Why were you inspired to do this?
I have always loved art and design, but never considered it a viable career until web design started becoming popular in the late 90's. By that time I was pretty entrenched in following a career in politics and law, and by the time I passed the bar and had an office in a medium-sized law firm, I was miserable. My boyfriend really encouraged me to find a job I loved that would utilize my talents.
What were 3 things you did to make this happen?
First, I had to get over the fact that I spent a lot of time and money to become a lawyer. Even though it would be very difficult to pay back student loans, and I would resent having to pay for something I wasn't using, I had to realize that one (albeit large) mistake shouldn't ruin the rest of my life.
This sounds silly, but I also had to get up the courage to leave. I bought a workbook on changing careers and it helped immensely to realize that this was the right thing to do, and it gave me step by step advice and a plan for doing it. It took about three months, so I had to have enough support financially to take that much time off.
Because I was never trained as a graphic or web designer, I had to take on some free or very cheap freelance projects to build a portfolio. Once I had a few projects together, I signed on with a couple creative agencies who were instrumental in getting me interviews for creative jobs.
How did you feel once you had accomplished this?
Triumphant. The feeling of freedom I experienced after realizing I never had to go back to billable hours and writing motions was totally exhilarating, and the fact that I get to do such unique creative work on such a wide variety of projects every day is fantastic. It was absolutely worth it.
Additional notes and tips:
If you think you can't, think again.