Maybe it’s because the job market has improved. Or they’re just tired of feeling so unsatisfied. Or that it’s spring. Or my clients have known for a while that they’re mismatched with their current career. Whatever the reason, reinvention is on their minds.
When I surveyed my list about what they’d like to hear about, Reinvention was the number one webinar topic they said they’d like to see. Let me tell you a little bit more about how this reinvention thing is going down for my clients.
First, there’s Donald. He’s been a successful executive in the automotive industry and is now reinventing himself as a wine broker at 47 years old. “Sometimes I wonder if I’m crazy, but I just couldn’t go any longer without at least trying it.”
And Michelle. She worked her way up in customer service and eventually led a team of 100 trainers for a large national grocery chain. She’s 38 and is reinventing herself in communications so she can write more. “My goal is to have a more balanced life, doing more of what I really love.”
I’m not going to tell you that reinvention is easy. It can be messy and awkward, and here are the three reasons why:
1. We adore certainty. There will be a phase (or two, or three) in which things will be a little uncertain, and the path won’t be clearly laid out during the reinvention process. Like when you’re walking down a dark hallway and you can only see a foot or two ahead. You shift your eyes down so you can concentrate on the next few steps before you lift your eyes to the horizon again. Reinvention is like that.
2. We like worksheets. We like linear things. Reinvention is a “process sort of process,” not a worksheet process. Successful reinventions look very different on paper than they do in real life. And, just how much experience do you have at reinvention, anyway? Not much I’m guessing. The process unfolds, often of its very own timing, which, I guarantee, will not be your ideal timing.
3. There’s no perfect sign. We expect there will be some sort of sign that we’re ready to reinvent. When all of the stars (and several planets) are aligned just so, and we’re feeling fabulous and confident. So we wait. And wait some more. Until that sign comes in another form – usually a forced professional growth opportunity – like a layoff or crazy boss. Then, we feel totally unprepared and we panic. And we end up settling for more of the same career-wise instead of trying our hand at something new and different.
So if you’re feeling uncertain, unsure about timing and secretly craving a worksheet, you’re not alone. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t proceed with the reinvention that you so deeply crave. Just adjust your expectations a little, be prepared for a process that’s uncertain at times, and hang on for the ride.