Brett Pangburn
Brett Pangburn
Hometown: Boston
Age: 39
Was: Lawyer
Now: Teacher

Why I did it: Pangburn found his job as a lawyer rigorous, but volunteering as an after-school tutor for middle school students made him question how he was spending his days.

"It wasn't a lifestyle I wanted," he says. "And I didn't feel like what I was doing was always that meaningful."

How I did it: In his 30s and single at the time, Pangburn figured it would only get harder to switch. "I got myself into a position financially to make it work."

To learn a new field, he says, "I approached it the same way I did when I was a lawyer: watch people who were good and ask questions."

Why I love it: "I found I could really relate to the kids. I'm 100 percent into being with them and trying new things every day. At the end of the day, when I go to bed, I feel like I've done something."

Last updated October 11 2011: 5:07 PM ET
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