Anyone who knows me well understands that if you have a conversation with me, at some point during our interaction I am going to ask some variation of the following?
“How’s it going at work?”
My interest is sincere, but I also have an agenda. I am collecting bits of information, information that might inspire a new story in this column or simply add to my reinvention knowledge base.
Every one of us is unique, but when it comes to reinvention, there are tremendous similarities. To a person, the art and science of changing careers or jobs is fraught with uncertainty, a little fear (sometimes sheer terror) and a whole bucketful of questions. When I ask people that question about their jobs, I hear at least one of the following responses:
“My boss is an idiot.” Having a manager who is inspiring, empathic and motivating is rare. Most of us have bosses who are human, and with that humanity comes imperfection. It is what it is.
“Reinvention? That’s just what I need!” When the topic of reimagining one’s career comes up, there is almost universal support for the idea. But then there’s my follow-up: “what are you doing about it?” Here’s what I usually hear:
“Not much.” It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Reinvention is a difficult process. Lots of things can go wrong. This is the fear (or the Resistance) that slows us down and prevents us from doing our work.
I’m going to help you with this. I am someone who successfully reinvented, and it’s become a job, a hobby…and a calling.
With the help of some friends, we may try to make reinvention an industry. Stay tuned.
John Scott is the career services manager at the School of Communications and Media Technologies, Academy of Art University San Francisco.