8 Highly Successful People that Changed Careers at Age 35

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Highly successful people that changed careers at 358 Highly-Successful People Who Changed Careers in Their 30s

If you are in your 30s and thinking “I need a career change but don’t know what to do” then you aren’t alone. It is surprisingly common for people in the fourth decade of their lives to worry about their futures. At this age, you may think that there isn’t time to make a change in your career. However, there are actually plenty of very successful people who have done exactly that.

So, before you resign yourself to being stuck, read about some of the most famously-success people who got their big break in their 30s. Some of them may surprise you.

1. Jeff Bezos

Thanks to creating Amazon, Jeff Bezos is the richest person in the world. You may think that, like some other technology founders, he started Amazon in a dorm room before dropping out of college. However, you would be wrong. Bezos bounced around between a few jobs in his 20s before starting the e-commerce giant at 30.

While not everyone can replicate this kind of success, Bezos is a testament to how much you can achieve starting in your 30s. If you can achieve anything even a fraction as big as founding Amazon, you’ll get along just fine.

2. J.K. Rowling

In the early 90s, there was an unemployed, single mother who had previously worked as a teacher and occasional writer. She saw herself as a failure and doubted her ability to ever make her way in life. Then, in 1997, at the age of 30, she published “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.”

The subsequent book and film series catapulted Rowling from unemployed mother to billionaire, celebrity author. J.K. Rowling is clear proof that just because you think you’re a failure doesn’t mean you can never succeed.

3. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger has one of the most unusual career paths imaginable. He began his career as a bodybuilder in Austria. Schwarzenegger went on to win the Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia contests multiple times, earning his place as one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. Not a bad start to a career. However, he didn’t want to only do one thing in his career.

At age 33, Schwarzenegger made a massive career change and acted in “Conan the Barbarian.” This propelled him to becoming, at once point, the highest-paid actor in Hollywood. While he brings a lot to the big screen, he isn’t exactly known for his acting chops, especially in his early roles. Despite that, he made a huge and successful change.

4. Jack Ma

Jack Ma is another founder of an e-commerce giant. He created Alibaba, a huge Chinese online retailer, at age 35. Incredibly, he hadn’t even touched a computer before he was 33.

Prior to founding Alibaba, Ma had struggled to even find work. He applied to a KFC and was the only applicant out of 24 to be rejected. Today, he has a fortune north of $35 billion. Between Ma and Bezos, it seems e-commerce may be one of the best careers to get into in your 30s.

5. Julia Child

Celebrity chef Julia Child is known today for her cookbooks and cooking shows. However, before age 36, she was working in a very different career. She was a spy! The famed chef began her professional life as a copywriter before joining the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. She later worked as an intelligence officer for the newly formed CIA.

Spy to celebrity chef has to be one of the most unusual and best career changes at 35 or older. Even if you are on one career path, there is always time to make a change.

6. Sara Blakely

In her 20s, Blakely was a selling office supplies door-to-door. However, she wasn’t satisfied with her current lot in life and began working on a new type of slimming footless pantyhose. At age 30, she jumped into entrepreneurship, quitting her job to run her new business: Spanx.

Before creating her company, she has also worked as a stand-up comedian and was trying to become an attorney. She reconsidered the latter idea after struggling on the Law School Admission Test.

7. Terry Crews

Most people know Terry Crews as a lovable, charismatic and impressively-muscular actor. However, he didn’t start acting until he was 32, landing a bit role in an action film. In a surprising coincidence, his acting debut was in “The 6th Day,” an Arnold Schwarzenegger film.

Before starting to act, Crews was a professional football player. Most people wouldn’t consider that a bad start to a career. However, according to Crews, he struggled to achieve much while playing. His career change was definitely for the better.

8. Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart is perhaps best-known today for her conviction for securities trading charges in 2004. However, before that, she was famous as a celebrity businessperson and media personality. She was the face and name of a huge, cooking and homemaking empire. However, she didn’t find her ideal career until she was 35.

Prior to beginning her catering business, Stewart worked as a model and, amusingly, a stockbroker. Despite her later legal troubles, going from jumping between jobs to starting a multi-million-dollar media empire must be one of the best career changes at 35 imaginable.

Making Your Own Career Change

It is pretty unlikely to achieve as much success as any of the people listed above. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t make a career change in your 30s. Your path is set just because you’ve been on it for a while.

Making a change in your 30s is simpler than you may think. To start, spend some time thinking about what you would like to do in your life. You may need to invest some time and energy into developing new skills. After all, not all of us can get acting gigs based on the size of our muscles like Arnold. Additionally, you may need to take some risks and make some sacrifices, but it is worth it.

If you are thinking that you need a career change, join the eight people above and millions more who have redefined their work at age 30 or later. These are a few of the best careers to get into in your 30s:

Start Your Change Today

Recruit.net helps people like you who are thinking “I need a career change but don’t know what to do.” With job listings and advice, we can help you make that big change. You don’t need to start at 20 to be able to make a name for yourself. Give Recruit.net a try and see what you can accomplish.