Are you a CEO who suddenly finds it necessary to reinvent your career due to the economy, layoff or merger? 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:
1. 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.
2. Inventory your passions/know your brand. 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 my jazz collection or...?
3. Know 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?
4.Having strengths is not enough. Know your strengths AND remind work contacts and networking buddies where you excel. Be visible. How? Listen to and collaborate with others; share your ideas; participate in meetings and accept projects that highlight your skills. And get involved in your local and/or national association. Meet like-minded people that are doing what you want to be doing.
5. Say yes to everything. Saying yes to all opportunities is a powerful expression of self-confidence. It attracts more (and better) opportunities and choices you can always change your mind. Perhaps write an article or present at your association meetings.
6.Transferable skills. Instead of starting something entirely new, you can start by building on what you already know/have done. If you headed an accounting association, try a transition to a financial planning group, consider moving from teaching to social work, etc. If it worked for you in the past, it could serve you well again.
7.The secret to reinvention. Don't know what to change into? That's OK. 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.
8. Find support. You’re not alone. There are always others in a similar position. This is no time to be isolated. Networking with others via job-hunting groups, your association and support networks leads to new opportunities. Letting people know that you are looking for work is not begging, it’s marketing.
9. 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?