By Beverly Stewart, M.Ed. – Published October 2013

Earlier this year, the Huffington Post released a well-received article offering proof positive that’s it’s never too late to change your career. Highlighted were 13 iconic individuals, each whose careers took a 180 turn – sometimes several – before ultimately finding success and career satisfaction.

From Walt Disney (a newspaper editor), to Ellen Degeneres (a paralegal), to Andrea Bocelli (a defense attorney), these folks made the courageous leap to leave a steady job and pursue a career that they loved and offered personal fulfillment.

Is it time you ditched your current career? Or maybe your skills or job position have become obsolete? Then, it’s time to do some research!

According to, 2013 has the best outlook in years for those changing careers. But… how to choose?

A popular tool is What Color is Your Parachute? – the job hunter’s bible. The original, by Richard Nelson Bolles, has been in print continuously since 1970 (as well as thoroughly updated). The success of the book stems from the fact that it’s not a guide to “Hot Careers for 2013” or “Top Career Moves,” but rather, a guide to finding what you personally find rewarding. The result is that your new job becomes more than simply a paycheck at the end of the week.

Have your new career all picked out? Now, it’s time for the grown-up version of “Take Your Daughter to Work Day.” A day may (or may not) change your idea of what exactly a court stenographer does all day.

Don’t know anyone in the specific position? Network. Ask everyone – including the mailman – if they can introduce you to someone in your target career.

This step should not be skipped! Many college students graduate with degrees in a majors that they chose as 18-year-old high school seniors simply because “they were good at it.” Then they realize with dismay upon graduating that they find accounting deadly dull or high finance too high stress.

Once you’re certain that you are on the right path, you’ll need to determine your strengths — and more importantly, your weaknesses. If your dream career is in rocket science, molecular biology or corporate law, for example, you may have a few necessary steps to take before you can begin sending out resumes.

Earning either an associates, undergraduate or even graduate degree is often a mandatory step for the career changer. But, depending on the target career, resume-building skills like learning a second language, gaining computer expertise, or commanding a more thorough understanding of accounting principles can help make you more marketable. Updated skills can also make the transition into new career territory flow more smoothly.

Once you’ve done your research, “tried on” the job, and updated your education and skills requirements, it’s time to embark on that exciting new career. Good luck!

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Beverly Stewart, M.Ed.

Beverly Stewart, M.Ed. is President and Director of Back to Basics Learning Dynamics, Inc., an area leader in 1-on-1 tutoring and test prep for children and adults, and translating/interpreting since 1985. In addition, Back to Basics is a Department of Education approved 1-on-1 Private School for K-12, as well as a Business and Trade School for ages 16+.
Email Beverly at, call her at (302)594-0754 or visit on the web at or

Back to Basics Learning Dynamics, Inc. is located on 6 Stone Hill Road, Wilmington.

Beverly Stewart inducted to Hall of Fame of Delaware Women