When taking the first step towards your career reinvention, don’t dwell on false myths and child-like fantasies of a better life that not only blur your real motivation for change, but also negatively interfere with your current abilities. Do set up a detailed picture of the kind of life you want to live and focus on how you can achieve it, says Pamela Mitchell, author of The 10 Laws of Career Reinvention.
Don’t just trust your intellect. Do pay close attention to your instinct, as well. Snap decisions are often made unconsciously, simply based on what feels right. If your mind isn’t fully convinced by your body’s physical feelings, use your gut to adjust the details of your reinvention plan, says Mitchell.
Don’t make excuses like denying obligations (It’s not my job), denying control (It’s out of my hands), or denying prescription clarity (I don’t know enough) to avoid moving forward. Do venture beyond your comfort zone and move through fear by reaching out to people for guidance, identifying the reasons you’re hesitant, and moving forward anyway. Then, follow Mitchell’s advice and give up complaining, make a commitment, match your actions to your words, and step up your game.
Don’t be discouraged by your limited related experience as depicted by your once-tailored resume. Do exemplify all of your learned skills and apply them to your future career. If you’re having trouble identifying these skills, Mitchell suggests using the “P.A.R. system,” which starts by noting the specific problem you tackled, figuring out the actions you took to solve it, and then summarizing the results to add to your list of at least three accomplishments from your last job.
Don’t keep your hopes of career reinvention a secret. Do share your goals with people you trust that can serve as a support system and potentially a networking tool. Then, you can start implementing your plan openly by exploring your new career while still collecting a paycheck from your current one, asking your partner for help carrying the load, and saving money for your new future, says Mitchell.
Don’t avoid reaching out to others for advice. Do be proactive and get to know the people in your intended field. Focus on learning the most from people who are doing well in your target career and enjoy it, as well.
Don’t simply send out a resume or cover letter expressing your interest in a position. Do become extremely well-versed in the industry lingo first, and let it shine through your work. Use the Internet as a tool to learn the most you can and become familiar with surrounding news. Mitchell also recommends learning about specialty products and taking related classes to become a budding expert in the field.
Don’t be discouraged when your career reinvention doesn’t seem successful right away. Do realize that reinvention takes time and includes many unpredictable factors. Focus on your progress, and make adjustments if needed, says Mitchell. Enjoy the journey.
Don’t doubt yourself or your abilities. Do have confidence to overcome all obstacles by following Mitchell’s advice and focusing on your natural talents, taking the time to heal when necessary, acknowledging your past successes, and surrounding yourself with people who believe in you.