What Does It Mean to Reinvent?
In my previous blog post, we talked about the current phenomenon going on known as the “Great Resignation” where millions of people in the work force are quitting their jobs, many of whom have no specific new job prospects lined up. We discussed some of the possible reasons for this trend, and I mentioned that I felt the pandemic had prompted many of us to seek to reinvent–to reevaluate our priorities and restructure our lives to better align with what’s truly important to us.
But what does that mean? Can we really “reinvent” ourselves, and if so, what does that look like? Let’s delve a bit further into this question.
First of all, let’s clarify, because the term reinvention might be a bit misleading to some. I don’t believe reinvention means you change who you are. That’s not possible. You are who you are. The problem is that for so many of us, the career paths we choose and the things we’re working toward don’t adequately reflect who we are and what we really want. Between the pressure to have a job or career, the expectation to “be successful” (which for many of us translates to “make a lot of money”), and all the other ideas we have about what a “good life” is…we sometimes lose ourselves in the so-called pursuit of happiness. We get caught in the rat race. We become hamsters on the wheel. We’re so consumed with making our career work that we are simply too busy to realize that we’re not really happy.
I think between the lockdowns and the unemployment spike of the pandemic, it gave many people a chance to step off that hamster wheel. And when they did…it provided them a fresh perspective. They could see that they weren’t really fulfilled in their work, and they wanted to find out what would fulfill them better. They wanted to reimagine…to reinvent.
And that’s what I think reinvention really means. It’s not reinventing yourself as a person. It’s reinventing the life you create around yourself so that it better reflects who you are, your purpose and your values. And in many cases, that means changing career paths. Does that make sense?
I Can Relate…
I really resonate with this idea of reinvention because it’s a key part of my own story. Many of you may recall that after 30 years in a rewarding career in human resources, my position in the company was made redundant by a company merger. It wasn’t immediate, but it became clear that I was going to lose my job. I could have just retired, but I wasn’t ready to do that…and finding a new HR position wasn’t realistic after 30 years with the same company.
I couldn’t stop change from happening in my life, so I decided to take control and lean into it. I thought about my strengths and what I loved about my job, and I reimagined what all that might look like in a different setting. That led me to get my coaching credentials and become a career coach. Now, I’m utilizing those gifts in a different but very fulfilling way–in helping people find jobs and careers that really make them happy.
So Where Do You Start?
If you’re resonating with what I’m saying here…take courage in the fact that you’re not alone. A lot of people are right here with you. I’ve been there, too. But reinvention is easier said than done. It requires doing some inner work and some soul searching–because chances are, you’ve not stopped to think about who you are and what you want for a long time (and possibly never). We’ll start covering the basics in future blog posts, but for now…let me validate this feeling for you. What you’re feeling is real, and it matters. Reinvention can be a scary prospect, but if you decide to start down that road, it just might open up a whole new world for you.
If you’ve been unhappy in your job and you’re seriously thinking about reinventing, a career coach can be a very beneficial part of that journey. As always, I’m available to help. To schedule a free 30-minute consultation, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let’s talk about what you want.