If you've spent years, perhaps even decades, slogging away at your career you might be looking for a change by now. Perhaps your circumstances have changed – mortgage paid off, kids fully fledged, and you're looking to unwind a bit and take things less seriously. Maybe you have a hobby you love, such as crafts, fitness or gardening, and you'd like to turn it into a career. Here we look at ways you can get out of the rat race and recharge your working life.
1. Caring for animals
Research has shown that being around animals is calming. Meanwhile, extending a helping hand to our furry friends will give you a warm fuzzy feeling.
So consider becoming a dog walker or boarding pets. Pet owners often want someone to look after pets while they are on holiday or walking them while they're at work. You might have a local company already offering this service and looking for more people to join their books so you might not even have to worry about the marketing side of things - Facebook is a good place to find them.
Ten best dog walks in the UK
2. Hair stylist
Meeting people, making them feel good about themselves and, often, the ability to control your hours all help make hairdressing one of the least stressful professions.
It’s also creative, so you’ll get job satisfaction too. This could be a job that's completely flexible, with many hair stylists doing home visits instead of being tied to salon hours.
3. Fitness trainer
This is a popular choice for career changers who want to combine the feel-good benefits of exercise, control over their life and the chance to help others.
Fitness instructors also scored highly in a 2014 Cabinet Office survey into jobs and life satisfaction. So if you're a fitness fanatic with motivational skills it's definitely worth looking into what qualifications you need for the specific type of fitness you enjoy and the age groups you'd like to train.
4. Accommodation provider
People who run hotels and other accommodation also ranked highly for happiness on that Cabinet Office survey.
With the rise of AirBnB and other websites, welcoming paying guests could be a nice little earner with a low hassle factor, especially if you live in an in-demand area.
How to turn your home into a bed and breakfast
It’s well known that spending time outdoors and being near plants have mental health benefits. So if you’re green-fingered, becoming a gardener could offer a low-stress lifestyle.
If you fancy an active, outdoorsy job but lack the green-fingered skills to nurture plants you could also look at garden clearances. People are always looking for someone to help cut back overgrown plants, clear rubbish and do tip runs (waste carrier licence required).
If you prefer to work with flowers indoors, research has shown that the sight and scent of beautiful blooms can lift your mood. You’ll get a further happiness boost from creating gorgeous displays.
Evening courses in floristry are often available through adult education centres.
Can you afford to be a mature student?
7. Jewellery maker
Concentrating on crafting something intricate and beautiful - what could be more restful? Other arty careers, such as illustrating and upholstery, are likely to be equally relaxing.
Sell your crafty projects on websites like Etsy or Folksy, or set up stalls at local craft fairs.
8. Alternative practitioner
People looking to move away from stressful jobs often requalify as complementary and alternative therapists.
You can see why: being an Alexander technique teacher, reflexologist or massage therapist is all about caring for others in a relaxing setting.
And just imagine how chilled yoga teachers must be!
Subscribe today for just £29 for 12 issues...