Do you have someone you aspire to be like in the future? If that is a yes, you may have missed the fact that some of them did not start in the careers they are known in now.

Some of these famous personalities took several years in their previous industries before shifting. Others did it as a sidejob before or took it on as a chance to try something new.

Want to know which famous personalities made surprising career changes?

Here are some of them below:

Ava Du Vernay – Started from PR work to Film Directing, Writing and Producing

Ava DuVernay is well-known for her contribution in the hit movies Selma, 13th and A Wrinkle in Time. But, before she began her work in film, she started as a journalist and a public relations officer.

It was only when she was 32 did she started her first documentary as a side project. She continued on with 2 others while doing her day job in PR. As she did her works, she used her PR experience to run sets and slowly transferred to film.

Ina Garten – Started from Government Work to TV Hosting and Cookbook Writing

For Ina Garten, career shifts were common. She had a lot of side gigs and worked for a nuclear energy policy job. She later bought a specialty food store, Barefoot Contessa, which she continued for 20 years.

After 20 years, she went to write a cookbook which shared the name of the store. The book was a success and today, she continues to publish award-winning cookbooks and is the host of her very own Food Network show. It proves as a hit since it has been on air since 2002.

Ken Jeong – Started from Medicine to Acting and Comedy

One of my favourite all-time actor, Ken Jeong was previously a full-time physician before he began making people laugh and amazed with his acting.

Fulfilling his childhood dream, Jeong did his residency in New Orleans’ Oshner Medical Center and even worked at Kaiser Permanente. He already knew acting while he was at college and started doing standups even while he had long duties.

Once he moved to LA and landed several roles, he quit being a doctor after finishing his big break, Knocked Up and the Hangover.

Jeong still practices his degree and renews his medical license each year. He previously assisted a woman having seizures during one of his standup shows.

Giorgio Armani – Started from medicine and military to fashion

Giorgio Armani is well-known for being one of the most sought after fashion designers in the world. However, before he entered fashion, he actually took up medicine and worked for a military hospital when he joined the army.

After finishing his military stint in 1953, he shifted to several odd jobs around Milan. He started out as a window dresser, then a salesperson in a men’s clothing store, and designed his own line in the 1960s. His line became a hit that by 1975, he started Armani.

Mick Jagger – Started from studying business and being a porter to music

Before he became a rock legend, Mick Jagger was on his way taking up a business degree at the famed London School of Economics. To support his studies, he worked as a porter at Bexley Psychiatric Hospital. He also thought of going into journalism before music called out to him.

The Rolling Stones debuted even while Jagger was still in LSE. He left the school in 1963 to continue his musical career and today, he is a rock icon.

In Other Words

If you feel like your current job is not for you, don’t be afraid to take the shift. These famous stars also found themselves in the crossroads you are in and took the risk in shifting careers.

Today, they are now successful in careers they really love. So, take that first step (rather than to be stuck in a life-sapping job you hate) and you’ll be able to find yourself on the right path to success.

Looking for a change in your career path? It’s good to read up on some of these articles before you make the move:
The Career Change Manifesto – Your New Life Starts Here!
Top Reasons Why New Mums Change Jobs
The Challenges of Dealing with a Stalling Career

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33 replies on “5 Famous People Who Made Surprising Career Changes

  1. Thank you for sharing!!.. one needs to follow one’s heart wherever it may lead oneself… 🙂

    “When you are truly inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project… your mind transcends its limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world! Then those dormant forces, faculties and talents inside you become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” Patanjali “

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post with a fantastic message, Kally. I started out as a music major, finished with a Masters in Education and ended up as a business manager. Change, while not always predictable can be very positive. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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