Former banker who abandoned her £80K salary to become a midwife aged 61 insists working 13-hour shifts for £22K is ‘the best job in the world’
- Claire Slater, 61, from Redditch, earned 80k-a-year working in finance job
- In 2013, aged 56, she joined midwifery course at the University of Worcester
- She graduated in September and started work on Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
An ex-investment banker proved it’s never too late to live your dreams – by retraining to become a midwife at the age of 61.
Claire Slater, from Redditch, Worcestershire, thrived in the fast-paced world of high finance in London, where she earned up to £80k a year.
But she has achieved a life-long ambition by trading power meetings in Canary Wharf for a neonatal ward in an NHS hospital, earning £22k-a-year for gruelling 13-hour shifts.
‘Growing up in the 60s, ever since I was 10-years-old, I’d dreamt of being a midwife, but life just got in the way – until now,’ said Claire. ‘It feels like the best job in the world.’
Claire Slater (pictured), from Redditch, abandoned her high-flying, £80K-a-year career in finance to achieve a life-long dream of becoming a midwife at the age of 61
The former banker now earns £22k for gruelling 13-hour shifts on a neonatal ward but said ‘it feels like the best job in the world’
Claire explained how her varied career began in primary education after her parents encouraged her to do a teaching degree.
She married husband Mark in 1977 and stepped away from teaching to raise the couple’s five children.
‘When I was growing up, you didn’t need a degree to become a midwife and my parents were keen for me to get a university education,’ she explained.
‘After getting my degree I worked as a primary school teacher, and when we had the children I started working as an auxiliary nurse in the evenings.’
Claire graduated in September last year at the age of 61 and started work on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Worcester Royal. Pictured on her graduation day with husband Mark
Claire (far right), with colleagues at Worcester Royal Hospital’s neonatal ward. She has delivered 50 babies to date
After stints on a surgical ward and in A&E at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, Claire worked as a radiography technician before returning to teaching at the age of 30.
By 1996 her children were in school and she was headhunted to work in the banking sector.
She joined Barclays Wealth in Canary Wharf before working for Lloyds and – finally – moving to Standard Life as a Regional Director.
‘In 2012, at 55-years-old, I felt like a change,’ Clare explained. ‘I couldn’t stop thinking about how I’d never pursued my passion of becoming a midwife.’
‘I discussed it with Mark and he was fully supportive. I did wonder if I was capable of managing a degree at my age, but after months of going back and forth with the idea, I decided to go for it.’
Claire joined a midwifery course at the University of Worcester in September 2013, at the age of 56.
‘I was a bundle of nerves on my first day,’ she said. ‘I looked around the classroom and I was the oldest person there. Someone even asked why I was considering a career change when I could be thinking about retiring.’
Speaking of the course at university, Claire said: ‘It was hard work. There were times when, after a long shift, I’d get home and still have studying to do. Mark would worry I’d taken on too much – but I was loving every second’
Claire celebrated her 40th wedding anniversary with husband Mark (pictured) – who she has praised for being ‘fully supportive’
‘I told them exactly what I was doing there – taking a risk, pursuing a life-long dream.’
Claire says half the course was spent on training placements at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
‘It was hard work,’ she explained. ‘There were times when, after a long shift, I’d get home and still have studying to do. Mark would worry I’d taken on too much – but I was loving every second.’
She graduated in September last year at the age of 61 and started work on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Worcester Royal, coincidentally on the same day Mark retired.
In her fulfilling new role, she has delivered over 50 babies to date.
‘Delivering my first as a midwife felt amazing,’ explained the midwife. ‘I’m not just in this for the short-term. I’d like to carry on working for as long as I’m able. I love it here.’
Claire pictured with her parents after graduating in her early twenties to pursue a career in primary education
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