7 professionals who quit their jobs for something completely different


These guys are now musicians, helicopter pilots, extreme sportists and even professional twerkers!

Stephen Ridley

After graduating from a top tier British University with a First Class Honours degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, Stephen went on to become an investment banker, and after several years climbing the corporate ladder he "snapped". 

"Within 20 minutes of quitting, I was out of the front door. Bye bye blackberry, bye bye security pass, bye bye banking. The sun has never shone so bright, the air has never tasted so sweet, I have never felt lighter, than that moment. I was free. I was free. I was so f.....g free I could taste it!

Now, oddly, I chose this moment to go to a shopping centre (long story) with a friend. Upon walking around in a slight state of shock I saw a piano in a suit shop, and this was exactly what I needed. To play a little tune and unwind. I didn't even ask if I could play, I just went in and started playing. A man quickly came up to me, paid me a compliment and then asked me what I did. I responded 'I'm a musician' (why not ?!). He asked how much ? I said £100 for 2 hours. He hired me 5 days a week. Just like that I'd become a musician, working around a ninth of the hours for about the same money."

Read Stephen's full story here

Dean O'Malley

As Vice President of Technology at JP Morgan, Dean had survived the financial crisis, but he had no desire to stick around for the next one, so in 2011 he said goodbye to banking and hello to extreme watersports.

"Banking was one of those industries where we were seen as the root of all evil. I felt like I wasn't really doing any positive work,"

Read Dean's story here

Javier Diaz

Colombia-born Diaz kept his feet on the ground when it came to business-becoming an investment banker with Deutsche Bank, and after 12 years behind a desk, he became a high-flyer of a whole different kind.

In 2002, Javier founded Wings Air Helicopters, offering a variety of services; including helicopter charters, helicopter flight training, aerial photography and film production.

Read Javier's story here

Terry Lin

Terry was working at a Swiss bank as an investment banker, when he decided to leave the trading floor behind to start his own business #Baller Leather, selling hand-made personalised leather wallets.

"I realized that the true ballers with freedom, wealth, and mobility were not investment bankers or managing directors.... They were the clients"

Read Terry's story here

Pat Tillman

Patrick Daniel "Pat" Tillman (November 6, 1976 – April 22, 2004) was an American football player who left his professional career (and $512,000 per year salary) with the Arizona Cardinals to enlist in the United States Army in June 2002 in the aftermath of theSeptember 11 attacks.

Whilst serving in Afghanistan in 2004, Pat’s unit was ambushed, his heroic efforts to provide cover for fellow soldiers as they escaped led to his untimely and tragic death via fratricide.

Pat’s life, character, morals and service are his true legacy. The Pat Tillman Foundation, which invests in military veterans and their spouses through academic scholarships, was setup by his family in 2004.

Thomas Heathfield

In 2011 The Daily Telegraph reported that British banker Thomas Heathfield, 32, quit his job to become a witch doctor in South Africa. 

"It's not something you just decide to do – it chooses you rather than the other way round and it's such a massive process that you don't enter into it lightly," Thomas told The Telegraph.

After spending three months sleeping rough in the bush, Thomas went 3 days without sleep, danced for his tribal ancestors in the early hours of the morning, was sent hunting for animal parts, and drank and vomited goat's blood all in the pursuit of becoming a sangoma (witch doctor).

Witch DoctorPhoto Credit : Joe Mabel - A witch doctor from the Fremont Solstice Parade 

Jessica Vanessa

This one is a bit of a curve ball, Jessica Vanessa, a 22 year-old from Florida, USA, quit her teaching assistant job to earn a 6 figure salary as a professional twerker. 

"What I make in six seconds would take me four months to make as a teaching assistant," she told Barcroft TV.

After Jessica posted a 6 second video on Vine of her incredible twerking skills her account took off, gaining her over 2million followers allowing her to leave her job as a teaching assistant and forge a totally new career.

You can find Jessica on youtube here

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