When I consider visible examples of reinvention executed again and again, Madonna comes to mind. Now I know many of you may not be a Madonna fan as she is controversial but stay with me. Whether or not you appreciate her, respect her, or agree with her…she is arguably a master of reinvention. Madonna’s first album was released in the 1980’s and yet 30 years later, while a mother of 3, she is still making music, maintaining a solid fan base, and remaining relevant to pop culture – remarkable considering the transient nature of the entertainment industry. Whether the skills to reinvent are natural for her or a learned adaptation, she is adept.
Webster’s defines reinvention as, “To make as if for the first time something already invented.” I love this definition because it suggests reclaiming the magic of new but with the foundation of what already exists. What already exists has experience to maximize and wisdom to continue expanding. The object then becomes not to throw away or discard the old but to infuse new life, energy, and direction. Your career is no different. How can you take your experience, values, needs, strengths, talents and reshape or reinvent? And, how can you manage the chaos and instability of the reinvention process?
Make A Game Plan. Make a game plan that is clear and specific as an exercise in controlling that which is within your control. Make an intentional plan using your experience, values, strengths, talents, needs, as guide. Identify how you want your career to look and feel different, and then structure goals, action steps, and accountability to support reinvention.
Shift Your Perspective. Employ a perspective that career change is an opportunity. Challenge yourself with the question, “what can I do with this opportunity?” This is often a very difficult perspective to take on, especially when the change comes from an external source and causes much anxiety. Use your professional and personal resources to help you make this shift. Use the structure of a plan (above) to manage anxiety so that you can recognize and act on the opportunity.
Practice Renewal. Identify the best methods and activities to take care of you. Renewal is absolutely essential to adaptability, resilience, courage and change, as it is how you recharge your battery to sustain the reinvention process. Renewal might be a run or yoga or an exercise class. Or, renewal might be going to the movies with friends or reading a book or a creative endeavor such as drawing or painting.
Identify Support. Identify and enroll those whose support you need most. With the best support system, it will that much easier to remain focused and committed to your plan, even in the face of challenge. Ask yourself, “who can help me?”
Realize Cost. Be clear and candid with yourself as to what will happen (what is the cost) of you NOT doing anything to make career change.
Life brings us this constant…the inevitable transitions of career, of life. Inherent in change, always, is opportunity. How you navigate this change is directly related to your perspective. What perspective do you choose to have about change, and how will you choose to direct it – redo or reinvent?
Lisa Montgomery is a certified professional coach and consultant to small business, corporate leaders. and career driven individuals who are determined to manage career with intention. Lisa believes that modern life demands an emphasis on results, resilience, and reinvention, as well as a meaningful community of resources and support – www.lisa-montgomery.com