What are the best midlife career changes?

It’s never too late to change career. The best midlife career change is something that you find fulfilling.

What are the best midlife career changes?

It’s never too late to change career. Starting a new role is beneficial at any age and comes with fresh opportunities. Here at C+K, we provide employability and careers guidance for adults, and see firsthand the new lease of life a career change can give someone.

Most of us spend a large proportion of our waking hours at work during the week, with British workers spending an average of 3,515 full days at work in their lives.

When you aren’t feeling happy, motivated, or valued at work, it takes a toll on your wellbeing and impacts every aspect of your life.

If you have been in a particular role, industry, or employment status for a long time, changing this up can feel daunting. However, when you are no longer happy or suited to a role, there are so many benefits to changing careers that it is worth considering.

The value of midlife career changes:

• More fulfilment at work
• New skills and qualifications
• Better work-life balance
• More job stability and benefits
• Increased progression opportunities
• Reduced stress and tiredness
• Feeling valued and respected
• Increased confidence and self-esteem
• New colleagues and friends

When considering a midlife career change, the first question is often “but what job could I do?” and the answer is, plenty of things!

It’s a misconception that you can’t learn new skills or adapt to different ways of working as you get older. You may be used to working a certain way, meaning things will feel unfamiliar at first, but that’s not to say you won’t get used to it and pick things up quickly.

Older applicants to jobs come with much more life and work experience, which is something that employers value. Just because your work experience isn’t from the same industry, that doesn’t mean there won’t be useful transferable skills.

What are the best midlife career changes?

The best midlife career change is something that you find fulfilling. Perhaps you want a new challenge, or perhaps you hope to find a role in a more relaxed and comfortable working environment. Whatever your aim, the first step is exploring the possibilities.

Here are some examples of midlife career changes:


Are there roles you would like to do within your current industry, that you don’t have the qualifications or experience to apply for? It may be possible to upskill within your current role, by completing an apprenticeship or training programme.

Find out about adult apprenticeships


Getting into teaching later in life means you bring your life and working experience to the table. Teaching is a stable career with good progression opportunities, and new teachers are in high demand in the UK. There are training and funding opportunities available to support you making the move.

Find out more about getting into teaching

Care work

Becoming a care worker is a fantastic way to help others and find a fulfilling new career pathway. As a person with more life experience, you may find you relate to people and enjoy spending time working with people of all ages.

Find out about careers in the NHS


If you have done a manual, physically draining, or high-pressure job for a long time, switching to a less demanding job can provide a better work-life balance. Administration and office support roles are desk-based and often entry-level.

Charity sector

The charity sector has a huge variety of roles, from fundraising and running activities, to office-based work. Working in the charity sector is a good option for someone looking for more meaning and fulfilment in their working life.

Think about what transferable skills you have that might suit a role working for a charity, or consider entry-level positions to start with. Volunteering is a valuable way of gaining experience and appealing to potential charity employers.

Consulting and freelancing

If you have specialist experience, offering your services as a consultant or freelancer can be a worthwhile shift in later life. Becoming self-employed gives you the freedom to set and manage your own workload, charge your own rates, and work how much you choose.


Learning a trade in later life is hugely rewarding. If you have the time and financial stability to enrol on a part or full-time course, a trade gives you the means to work for yourself. Trades like plumbing, carpentry, IT, and hairdressing will always be useful and valuable.

Local council

Applying for roles within your local council is one way to find flexible and stable work. Councils employ people for all kinds of jobs, from office roles to working in local parks and community libraries and hubs. There are often part-time roles available.

Civil service

The civil service is a fantastic way to gain stable employment with good benefits including pensions. There is a clear grading system within the civil service, with opportunities to train and progress from every level, making it a good long term career pathway.

Search jobs in the civil service


Going back to higher education in later life is hugely rewarding. Learning improves our productivity, creativity, happiness, and memory. Getting the opportunity to study during your midlife opens so many enriching experiences and opportunities.

Find out about mature student funding

If you are struggling with your job search, or simply want to talk things through, a one-to-one session could provide the help you need to progress. If you have any questions, get in touch with us on 01484 242000 or email chat@ckcareers.co.uk.

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