“Reinvent Your Career!” jumped out from the cover of the July 4, 2011 issue of Fortune Magazine. Reinvention has been the theme of my entire career and the work that I’ve been doing with many of my coaching clients and attendees at my workshop “Supercharge Your Career.” It is a topic that deserves to capture the attention of those who were downsized and are struggling to rebound into the workplace.
The exact title of Fortune’s cover article is “Pulling Off the Ultimate Career Makeover” by Douglas Alden Warshaw. The subhead reads, “As the economy shudders onward, one thing is clear: Job security has gone the way of the three-martini lunch. You can’t become bulletproof, but you can reinvent yourself, no matter your age or skill set. Here’s how five gusty professionals turned job setbacks into new, satisfying, and sustainable careers.”
The stories of the ‘reinventers’ are good examples of what it takes to recover from ‘career disruption.’ That means being let go from your self-image earned in one career to begin a journey down a path of repackaging of your skills and creating a new self- and professional image.
“Case Study 2: A Self-Made Social Media Master” is a good example of reinvention. Mike Merrill was a sales executive at Dell and NetApp until….well, you know what happened. His first move to a new job was to go on LinkedIn and post a question to his network: “Hey, guys, I’m a free agent. Who wants me?” A bold move that was immediately effective. Merrill got a good job at the University of Oklahoma’s campus computer store. He went on to become a social-media maven and presented his knowledge to church and other groups. In one of those groups was an employee of ReachLocal, an Internet marketing firm based in Dallas. Guess what? Merrill was later hired as director of marketing of the company.
Warshaw’s article includes six “Rules for Reinventors:” Get online, for real; start from scratch; learn by doing; share the wealth; cut back fast; prioritize your passions.” There is also a list of “Sites That Spark New Thinking:” LinkedIn, Twitter, MeetUp, YouTube.
On June 17, 2011, I posted a blog here entitled “Ten Guideposts on Your Career Reinvention Highway” with a slightly different slant, one more about the resiliency needed for a reinvention.
If your career working to be a leader is disrupted by a job loss, take heart. You can create and travel on your own path to a rewarding reinvention.