From Programmer to Alternative Health Practitioner

This is a real life career change story from being a Programmer to an Alternative Health Practitioner.

Q1: What was the driver for the change?
A1:  Passion for healing. I attended a workshop with a healer and got hooked. At the same time, my current programming contract was coming to an end. I was ready for a change.

Q2: How did you make the transition?
A2: I went through a training program and completed an internship.

Q3: What education or training did you get?
A3: I went through a specialized training program.

Q4: What do you like the most about your new career?
A4: The feeling that you get when you help a person to get well. It is a very powerful feeling.

Q5: What will you do differently?
A5: Will do the same.

Q6: What advice will you give to people who want to change careers?
A6: Take a deep breath. Prepare yourself for tough times (possible loss of income, status, etc.). Evaluate what you are doing and establish goals. Define your worst case scenario and have a Plan B. Every transition has its own challenges.

If you had a great career change experience, go ahead and share it. We can all use an inspiration. If you had a difficult experience, please share it as well. It will help others to make better choices for them.To share your story please take the Career Change Experience Questionnaire.

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From Accountant to Web Designer

This is a real life career change story from being an Accountant to a Web Designer/Developer.

Q1: What was the driver for the change?
A1:  Desire to do something else.

Q2: How did you make the transition?
A2: At first I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I have an MBA and got into Real Estate as a way to transition out of accounting; however, my endeavor into real estate was a way to “supplement” my income and not be my main source of income. I took some personality test and discovered that I enjoy being creative and working on the computer. I enrolled in the Art Institute and earned a degree in technical web design/development and am now in the job market for that field.

Q3: What education or training did you get?
A3: I enrolled in the Art Institute and earned a degree in technical web design/development. I graduated with a 4.0 GPA!! YEAH!

Q4: What do you like the most about your new career?
A4: I love coding in HTML and creating in print and for the web as well as learning new technologies and using Adobe Creative Suites.

Q5: Please describe your overall career change experience.
A5: The process of going to school was rewarding because I exceled in each course and as a member of the 40 club, I didn’t think I had what it took to go back and learn something new at my age but I did.

Q6: What advice will you give to people who want to change careers?
A6: My advice would be if you find yourself unfulfilled in your current career, don’t be afraid to step outside the box and make a change but do it strategically. Continue working, save money, go back to school if you need to, and make a move when the time is right.

If you had a great career change experience, go ahead and share it. We can all use an inspiration. If you had a difficult experience, please share it as well. It will help others to make better choices for them.To share your story please take the Career Change Experience Questionnaire.

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From Organizational Effectiveness Specialist to Self-Employed Professional Coach

This is a real life career change story from being an Organizational Effectiveness Specialist in a corporate environment to self-employed Professional Coach.

Q1: What was the driver for the change?
A1:  My love and passion for coaching and desire to work for myself.

Q2: How did you make the transition?
A2: In January 2007, I was still working fulltime but finished a coaching certification. I began coaching on the side of my job. In Feb, 2009, I quit my job to finish my Masters degree in 9 months. I had been working on it part time before. I felt that I needed that degree for crediblity in organizations that I wished to coach in. In the beginning of 2010, I began slowly building my coaching practice.

Q3: What education or training did you get?
A3: iPEC coaching school, CEC Masters in Organizational Change Management

Q4: What do you like the most about your new career?
A4: Flexibility to travel, creating my own direction and purpose.

Q5: Please describe your overall career change experience.
A5: It was a long process, but I had the vision of working for myself and with Divine Assistance and also my own persistence, I didn’t give up or take the easy route.

Q6: What advice will you give to people who want to change careers?
A6: Get a coach, plan your strategy, and stay consistent.

If you had a great career change experience, go ahead and share it. We can all use an inspiration. If you had a difficult experience, please share it as well. It will help others to make better choices for them.To share your story please take the Career Change Experience Questionnaire.

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From VP, Asset Management to Spiritual Counselor and Energy Healer

This is a real life career change story from being a VP, Asset Management to Emotional Counseling in spiritual context, Reiki/Qigong Healing and teaching Yoga as medicine.

Q1: What was the driver for the change?
A1: Desire to find a greater purpose and working with a Spiritual Teacher who helped me access my true desires.

Q2: How did you make the transition?
A2: I had a great cheerleader by my side, my life coach.
She instilled so much faith and confidence in my abilities to pursue absolutely anything I just trusted that I can pursue a life that contained something I thoroughly enjoy doing and get compensated for it.
I trusted that life is about taking risks, and growing from it.
What is the worst that can happen? It does not work out, well you move on.
We really don’t make bad decisions, this is the inevitable process of evolution.
My message is to identify an environment that nourishes you most, we all have a creative imagination, tap into it and pursue at attaining it.
And trust that whatever evolves is to your benefit.

Q3: What do you like the most about your new career?
A3: I am really living out my true purpose, my work is my lifestyle, I teach what I adore and manage to sustain my family.

Q4: What will you do differently?
A4: Nothing.

If you had a great career change experience, go ahead and share it. We can all use an inspiration. If you had a difficult experience, please share it as well. It will help others to make better choices for them.To share your story please take the Career Change Experience Questionnaire.

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From Broker and General Manager of RE/MAX Real Estate Sales Offices to Travel Writer and Photographer

This is a real life story about a career change from being a Broker and General Manager of four RE/MAX Real Estate Sales Offices to Travel Writer and Photographer.

Q1: What was the driver for the change?
A1:  Combination of the original job, which was so stressful that it made me quite ill, and the desire to do the only things that had ever really interested me: travel, writing, and photography.

Q2: How did you make the transition?
A2: I just did it. It helped that I’d been writing, traveling, and taking photos for many years, but I think the biggest driver of my success was the ability to envision what I wanted to become.

Q3: What education or training did you get?
A3: I attended some writing seminars and had been studying photography for years.

Q4: What do you like the most about your new career?
A4: The ability to introduce others to different cultures and to educate that we are all humans, and are not so different from each other, no matter where we come from.

Q5: Please describe your overall career change experience.
A5: It took me three years to begin to earn enough money in my new career just to cover my expenses, but it has been well worth the effort. I used to have a great deal of money but was miserable; now I just barely make ends meet but I am joyful and cannot wait to get up every morning to do what I love.

Q6: What advice will you give to people who want to change careers?
A6: Just do it.

Interviewer Comments: you can read more about Barbara Ann Weibel’s personal journey on her blog Hole In The Donut Cultural Travel.

If you had a great career change experience, go ahead and share it. We can all use an inspiration. If you had a difficult experience, please share it as well. It will help others to make better choices for them.To share your story please take the Career Change Experience Questionnaire.

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From Executive VP, Publishing and Broadcasting to Owner of Automobile Dealership

This is a real life story about a career change from being an Executive VP for a Publishing and Broadcasting media company to an owner/operator of an automobile dealership.

Q1: What was the driver for the change?
A1: Desire to own a significant business that had growth potential.

Q2: How did you make the transition?
A2: My major challenge was to learn the nuances of the automobile dealership aspect of the industry. I was financially astute and had a great deal of experience building and managing a business from infancy to maturity. I also was an experienced sales and marketing executive and also had a great deal of general insurance experience, which was a critical component of an automobile dealership.

Q3: What education or training did you get?
A3: I was selected to attend the GM Dealer Development Academy. This was a one year training program which consisted of classroom training and on-the-job training in every aspect of an auto dealership.

Q4: What do you like the most about your new career?
A4: It was a challenge to operated what amounted to seven different businesses under one umbrella since each department had its own profit objectives.

Q5: Please describe your overall career change experience.
A5: Aside from my first job change, which was from government to private (media) industry, all of my future job changes were not exceptionally rewarding monetarily. However, they were quite interesting challenges and usually gave me a rewarding experience.

Q6: Did you have another career change following the one described here?
A6: Yes. Business did not meet the financial imperatives that I required and I realized that selling it would be the only alternative to avoid future losses. I sold it for a modest profit.

Q7: What advice will you give to people who want to change careers?
A7: Thoroughly research all aspects of the business. Do not invest or buy unless you COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND EVERY ASPECT OF THE BUSINESS, ESPECIALLY THE FINANCIAL RAMIFICATIONS.

If you had a great career change experience, go ahead and share it. We can all use an inspiration. If you had a difficult experience, please share it as well. It will help others to make better choices for them.To share your story please take the Career Change Experience Questionnaire.

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From Multi Level Marketing (MLM) Sales to Real Estate Agent

This is a real life story about a career change from multi level marketing jewelry sales to real estate agent.

Q1: What was the driver for the change?
A1: Desire to make more money and also a desire to work closer to home. I was doing the buying for the multi-level company and had to go to NYC, so I wanted to stay in New Jersey.

Q2: How did you make the transition?
A2: I used my sales skills, took a course in real estate, and then used many of my personal and business connections to continue on with sales.

Q3: What education or training did you get?
A3: I took a real estate course which lasted a few months.

Q4: What do you like the most about your new career?
A4: The money was much bigger when I made a sale and that was exciting to me. Also I enjoyed seeing homes and how people lived, and I liked putting people together with homes.. felt like a matchmaker.

Q5: Please describe your overall career change experience.
A5: For me I needed to make better money. I was getting divorced and I needed to know I could make the money needed to keep my children in the same lifestyle they were used to. It wasn’t so easy at first I needed to work long hours 6 days a week to make a name for myself. There was alot of competition but that didn’t stop me, I knew I could do whatever needed to be done, and I knew I was good in sales.

Q6: What advice will you give to people who want to change careers?
A6: People need to see if they can sustain themselves if they decide to change careers, not to just quit one and then go for another. They can start educating themselves toward the skills they will need, take a few courses, network and meet others who work in the field they are looking to go into, and perhaps go into the new field part time at first. If they are starting their own business they definitely need to speak to others about start up costs and use whatever networking is available to them.

If you had a great career change experience, go ahead and share it. We can all use an inspiration. If you had a difficult experience, please share it as well. It will help others to make better choices for them.To share your story please take the Career Change Experience Questionnaire.

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From VP, Computer Operations (IT) to Social Worker

This is a real life story about a career change from being a VP, Computer Operations (IT) to Social Worker.

Q1: What was the driver for the change?
A1: Desire to do something different. The Loss of a job allowed me to do it.

Q2: How did you make the transition?
A2: I volunteered with the Peace Corps. This led me to the decision to be a Social Worker. In order to accomplish my goal as a social Worker I returned to Graduate school.

Q3: What education or training did you get?
A3: In order to accomplish my goal as a social Worker I returned to Graduate school.

Q4: What will you do differently?
A4: I originally tried to go to Social Work school initially after I made the decision but circumstances stopped me and I decided not to go into Social Work. I went back to Corp America as a Director of Operations for a firm. I lasted their about a year when I realized it wasn’t working. From that time to my first paid job was 3 years. Looking back, I wish I would have found a way to do it when I first wanted to, I would have worked within social services sectors while attending school.

If you had a great career change experience, go ahead and share it. We can all use an inspiration. If you had a difficult experience, please share it as well. It will help others to make better choices for them.To share your story please take the Career Change Experience Questionnaire.

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From Nursing to TV Videotape Editor

This is a real life story about a career change from being an operating room nurse to a TV videotape editor.

Q1: What was the driver for the change?
A1: Bad back for which I had surgery.  Lifting patients wasn’t easy.

Q2: How did you make the transition?
A2: I volunteered at NYC tv station for six months.  I also took lessons from husband at his work, HBO.  I then applied for a summer relief job at ABC TV Network covering vacations.  I had on the job training and did well.  I think my age of being older then the kids doing the same thing helped.  I was serious.
My transferable skill was I was used to the treatment that the directors gave that was the same as the surgeons I worked with in the operating room.  I didn’t get insulted.

Q3: What education or training did you get?
A3: The education was training on special equipment, taking orders, using my judgement in timing and appearance of the video.

Q4: What do you like the most about your new career?
A4: It was fun, it was new and the money was better then I ever earned in nursing. It also was daring, like I have nothing to loose, lets go for it.  I was a temp even though I worked almost a complete year for five years before I was hired permanently.

Q5: Please describe your overall career change experience.
A5: It was hard, my life was not my own.  The competition was strong.  It took a long time before I could refuse anything. I kept extra clothes  in my locker.

Q6: What advice will you give to people who want to change careers?
A6: Take a chance.  Go for it.  Stick with it.  Study until you know everything there is to know.  Don’t be afraid to work for free if you can afford it.  Prove you willingness.

If you had a great career change experience, go ahead and share it. We can all use an inspiration. If you had a difficult experience, please share it as well. It will help others to make better choices for them.To share your story please take the Career Change Experience Questionnaire.

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