Evening Standard article

I was so excited to be featured in an article in the London Evening Standard yesterday, all about people changing career and the importance of vocational qualifications in this respect. Many of you will know that I moved from financial services to floristry at the grand age of 50 after starting a City & Guilds flloristry course on a part time basis. And 5 years later here I am!! I quite often get asked for advice from people wanting to make a similar change - I'm not sure I'm qualified to be giving advice, but am always happy to talk to other people about my experiences and hope that they might avoid some of the same pitfalls.

This is an extract from the article - I haven't quite worked out how to link to the full article, so if you are interested and want to read it log on to the Evening Standard online edition - you can read it for free!

'Helen Banks, 55, an accountant-turned-florist, is typical of the mid-life career-changer. "I had a high-profile and quite stressful career in financial services, commuting from Peterborough to London for three to four hours a day, and because of the hours, I did not have much time for home or social life," she says. "I had one of those moments when I hit 50 where I thought 'Do I really want to continue doing this?'. I had an interesting job and it paid well, but it has always been a struggle juggling three daughters and a career and I had achieved the financial position where I could take the risk and my children were getting to the stage where they were going to become self-supporting. "However, I also wanted to do something completely different - something creative. I started on a part-time floristry course while I was working but quickly realised that this was going to be my future, so I left my job and studied full-time. "You only have one life, so why not do what you really enjoy? The pay is not as good, it is hard work, I do all my own marketing, social media and accounting, but the rewards are different. When I do flowers for a wedding and the people are so happy and grateful with the results, that is what drives me to carry on doing this." So after 30 years in the high-pressured financial services industry, thanks to a City & Guilds course, she is running her own business, Helen Jane Floristry (helenjanefloristry.co.uk)

If you want to know more, just ask!