Janet Daley spent twenty years in academic life, teaching philosophy at the Open University, the external department of London University, and the Royal College of Art. She wrote art and literary criticism from the late 1960s to the early 1980s.
She left teaching to become a full-time journalist in 1987 writing for the The Times, The Independent, The Sunday Telegraph, The Spectator, etc., and joined The Independent as a columnist in 1989. She went to The Times as columnist and leader writer in 1990 where she stayed until 1996, when she joined The Daily Telegraph as a columnist and leader writer (until February 2005). She then wrote for The Times, The Sunday Times, and the Mail on Sunday, before returning to The Daily Telegraph. A recent publication for the Centre for Policy Studies by her is Seeking Common Ground (2005).