Have you found yourself in a career that enabled you to move up the ladder into a well-paying job that others admire, but makes you feel trapped and longing to escape?
If so, perhaps you could benefit from a career "makeover." Contrary to popular belief, reinventing your career doesn't automatically mean that you will have to go back to school or "start at the bottom" in a new career. Here are three important steps to get you started:
1) Evaluate your change from the inside out
Spend some time assessing who you are and what working environments would best fit your design. Identify your favorite skills, interests, values, personality traits, motivations, passions and dreams. Think about things like the needs in the world that you have an enthusiasm to help meet; the types of people with whom you want to work; the traits you would like in a boss and/or partner; what you want the working environment to look like; and the salary that you desire (and what you would be willing to work for if the job was a great fit).
The Wall Street Journal reported about one woman's career makeover. After having children, Mary Beth Reeves of Atlanta, GA, found that balance and free time had become her most important values. Her job, however, required that she work long hours and travel frequently. To have more time at home, she reinvented herself by starting a custom photo book business called Scrapbook Mamma .
Identifying and organizing information about yourself will allow you to be proactive in recognizing and/or seeking what you were designed to do rather than just falling into work that pays the bills but provides little satisfaction or meaning.
2) Reality Test
Career dreams have to be tested to determine if God is calling you to that area or if it is a dream that would be better pursued by someone else. Don't do your reality testing after you are in a new job - that's too late. You can reality test different career options by using resources like the Occupational Outlook Handbook and O*NET Online , and by talking with people who are already doing the type of work that is of interest.
3) Take several "baby steps" outside of your comfort zone
Moving into the work you were designed to do will require taking some risks. How do you feel about taking risks? For most people, risk taking is something they avoid as it involves moving outside of their comfort zone. So why would you choose to move outside of your comfort zone? Good question! There are many benefits for stretching yourself in this way, but the most important reason is because that is where God is usually calling us to be. At the edges of our comfort zone, we become much more aware of our dependence on God's power to do what He is calling us to do. In that place, God can more readily mold us and make us into the people that He desires us to be.
You can start on the journey to stretching your comfort zone by taking some baby steps today. Take an hour or two to have your own mini-retreat to begin identifying your gifts and abilities. Write down any dreams that may come to mind and begin to reality test one or two of them. Ask for help from someone who can support and encourage you in this process. By taking one baby step after another you can succeed in reinventing yourself, your career, and your life.
Would you like professional assistance in reinventing your career? Find out about our career testing and coaching services and how you can benefit from working with Kevin or Kay Marie Brennfleck, National Certified Career Counselors and Career & Life Calling Coaches.
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