How to Change Careers Even When You Are ‘Super Afraid’

It might take time and energy, but you’ll thank yourself later

Darius Foroux
6 min readJan 17, 2023

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One of my readers recently emailed me about making the decision to change careers. Like so many of us, she felt stuck in her job and found herself worrying about paying the bills.

She knew it was time for a change, and she wrote, “Part of me knows this is the correct step but I am also super afraid.”

If you’re currently thinking about making a career change or transition, this article is for you.

I share the case study of a guy who’s gone through various career changes. And I also include insights from my own experience when I changed careers back in 2015.

At 53 years old, Ray Croc had been constantly changing careers; from a pianist to musical director, then a real estate salesman, and finally, a traveling seller of paper cups and milkshake machines.1

One day, at a hamburger restaurant, Croc saw an opportunity. The restaurant’s menu and operations were simple and efficient. And he thought that with the right strategy, the business held exponential growth potential.

Croc originally visited the restaurant to sell a set of milkshake machines. But instead, he made another offer to the owners: He would work as a franchising agent for a cut of the profits. The brothers who owned the hamburger place, Dick and Mac McDonald, agreed.

By 1955, Croc founded the McDonald’s System, Inc. (later McDonald’s Corporation), which opened its first new restaurant in Illinois. 4 years later, McDonald’s opened its 100th restaurant. And by 1961, Croc bought the company outright from the McDonald brothers for $2.7 million.

When Croc died in 1984, at age 81, his personal fortune was worth $500 million. And McDonald’s had 7,500 restaurants across nearly 3 dozen countries and was worth $8 billion.2

In his autobiography, Grinding It Out, Croc described his mindset on switching careers, when most people “his age” tend to be afraid of change.

“As long as you’re green you’re growing, as soon as you’re ripe you start to rot.”

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Darius Foroux

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