Episode 67 – Changing careers, how to carefully switch to a creative career later in life

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An overview of the process to safely switch careers down the road. Some of us are in careers that we aren’t 100% satisfied and want to make the change over to a creative industry. However there is so much risk that we face that it’s almost a gamble this late in our career.

This episode we delve into the process and thoughts behind how to build a plan around switching successfully from your current career path to your dream job!


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  • Hi Allan,
    Thanks so much for everything you do.
    Episode 67 resonated very strongly with me.
    A little over a year ago I was able to quit my job as a bartender in my home town of Nashville,TN and have been fully supporting myself doing VFX and animation for music videos, commercials, and tour screens.
    Dropping out of high school as a 15 year old, I had fallen into restraunt work in my early teens and made a good living doing so. Still, I had always wanted to work in film. Having not gone to college and not having the funds to invest in higher end software I did not see how to break into the industry. Then, I discovered Blender about 6 years ago and decided to learn everything I could about 3d and animation. My typical week would consist of bartending 40 plus hours a week and working through tutorials at least another 40 hours. I made little tests and showed them to everyone I knew. As a bartender, I interacted with so many people on a day to day basis. One of my regulars looked at a test shot I did and wanted me to show it to a friend of hers. He ended up being a local music video director, Wes Edwards. My very first professional job with him ended up being Dierks Bentley’s music video “Drunk on a Plane” which won the CMA video of the year award in 2014. I feel blessed to have had that as my first job— it definitely added legitimacy to my first reel.
    I reinvested in more hardware and software, all the while maintaining my bartending job and my ongoing studies.
    I discovered your podcast in the spring of 2015. I truly credit you with giving me tons of advise that enabled me to learn how to study better, have confidence in and place value in my work, and negotiate with clients.
    In August of 2015 I was able to quit my job bartending and have had my best financial year ever doing something I love and am passionate about. I know I am at the beginning of a long journey, but thank you for helping me get started.
    All the best,
    Michael Eng

  • David Lippus

    Good evening Allan,

    What a timely podcast and subject, as I am nine months or so away from graduating with my B.A. in computer animation. I have been in the I.T. field for the better part of 16 years and in September of 2014, a month after my 40th birthday, I decided to change careers and enroll in school. It was something I put off for more than a decade, where I had received brochures from Full Sail University back in 2003 or so and wanted to do it, but as you said in the podcast, I made excuses why I couldn’t make the jump. I had already dedicated time, money and experience towards I.T. and making that my target career. I’m kicking myself now for wasting my time and not going after a dream, but I finally did it.
    I appreciate your podcast all the more, since transitioning is not touched upon in my classes or even the seminars that are held on campus. So as you can imagine, it’s something I’ve been struggling with as far as, how to transition my resume or LinkedIn account info and what to keep and what to get rid of. This gives me a good idea of how to attack those issues.

    Thanks again,

    David Lippus

  • Hi Allan, listened to this episode a couple of months after it aired, but also wanted to say a personal thank you and note that this resonated with me. Listening to your podcast every week on my way to a job I wanted to leave was a huge part in inspiring me to leave at 44 years old, cutting my paycheck in half but finally pursuing my passion. Without being aware of the train metaphor, that’s exactly what I did with about 3 years of evenings and weekends spent building my 3D modeling and animating skills before jumping trains. I now divide my time between freelance projects and working with 3D artists at Sketchfab.com. I’ve had work successfully featured online and printed in 3D Artist Magazine. I’m here to thank you, thank you, thank you. And also I hope to inspire others that it is never too late to leave your day job and start your day dream. Paul

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