Step Five: Make Room for Personal Growth
In many cases, career reinvention is about balancing personal and professional growth. To continue moving forward, it’s important to reflect and appreciate all the good things that have happened in your life. Reflect on your successes. Let go of the disappointments.
You may have poor self-esteem, a lack of self-confidence, or a negative mindset. Consider professional help for tackling long-unresolved issues or negative patterns in your career. If you’ve been fired from more than two jobs in the last five years, look at the reasons why and see if there is a common issue. Maybe you have unrealistic expectations of your co-workers or bosses, or maybe you’re finding yourself in employment situations that aren’t a good fit for your skills or experience.
In step one, we talked about having a growth mindset. Your professional growth will benefit from improving your overall knowledge. Keep your brain sharp by committing to creativity, self-development, and constant learning. Exercise your brain and your body. Engage in activities related to organization, memorization, and decision-making (learning a new language ticks all three boxes!). Other activities to consider include:
- Learning to speed read.
- Taking up a new musical instrument.
- Tackling a new computer skill – learn Adobe Photoshop or a new programming language.
- Martial arts. Give Brazilian jujitsu a try, or Tai Chi.
10 Actions For Career Reinvention
With these five steps in mind, it’s time to take action. These 10 actions will help move you forward towards your goal of career reinvention.
- Set clear and achievable goals. Articulate your goals clearly. When you decide to reinvent yourself after 50, it’s a significant change, and your goals must align with that. You may have gone through the first part of your life “going with the flow.” But with clear goals that inspire and motivate you, it can be easier to make significant changes.
- Commit to continuous learning. Learning can be devoted to a specific skill you need to learn for your career (bookkeeping, programming, video editing) or towards staying sharp in general (learning a new language, pursuing a hobby).
- Be adaptable. One of the biggest challenges to career reinvention is inertia. You’ve been doing things the same way for years, and you may be stuck. Be open to trying new things. Face the fear, feel it, and do it anyway.
- Make new connections. One of the best actions you can take for career reinvention is to meet new people. If you’re opening new doors, connecting with like-minded people can help you access new opportunities. This isn’t limited to attending networking events and exchanging business cards. Look for specific meetups, consider a business networking group, join a professional association, or find a mentor.
- Take risks. Reinvention requires change. Be willing to take careful risks. Analyze the situation, devise a plan, and then take action. Don’t make spur-of-the-moment decisions, but don’t get stuck in analysis/paralysis either.
- Be resilient. Career reinvention comes with new challenges, and you must be resilient. You will face problems. Find a way to fix them or work around them. Find solutions. Don’t give up.
- Stay positive. Be intentional about cultivating a positive mindset. Writing out your goals is important so you know where you’re going. Create affirmations to keep yourself on track. Consider journaling to work through negative thoughts and criticism from friends, family, and unsupportive third parties. Building a positive mental attitude takes work.
- Don’t wait. Don’t sit around hoping opportunity will find you — seek it out. No one is going to do the work for you. You need to take action to make change happen.
- Prioritize self-care. Reinvention requires good physical and mental health. Exercise can give you energy and combat stress and anxiety. Figure out what relaxes you — is it music? Screen-free time? Crafts or puzzles? Time with friends or family?
- Believe in yourself. You must move beyond the negative beliefs that are holding you back. Will it be difficult? At times, yes. Is the change worth it? Absolutely yes.
“You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.”
– C.S. Lewis
There is no better time than right now to start your career reinvention.