Yes - radical reroutes do occur. My own change from eye surgeon to career planning consultant seems to be pretty up there within the radical shifts.
But there are many different types of career change and many different ways of engineering them to happen. In most cases - with good career planning skills or support those scary "risks" of change are minimised or removed entirely and thus there is no need whatsoever to be anxious about it.
Most anxiety comes from the unknown or lack of self belief. What if it doesn't work out? What if I am no good at it?
This is why in our Career Programmes we never let a person leave without action plans for 3 or 4 career routes. These may be similar in some ways but represent more than one way of proceeding. This helps to minimise risks too.
We are not great fans of people resigning without first having worked out some very clear plans - both for the career shift ( whether that is to freelancing, own business or a new career route entirely) and in financial terms too.
We also watch carefully for those who are wanting an immediate or precipitous change because they are unhappy or badly stressed by their current role. These situations may require the brakes put on as it is very easy indeed to jump from frying pan into fire without proper time and resources being put towards career planning. In our experience good career decision making comes from around 3-6 months of researching.
If you don't know what you want, what to research or how to research it - we can help.
We like people to start with our low cost etraining eworkbook as this provides some basic but important grounding in career change attitudes. Not every one of the 9 chapters will be 100% relevant to you personally but we are confident that there will be at least one and probably several that are absolutely fundamental to you making both a swift but well thought through career decision.