20 celebrities with surprising former careers

30 April 2020

Male celebrity being photographed by paps

Do you long to ditch your current job and start over in a new career? Maybe you’re bored in your role, feel as though your talents are being wasted or don’t get on with your colleagues or boss. Or perhaps you have a passion you want to explore through your work.

You’re certainly not alone if you feel unhappy or unfulfilled in your career. Research published by employee benefits provider Personal Group found that nearly half of UK employees polled (48 per cent) were not happy in their roles. Instead of simply putting up with things as they are, why not take your lead from the celebrities featured in our latest infographic? These inspiring figures show that with ambition and determination, it’s possible to take your career in a completely new direction.

Success stories with unexpected early careers…

From teachers turned best-selling authors to firefighters turned actors, these A-listers transformed their lives in pursuit of their career goals. Examples include the likes of comedian, TV host and producer Ellen DeGeneres. She may now be one of the best-known television personalities in the US, but things started out very differently for her. Before her big comedy debut on ‘The Tonight Show’ aged 28, DeGeneres worked in a variety of roles, including as a vacuum cleaner seller, waitress and decorator.

Many people know actor, producer and director Danny DeVito for his roles in hit movies ranging from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest to Batman Returns and Matilda, but what’s less well known about the star is the fact that one of his first jobs was working as a beautician in his sister’s salon.

British singer-songwriter and television presenter Olly Murs also had inauspicious beginnings. He worked as a recruitment consultant in his early 20s, getting his big break in the entertainment industry at the age of 25 when he took the runner-up spot in the sixth series of ‘The X Factor’. The Essex-born celeb has since gone on to sell millions of records worldwide.

Another Brit whose career took an unexpected turn is Gerard Butler. The Scottish actor and musician, who has starred in films such as Dracula and 300, started out his working life as a trainee lawyer at an Edinburgh law firm. He then moved to London to pursue his dream of stardom, but it took time for him to get noticed. Before his first professional acting job at the age of 27, Butler had a number of temporary roles, including as a telemarketer and waiter.

Check out our infographic to discover more celebrity career transformations…

20 celebrities with surprising former careers

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