Charity work has been named as one of the top ten second careers for those in their forties who want to quit the rat race for something more compassionate.

This is according to a survey carried out by trend analysts the Future Foundation amongst 1200 customers of Norwich Union Life, many of whom were looking for what is being termed “zenployment” for the last two or three decades of their working life.

The top ten favoured zenployments are, in descending order:

1. Animal welfare officer

2. Counsellor

3. Charity worker/volunteer

4. Gardener

5. Alternative therapist

6. Artist

7. Teacher

8. Local political/community representative

9. Climate campaigner

10. Sports instructor

Apparently two out of three survey respondents said they were “miserable” or “unfulfilled” or just drifting in their jobs. And more than half claimed they would happily earn less money in a role that made them feel personally fulfilled and better about themselves.

Another recent piece on the subject in the Daily Telegraph featured a former investment banker for J P Morgan who gave up, at 28, a £70,000 a year vice-presidency to teach in a primary school and comments: “When I was in the City I could go home and switch off. Nothing was ever that important. But when you are dealing with children’s lives, it matters”.

According to the Training and Development Agency for Schools the proportion of over thirties in teacher training has risen from a quarter to nearly a third, many giving up highly paid and prestigious jobs.

Leave a Reply