Restart your career after a career break

An established programme that helps over 50s get back to work after a break for whatever reason is looking for participants.

Return to work in PR, marketing and comms


If you’re looking to get back to your career after a break for whatever reason, an established programme tailored to over 50s is looking for participants.

Allen & Overy launched its first ReStart programme in partnership with the Executive Coaching Company in 2017 to support over 50s on their journey back to employment and to improve their resourcefulness regarding re-joining the workforce. By 2023 nearly 200 participants who had been unemployed for up to a year have benefited from the workshops, coaching and mentoring offered by A&O employees.

All programme participants are aged over 50 and, on average, are unemployed for a period of six to 12 months. ReStart is comprised of 10 practical workshops, including:

  • Setting programme objectives per participant
  • Guest speaker on personal resilience and wellbeing
  • Action planning
  • Working styles and the importance of building your personal brand and network
  • Planning your job search
  • Employability clinic
  • LinkedIn
  • Positioning yourself in the new business environment
  • Maintaining momentum with scenario planning
  • Taking stock and planning for success

The programme supports participants holistically by providing a range of personalised support interventions and considering the specific barriers that individuals face to gaining employment.

There is also a sense of peer support: three months after the programme finishes, participants regroup to share their successes and experiences with each other.


An evaluation of the 2023 cohort was published late last year. Twenty seven people took part in the programme and all of them said they would recommend ReStart to someone else in a similar situation. 96% felt confident about their job search after completing the programme versus 17% beforehand and 92% felt it would be “Unlikely” or “Very Unlikely” they would find work if they hadn’t taken part in the programme.

One participant was Dean, who said: “I had been in the same organisation for over 20 years and hadn’t applied for a job since 1996 so this course really opened my eyes to how much the world has changed. It’s completely different. I suddenly realised why I wasn’t getting anywhere.

“The coaching gave me a lot of confidence, it really shook me up. The coach said “Think about your strengths. What would you really like to do? What motivates you?” They really gave me a whole new confidence to believe I could do something more meaningful, something I would enjoy.

“That’s the new skillset I’ve got now: how to introduce myself, how to sell myself on a CV and use online tools like LinkedIn, how to promote myself. Every time I do an application or a cover letter, I feel I’m improving, getting the angle I need, building more confidence.

“Now because I know what I want to achieve, I have a totally different motivation and so the setbacks don’t hit me as hard because I still feel that I’ve moved a step forward. I’d almost say I’m kind of enjoying the applications now, whereas before it was just a process.”

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