Risk & Business Magazine Nesbit Agencies Risk & Business Magazine Fall 2017 - Page 23

CAREER REINVENTION I f you stop and look back over your career so far, you’ll see how much you’ve changed, even if you’ve stayed in the same career path for years. Over time, our perspective changes. We learn from positive and negative experiences. Sometimes we have to stop and reflect on our path to see how far we’ve come! Career reinvention can be something you take on as a project, either because you’re bored in your current career or because you want to bring your work and your passions closer together. Sometimes career reinvention is forced on us by circumstances – like your company closing its doors or maybe the arrival of an evil boss whose nasty attitude makes it clear that it’s time for you to move on. We don’t always know when Mother Nature is going to give us a push – a nudge that says “You could be doing more with your career – why not investigate?” Career reinvention is a much bigger prospect than just a change of office location or a new job title. It’s a physical change in you, no different from a snake shedding its skin or a hermit crab moving out of a cramped shell to venture out and find a new home. Reinvention is hard work. Reinvention can cause us to feel strong emotions like anxiety, fear, loneliness, and confusion. At the same time, reinvention can feel exciting and exhilarating. Your emotions may go up and down like waves. That’s normal! You are in reinvention. Get ready to ride with Mother Nature for a while! How can you make the most of your reinvention, whether it was your choice to reinvent yourself or someone else’s decision? The first step is to get a journal and write in it every day, or as often as you can. Write about your career and life so far. Write about what you loved to do when you were little. Write about what you’re good at – you are good at many different things! Undoubtedly you’ve had the chance to use some of your gifts in your work already. Maybe you have other talents that want to come out and show themselves to the world! Don’t rush your reinvention process. If you need to take a survival job to pay the bills while your reinvention plays out, do it. Don’t feel that you are diminished just because you have a job that isn’t as lofty or impressive as jobs you’ve held before. So what? You are stepping out into new territory. That can feel scary. Keep breathing and remember that every living thing changes. Change is part of life! ANYONE WHO WOULD JUDGE YOU IS NOT SOMEONE WHOSE OPINION MATTERS ANYWAY. Spend time with friends who get your quirks and your sense of humor. Limit the time you spend with people who criticize you or bring you down. You don’t need that energy around you when you’re shedding an old skin and stepping into your next adventure! Take time for yourself. If working in your garden gets you out of your busy mind, then work in your garden whenever you can. Dance to songs on the radio or YouTube. Read your favorite books. Organize your spice cabinet. Do what makes you feel good. Reinvention is exhausting. Don’t feel that you have to solve your reinvention in your head. You couldn’t do that even if you tried. Reinvention is not a logical problem. It is not a Sudoku puzzle. It’s you opening up to your own possibilities – something that many or most of us have never done before. Apply for jobs if you want to, but don’t feel that you have to choose a formal, final, and concrete career direction that will carry you through from here to retirement. Your goal in reinvention is to experience new things, not to make arbitrary rules for yourself and then feel bound to follow them! You may settle on a career direction that you like at first but learn over time that it isn’t your cup of tea. You may explore a career path you never thought you’d like and find that it speaks to you like no job you’ve ever had before. Don’t judge anything you feel in reinvention – just be aware of your feelings. You will have dreams in reinvention, even crazy dreams that seem to make no sense. Pay attention to signals you get during this time of confusion and openness to new ideas. You may hear a song that reminds you of something you cared about when you were a kid. Notice that! Write about it in your journal. Get some business cards that include your name and the word Consulting on them. You are consultant now – not a needy job-seeker! You can work here and there on a consulting basis. When you meet with people for networking coffees or lunches, give out your consulting business card. You are stepping into your power. You are running your own career – not letting anyone else run it for you. Reinvention can feel like a hike through the desert. One day you think “