Indexing as a New Career in Midlife

Many indexers come to the profession later in life, often as a second, third, or fourth career. This midlife career change can bring powerful benefits such as greater personal autonomy and authenticity. At the same time, transitioning indexers face new challenges, such as loneliness and a change in identity.

To better support career transitioners, the ISC/SCI partnered with a team of senior honours psychology students in a Community Engaged Research project at the King’s University (TKU) in Edmonton, Alberta.

The scope of the project addressed the following questions:

  1. What characterizes career transitions—particularly for female knowledge workers in mid- and late-life?
  2. How can ISC/SCI promote positive career transition experiences?
  3. Who does research on career transitions?

As a result of their work, the team has created a wealth of resources for people contemplating a midlife career change to indexing or any other freelance-oriented occupation.

FAQs for Midlife Career Changers

Eight Myths of Midlife Career Changes

Career Transition Task List

Self Employment Reflection Exercise

Relationship Inventory (pdf)

Mentorship Tips

Additional Career Transition Resources


This content speaks to general trends found in research literature. It should not replace careful consideration of individual career situations, nor can they take the place of consultation with mental health professionals. 


This document is an extract from the report Resources for Mid-Life Career Changers: Final Report and Web Content, for a research collaboration between the Indexing Society of Canada/Société canadienne d’indexation (ISC/SCI) and the King’s University (TKU) in Edmonton. Supervised, honors-equivalent psychology students conducted the research in partnership with the ISC/SCI as a capstone senior research project in their senior seminar. The ISC/SCI Executive committee collaborated with the King’s Community Engaged Research (CER) Program to initiate and design the project. 

The CER Program at the King’s University facilitates university-community partnerships in which student-supervisor teams engage community partners in the design and implementation of research that addresses community-defined needs. For more information, please contact the Program Manager, Dr. Elim Ng (