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A diagram of career decisions.

Famous Career Changes

Several stories of successful famous people who tried new things and changed careers.

George Foreman The Grill Man

George Foreman was a boxing legend before becoming the renowned Grill Man. His success in boxing was undeniable, having been named by Ring Magazine as one of the 25 greatest fighters of all time. Even though he was already a household name back when he was a boxer, his career changing feat of shedding his boxer image into a charismatic entrepreneur has made him an endearing figure in home shopping channels. In addition, George Foreman also became a full-fledged minister in his own church, and maintained a strong and connected family of ten children. George Foreman became an inspiration to many great athletes who consider changing careers after competing for so long in their respective sports. George Foreman toured the world to promote the George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Grilling Machine, where he earned more as an entrepreneur than he ever earned as a boxer. In a published report, George Foreman earned $240 million in the 1990’s, which is three times more than he earned as a boxer. George Foreman has developed his selling skills as an endorser of many commercial products. He realized that he had the charisma that makes people want to listen to him, and he turned that advantage into huge profits. Today, the name of George Foreman is a household term for grill machines. Foreman might as well be known as an entrepreneur more than a professional boxer.

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart is an example of an empowered woman who was able to go through a career changing process and eventually became better off than her previous career. Before Martha Stewart became a media magnate and a domestic figure that all mothers and housewives want to become, she started out as a successful model. Even during her modeling days, she was already earning good money as a stockbroker, so if anything else, Martha Stewart is a multi-talented and multi-skilled individual who eventually found her calling as a business person. Her modeling career has helped develop the appropriate skills to look good and charming in front of the camera - well enough to become one of the most successful TV show hosts today. Martha Stewart founded the Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia which led to her success in numerous business ventures in broadcasting, publishing, and merchandising. Stewart produced and hosts the syndicated talk show “Martha,” sold numerous bestselling books, and is currently publishing the Martha Stewart Living magazine. Stewart is one of the few celebrity women who has been extremely successful in all forms of media, be it on print, radio, or television. After her famous conviction for insider trading in 2003, Stewart regained the lost time and saved her company from losses just one year after she was released. In the last two years, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia closed deals with several companies to sell the Martha Stewart brand. She also just recently hosted a Martha Stewart version of The Apprentice, marking her comeback as a media magnate.

Josie Natori

Changing careers is not only a business decision, but also an action to pursue your passion. This is the story of Josie Natori. Although she was already a successful investor and banker, she decided that being a banker was not something that she wanted to do for the rest of her life. Instead, she met her professional challenge in the fashion industry. Today, the Natori brand is one of the elite names in fashionable nightgowns and lingerie. Born in the Philippines in 1947, she moved to the United States when she was 17 and attended Manhattanville College in New York. Rising up the ranks in Merrill Lynch after only two years in the company, she started researching for business opportunities. She quit her job and started her high-end lingerie business in 1997. The career changing move obviously paid off, as her brand is now sold in upscale department stores in the United States and Europe. In addition to women's night clothing, Josie Natori also ventured into home furnishings and perfumes. She signed a licensing deal to create Natori Perfume in 2008, set to be released in September 2009.

Michael Bloomberg

Businessmen turning politicians are far too common in the United States. Even then, Michael Bloomberg surprised a lot of people when he ran for mayor of New York in 2002. Michael Bloomberg carved his name as one of New York's most respected businessmen after the success of Bloomberg LP. As the founder of Bloomberg LP, he envisioned bringing transparency to buyers and sellers of financial securities and bond markets. The company became an international data and media powerhouse with the creation of the Bloomberg News channel. After leaving his company to become a mayor, Bloomberg has enjoyed tremendous support from the city. He is seeking a third four-year term in 2010. Michael Bloomberg’s experience in the private sector has brought a managerial style in city governance not seen before in previous mayors. Bloomberg believed in putting the most knowledgeable and qualified people in his administration and gave them autonomous control. His administrative staff was known as city "managers" rather than city administrators. This businesslike approach to governance reflected well to the city populace. His success in New York has brought speculation of him running for president in the next election as an independent.

Tiki Barber

Tiki Barber was an NFL player before he considered changing careers as a TV sports analyst. During his stint in the NFL, Tiki Barber was a three-time Pro Bowler and was the New York Giants' all time rushing and reception leader. Even when he was with the Giants, he was already prepping himself for a career change with stints as a radio show host, actor, and corporate endorser. Tiki Barber retired from the NFL at the age of 31. Although he retired at the top of his game, he forgot about football and became a correspondent for NBC’s Today Show and Sunday Night Football in 2007. It is believed that he retired in the NFL at the peak of his popularity, so he could make a more successful transition to broadcasting. Barber eventually signed with NBC after receiving offers from FOX, ABC, and NFL.