Reinventing your Career

If you are stuck in a dead-end job, there is no way through which you could give a distinct purpose to your career right? Also, post slowdown, many spirants are wary of venturing into unexplored territories. However, there are a few bold people looking at reinventing their careers, in quest to give a whole new meaning to their work lives.

So, how does one actually realize that it’s time to do something unique and re-invent your career? At the beginning of every individual’s professional life there is a mental picture of the goals they want to achieve. In case of an incompatible career choice, there are telltale signs which show that one achieving what they planned to when they started working. These usually start early with short term result mismatches like missing target deadlines, not getting the expected promotion, inability to keep pace with competition or peers, etc. This, in turn leads to increased stress level and disenchantment with the job and the organization. Reinventing one’s career means setting renewed goals and investing better efforts to achieve them. According to director, HR, United Colors of Benetton India, the telltale sign is when you stop enjoying your work. There is always that inner feeling within all of us that tells us what we really like to do and what we don’t. If the feeling comes just too often, stand still and act on it.

There has to be another opportunity another role that looks promising. You should look to re-inventing because of a promise that you can see. Getting frustrated with the current job is not reason enough. You need to be excited about the place you are jumping into. Though re-inventing one’s career sounds like a great idea, it really isn’t that easy to implement and there are a few risks involved too. So, what is the best way to go about it? The key to being in control of your career is learning career management skills, which include self assessment, developing a sense of direction and improving your adaptability, self-esteem, knowledge and skills. One needs to clarify what rut is the person stuck in that is bothering him/her – is the job, company manager, coworkers, work environment, compensation etc? Do an honest introspection of whether one wants to reinvent one’s present career or re-invent the career direction per se. The key is what drives you. Looking for another job should certainly be avoided. Seek a mentor in your own field to discuss things that are leading to a dilemma. Seek out support of your family as they would be a key element in your success plans.

A VP, Marketing of a Ltd co. says that in her entire career of 18 years in sales and marketing she has been changing trends in her career. People who are looking at reinventing their careers, is that they should know it is totally in their hands. In your resume or in your professional life, if you are not able to add value past six months, that means you are stagnating. If you want to do it at the same level, you can diversify into related areas and then enhance your personality.

So if you think it’s time to take a re-look at your career path, just take the plunge and re-invent. Give your career a new perspective a new life.

A few suggestions to individuals who want to break free from the routine:

1) Decide if you really want to reinvent or you just want a change of scene. Re-inventing is hard work and could involve challenges.
2) Ask your boss for a change of project or a change of role. May be, it’s the monotony that is troubling you and refraining you from raising the bar
3) Do what you are doing already with a vengeance. Do it at a higher quality than what’s required.
4) If a change of projects is not possible, see if you get to spend 10% of your time on something else that is more interesting and challenging.
5) Start working towards what you want yourself to be reinvented to. Learn the skills you need for the new role.
6) Start a blog about a subject that you are really interested in. Follow blogs of other people in the same subject. Start writing on your own.
7) Take a sabbatical if you can afford one, do something different and then come back to your work.