In 2009, I was asked to write a “blurb” for my friend Carl Wellenstein’s book 12 Steps To A New Career. I was so flattered to be asked; I’d never composed a blurb before. But the words were honest.
I had just secured a new position, and Carl helped me get to the starting line. I’m not sure I would have received (and accepted) the job offer if it wasn’t for the guidance Carl had offered me.
When I walked into the company’s HR office in San Francisco that day, I knew where my head and my heart were. I was positive I could do what I was being challenged to take on.
When Carl was counseling me, we didn’t talk much about resumes and networking. I remember him asking me repeatedly to think about how I felt about the job. He asked me to look in the mirror, to recall memories of past positions and what I enjoyed (and didn’t like) about them.
Even though I had worked for the company since 1997, it was in a completely different department, with totally different responsibilities. This new job represented reinvention.
Last night, I had a friend speak to my class at Academy of Art University. He’s a transmedia journalist for a large national newspaper, and I asked him what he liked about his current position.
“I have had to reinvent myself a few times along the way…”
When he said those words, it crystallized in my head.
Reinvention can be scary, intimidating and rarely simple. To suggest that one can just wave a magic wand, not lose income and just be “happy” is ludicrous.
Reinvention is usually incremental, taking shape over months and even years sometimes. Because we do have so many obligations and responsibilities, it’s not realistic to expect that we’ll grab that dream job tomorrow and instantly escape the drudgery of our current state of being. But you and I have reinvented many times during our lives, if we think about it. Most of the time it wasn’t big and dramatic. We adapted to new situations, we gathered a skill or two, and we evolved. This should give you confidence as you consider you next move- you’ve done it before, successfully!
The alternative is to do nothing, guaranteeing stagnation.
I will always be grateful to Carl Wellenstein for helping me help myself.
Tomorrow: What happens at work is affecting your home life…
The Reinvention of You: a one hour a week, five-week online course on Skillshare. Discover the talents you might not recognize you have. Class begins April 2. I’ll be your teacher. Find out more by clicking here.