The insanity of changing career at 40, 50 or 60...celebrity mid-life career changers who might inspire you to give it a go.

Crazy Erin Drawing

Changing careers at 40, 50 or 60 can appear to others to be one step away from lunacy. Why change at this time of your life? Why not just sit tight? Better to do a job that you don’t enjoy until you feel ready to retire and then start really enjoying life with all that free time? Who LOVES THEIR JOB anyway?

That attitude might have worked for you 30 years ago. It might work for you in today’s climate if you work in a company surrounded by 50 and 60 year old peers. 

Have a look around you. Have a think about your business as a whole.  Define the age profile of your peers? Define the age profile of your team? Define the age profile of any international counterparts. For most companies, the playing field starts to look a little sparse even in the 45+ demographic.   

Check out these statistics: According to a report published by the Department of Work & Pensions, out of 10.2 million people aged between 50 and the state pension age, 2.9 million (28%) are out of work. Of the 2.9 million, only 0.7 million see themselves as “retired”, yet 1.7 million think it is "unlikely that they will ever work again".

Let’s consider that for a moment…1.7million?

Crikey.  I don’t know about you but that last statistic FRIGHTENS THE LIFE OUT OF ME.   I don’t ever want to be in a situation where I might say or even feel that “it is unlikely that I will ever work again”.  Even writing it down gives me the heebie geebies. There is something about this phrase that feels so powerless.  But apparently 1.7million people ticked that box. What a senseless waste of talent and experience.  

But what if there was a different way? 

distance between insanity

What if you took your own career back into your own hands? What if you could change career and do something that you would find more fulfilling for the long-term rather than sitting it out, waiting and watching the ever-thinning 45plus demographic in your company?

Here are some fairly famous people who took control of their careers even though they were half-way through a completely different career.

·        Vera Wang was a figure skater and journalist before entering the world of fashion at the age of 40.

·        Arnold Schwarzenegger – musclebound Hollywood actor to governor of California aged 56.

·        John Grisham was a lawyer for the first half of his career before he crafted a writing career writing legal thrillers.

·        Toni Morrison was a teacher before she published her first novel at 40 and became the first black woman to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature (for Beloved)

·        Harland (Colonel) Sanders was a manual labourer before bought his first restaurant at 40 where he perfected his ‘finger lickin good’ chicken recipe and franchised it aged 65.

·        Ronald Regan transformed from Hollywood actor to Governor of California in his early fifties and then on to US president aged 69.

·        Julia Child wrote her first cook book aged 50 after careers in advertising, media and a stint as an intelligence officer.

·        Ray Kroc didn’t buy McDonald’s until he was 56 and had spent his first career as a milkshake-device salesman.

·        Donald Fisher was 40 when he opened his first Gap store with his wife in 1969 with zero previous retail experience.

·        Paul Newman, the actor, was 57 when he founded Newman’s Own Sauces, one of the first food companies to use all natural ingredients.

·        Susan Boyle was 48 in 2008 when that audition for Britain’s got Talent that went viral was recorded. Her net worth has been estimated at £30mil.

·        Linda McCartney was 50 when she launched her vegan food company, after her first career as a photographer.

·        Levi Roots was a reggae musician before his 2007 Dragon’s Den appearance which launched his multi-billion pound Reggae Reggae sauce business. 

The two things that everyone in this list had in common was that they wanted MORE from their work and that they felt BRAVE enough to give something different a try.

Some of my clients definitely want a complete over-haul of their career but many are simply stuck in a tight career spot where they struggle to see their future evolving positively and want someone to help them to figure it out.

If you’d like to have a conversation with me about taking the power back and unsticking your career, drop me an email at  If you are not quite ready but want access to a growing body of free resources including articles, book recommendations and an up-and-coming selection of client transformation stories, signup to my newsletter at