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December 05, 2007

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Ah... timely post. I'm considering a shift over the next couple years from IT Consultant to Realtor. I should have started at the later early on. I'd always wanted to be an architect, but was scared of job prospects, so I got the engineering degree instead. Wanting to get back to my first love. But building up savings and laying the groundwork plan to get started will come first.

A friend of mine who's a financial advisors says everyone wants to either become a writer or open a restaurant when they turn 50.

Yes, yes and yes! A career change will take a lot longer than you think. A lot is written on changing careers and finding your passion. What is left out is how long the actual change will take. Plan on it taking at least 2-3 years or longer. You need to identify an alternate career path, plan on education as needed, reduce your debt and living expensive and prepare for a new way of life.

I am probably on year 4 of prepping my career change. I want to move from technology into home building career. Given the housing market will take a couple of years to recover, I should be ready by then.

Something else which should be addressed is the dangers of staying in a career you don't like for too long. If you loose interest in your career you can run the risk of getting fired or forced out.

Yes, I have thought many a time about changing careers. I am currently an Audiologist. I work with mostly children and adults and my experiences are extremely beneficial. The job is just getting old. I have been thinking about changing jobs but I don't know where to start! A friend of mine told me about this site that helps people like us who are debating on the career change. It shows other careers, job hunting info and other great things. Check it out .. I have been looking at it and it seriously has pointed me in the right direction..

Hope it helps!

I worked as a dancer in ballet and opera companies all over North America for 15 years. Great business for your heart and soul, but lousy for your pocketbook. I had a foot injury at 33, and my orthopedic surgeon strongly recommended that jumping up and down eight hours a day was not such a hot idea anymore. It seemed like a good time to go to college, since I went to work right after high school (Like any athlete, dancing professionally is a short career, and those typical college years from ages 18-22 are too valuable to give up). Department of Vocational Rehabilitation paid my college tuition since my injury was work related, and a settlement with the workers comp insurance company gave me a little savings cushion to draw from to get through an A.A.S. and a B.F.A. degree in graphic design. The savings also allowed me to work low-paying graphics jobs part-time to gain experience in graphics while being a full-time student, and the job experience helped make the classroom training less abstract. I’m 46 now and have been working full-time since I graduated in 1999. I don’t make a big salary, but I own my own (tiny) home with no mortgage (except for $2600 on a HELOC I got for home renovations), and am playing catch-up with retirement savings, currently putting 28% of my gross income into the 401K at work and my Roth IRA. I don’t miss dancing a bit -- it’s such a crazy business. I’m grateful I had the chance to do it while I was young, but I like having a more balanced life today.

Ed --

That's a great story. Good for you.

I thought about changing careers to become a financial planner (from being a librarian). The classes were great, but making the transition meant I would have to indiscriminately sell financial products to people for the first few years or work for $10 or $12 an hour for the first few years until I got the requisite job experience to be a certified planner.

I did not want to be a "sales shark" for even 5 minutes and I was not willing to work for $12 an hour for 2 or 3 years. So I decided to stay with my current government job, which is stable and has nice benefits (like 4 weeks vacation plus holidays), even though I don't love it, I do like it.

Personally, when I read articles about how people are going to change careers 6 or 7 times in their lifetimes, I wonder what these "experts" are smoking! How in the heck are reasonable people who actually want to have lives outside their careers supposed to do this?

Hi,
I am a software engineer. But I have been thinking about changing my profession. My first job as a software engineer was in the financial industry. I have always been fascinated about finance. I want to become an investment advisor. I realize that the other side is always green. So I have started to write about how I am planning to invest my money and see how I feel about this in the long run.

Ideally you plan for this well ahead of the time you have to and overlap developing your next career with winding down your last but that is a rarity. One should never do it for money because it will take a long time to see any, but for what they get out of it. I did prepare for a change but discovered I could retire instead.

Absolutely! I am in the process of changing careers. Im currently in the customer service industry which I really consider a job not a career. Im switching over to the fashion industry and am going to school to become a footwear designer. I sold my house and will be going to school in London in 2008. Talk about a big jump! However, I am older, wiser, know what I want and am going for it! No turning back.

I am a career changer (Union Organizer to Admissions Rep at a Career School). Now I work with career changers every day. I agree that career change is not easy, but it doesn't have to take so long... I have seen people who took advantage of the tools that were available and worked efficiently double their income and more than double their job satisfaction in as little as two years.

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