Top 10 Second Career Ideas UK

Written by Nicola Wylie
Last updated October 3, 2022

From added flexibility to avoiding burnout, the benefits of changing careers are huge. If you’re considering transitioning to a new profession, these second career ideas UK will steer you in the right direction.

This article looks at 10 of the best jobs for career changers and some valuable advice on how to start a second career.

Second Career Ideas UK: How To Make A Career Change

Before we dive into our top 10 second career ideas UK, let’s take a look at how to transition into a second career.

1. Highlight Your Transferable Skills

The first step in making a career change is to learn how to emphasise your transferable skills. Throughout your career, you have developed a valuable arsenal of skills that can be transferred and adapted to different careers. By identifying those key skills, you will have a much better idea of the types of second careers you are best suited for.

2. Prepare to Retrain

While there is a wide array of career change jobs with no experience, retraining will greatly improve your chances of landing your dream job. Whether it’s taking a professional course for career changers or simply refreshing your skills, retraining as an adult will make you stand out to employers. We recommend checking out these 5 in-demand jobs that are perfect for career changers.

3. Check Career Change Job Boards

Fortunately, the UK has a broad selection of resources to help career changers make the switch. One of the best ways to find a second career is via career change job boards. At Refreshing a Career, you will find a host of career change jobs across the UK, including remote jobs with no experience. What’s more, we provide a wealth of valuable resources to guide career changers through the transition process. 

From confidence tips to a CV template, our goal is to empower career changers to settle into a new career at any stage of their lives.

4. Network

Networking is another wonderful way to find a second career, especially if you lack the hands-on experience needed for the role. By making use of your network, you may find a mentor or contacts who can refer you for roles. If you’re new to networking, be sure to read our networking tips for career changers. We also offer personal branding advice for career changers to boost your online presence and break into a new role.

5. Update Your CV

You’ll need to update your CV before applying for career change jobs. While this may seem daunting, the good news is that there is a broad selection of resources to help you. Our guide on how to write a CV for a career change covers everything you need to know. We also look at 5 words to avoid on a career change CV and some creative career change CV ideas to get noticed. 

10 Best Second Career Ideas UK

Have you made the decision to switch careers? If so, these second career ideas UK should give you some inspiration. 

1. Consultant

It can be easy to dismiss your previous experience when looking for a second career. However, it’s important to bear in mind that your skillset is an asset. In fact, employers enjoy considerable benefits when they hire career changers. One way to leverage your years of experience is to transition into the world of consulting.

Consultants provide professional advice and expertise to an organisation (or professional). Typically, consultants will have extensive experience in a particular field and work as a freelancer to support businesses. This is a fantastic opportunity for career changers to harness their experience and professional network to break into a new role within the same industry. As a Consultant, you are your own boss and can set your own schedule. 

2. Teacher

Teaching is a popular second career in the UK. On top of being a rewarding profession, many career changers have a wealth of skills that can be easily transferred to the classroom. For instance, a former journalist would make a superb English teacher.

In most cases, you will need to retrain to become a teacher. As well as a degree, you usually need to complete a teaching qualification. Our career change guide to becoming a teacher covers everything you need to know to make the switch to teaching.

3. Personal Trainer

If you’re a fitness fanatic with a passion for nutrition and wellness, personal training could be an excellent second career choice for you. The UK boasts a wide range of professional courses that will prepare you for a career as a personal trainer.

Once you have gained the necessary qualifications, you can either become self-employed or work for a local gym. To be successful in this role, you will need to have excellent communication skills, empathy, and a passion for coaching. While it is a demanding job, you have the flexibility to choose your own schedule and work in a field you love.

4. Recruitment Consultant

Starting a second career in recruitment is the perfect career path for those who don’t want to retrain. Generally speaking, you can break into recruitment without any specific qualifications. That said, it’s a demanding role and you will need to demonstrate that you have the communication, organisation, and sales skills to excel. Previous experience in the industry you’re recruiting for is a major bonus.

As a recruitment consultant, you will act as an intermediary between employers and professionals looking for a new role. You will need to ensure the candidate is prepared for the interview and is the best fit for the role. It’s a fast-paced profession with big earning potential. 

5. Estate Agent

Many career changers crave a break from the 9 to 5 grind. They are sick of being stuck in an office cubicle and want to set their own hours. That’s why real estate is such an attractive second career option. There are plenty of opportunities to grow your business and be your own boss.

As an estate agent, you will liaise with clients and property owners to negotiate sales. It’s a goal-driven profession and you will usually specialise in a specific area such as residential properties, letting, or commercial properties. Estate agents have great earning potential and you don’t need any specific qualifications to work in the field.

6. Instructional Designer

If you come from an educational background and you’re looking for a new challenge, Instructional Design may be a good second career choice. Instructional Designers build online education for academic institutions, agencies, and businesses. This role is particularly well-suited to career changers because it requires a broad skill set. From writing to video editing to voiceover work, you will have the opportunity to learn a wide range of new skills.

While some employers may look for formal qualifications in education or instructional design, it’s not always necessary. Many corporate trainers, teachers, and L&D professionals have successfully transitioned into this new sector, learning the tools of the trade as they go. 

7. Customer Success Manager

As a Customer Success Manager, you are responsible for fostering and maintaining long-term customer relationships. You’ll work on the front lines to spark loyalty and ensure your customers are having the best experience possible. This job is fantastic for career changers with strong people skills and empathy.

While some companies require a Bachelor’s degree for this role, a proven track record of outstanding customer service will usually suffice. Customer Success Managers need deep knowledge of every facet of the business, making it a great role for experienced career changers.

8. Corporate Trainer

The world of corporate training continues to grow at breakneck speed. An increasing number of businesses now invest in training to onboard and upskill workers. As such, there are a growing number of career opportunities in the UK. 

Corporate trainers are in-house professionals who are responsible for training employees on everything from new products to sales techniques. There are no specific qualifications needed to become a Corporate Trainer. That said, a background in training, education, or the corporate world is a big plus. It’s a good role for career changers as it allows you to make use of your professional background and extensive people skills. However, there is a steep learning curve as you learn the corporate systems and products you will be training on.

9. Retail Manager

Starting a second career in retail management can be a tough but rewarding challenge for career changers. Retail managers are in charge of the day-to-day operations of a retail shop. As such, it’s a fast-paced job that requires you to wear many hats. Having said that, it’s a welcome break from sitting behind a desk and is perfect if you love working with people.

Typically, you will need to have previous retail or management experience to transition into this role. If you have worked in management in a different sector, you already have most of the transferable skills needed for this role. Similarly, if you come from a retail background, you may be able to take a professional management course to gain the required competencies.

10. Technical Writer

Do you fancy yourself as a writer? There are many types of writers, but technical writing is one of the most lucrative options out there. As a technical writer, you would prepare instruction manuals, how-to guides, and other visual documents to explain complex technical information in simple terms.

To be successful in this role, you need to demonstrate excellent written communication skills. In addition, experience in the field you would be writing for is highly desirable. This is a particularly exciting career change idea for professionals coming from a technical field who want to find a more creative job within the same industry. In short, you get to mix your technical expertise with your love of writing.

Final Thoughts

We hope these second career ideas UK have inspired you to find the new career of your dreams. While changing careers can seem daunting, it can often be the best decision of your life. Not only do you get to experience new challenges, but many of these roles offer fantastic earning potential and development opportunities.

At Refreshing a Career, we aim to help career changers make the transition seamlessly. To guide you, we have put together a wealth of valuable resources on our website, including a comprehensive career change guide. You’ll also find CV writing tips, interview tips, and guidance on dealing with gaps in your CV

For further advice, check out our resources on changing careers or browse our live job board for career change opportunities near you.

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Last Updated: Monday January 23 2023
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