Take a deep breath. Career reinventions are usually thrust on us. We normally don’t wake up one day and say “Hey, I think I’ll turn my life upside down and change.” Unfortunately loss triggers a career transition…company downsizing, mergers or acquisition with new management. Most of us want to hide in our cubes and hope no one sees or bothers us. However, reality hits and you’re in the midst of a reinvention. I’m an old hand at transitions, particularly of the career variety. I’ve been down-sized, right-sized, over-sized and under-sized and fired twice. I wear all these experiences as a badge of honor and pride. Pride in my survival skills and honor in my creative character….I’m just sayin….been there, done that…so pay heed to my tips because they work.
1. Take a deep breath and collect your thoughts. Every success reinvention starts with a deep breath that helps you to think clearly. Once the shock of the realization has hit you, clear thinking is essential. Breathing helps you calm down and begin to formulate a high level plan.
2. Develop a simple plan for getting started and set deadlines. The simple act of beginning to develop a basic plan is the most important decision you’ll make. Simply make a list of action items. Start with very basic things like “resume update”, “build a networking list”, “schedule a head shot”….try to complete one action item a week or more if you can.
3. Make a list of your career options. Reflect on your options. Take a day or two and research your possibilities. Please don’t let your last job description (if you were lucky enough to have one) “box in” your thinking.
4. Talk to people you respect and get their input. Ask them for suggestions on how you can better broaden your job search….you’re not asking them for a job…you’re asking for their help and perspective. People want to help, but usually don’t know how so you’ll want to be specific.
5. Take action…get started! It would be great if we could just take a magic pill and our career reinvention was over and successful. I’m working on that pill now, but in the meantime, we continue doing the best we can. We put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward. We continue to think creatively and work continuously to make things happen. You can do it!