The photographer of the "Humans of New York" project

Famous Career Changes To Inspire Your Next Move

A man working on new skills for a career change

They did it. So can you.

Some people find their perfect job – the one they love, they’re good at, that pays well and that makes the world a better place – straight out of the gate.  But most of us will change career at least once before we find something that really clicks. 

That’s also true for celebrities. You have the obvious cases – Donald Trump, Arnie or The Rock…  But as these less well-known examples show, wherever you start out, the job that really “makes you” may be something very different.

Brandon Stanton

Stanton lost his job as a bond trader in Chicago shortly after the financial crisis.

But rather than stay in finance he grabbed his camera and started Humans of New York, a portrait blog which now has 9.3 million Instagram followers and over 18 million Facebook likes.  Stanton has said it was the risk-taking instinct he learnt as a trader that helped him make the jump.

Vera Wang

Wang had not one, but two careers before making those must-have wedding dresses.

First, she gave up her dreams of a figure skating career after realizing she’d never make the elite grade. She then spent many years as a journalist until – feeling like she wasn’t progressing any more – see switched again, setting up her now-famous brand. 

You have to say it worked out pretty well.

Ina Garten

You may know Ina ‘Barefoot Contessa’ Garten best as the person whose cookbooks you buy when you’re short of a Christmas present for Grandma.

She wasn’t always Cooking For Jeffrey though. After leaving college, Garten worked in the US government writing the nuclear energy budget.  

We hear it’s what inspired her recipe for fission chips… (sorry!)

Johan Peretti

It feels right that the founder of Buzzfeed should appear in some kind of listing.

But before Buzzfeed redefined the meaning of the word ‘viral’ for an internet age, Mr Peretti was, well “Mr Peretti” – at least to the high-school students that he used to teach Computer Science to.

Perhaps unsurprisingly for someone who once asked Nike to stitch “Sweatshop” into his customized kicks, Peretti seems to have spent much of the school year getting students to write protest letters to local politicians!

How do you know if it’s time to make that change?  Where do you start?

Your A-list career is out there.