Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being interviewed for the “Wake Up with Wendy” show, sponsored by The Magic Parties. I met Wendy Capland, CEO of The Magic Parties in college. We reconnected several years ago at an ICF event and so our collaboration RE-began from there.

Yesterday’s show was on “Career reinvention”, which is a topic I know a lot about, having reinvented myself more times than I would like to count. But as it turns out, so does Wendy Capland, as she has reinvented herself many times in her career and since I first met her in college.

During the TV show, I shared my tips and keys to success for reinventing. I thought my readers might want to see these so here they are:

Six Keys Keys to Success When Reinventing

1. Get to Know Yourself-take the time to do some self-reflection and get to know what is important to you at this juncture. What worked for you at 25 is very different than what you may want or need at 40. Evaluate some of all of the following:
• The rewards you want to get from your work
• Your motivated skills-the skills you are good at and ENJOY using
• Your behavioral/personality style
• Your interests
• Your propensity for self employment
• Your family and financial needs

2. Ask the experts-when thinking about reinventing, ask the experts. That means ask people already working in that field. Do not just read up about a career in a book or on the Internet, and make a decision on that basis. Ask good questions about the training required, skills needed, potential salaries, work-life balance, professional associations, etc.

3. Dip your toe in the water-when reinventing it is not enough to just do informational meetings in the field you want to get into. You need to get experience in that field so you have something to show prospective employers. Consider:
• Volunteer work
• Paid internships
• Organizing a vocation vacation
• Moonlighting

4. Look at the numbers-when you reinvent, you may have to go back to school take extra courses, invest in new professional associations or all of the above. You might also have to take a reduction in salary until you can re-tool and then come back up in your new field. Evaluate and consider the following financial issues:
• Your cash flow requirements
• The training requirements for new field
• Building a cash cushion
• Researching salaries in new field
• Having credit available, when you are earning a higher income
• Getting a handle on health insurance costs/taxes/employee benefits

5. Create an advisory board (or, get new mentors)-Once you have selected a new field to pursue, don’t go it alone. Your current contacts in your current industry are probably not going to be that helpful to you. Meet new people thru professional associations and other groups (LinkedIn).

6. Rebrand-the key to successfully reinventing is rebranding yourself for a new audience, both online and offline. Know what your transferable skills are and what is unique, compelling and differentiating about you that a prospective employer would resonate with AND that you can bring forth to this new arena. At a minimum, redo your resume and LinkedIn profile and showcase on the new experience you have in the field you wish to move into.

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