Advice on changing your career as an adult

3 May, 2022 3:11 pm

Young people in school are often told that you choose a career which you stick with for the rest of your working life. However, this doesn’t have to always be the case. 

Switching gears to a new career as an adult can seem daunting, but the benefits are endless – such as broadening your skillset and following a passion.

Jules Wells did just this. Originally, Jules had worked as a manager for a retail company for many years but decided to start a new chapter studying Access to Higher Education in Health Science Professions at Keighley College, and now works as a course leader for this course. 

Follow your passion

“I worked for a large retail company up until 2013, and left as I felt undervalued due to staffing changes. I had only fallen into retail because it fit nicely around raising my children, so this was the catalyst for me to think again about my future.

“I’ve always had an ambition to work within the health professions industry, so I pursued this passion. My love for human biology became apparent throughout my studies at Keighley College, and the ease with which I was able to teach others in my group.”

Take a gamble

“I had many reservations about changing my career path as an adult. I was stepping down from a managerial role, and therefore financially it was a big gamble as I still had three children and bills to pay. 

“I was also very anxious about studying again after a break of 26 years. Using computers was and still is, to a degree, my nemesis! However, taking a risk really paid off; my experience of studying was excellent and my life has changed for the better.”

Meet new people

“I met some of the loveliest people on my course, some of whom I am still in touch with today. My tutors were amazing too – my biology tutor in particular was inspirational and taught me so much. I feel that much of my teaching style has come from her. 

“Keighley College was a fantastic place to learn as an adult student as the support offered to everyone is excellent, which made the experience so much less daunting than I thought it would be. Building friendships and supporting each other was actually one of the biggest parts for me.”

Stay focused

“Working five days a week, attending college two days a week, raising three children, being a mum, a wife and a student was the hardest thing I have ever done. I managed to overcome this by remaining focused and reminding myself that I was building a future for myself and my family. Hearing my children tell me they were proud of me was all the incentive I needed.”

Manage your time effectively

“Completing my course successfully required resilience, hard work and most importantly, time management. I had to ensure I always had enough time to finish my assignments while attending to my other commitments.”

Progress your career

“After completing my Access course, I achieved a first-class honours degree in Biomedical Science at Leeds City College, which was one of my proudest achievements. I dipped my toe in education by working as a science technician in a school, and then spent six months supporting students in my old degree programme – all of which helped me to realise that I wanted to teach!

“I then completed my PGCE in Secondary Science with Biology at Leeds Trinity University, and went on to become the course leader at Keighley College for the very same programme I completed many years ago. I absolutely love seeing students following the same journey I did, and seeing them take the next step in their careers is so rewarding.”

It’s never too late

“My biggest piece of advice would be that it’s never too late, just do it! Once you have made the decision to make a change, you will need to work hard, manage your time, accept help that is offered and enjoy it.

“The biggest benefit of studying as an adult is that you have life experience on your side, enabling you to understand so much more than you would have done at school. You are also there because you want to be and you have a future plan which depends on you achieving your goals.”

Find out more about Access to HE Health Science Professions here.