5 Jobs People Aged Over 50 Should Consider When Changing Careers

Written by Calvin Bowers
Last updated October 27, 2021

Many workers over 50 have been in the same career for over 40 years and are now looking at their options. The problem is that older workers often don’t know what to do next when changing careers, which can be a difficult transition. If this sounds like a problem you’re having, then don’t worry, in this article, you’ll find some examples of careers that over 50’s could change into and why these jobs could be great careers to consider. 

1. Teachers

You could put your knowledge of a particular industry to great use by turning to teaching. You wouldn’t be alone as there are a growing number of people in their 50s and 60s going back to retrain as Teachers, and here are just some of the reasons why: 

  • Holidays– Most schools also have extended time off several times during the academic year, and you would be a beneficiary of this. 
  • Consistent schedule– You have timetables, and lesson plans and can more or less plan out what your days and weeks will look like. 
  • Making a difference– You have the opportunity to make a difference in students’ lives. You will be using your skills and talents to give something back to society. 
  • Job stability– Teaching is a career with long-term prospects; There is always a need for teachers, meaning they are in demand, which brings job security. 

No experience? Not to worry! You can find lots of teaching assistant jobs with no experience out there.

2. Driving Instructor

If you’re confident behind the wheel and you’d love to help others feel the same, then why not retrain as a Driving Instructor? There are plenty of benefits that come with switching to a career as a driving instructor, such as: 

  • Becoming your own boss– As a driving instructor, you have the opportunity to build your own clients and take control of your business, meaning you can work with who you want, whenever you want. It can be an ideal path for those looking to have greater control over their career. 
  • Earning potential – The good news is that the average driving lesson is now over £26, and a driving instructor can expect to earn between £30,000 and £35,000 a year. Once you’ve taken your theory driving test and completed all of the requirements, it’s all in your control, so it’s up to you how much you earn. 
  • Job security- As a driving instructor, you run your own business, which means your job isn’t dependent on other people; your job security is in your own hands. 
  • Job satisfaction– driving instructors have the opportunity to meet new people and help them achieve their goals all of the time. It can be gratifying when you help your students pass their driving tests. 

You might also consider driving jobs for the NHS.

3. Childcare 

If you love being around children, then this could be a good option for you. Setting up your own childminding business can be hugely rewarding both financially and emotionally as well as being a great career move. Here are just some of the many benefits of becoming a childminder: 

  • Spending time with your own children/ grandchildren – Many people go into childminding so they can spend time at home with their own children while they are still young. As a childminder, you can look after your own kids alongside other children, allowing you to spend quality time with the little ones you love. 
  • Set your own working hours- As a childminder, you are free to set your own working days and hours, meaning you can take time off to spend with your own family. Providing you are available to match parents’ childcare needs, a specific timetable doesn’t bind you. 
  • Financially Rewarding– Your finances are primarily in your own hands as a childminder; you can control how much you earn by how often you work; you also get paid per child you look after, per hour. 
  • Working from home– Working from home saves you time and money that you’d waste commuting to and from work, but not only that, it allows you the freedom to choose what you do each day and when you do it. 

4. Virtual Assistant 

Virtual assistants are becoming more and more popular as more companies move online. If you’re looking to try something new, you might want to consider becoming a virtual assistant for these reasons: 

  • Minimal costs– The costs for starting up a virtual assistant business are not high at all, you just need a few simple bits of equipment to get started, but you’re free to invest in courses and more tools if you feel like it. 
  • Unlimited earning potential– As a virtual assistant, you get to set your own rates; there’s no hourly pay; what you earn correlates entirely with the work you do. 
  • Flexibility– You get to choose what services you offer your clients as a virtual assistant. You have no set list of what to provide your clients, but the list of services you can offer is endless. This means you can choose to do the work you like and leave out the bits you don’t enjoy. 
  • Freedom– Being a virtual assistant provides you with almost total freedom when it comes to your schedule, meaning that as long as the work gets done, you can work whenever you like. 

5. Retail Roles 

Even with the rise in popularity of online shopping, positions as sales associates within retail are still readily available. Many of you may have overlooked this type of job before, but there are many reasons why you should reconsider: 

  • Physical activity– jobs such as office work can lead to muscle atrophy, back problems, and lower energy levels in the long term, but as a retail worker, you’ll be on the move all day, meaning you’re less likely to encounter these problems. 
  • Discounts– When you work for a retailer whose products you use and enjoy, it makes the perk of discounts even more enjoyable; you can look forward to some cut-price deals working in retail. 
  • Room for growth– it is not entirely uncommon for sales associates to be offered a position as an assistant manager within a year or two of being hired, so taking that job as a retail worker might just be the first step in a career of a retail manager. 
  • Interpersonal communication– If you’re an extrovert and love meeting and talking to new people, then becoming a retail worker will provide you with the perfect opportunity to do this, whilst introverts will benefit from the opportunity to develop their communication skills. 

Browse retail jobs in Edinburgh.

To learn more about how we can help you refresh your career, visit our support and resources page for older workers and sign up for our newsletter. Alternatively, please feel free to contact us for more information. 


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Last Updated: Tuesday February 6 2024
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