We often hit a point in our careers where we question if we’re on the “right” path. Some act on making a change and some don’t. Looking at successful people, you may assume that they had it all figured out from the start. Surprisingly, a lot of them did not start out doing what they’re doing now! They took a leap of faith and pursued their passions by making a major career change. If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out this list of 5 famous people from various industries who made dramatic career changes! This is only a small list of many!
Jeff Bezos – Amazon CEO
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, first started at a financial telecommunications start-up on Wall Street. He studied computer science and electrical engineering. He later became the youngest VP at D.E. Shaw, an investment firm. Four years later, he started what is now Amazon! It took various roles at financial firms before transitioning into e-commerce! He had a brilliant idea and he went out and made it happen.
Vera Wang – Fashion Designer
Vera Wang is one of the most prominent designers of Bridal wear in America. She wasn’t always involved in fashion, in fact, she was a successful figure skater during her early career! It wasn’t until she graduated from college that she started working for Vogue Magazine, working her way up to senior fashion editor. This then lead her to a position at Ralph Lauren and started her love for fashion. The rest is history! You never know what inspiration may spark when you’re in a new industry or working with people that inspire you on a day to day basis.
Jonah Peretti – CEO of Buzzfeed
In the 90s, Jonah Peretti was teaching computer sciences courses to middle schoolers! He ended up moving on to launch both media sites, Huffington Post and Buzzfeed in the 2000s. IN 2011, the Huff Post was bought by AOL and he took over Buzzfeed full-time. Buzzfeed has developed into a multi-media news source since inception.
Ina Garten – Author/Host of Barefoot Contessa
Ina Garten has quite the resume. She first started with a nuclear energy policy position at the White House! After a while, she wanted a change and to branch out. She decided to buy a specialty food store in the Hamptons, Barefoot Contessa. The business grew and grew and so did her love for cooking. She eventually sold the store and decided to write a cookbook named after it. Since then, she has continued writing and publishing, in addition to hosting her own show on the Food Network! Talk about an inspiring career change! Dreams do come true.
Ken Jeong – Comedian
You probably know him best as Mr. Chow from The Hangover. Actor and comedian Ken Jeong first started his career as a doctor! He earned his MD in North Carolina and began his own practice. He spent his off time doing comedy gigs to pursue his love for comedy for fun. Sure enough, that side gig took off and he ended up landing large acting roles. The rest is history!
You never know where life will take you. Don’t give up on a dream that you have, anything can happen! We hope these people and their career stories inspire you to do the same.