How to Reinvent Your Career
By Helen Godfrey, MA, NCC, BCC, LPC
Are you an employee, entrepreneur or manager who suddenly finds it necessary to reinvent your career due to the economy, a layoff or going out of business? Or, do these uncertain times simply inspire you to make a change?
If so, you may wonder if you can make a fresh start without having to start over.
The good news is, you can. Here’s how:
Feel Your Feelings...
Get angry or frustrated or confused or scared or excited.... It’s natural and healthy. No need for the stiff upper lip. Also, no need to deny any enthusiasm. Respect your feelings, and then move forward.
Inventory Your Passions
Ask yourself (or someone you trust): What do I like about me? What do I do better than anyone else? What do I own or use that makes me unique, whether it’s the tone of my voice or jazz collection or...?
The Value of Values
Discovering what we value can be elusive especially under the influences of the “shoulds” from society and loved ones. It can help to ask yourself, what is most important to me? Security? Freedom? Independence? Money?
Having Strengths is Not Enough
Know your strengths, yes, AND remind work contacts and networking buddies where you excel. Be visible. How? Listen to and collaborate with others; share your ideas; if you’re working, participate in meetings and accept projects that highlight your skills.
Say “Yes” to Everything
Saying “yes” to all opportunities is a powerful expression of self-confidence. It attracts more (and better) opportunities and choices. It can help you learn new skills. Once you commit to a project, make sure you follow-through. This can help you discover new interests.
Instead of starting something entirely new, you can start by building on what you already know/have done. From accountant try a transition into financial planning; from teacher to social worker; from real estate agent to tour guide, etc. If it worked for you in the past, it could serve you well now.
The Secret to Reinvention
Don’t know what to “change into?” That’s okay. The only way to find out is to experiment. Volunteer, job shadow, temp or take part-time work in a field you’ve always been curious about as a career. The best place to start is to follow whatever you’re drawn to—trust your instincts.
You’re not alone. There are always others in a similar position as you. This is no time to be isolated. Networking with others via job-hunting groups, small-business groups and manager support networks leads to new opportunities. Letting people know you’re looking for work or customers is not begging, it’s marketing.
Turn Lemons into Lemon Meringue Pie
If it were impossible to fail, what career would you choose, today? Is it what you are doing now? If not, could this transition be the time to make a significant change?
Author’s content used under license, © 2009 Claire Communications