Most often than not, people end up in careers they did not formally study for. The reason? They refuse to stick with something that doesn't make them happy. If you're someone who is not happy with the career you have right now and are thinking about a change, these people changing their careers will serve as an inspiration for you.
1. Marrying the worlds of sign language interpreting and TV writing together
"I studied American Sign Language in undergrad and planned on becoming an interpreter for the d/Deaf community. I finished my last semester and promptly ditched that to become a writer. I enrolled in a graduate playwriting program at an Ivy League that same fall, graduated three years later, and now I write professionally for both theatre and television. I still miss interpreting from time to time, but I have the opportunity to write d/Deaf characters for d/Deaf actors, so I still get to marry my two worlds." -asd48
2. You might get to use your current experience in your future career, you never know
"I have a master’s degree in counselling psychology and even have a counselling license. Jobs were hard to find, and pay was not great. Worked on a hospital psychiatric floor, but 90% of my job was CNA type work (untrained), like showering and diapering adult patients. Got the opportunity to teach English in Japan (I never wanted to be a teacher), and I love it! Just started my seventh year. I use my psychology training in ways I never imagined. It’s made a huge difference in how I understand the culture. Don’t be afraid to take a leap into your next career!" -hphilpot128
3. Your career change doesn't need to make sense to others. If it makes you happy, go ahead with it
My uncle was a partner in an investor relations firm on Wall Street in New York. Then he took an early retirement to buy and run a flower shop in a little beach town.
4. You might as well turn your hobby into a career
"I went to university and graduated with a bachelor's in business. I thought I could sit in an office but then realized I hated being a salesperson. My friend suggested we go take flying lessons for fun. Eight years later, I'm now an airline pilot with an office with a great view. I don't regret going to university though; the experience taught me how to cram and study efficiently, and that skill is used everywhere, including learning to fly." -ltsid8
5. The rollercoaster of a career change - You can be super smart and very hardworking, but you're never 100% self-made, and it's not a bad thing
"I went to college right after high school. In my first year, I majored in early childhood education, international studies, and then psychology, and I dropped out after my second semester. A year later, I went to cosmetology school because I love dress-up, but it turns out I hate touching people, so I dropped out about two-thirds of the way through. At this point, I was working at a country club as a server. I ended up being promoted to dining manager and overseeing about 50 people by 24. I loved the work, but I hated the schedule and wanted to have more freedom, so I left.
The benefit of working customer service jobs, especially with influential clientele, is that you make some seriously valuable connections. About five different club members offered me jobs when I left, and I ended up working for a jewellery designer, who eventually bought an art gallery, so now I sell high-end art. Never underestimate the value of being a jack of all trades and a master of none, because you can be pretty good at just about anything. Also, never discount the impact that making good connections can have. No one actually gets ahead without someone helping them out along the way. You can be super smart and very hardworking, but you're never 100% self-made. It's not a bad thing." -slightlygolightly
6. Advertising welcomes all
Speaking from personal experience, I've seen people with totally irrelevant educational backgrounds in advertising. I've worked with art directors who did geology in college and truck drivers who became creative directors. I did Chemistry and wound up as a writer. It's a very welcoming field :)
7. Smart decisions all the way through
I’m currently 65 years old. Just over thirty years ago I was a successful registered professional civil engineer in Texas. However, a few years before I hit the big 40, I went back to night school, earned an M.S. in Computer Science from Texas A&M - Corpus Christi, quit my job, moved to California, and started over again as an entry-level engineer at Apple at around 45% of my former salary. That was around 1990. Do I regret doing that? Absolutely not! It was the second smartest thing I ever did in my whole life. In case you’re wondering, the smartest thing I ever did was to marry this wacky brunette who still refers to herself as my wife after 42 years.
Taking a leap of faith is hard. Sometimes it's harder when you have to put that faith in yourself. Letting go of a secured and constant inflow of income to go for something relatively different which might not even pay you as well initially is difficult. But if your gut is telling you that it's time that you take that leap, then trust it and just go for it. Your future self will thank you for it.