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Is a career change in your fifties news?

by on November 23, 2016

Several times this week I’ve caught discussion on Radio 4 of the FT economist’s Lucy Kellaway’s announcement of a career change to teaching.  Although until she becomes a full-time teacher she is running a new organisation to help others make the transition: Now Teach.

Rebecca and I have often alluded on here to our own previous careers – one a lawyer and the other as a management consultant – before making a change to academia via several years of part and full time study.  As academics at two institutions that specialise in part-time provision and enabling career development at whatever age, we both also see very many men and women of various ages making these sorts of difficult transitions.   While therefore I applaud Lucy’s approach and openness about wanting a career change I do wonder if it’s quite this newsworthy.

I am also concerned at the idea that a career switch is straightforward and unproblematic, or possible for everyone.  Indeed the Guardian article suggests that this transition is aimed at  those in a ‘“demographic sweet spot” of those whose children have left home and who avoided the worst of the housing market’.  Coupled with the clear aim to recruit business leaders this might limit the range of those who would consider this transition but whom might make very good teachers indeed.

However as the Guardian article highlights Lucy’s positive attitude is a lesson for all:

““What could be more rejuvenating than starting all over again at my age? The thought that I will be training with people who are my children’s age is absolutely brilliant, it really is.””



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