Normally, I draft Blog articles on Saturday afternoon. I reserve Fridays for thinking about my accomplishments and things I didn’t get done through the week and Sunday is for rest, rejuvenation and ‘contemplating’ possibilities. So, this past Saturday, I started writing an article with the working title of The Art of Reinvention: How to Transform Your Career
. I had a nice little model that I designed to tell the story of the process of reinvention.
Then, I thought well this is stupid.
Everybody knows the concept of reinvention. So, why are you going to be one of the tens of thousands who rehash the information?
At that point, I did what I normally do – I let it sit. When I write, I think, I draft and then I let the article percolate for a day or two.
Well, the percolation process led me to think about what’s really important about reinvention.
It is not the ability to identify
what changes are needed to transform a career; to discover
talents, or hidden dreams; to design
the next career chapter and to live
the new career.
What is REALLY important? Sustainability.
I learned this – THE HARD WAY
. It was one of my most challenging life lessons.
In 2001, I started writing My Big Career Transformation Plan
. At that time, I was coaching executives going through career transition and my favorite thing was to ask them “what would you like to be doing five years from now?” I asked each individual that question even though they had just been fired, downsized or laid-off. I even asked the executives who were devastated, mad, afraid, paralyzed or stymied.
What’s interesting: one day, I asked myself that question and I realized I didn’t have an answer.
So I started the process of identifying, discovering, designing and living my five year plan.
Then (exactly five years later) in 2006, I had the opportunity to take a leap into my new career destiny. I thought at the time – “well I am done now, I am doing what I want to do, I have reinvented my career!”
I was partially right and a whole lot wrong.
I only thought I was prepared for this reinvented career. Actually, the first year or two, everything went pretty well. Then the reality set in and I realized that the initial preparation and learning launched me into my reinvented career – but the initial preparation and learning did not prepare me for sustaining the career change.
Here’s what I discovered:
…Career reinvention is not an event. If I wanted to keep doing this reinvented career thing, I would need to design and incorporate continuous new learnings, new strategies, and I would have to do some things I didn’t have the background or motivation to do. I would have to do them not when I was on top of my game – but I would have to do them as I saw my reinvented career heading in the wrong direction…
In the last two years, I began to understand the art of reinvention: how to transform your career again and again. I turned around and ‘reinvented’ my reinvented career that was not serving me by:
A question for you to consider:
- What opportunities do you have in your leadership career for reinvention?
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