Reinvention: Six Steps To Change

Photo:: Source

Like a lot of people, my career history has not been a straight trajectory to unqualified success. Instead, it’s been a quirky, jerky road of sharp rights and lefts and sometimes even u-turns.

I won’t bore you with the details of my resume. Let’s just say that what I thought I would be when I was a student in college is not what I am now.

On paper, my job history looks like a hodge podge of employment with no real connection or relation. Like random jobs fell into my lap. Like I took a job simply thinking “what the heck, this might be fun.” Like there was no career counselor or long range plan whatsoever. And this would all be true!

In retrospect though, I can see how beautifully the puzzle fits together. Each job or degree or experience led to the next.

Everything I learned on the crazy journey prepared me for what was coming next.

The moral of this story is that life happens and so do careers. Most often, where you start is not where you end up. Or even a place you ever dreamed you be. And that’s ok.

So, if you’re feeling stuck, or bored, or thinking it might be time for a change; or if you’re worried that where you are now is so not where you want your future to be. Or if you feel like you have one last great career in you but your running out of time…

Then let me share what I have learned over the years. These steps will help you get over the worry by being proactive.  They will lead to real change in your life:

#1. Learn all you can.

Take a class. Do some continuing education. Read a book. Subscribe to a trade magazine. Get a degree. Don’t be worried about being locked into learning only about topics that apply to your current career. Keep your mind sharp and be ready for whatever might be coming next.

#2. Know what you are good at.

Be aware of your strengths. Sit down and make a list of all the skills and experiences you have. Be ready to tell people what you do well. But also know that what you do, or what you are at this moment, is not necessarily what you will do, or be, or do well in the future.

#3. Be open to the possibilities.

We live so much of our lives with tunnel vision, focusing only on the things that are right in front of us. Open up. Talk to people and ask questions. Explore! Be ready to accept an offer, a challenge or a new opportunity.

#4. Get to know your colleagues and nurture those connections.

Sometimes when you leave a job, or move on to the next thing, you can’t help but say a mental “goodbye forever” to your colleagues. Resist. You will be surprised how often you will find yourself working again with former fellow employees. There will be a time when you need a recommendation, some advice, or even a bit of reminiscing when you are feeling nostalgic. Or someone will need those things from you. It’s what business is all about. Making connections. Helping one another.

#5. Find some help.

Getting some outside expertise or advice is a great thing. I have relied on business coaches and mentors time and again. There are times when we just need a little outside perspective and expertise. Ask for recommendations. Read experts on the internet. Invest in yourself.

#6. Trust.

Regardless of whether or not your believe in a “master plan,” believe that all things work for good. We just have to be ready.

What about your career journey? How has it surprised you? We would love to hear from you – leave a comment below!

Happy 4th of July

If you have the opportunity, take a moment to thank the men and women soldiers who fight for our freedom. We hope you have a wonderful 4th of July!