Reinventing Yourself for a New Century
With the emergence of a new information economy, you may want to
reevaluate your career goals and strategies, and find that it
may be worthwhile to develop new skills consider new lines of
work. This doesn't mean you need to change completely. But now
may be a good time to see if you're currently using all your
skills and potential. By tapping into underused skills, you can
reinvent yourself to become more successful and happier.
Read the job descriptions in the JobCast® e-mails from Cruel World and identify jobs that match your skills and interests.
To prepare for a new career, expand your current job to include a skill that you want to refine and add this skill to your job description. Not only will this make you more valuable to your employer, it may eventually allow you to transfer to another area within the same company or to take a new job in a new field.
Feeling too young . . . or too old?
This common concern doesn't have to be a real problem.
- For younger workers, emphasize part-time, internship, and volunteer jobs to enhance your experience.
- For older workers, remember that many industries value experienced people, including education, retirement and financial advising, counseling, and customer service. These industries seek mature people who can bring a sense of stability, calmness, and experience to the tasks.
To draw attention to yourself as a candidate, use a technique popular in sales and advertising-do something unique. Sure, respond to job listings that need your skills, but don't rely on these efforts alone.
- Have a set of business cards printed with your contact information, including e-mail. In place of company and title, put the title you want to have, such as "Sales and Marketing Professional." Pass these cards out at social occasions, and let people know that you'd like to talk to employers needing your skills.
- Write an article for a local newspaper. Request a tag line so that readers can contact you. Being published tells people in your field you have vital knowledge to share.
- Give yourself a day off as a thank-you for your efforts. That means no job hunting. Do this so that you'll spend the other four weekdays working from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the job search. On your day off, go to a museum, concert, beach, gym, lecture, or library. Be sure to take along those business cards.
"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,
and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will
meet with success unexpected in common hours." -- Thoreau
In today's professional world, it's not enough to simply have a dream. Because the world isn't static, your dream can't remain static. You must change course when necessary, and you may have to change professions. Throughout your life, you must always be ready to reinvent yourself-to change your job, your career, your calling.
Greta E. Couper, Ph.D., is director of Alumni Career Services at Pepperdine University.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org