People on zebra crossing

I’ve created a list of possible alternative/different roles for career changers and have aimed this list at mid-career professionals.  The roles are based on those that to me seemed possible/desirable for someone who is looking to change to a job that is new, interesting and different. However, this list isn’t meant to be definitive or prescriptive, its intention is to give some food for thought and provide ideas.

Most of the roles have been featured on the UK national careers website and what I like about this website is that it gives you a clear idea of the following:

  • salaries
  • how to get into the role
  • what you’ll do day-to-day
  • skills and knowledge needed etc.

N.B. Click on the hyperlink for each role in the table to get to this information.

The roles

Many of the roles are where you’ll be employed, though there are some where you’ll be (or there may be potential to be) self-employed/ or to work as freelancer.

When you are having a look through the roles, bear in mind that some may be more difficult to get into than others. Certainly, this will depend on what your starting point is, i.e. whether you have any experience in that area. Also, do remember, it’s definitely not a definitive list!

The list is alphabetical and is divided into the categories below:



Careers adviser Careers advisers help people make decisions about their education, training and work options.
Charity fundraiser Charity fundraisers organise events and activities to encourage people to donate to causes and organisations.
Community development worker Community development workers help people to improve the quality of life in their local area.
Illustrator Illustrators produce drawings, paintings or diagrams for use in products like books and greetings cards, or on packaging.
Life coach / Executive coach Life coaches support and encourage people to help them make informed decisions in their working and personal lives.
Money adviser Money advisers help people whose debts have become too large or difficult for them to handle.
Receptionist Receptionists are the first point of contact for visitors to organisations.
Registrar of births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships Registrars collect and record details of all births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships.
Virtual assistant* Virtual office assistants are independent contract worker who provide administrative, creative or technical services.
Web developer Web developers create and maintain websites and web applications.

Outside the office

Beekeeper Beekeepers manage colonies of honeybees kept in hives to produce honey, beeswax and royal jelly.
Cake decorator Cake decorators design, make and decorate cakes for birthdays, weddings and other special occasions.
Care worker Care workers help vulnerable people to manage their daily activities and to live as independently as possible.
Chauffeur Chauffeurs drive clients from place to place, making sure their journey is safe and comfortable, and that they arrive on time.
Countryside ranger Countryside rangers look after green spaces, woodlands and animal habitats that allow entry to the public.
Courier* Couriers collect packages, documents and messages, and deliver them to customers.
Delivery van driver Delivery van drivers collect a wide range of items and deliver them to customers.
Dog groomer Dog groomers keep dogs’ coats in good condition, and give their owners advice on coat care, grooming and diet.
Domestic energy assessor Domestic energy assessors (DEAs) work out the energy efficiency of domestic buildings like houses and flats.
Dressmaker Dressmakers create made-to-measure clothing like dresses, trousers and blouses for their customers.
Gardener Gardeners grow and look after plants in private and public green spaces.
Interior Designer Interior designers plan and supervise the layout and decoration of the inside of buildings.
Picture framer Picture framers mount items like photographs, paintings and other artwork for display.
Postman or postwoman Postmen and postwomen sort letters and packages for delivery to homes and businesses.
Store detective Store detectives prevent shoplifting in retail outlets and shopping centres.
Taxi driver Taxi drivers pick up passengers and charge a fee to take them to their destination by the quickest route.
Upholsterer Upholsterers pad, cover and re-cover furniture with materials like leather, suede or cotton.


Early years teacher Early years teachers are specialists in early childhood development and work with children up to the age of 5
English as a foreign language (EFL) teacher EFL teachers help students learn or improve their English in the UK and abroad.
Driving instructor Driving instructors teach people the skills and knowledge they need to drive safely and pass their driving test.
Further education lecturer Further education (FE) lecturers teach adults, students and apprentices on academic and work-related courses
Higher education lecturer Higher education (HE) lecturers research and teach academic and vocational subjects at universities and higher education colleges.
Music teacher Music teachers give music lessons to people of all ages and abilities.
Online tutor Online tutors support students who are studying courses over the internet.
Secondary school teacher Secondary school teachers teach children from 11 to 16, or up to 19 in schools with sixth forms.
Skills for life teacher Skills for life teachers work with adults and sometimes 16 to 18-year-olds to improve their English and maths.
Special educational needs (SEN) teacher Special educational needs (SEN) teachers work with children and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities.

Therapies/health/sports training

Acupuncturist Acupuncturists insert needles into pressure points on clients’ bodies to help relieve everyday stresses, and improve their wellbeing.
Allied Health Professional* e.g. art therapist/ drama therapist/ music therapist Art therapists help people express difficult thoughts and feelings through creative activities.

Drama therapists use group work, role play and movement to help people with their feelings and emotions.

Music therapists use music and sound to help improve people’s emotional well-being, relieve stress and build confidence.

Aromatherapist Aromatherapists use essential oils to help improve their clients’ emotional wellbeing and relieve everyday stresses.
Cognitive behavioural therapist Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) practitioners use talking therapy to help patients change negative patterns of thinking or behaviour.
Counsellor* Counsellors help people to identify problems in their lives, allowing them to reflect on what is happening to them and consider alternative ways of doing things
Fitness instructor Fitness instructors organise exercise programmes to improve people’s health and fitness.
Homeopath Homeopaths believe that you can use homeopathic remedies to stimulate the body to heal itself.
Massage therapist Massage therapists manipulate clients’ muscles and soft tissues, treat sports injuries, and give relief to people with health issues.
Medical herbalist Medical herbalists use plants and herbal remedies to help improve their clients’ health and wellbeing.
Naturopath Naturopaths believe in improving their clients’ health through natural therapies and education about lifestyle, diet and exercise.
Nutritional therapist Nutritional therapists help people by giving advice on diet and nutrition.
Pilates teacher Pilates teachers help clients change and improve their body strength and posture through breathing, stretching and conditioning exercises.
Reflexologist Reflexologists apply pressure to certain parts of the hands and feet (reflexes) which they believe can help with relaxation and wellbeing.
Reiki healer Reiki practitioners use their hands to help people relax and improve their wellbeing.
Sailing instructor Sailing instructors teach people to sail yachts and boats.
Sports coach Sports coaches teach sports skills to individuals and teams of all abilities.
Yoga teacher Yoga teachers teach yoga as a form of exercise to increase fitness and wellbeing.
Yoga therapist Yoga therapists use yoga to help people with physical issues, emotional issues or specific health problems.


Copy editor Copy editors check text before it’s published in books, journals and websites.
Proofreader Proofreaders check text before it’s printed or published to make sure it’s correct and complete.
Screenwriter Screenwriters write the stories for feature films, TV programmes and computer games.
Writer Writers produce creative work, including novels, children’s books, scripts, poetry and travel and technical writing.

*Note these links are not to the national careers website, as these roles were not represented there.

Are you a career changer yourself and have a role that you think I should add to the list? If so, I’d love to hear from you, so please drop me a line!

If you are thinking of changing careers, you may also be interested in:

Free careers resources


Careers guidance