Career reinvention can be a very unsettling time for clients!!! Reinvention is often very stressful, with anxiety and fear coming from many of the “fears” that exist during this process of renewal-fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of making a wrong choice, fear of never landing in the new field. And unfortunately, depending on the nature of the reinvention, this unsettling period can last for a very long time. As I coach clients though reinvention, I often think back to my own reinvention eight years ago. I remember feeling discouraged, worried, stressed about money and thinking that I would NEVER find an employer that would give me a chance. I stuck with the game and eventually got my first opportunity, a mere 19th months after shifting gears. And this first opportunity was a 60% pay cut from my old career. Despite the difficult start for me, I have never looked back and TOTALLY love what I do.

 

At the present time, I am coaching a variety of individuals through reinvention-some are self employed and moving back into the corporate world, others are leaving the corporate world for new fields or self employment. Regardless of their career shifts, I continually hear the same comments:

 

“I can not stand not knowing where I am going”

 

“How many more informational meetings do I have to do?”

 

“Can’t I just do my resume and get on with it?”

 

Here are a few tips to help you get through this difficult period:

 

§  Understand that fear and uncertainty are part of the reinvention process and that you are not alone in these feelings. I suggest that clients read the book “Transitions” by William Bridges so they can understand the nature of this very difficult “neutral zone” where these feelings of fear and uncertainty often emerge.

 

§  Analyze what exactly you fear. Are your fears realistic? What is the worst that could happen? How could you reframe your thinking?

 

§  Is there a job you could do while you reinvent that would help you feel useful, bring in some money and ease your worries? Consider part-time or volunteer work to tide you over.

 

§  Don’t spend excessive amounts of money on a resume makeover until you are sure of the direction in which you want to move. If you feel the need to have a document in place, either focus on a one-page networking profile, or update your LinkedIn profile.

 

§  Instead of dreading informational and networking meetings, think of them as a opportunity to meet new people, learn new things, express your personal brand and as a way for you to help out others.

 

Reinvention can be difficult but also quite rewarding. Try to live in the present as much as you can and don’t let your emotions run away.