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Vail Daily column: Is it time to reinvent yourself?

Thanks so much for the continued support of this column. Your letters and emails really do mean so much.

One of the recent emails that caught my attention came from Eric. He shared his personal situation but also asked my opinion about a new direction that he was considering. What I really liked most about Eric’s email was that he not only brought up a problem he was facing, but he also included a potential solution. Too often we all get caught up in our own challenges that we forget that we also hold the keys to figuring out the answers to our own problems, too.

Eric has been searching for employment for nine months now. He has an impressive resume, strong skill sets and work ethic, and impeccable references. Having no luck getting his resume noticed, Eric is considering leveraging his experience, knowledge, and connections to possibly start his own consulting practice.

He is not alone. I have received many emails over the past few years from top professionals who are struggling with a job search so they go to work for themselves. The stories have come from corporate executives who have vowed never to return to the rat race of corporate America. They have finally decided to follow a forgotten passion such as construction, cooking, bartending, or other dream. And then I have heard from small business owners who have gotten so frustrated with the risks of owning or starting a business that they are now seeking the security of a full-time position with a corporation or local company.

So the question becomes this: When is it time to reinvent yourself? That time will be different for everyone based on levels of frustration, deep desire, need, and even despair.

The advice I offered Eric and what I will share with you is this – take the time to plan carefully, think through all options, and seek input from anyone who may have made a similar leap or is currently holding the position that you are now coveting. Take the time to really understand “why” you want to make the move, and find out what it will take to reinvent yourself. And reinventing yourself does not mean altering who you are and what you stand for. It doesn’t mean changing your character or your values. No one expects you to be a chameleon just to get a job or start a new business. If you take that route, you will soon enough be found out and either be given an opportunity to find success elsewhere, or your business will fail because if you really aren’t who you claim to be, it will be transparent to your customers and they will walk away.

Reinventing yourself means taking inventory of your existing skill sets and aligning those skill sets with your personal attributes, mission, purpose and passion. It may include repackaging or repurposing your assets, experience, knowledge, and qualifications so that when you start a business or seek employment, the benefits that you can bring to the market will be more easily recognized by potential employers, recruiters, and customers.

Are you reinventing yourself? Do you know someone who is? Keep those emails coming and tell me all about it at gotonorton@gmail.com. Thanks again and go ahead and make it a better than good week.


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