Anybody REALLY changed careers? Like, a DRASTIC change??

Trying not to spaz about this…

My wonderful Hubby, who just about walks on water in my book, is just about ready to ditch his science career and get involved in politics. My sister, another near-deity, doesn’t want to be a shrink after all and is planning to pursue music, which she’s been doing on the side for several years now. Both of these people have doctorates!

I’m caught between an enormous sense of pride and sheer terror. I know Hubby doesn’t want to spend his life in a lab - I’m the one who’s been urging him to get involved because I know he’s passionate about causes & has a lot of skills beyond doing experiments. Plus I’ve known too many people who hate their lives about the time they turn 50 because they never listened to that inner voice & aren’t doing work they love.

OTOH, I’m pregnant. With twins, our first children. Due in February.

So…anybody taken that big plunge into something wildly different & lived to tell the tale?

I don’t know if it counts as drastic, but I got a doctorate in Biochemistry and, like your husband, didn’t want a future in the lab. I became a computer programmer - something in which I had virtually no experience. It worked out fine.

My wife also got a PhD in Biochemistry, then became a nurse.

OK, we both changed immediately after graduating rather than follow a career then change, but by the time you get a doctorate, you’ve made a substantial time investment so it is a fairly major change.

metallurgical engineer —> rubbish collector —> pastor

Eletronic Engineer -> Software Engineer -> Retired -> Gambler/Traveller/Drunk -> Photographer (not a professional one yet as I’m still travelling). I’m still only 33 so I’ve got time for a few more career changes before I’m done.

I have nothing to add to this thread but congratulations on the babies!

I had to develop all new skills at the age of 28. New career is way better than the old one.

Blue collar slob -> Secretary -> Digital artist

I don’t think anyone actually dies as a result of a career change. You may be short of change for a while, but in the end it will probably look like a positive thing.

receptionist —> dba --> software developer

Seriously, one day I was a receptionist, the next, I was in charge of coordinating automation between a btrieve database and sql, no experience in computers at all.

I like developing a hell of a lot more than I like receptioning.

I have a degree in Theatrical Arts. For two years I was working in e-commerce doing reception, web design, shipping & receiving.

Two months ago I started working in retail and after one month I became assistant manager. Come the new year I could be manager. I’m gunning for District Manager within five years.

How’s that for a change?

I spent 6 years aquiring a BS in Zoology and all of the pre-req’s for Veterinary School, working my way through school milking cows, cleaning surgical instruments for a hosptital, then a brief stint as a Large Animal Groom for the OSU Vet School…but for all all intents and purposes, my “career” is Internet Policy Enforcement, which I’ve been doing for the past 4 years.

Without much regard for apprenticeships or mentorships in this culture, it is not surprising that so many people’s lives involve drastic vocational shifts.

Not as drastic as some, but I went from 14 years with a major Canadian bank to phone support for Yahoo Webhosting.

semiconductor research -> chef -> semiconductor research

However much I love to cook, people sure don’t want to pay you very much to do it. I’m able to earn almost triple what I did as a chef in the high tech sector.

Wow, these are some interesting results! Nangleator, excellent point about the survivability of change!

I have to confess, in the 22 years I’ve been working I’ve had 37 jobs (including temp assignments, part-time jobs, full-time jobs). None of them were really careers or anything, mostly just various forms of office work. Had some interesting adventures. But I finally realized the only thing that would make me truly happy is to do what I love, which is making art for a living. So I surely want my Hubby to have the same satisfaction.

Zenster, didn’t you mean to put Musician in there somewhere?

I majored in French in college. My first “real” job was as a technical writer in the Agricultural Economics dept. at a local university.

After that, I went to work for IBM and repaired computers, printers and monitors for almost 14 years. Took a buyout package from them and worked briefly in a bookstore (a good thing, met my S.O. there). I went from there to doing data entry at a different company (for about 3 years). From data entry I went into user support for about 5 years. I was laid off from that job last spring.

I’m still trying to decide what to do next.

fessie , I was unable to find the citation, but the going theory in America right now (and the one that all the colleges and universities are following) is that today’s student can expect to have at least seven different careers over a lifetime.

Maybe that’s why they make us take all those stupid GE classes? English majors aren’t supposed to do math, that’s why they’re english majors! (sorry, personal rant)

So first of all, what your hubby is doing is not unheard of (and others posting will agree!) Second, ask yourself: would you rather you live with a man who has a secure job in the lab but hates what he does and is miserable in is career, or see your hubby come home smiling every day because he enjoys what he does, a man who has strength of character and is unafraid to strike out into the unknown? Not knowing him personally, I can say that you’re married to a guy that is well equipped to handle those crazy curves that life throws at us, and that you and your twins will be well taken care of in any situation, especially the unexpected.

So try not to panic, be supportive, and know that everything will be OK. And congrats on the twins! Good luck! :slight_smile:

favory rat --> English department teaching assistant --> web designer/computer guy

Radar tech. --> computer operator --> computer programmer --> construction worker --> real estate salesman --> computer operator --> programmer/analyst --> unemployed bum err… real estate broker.

Good luck to Mr. Fessie!

Military avionics -> artist. About as opposite as you can get.

Graphic art degree --> 5+ years in pre-press at a printing company --> 8+ years as a freelance copyeditor (no in-house experience) --> part-time jeweler

Game Designer/Producer (5 years) --> Accountant (2 years) --> Software Engineer (1 year so far)