This weeks article was inspired by a quote I saw recently from the amazing Sarah (Stealey) Reed that said: “What you originally set out to do, and what you love to do, don’t have to be the same”.
It got me thinking how much we change physically in our lives. Firstly, by choice, just check out my hair and beard styles in the last 18 months – Man-bun to shaved head to beard to the marvellous moustache.
And secondly by nature. Did you know that all the cells in your body are replaced every 7-10 years? You become a new person every decade! So, if your body can change into something new, why not your career and life?
We are constantly changing, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, as are our passions, experiences, and life circumstances. But sometimes we need to take a radical leap in our careers and lives and reinvent ourselves. This can be triggered by:
- Life-changing moments, especially losing a loved one, relationship, or dream job.
- Challenging circumstances like financial distress or a global pandemic.
- Feelings of stagnation, boredom, or just being stuck.
- Exciting ideas or creative flares to build or develop something new.
The last two years of the pandemic have driven many people to reassess their lives, jobs, and roles. In fact, in the last year, 1 in 5 Australians have changed jobs and another quarter are planning to leave their current job!
But whatever your reason is for change, it’s helpful to have a reinvention roadmap to guide you through:
1. Take Stock
Before diving head-first into a radical life change, take stock of where you are, how you feel, and why you want to reinvent yourself. Consider these ways to do it:
- Talk with trusted friends and family about your options.
- Seek professional advice from a career counsellor.
- Tune into your emotions through mediation and journaling.
By taking stock of how you are pre-change, you’ll be better equipped to handle the challenges and changes to come, as well as setting a marker for you to look back on when you get to the future you.
2. Be Courageous
Change is never easy, even if it’s something you really want. And I know courage isn’t just a light switch you can turn on or off, but I do believe courage is a muscle to be exercised. The great philosopher Aristotle believed that building courage comes by doing courageous acts. You can work on being courageous by taking small, consistent steps towards your goal.
And if you need a boost, look back on your life to all the other times you were courageous: applying for a dream job, traveling abroad, handling conflict, dealing with trauma, asking “that” person on a date or going skydiving! Look back on this evidence of courage in your life and bring it forward into a new season.
Nothing is permanent in this world if you don’t want it to be, but some things can stick around longer than you planned… like that bicycle tattoo! That’s why experimentation is so important. Try something out and see if it works before jumping all-in. Here are some ideas:
- Rent a short-term Airbnb to see if you like living in an area before moving.
- Start a part-time side hustle before quitting your 9-5 job.
- Buy one new outfit and wear it out before throwing out your entire wardrobe!
Innovation is directly tied to experimentation; to achieve something new, exciting, and different, you have to try things out!
4. Find Support
This is obvious, but you need people in your corner! Find mentors and coaches to give you encouragement, honest feedback, and practical advice through your reinvention.
And, even more importantly, hold close to the friends in your life who love you unconditionally. “Agape” is the Greek term for “unconditional love”—they’re the people who will stay by your side and pick you up when you can’t pick yourself up.
5. Accept Failure
When you set out to do something new, you’re not always going to nail it right away. Failing is not inevitable, but it’s possible. You need to have a mindset of accepting whatever happens.
If you fail a new project or idea, see what you can learn from it. And if it does really knock you to the ground, let your support system help pick you back up (#4).
6. Be Open to Criticism
Most of us don’t like criticism! It can be hard to hear what we’re doing wrong or ways to improve. But constructive criticism can be beneficial to your growth and development.
The Johari Window Model is a communication model to improve self-awareness between individuals in a group setting. It points to the different ways that conveying and accepting feedback can improve relationships. When used appropriately, both sharing and receiving criticism or feedback can help you uncover blind spots or things you did not see yourself.
7. Go Back to #1
Once you’ve arrived at your “reinvention point,” go back to point number one and take stock again. Compare your starting and ending point by asking questions such as:
- Have my feelings changed (i.e., more peaceful, excited, motivated)?
- How has my schedule changed? Are my priorities different?
- Do I feel engaged in my work and career?
8. Love Yourself
We already talked about how change is hard and requires courage. So, love yourself and be kind to yourself! It can be easy to talk down to ourselves or negatively compare what we’re doing to what we see around us.
I love LinkedIn, but it can sometimes be a space for comparison, with each person trying to level up in relation to others. Instead of comparison, choose compassion. Compassion for yourself, because we all need to practice a little self-love and kindness.
Just remember: You’re not the same as yesterday. You’re learning something new and reinventing yourself everyday, whether you choose to do so or not! And, say you do choose to reinvent yourself, then take a deep, inspirational breath, and know, it takes time, courage, and self-compassion.
So, with all that said, here’s to you-2.0 or whatever version you are up to.
Till next time, hooroo.
By Luke Jamieson
Keywords: Culture, Customer Experience, Future of Work