5 People Who Have Switched Careers (And How They Did It)
Sometimes you find your true calling the second time around. Here's how five success stories made the leap.
Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Josie Natori, Founder and CEO, The Natori Company
After nine years as a banker on Wall Street, it was all beginning to feel too easy. I considered different ventures: a car wash, a McDonald's franchise, a scuba diving company. Then a friend sent me some peasant blouses from the Philippines. I took them to a buyer at Bloomingdale's, and she suggested I turn them into nightshirts. That's when I hit on the niche of doing innerwear based on outerwear. The day you don't feel that rush of excitement, it's time to move on. The goal is to have every bone in your body engaged in your life.
Photo: Courtesy of Kelly Corrigan
Kelly Corrigan, author of Lift and The Middle Place
I worked in nonprofits for ten years, but database entry and meetings gave me ants in my pants. I had always loved to write, though, and when my dad got sick I started jotting down my childhood memories. I had the idea of self-publishing a book that I could give him. But I told my sister-in-law, "I've written something, and I was wondering if you'd read it." She knew a literary agent, and that's how I was published. So I think that's important: You have to speak your dream out loud.
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Joy Behar, Cohost of The View and host of The Joy Behar Show
I was a funny kid, a natural performer. When I was 10, the Fuller Brush salesman would come to sell brooms and mops, and I'd make him hysterical. But I lost my confidence somewhere in the hideous teen years and pursued other things. I ended up becoming a high school English teacher. I was nearly 40 before I realized I was always the funny one at parties. I started doing a little stand-up, and things took off. So I believe that people should do what they loved to do when they were 10—the age before you start caring what others think.
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Al Franken, U.S. Senator for Minnesota
By the time I decided to run for the Senate, I'd already transformed my career—from being a comedy writer and performer to writing political books and hosting a daily public affairs radio show. So the decision was more a natural transition than a dramatic break from my past. My parents cared deeply about politics and impressed upon us its power to improve people's lives.
Andrea Bocelli, Tenor
I graduated from university and practiced law, and I enjoyed it. But I knew my voice was special—even as a child, everybody asked to hear me sing, and I was happy to oblige. That's how my destiny revealed itself. I came to believe that if you have a gift, you have an obligation to share it with others. It's as simple as that.
Find Your Calling
From the November 2010 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine