4 Successful People Who Made a Late Career Change
At 34, Andrea Bocelli left his career as a Defense Attorney to become one of the most famous classical singers in the world.
At 36, Julia Child went from CIA Intelligence Agent to becoming a global master of French cuisine, writing her own cookbook at age 50.
At age 40, Vera Wang stepped away from her days as a Figure Skater and Journalist to become one of the world’s premier Fashion Designers.
A career change in your 30’s, 40’s and even 50’s may seem like one huge red flag, especially when you’ve spent years carving your niche and perfecting the skills – that no longer seem so interesting.
Breaking into a whole new work area can be rewarding in both personal fulfillment and career success, and it’s never too late to step up to the challenge. Career change is not only possible – it’s positive; if you’re not feeling fulfilled, you’re not doing what you desire.
Take a look at 4 individuals who decided to switch careers a little later in life – and became something greater than they ever thought possible.
Corporate Marketer to Founder and CEO of RedBalloon
Naomi Simson wanted career flexibility that a corporate world just wasn’t willing to offer – and with little more than a few thousand dollars, a second hand computer and a desire to change the face of gift giving in Australia, RedBalloon was born.
Today, RedBalloon is on track to become a $100 million business, and serves as proof that passion, drive and dedication stretch further than your bank account. Make the most of humble beginnings and you’d be surprised how far you can go.
Fujitsu Product Management to Co-Founder of LinkedIn
With plans to become a professor and public intellectual, Reid Hoffman’s career path twisted and turned during his progression in business and entrepreneurship. After joining Apple in 1994 and moving to Fujitsu to further his skills, a drive to do more was put into motion.\
Reid Hoffman was 36 when he started LinkedIn and 41 when it went public in 2003. Combined with sharp investment skills, including past stakes in PayPal, he is renowned as one of the most successful venture capitalists in the online world, ranking as #341 on the list of the world’s richest people.
Bankrupt Business Owner to CEO of Curves International
“I had to lose everything I owned before I was capable of running a business the right way.”
After dropping out of college at age 20, Gary Heavin opened up his own gym. With little business knowledge, but immense success, he became a millionaire by age 25. Unfortunately with aggressive expansion, overheads began amounting and by age 30, Gary declared bankruptcy. Losing his house, cars, and airplane while being $5 million in debt, Gary lacked the money to pay child support and ended up serving a three month term in Cameron County Jail.
As he began putting his life back together, Gary found work selling fitness equipment, settling with his wife and soon-to-be business partner, Diane Piller. Applying lessons learnt from his initial failure, Gary was persuaded to give entrepreneurship a second try at age 40. As a result, Curves Fitness Centre was born, and became one of the fastest-growing franchises of the 90’s.
Research Director to Co-Founder of Wikipedia
Jimmy Wales is proof that career success doesn’t have to come in the form of a huge pay check. After studying finance before dropping out of his doctorate degree, Jimmy began his career at a financial services firm, but desired more.
With a keen interest in the internet, Jimmy set to work on the creation of an unsuccessful start-up venture – which slowly progressed to the creation of the largest open content encyclopedia in the world. At age 35, Jimmy Wales co-founded Wikipedia, changing the way people from all over the globe share and obtain information.
Although the stories of success differ, all successful career changers offer the same advice, time after time – it’s never too late to find and follow your passion.