Wednesday, April 30, 2014

You Can Reinvent Yourself

Usually, by the time you’re 30, you’ve been working for quite a few years in a certain field. If you started working right after college, you’ve already put in about eight years of work, and that seems pretty substantial. As you get older, it seems to become more and more difficult to think about changing career paths.

Starting Over...and Lower?

Still, you often hear about people who have tried something new, something entirely different, even in their sixties and been successful at it. How do these folks manage, you might wonder. After all, it just seems like a waste to put aside the strides you’ve made in your present field and start afresh. Often, if you switch paths completely, you’ll have to get an entry-level job once again, which will probably mean a pay cut for you. So instead of starting over, you decide to keep doing what you’re doing. At least it pays the bills!

Transplanting Skill Sets from One Field to Another

One tip on how to reinvent yourself mid-career without throwing away everything you’ve accomplished comes from that seminal work on job-hunting called What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles. If you've read this book, you might be familiar with Bolles’ analysis of skill sets. Basically, Bolles suggests that you make a list of the skills you have developed in your current job or field and think about how they might be useful in another field.

For example, you may have been working at administrative jobs for some time but now, maybe you’re thinking about becoming a writer. Now, when you work at administrative jobs, you develop organizational and people skills. If you plan to become a journalist, you can definitely use your people skills at that job. And organizational skills are always going to be useful no matter what you do.

Analyzing your skills can help you to figure out what kind of new job you might be good for but you can also use it to convince future employers to take you on. So sit down and make a list of what your current skills are. Then think about your dream job and how your current skill set would be useful there. You might be surprised at what you come up with.

Please share on social media if you found this post helpful. If you have a comment or question I would be happy to discuss. Read more on my post on LinedIn Pulse

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