Spend a little time Googling and you can quickly come up with names of famous people who switched careers in mid-stream. Julia Child, for example, worked in intelligence for the U.S. government before transitioning to cookbook author and television chef. Harrison Ford was a carpenter before he made it big in acting. And Peter Mansbridge worked as a baggage handler (and sometime flight announcer) at the Churchill, Manitoba, airport before starting a successful career in broadcast journalism.
But switching disciplines mid-stream in academia? It is a risky move that requires self-confidence and the ability to both see and seize opportunities. One would think an academic career switch is fairly rare, and yet it wasn’t hard to find several Canadians who’ve done it and thrived.