Introduction

A career change, if it has been well-researched beforehand and is determined to be a good fit, can have numerous personal and professional benefits, from improved work/life balance to better salary and benefits or support and resources.

To get some real-life insight into the benefits, but also the challenges involved in making a career switch, we spoke to five people who left the security of their familiar and even quite successful careers in order to follow a completely new and different career path.

While their motivations for making a change varied from feeling unfulfilled to wanting a higher salary, there are also a few striking similarities in each story. For one thing, they all say that changing careers has provided them with a better work/life balance and enables them to devote more time to personal interests.

Additionally, although the decision to move into a new career was initially challenging and even a little bit scary, they now say they have a genuine interest in what they do and rather than dreading the thought of going to work each day, they actually look forward to it.

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Interviewee - Eddie Reece

psychotherapist, business consultant and writer
gettingalong.net

Community Services - Eddie Reece

Eddie Reece is a psychotherapist, business consultant and writer who runs his own counselling practice with the aim of helping people live better lives and improve their relationships by communicating more effectively. He also assists with tackling deep-seated problems like addiction, aggression, a lack of self-esteem, depression or stress.

Although his passion for helping others makes his current career a perfect fit, he didn’t find the ‘right’ one until he was 35. He started out as an Air Force Officer and then worked at everything from sales to bartending. We talked to him about what it was like to finally settle into a career he loves.

5 minutes with our career change expert: tips and advice

  • Question: When did you first realise you wanted a career change, and what motivated you to take the first steps?

  • Answer: After undergraduate school I joined the Air Force. Not staying in was a career choice. Talk about authority issues. I got my degree in psychology, but for a number of reasons didn’t return to graduate school.

    I had a string of “careers” after the Air Force, including bartending, starting a limousine service and being the sales manager for a dating service way before the internet arrived. Twelve years after leaving the Air Force, I returned to graduate school to become a psychotherapist.

    So to answer your question, I realised I wanted a career change countless times in my life. At the age of 35, I returned to graduate school. My main motivation to change careers was that I knew in some way that what I was doing wasn’t ‘really me’. Many of my career choices were driven by the desire to make a lot of money, with some desire to be happy working, but I would find myself unhappy and want a change.

    The drive to change careers was an emotional one that came from unresolved emotional issues. Once I worked on those, choosing the right career and staying with it was easy. I’ve been in this field for some 25 years now.

  • Question: What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome when making your career change?

  • Answer: I had to face the truth of who I was. I was someone driven by unhealthy emotional forces, so I then had to do the hard work of changing who I was. In short, I had to learn what really mattered to me.

  • Question: What have been the biggest benefits to your career change?

  • Answer: Finding the right motivation, living my life more authentically and working in a job that truly satisfies me in so many ways are just some of the payoffs of being in a career that fits the person I’ve become. It’s so much easier to go to work, and it doesn’t even feel like work.

    I help people become who they truly are so they can find the right career and live their lives in a way that fits. I make more money than ever before, but money is not the motivator it was 30 - 40 years ago and that makes a fundamental difference.

Our next career changer Brittany, has a very different story to tell. Discover her story by clicking to the next page.