Midlife Career Change Ideas: What to do when you’re thinking of changing jobs midlife

If you’re ready to make a career change, if you’re feeling stagnated or bored in your current role, then there’s no time like the present. Here are my tips on making a midlife career change with a couple of midlife career change ideas included too:

You should always try to make a career move into a positive. It’s an opportunity for you to experience something new, discover (or rediscover) skills and to realise your ambitions.

If you’re looking to make a midlife career change a positive experience, then you’re reading the right blog.

Take the opportunity to drive your career in the right direction and make the most of the experience you have behind you.

Without knowing your individual experience, passions and ambitions, it’s difficult to put together a definitive list of opportunities and career changes that could inspire you. We always make it our mission to meet candidates face-to-face for that very reason – it’s nearby impossible to guess where a candidate sees their career going and a face-to-face interview gives us the chance to do some fact finding.

With that in mind, have a read of these general career change ideas and hopefully they’ll give you a bit of inspiration:

Eight ideas for midlife career changes:

  1. Make a hobby into a profession.

Whether you’ve had a hobby for years, or have only just taken up a college course on a topic of interest, think of ways that you could make it into a career. Look for companies who are searching for the skills you’ve developed.

  1. Start a consultancy or go freelance.

Consider collaborating with friends and family to create a business together.

  1. Reach for higher-level roles.

It may not be that you need to change careers entirely, but simply want something that is going to push you a bit more.

  1. Take advantage of retiring early…but into a new career.

It may be that your current company offers early retirement. Why not look at grabbing the opportunity and then move on to a part-time career in another industry?

  1. Make use of the skills you’ve not had chance to show off.

A lot of professionals find they’ve neglected to use certain skills over the years – search for a job that lets you go back to those skills and put them into action. Perhaps your chosen specialistion at University never got the chance to be put into action – maybe that chance is now?

  1. Go back to a previous career.

Perhaps circumstances beyond your control meant you needed to change career years ago. Now is your chance to go back to that career and reignite your passion for it.

  1. Find a cause or industry that inspires you.

A lot of individuals looking to embrace a midlife career change will move towards helping a charitable cause or moving into an industry that has always caught their eye.

  1. Spread your knowledge!

Another popular option is to make the most of the experience you’ve gathered throughout your career, and to share it with others. Perhaps teaching, training, management or counselling.


And if you’re still stuck for inspiration, here are…

A few midlife career change stories that will get you thinking:


With a little more inspiration behind you, here are…

Six tips to help you put your midlife career change into action:

  1. Learn from experience

This is your big forte when it comes to making a career change – so use it to your advantage. Demonstrate how you’ve made continual professional development a priority and take stock of the positive, and not so positive, experiences you’ve had.

As an extra tip, look beyond your CV too – look at personal experiences, hobbies, volunteer work and more to inspire you in making your next big career move.

  1. Don’t rush but equally don’t wait for an ‘epiphany’

When you’ve settled with the idea that you want to make a career move it’s easy to think that you need to get the ball rolling and be in your dream job within the next month. However, finding the perfect role sometimes takes a little while. You want to think through plans and decide on what ‘s right for you.

Saying that though, it’s equally easy to put the big move on the backburner and wait for an epiphany or that moment of inspiration that tells you exactly what you want to do.

A midlife career change doesn’t have to be massively dramatic or a huge leap of faith. Instead, it could be the decision to move from working in a large corporate environment to an SME or a shift in sectors. If you know that you want to make a move but want a little guidance, sign up with a recruitment agency that puts understanding and supporting candidates at the forefront of their business.

  1. Use your contacts

This is the wonder of LinkedIn – after a quick search you’ll be able to find old colleagues, previous networking contacts and even old university friends. Connecting with previous contacts via the network will give you the opportunity to reach out to those who may be able to help you in your job search now.

With people changing careers all the time, you never know who in your network will be looking for a new recruit just like you – or perhaps be able to put you in touch with someone who can help.

  1. How’s your personal brand doing?

‘Personal brand’ is something of a buzz-phrase in the recruitment industry at the moment, but it really can boost your job prospects. Invest some time in improving your CV, take time to write a new cover letter for each role and look at getting your name out there as an expert in the industry you want to go in to.

Social media will be your friend here too. Look at creating a professional Twitter profile and engage with relevant industry topics at every opportunity.

  1. Would you take a pay cut for your dream job?

This can be one of the more challenging elements of making a career change midlife. In reality, changing careers – especially if it is a big jump or you’re looking to start up on your own – will mean a pay cut.

Weigh up how important a higher salary is for you. Every candidate we see come through the door here at ACR will have different preferences as to what benefits are most important to them. Think about what’s important, and realistic, for you.

  1. Don’t feel disheartened

One of the very common factors in reading midlife career change stories is that they often make more than one change as they look for that perfect job. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to find the perfect job straight away, instead try and try again.

About the Author

Emma Plummer

Emma Plummer

Recruitment Partner

Emma blogs for the ACR jobseekers’ blog covering tips on how to stand out, managing the job-hunting process and more.