting.


This might be one of the biggest considerations on the list, especially if you currently have a well-paid job due to being in the field for so long. Starting out in a new career will come with its financial downfalls until you climb up the ladder again. As well as a pay cut, you might also have even bigger outgoings if you want to have some extra training or education on the side.

Taking a huge pay cut will also affect your family or dependents, so it’s crucial to assess their situations before too. If the running of your household relies mainly on your income, it’d be better to postpone your career change until others are less financially dependent on you.

What support is available?

Luckily, there’s a decent amount of support out there aimed at helping older people embark on a new career path. Organisations like Age UK offer support and guidance whilst others assist older people in finding vacancies that are suitable for them.

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