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Advice / Career Paths / Exploring Careers

9 Career Change Stories That'll Inspire You to Take the Leap

woman working courtesy Compassionate Eye Foundation/Ezra Bailey/Getty Images

When you’re considering changing careers, it’s helpful (not to mention inspiring) to see how others navigated those scary first steps, before starting down that path yourself.

These stories give you potential roadmaps to follow—successes and failures included—so that you can see possible routes for your own future.

From the nitty-gritty, like financial planning, to the bigger picture, such as adopting the mindset required to make such a gigantic move, these stories promise to provide the insight and motivation you need now.

1. This Career Changer Proves It’s Never Too Late to Start Back at the Bottom

You’re never too old to switch paths—this former Macy’s store manager took an entry-level job in publishing to start her writing career.

2. This Story About a Stranger Helping a Drive-Thru Worker Change Careers Will Make You Smile

You never know when you’ll catch a break: A chance encounter led this fast-food worker to an entirely new industry.

3. How This Career Changer Went From a Role in Finance to One in HR

From managing numbers, to working with people, this is the true story of a young woman who went from working at JPMorgan Chase to The Muse.

4. How I Went From a Career in Education to an Employed Software Engineer in 4 Months

When this former teacher realized that coding equaled problem-solving, she was hooked and figured out how to make her new career a reality.

5. How I Successfully Transitioned From Teaching Kindergarten to Working at Apple

Another teacher-to-tech career change, this person’s route led him to business school, and then onto a thriving marketing career.

6. I Started as a Paralegal, Now I’m a Front End Engineer—Here’s How I Did It

This is the story of two career changes: paralegal to communications, and them from communications to engineering—because sometimes it takes time to figure out what you’re meant to be doing.

7. How I Changed Careers From Sports to Sales

Here’s the story behind a golf-tournament director turned account manager; very often the non-linear path is the most rewarding.

8. I Changed My Career Path Without Leaving My Company

Quitting isn’t your only option when it comes to finding a role you love: Transferring to a position in a different department is totally possible.

9. How I Successfully Landed a Job in a Totally Unrelated Field

Leaving a doctorate program to move in with her parents proved to be a hard, but worthwhile decision when this woman sought to forge a new path as a marketing assistant.