High profile career changers

If you're looking for a career change, TAFE NSW has a diverse range of courses you can take advantage of.

Work is both more complicated and more interesting that it used to be. For better or worse, the job-for-life mentality has disappeared and an ever-increasing number of people are becoming ‘slashies' (that is, pursuing a number of different careers simultaneously) or hopping between careers in very different industries.

While there has long been a prejudice against being a jack of all trades and a master of none, having worked in a range of areas can set you up to achieve great things in a particular career, as the following three examples show.

Tony Blair

The man who was to become one of the UK's longest-serving Prime Ministers started his working life as, believe it or not, a music promoter! After finishing high school in Scotland, Blair moved to London and spent a year trying to become famous arranging gigs for rock bands. He even played guitar and sang in a band, called Ugly Rumours. When it became apparent that his rock ‘n' roll dreams weren't going anywhere, Blair began a law degree at Oxford University and soon after got involved in politics.

Martha Stewart

Though she's now world famous as the doyen of domestic goddesses, Martha Stewart worked as a model and appeared in TV commercials while in high school. After studying history at university, she then worked as a stockbroker, managed a gourmet food store and part-owned a catering business. After meeting a prominent book publisher at a party she catered for, she was offered the chance to write a cookbook and went on to create an enormous business empire involving books, magazines, homeware products and her very own talk show.

Andrea Bocelli

These days, Andrea Bocelli is known as the man who overcame losing his eyesight at 12 to become a famous opera tenor, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. What is a less well-known fact is that, despite being blind, Bocelli managed to get a law degree and, until his talent was recognised and promoted by Luciano Pavarotti, worked as a lawyer by day while singing in piano bars at night.

Rather than being a disadvantage, pursuing a number of careers can give you the kind of diverse skills that set you up to achieve great things in the field you ultimately decide to devote yourself to. If you're looking for a career change, TAFE NSW has a diverse range of courses you can take advantage of.