Starting A New Career At 60 – Is It Too Old?

Women in the Office

Due to the recent Covid Pandemic and the lockdown, the majority of employees were forced to reduce working hours with a large percentage working from home. During this time we found new ways to live and many (myself included) saved quite a bit of money. A very pleasing side effect of lockdown. As a result, people are reevaluating current lifestyles and expenditures, looking at ways to reduce our travel time, working hours, or possibly retiring and giving up the 9-5.

To consider giving up your current job you first need to ask “can I start a new career at 60 plus or is it too old? Google says 61 is the cut off birthday. If you are aged 50+ then that’s ok, but once you hit 60+ Google considers it too risky and only the most audacious and brave-hearted should consider a new career in later working life. But I would like to challenge this notion and have researched what is both possible and more importantly enjoyable.

Help Finding Your New Career.

At age 57 I chose to leave my much-loved job in Travel to start something completely new.

I had been in the travel industry for over 25 years and had worked from home for at least 14 of them, the benefits were many, however, I found the hours long (and getting longer) targets, lots of admin, out of work emergencies and the hours were arduous, during this time I lost a much-loved family member and this triggered lots of self-reflection and rationale about my life choices.

I decided I needed a change. I chose a completely new career in the field of Substance Misuse.

At age 58 (after a year of vetting and training) I started my new career as an “apprentice” working in a Category B Men’s Prison, my role was a Drug and Alcohol practitioner.

That was some time ago, since then I have learnt many new skills, including Group Facilitator, Peer Supporter and drug counsellor; each day is different as is each client.

It is possibly the most challenging job and field I have worked in but without a doubt the most rewarding. Watching your client recover and grow is truly a wonderful experience, some days I am a blubbering emotional wreck. I am always grateful for the chance I was given to work in this field and don’t regret a day of it.

Substance Misuse careers are more a vocation, however, I have found that many people as they grow older embrace vocational work. While this is not the preferred career choice for many, there are never the less alternative, equally rewarding career paths you could take. Here are a few of them:

NB: Some of the links may include an “affiliate link” this means should you click the link and purchase an item or service I may receive a small (teeny tiny) commission
  • Teaching – If you already have a degree then you may only need an additional year of training
  • House or Pet Sitter. – Your own business, this could include Dog Walking or Grooming
  • Virtual Assistant – If you are skilled in a certain area then this is certainly worth considering. Since the Coronavirus Pandemic, there are many more options available. (see below for the link for additional help)
  • Life Coach/Mentor – Never underestimate the power of a mentor. Click the link for further information
  • Caregiver – This could be a “live in” or regular day. This requires reliability together with training, often the latter is readily available from the Care Agency.
  • Counsellor – This is a popular 2nd career choice for many. You can study Levels 2,3 & 4 in college or Adult Education. I was 59 when I went back to college, I was not the eldest, many of the students were my age. (when you get to level 4 you can specialize in your chosen area of expertise) In the UK you can start to practice at Level 3 whilst still learning any additional skills whilst working. This is an incredibly rewarding career and why it is quite competitive. There are many Niches you can choose from. The UK offers many courses including the Open University Courses. Click on the link
  • Volunteering. – Salvation Army, Homeless Charities or any other service which is dear to your heart, are always looking for support. I started my Substance Misuse training as a volunteer in my mid-50s in a Unit for young addicts. It was here I discovered my desire to help substance abuse clients. 
  • Online Digitel Marketeer – The Internet is vast, with so many ways to harness and grow you would be forgiven for thinking this is easy money. It’s not. This is not a quick fix, you will not make $1000’s overnight and you can chase “shiny new objects” (internet speak for costly programmes) and not receive a dime. But there are many successful entrepreneurs on the internet, some as young as 7 who have made a fortune on “YouTube” and Tik Tok” I can show you what I have learnt and I can show you a couple of platforms from which you can potentially launch your new blogging career or indeed your new YouTube Career. You don’t need to be super techy just have a desire to learn and practice what you are told. See below for links and further information.


What Are Alternative Jobs For Older Workers

You may not wish to start a new Career but you would like to continue working, possibly (part-time) or take on an additional side job. What would or could be a good option for the seasoned professional who may also wish to work from home.

  • Virtual Assistant – Click on the link for a really useful handbook and support
  • Customer Service – Online support. Many recruitment companies are looking for new positions, click on the ones in your local area or spread the net wider as many are recruiting via Zoom
  • Writer/Proof Reader – If you can already write then this may offer an outlet. To be a Proof Reader, there are courses and training programmes run by professional bodies. Click on the link for further information
  • Dietician – This may take a few years to build authority but if you are passionate it will shine through and often they make the best mentors and support for dietary advice and guidance. Click on the link to take you to National Career Advice
  • Online Tutor – This requires skill and patience. The former can be taught. Click on the link for a step by step guide to becoming an online tutor. The advice is from The Book Widget Company.



Alternative to A New Career.

Working part-time allows for a good work-life balance whilst being able to avoid the busy commute, you can spend more time with the family, if you have grandchildren you will be in a position to offer support in a more meaningful way. Continuing to work (albeit part-time) will afford you the time and money to continue your leisure interests whilst still keeping both body and mind fit and active.

Some of the reasons professionals over 50 & 60 choose to work:

  • Paying for necessities, including housing and food (70%)
  • Enjoy working (59%)
  • To save for retirement (59%)
  • Paying for Healthcare (48%)
  • Desire to travel (47%)
  • To pay off debt (46%)
  • Pay for “luxury” items for yourself or your loved ones (36%)
  • Want to have a professional impact in the world (30%)
  • Passionate about success in a chosen career (26%)


How Can I Make Money With Minimal Stress & Output

Whilst I work in a 9-5 environment (my day job) I do have a couple of side hustles, one of which you are reading. This is a Blog Website for women. I love writing and researching so this seemed like a good fit.

One of my older websites (A Dog Website ) brings in an income. This has taken me a year or so to build and is achieved by adding “Affiliate Links” and once clicked on by the reader it will generate a teeny tiny commission. If you have enough people looking at your website Google thinks this is an authority website and we will advertise on it. Bingo – This is called a Passive Income. My Dog Website was my first attempt at building a site and still looks raw but is a work in progress and still earns an income.

My “Hey Spring Chicken” is a brand new website, and not yet monetized. But in 18 months, (with continual adding of new posts) I will start to monetize and this too will earn an income. You can earn a significant amount over time and it just keeps on growing. If you would like to know more about blogging or earning an online income, then look at one or two sites that offer free or charge a small fee. Do not be sucked into the promise of big bucks, it’s not real. Do your research

If you are an absolute beginner and do not have a website Host then check out Wealthy Affiliate. They have a wonderful community and I can personally recommend them. Their platform is one of the most secure and reliable in the industry and perfect for a new start.

If you already have a good understanding of Word Press (with or without Web Hosting) but still not yet been able to publish your Blog or Vlog site then I recommend the Income School Boys Income School, They are free on YouTube. They also offer a paid premium service called “Project 24” which offers a really rich and intense guide to vlogging. Click on the link for a thorough and useful guide to blogging. This too I can personally recommend.


Is 60 too old to start a new Career, I hope I have been able to show, it not too old and “Yes You Can” start a new career, I can categorically say absolutely yes. I became an apprentice at 58, took level 2 & 3 Counselling qualification and then latterly started writing and developed a whole new side income at age 61, this in the digital world. I am not technically minded and learn at a rate more akin to a Tortoise than Hare. But it doesn’t matter, it is not a race. if I can do it so can you. Just have faith in yourself.


If you are thinking of taking a leap into a new career, check out another post I have written. “How to Find A Job When You Are Over 50”

I would welcome your thoughts and comments., please leave a comment below

Thank you for reading thus far.

See you soon


Founder of Hey Spring Chicken.

Affiliate links on this page earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Images are from Shutterstock, WA & Pexels


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Cordelia Nixon

Welcome to my website, designed specifically for women who despite being over 50 still have a life to live and a lot to offer. Hopefully "Hey Spring Chicken" will be a place you can find useful information, meet like minded women and where you can find some tips and ideas to make your day-to-day living more enjoyable. Lets find ways to live our best life

2 thoughts on “Starting A New Career At 60 – Is It Too Old?

  1. At age 54 I have found myself lost in many, many ways. Burnt out from dead end retail jobs in the beauty field (cosmetician for 18 years then followed by other various jobs) Am the soul caretaker for my elderly parent who suffered a sever stroke and spend 24/7 caring for her new needs. As she heals I need to find purpose career wise and want to take the steps to becoming a PSW. Self doubt has a hold on me as I feel to old to restart training at this age so was very glad to come across your web site. It has improved my outlook tremendously and gave me a boost of confidence to go for it. x cheers

    1. Am really pleased to hear you found it useful, caring or a loved one can be such a difficult role. I hope you find success somewhere. Since writing the post I have taken a huge leap and started my own Youtube channnel, (went full time in January 2023)

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