Changing career later in life

While it is a big step to make having honed skills in a particular sector, embarking on a career change is possible with the right approach.

While it is a big step to make having honed skills in a particular sector, embarking on a career change is possible with the right approach.

Many people in the UK may have been in the same profession all their working lives. They often find a job which they believe will be a stop-gap for bigger and better things yet can find themselves in the same role over ten years later. 

Likewise, it is also not uncommon for 40 or even 50 year-old workers to be tempted with a career change whilst there is still time. 

Perhaps the biggest worry for people is that they have regrets when they ultimately retire, notably when it comes to pursuing a dream career path. There can also be financial rewards for moving jobs, despite the initial hassle that may be involved. 

If you’re looking to change career but think you may be too old to do so, there are still ways to go about it.

Be definite

Changing career is a big step and often a tough decision. You may be settled in your current job and, despite it not being the perfect career perhaps, it may do provide security and an established routine. 

When it comes to moving job, this stability will all change so you will need to be 100 per cent committed to it. Know exactly which type of career you want to get into, stick to it and plan your approach. 


For such a big decision, careful deliberation is required. Weigh up the pros and cons of switching career in terms of wage, job location and potential enjoyment factor. 

You must also be certain that you will be able to actually secure the new job after you apply; there is no point leaving your current employment if there isn’t a guarantee of work in the future. View the amount of vacancies on job websites and assess the likelihood of getting one.


Those of a more mature age may have been working with the same company for years. They will no doubt have neglected updating their curriculum vitae over the years. Address this by noting down your education and employment history along with any training courses and promotions you have achieved. Try and tailor the CV to show how you can adapt to the new career adequately as well. Check out the BBC website for CV advice as well.


There is a good chance that you will need to acquire new qualifications and skills to be accepted in a different line of work, especially if you’ve been in an unrelated job for many years. Things such as redundancy make us have to rethink what we’re doing. There are many methods of re-learning skills however.

From basic English and Maths GCSE’s to more complex subjects, you can enrol on college courses or an Open University course easily enough. Distance learning also allows you to remain in your current job and study part-time at home in the evenings.

Recruitment agencies

Registering for a recruitment agency such as Orchard is a great way to put yourself on the job market. These agencies are companies that match up your credentials with potential employers, essentially taking the hard work out of the search. You can sign up to multiple agencies that will be able to notify you of a suitable opening and also help improve your CV and interview techniques.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.