Re-Inventing Your Career

By Deanna deBara Posted April 26, 2022

 

If you’ve been thinking about saying goodbye to your current career, you’re not alone. But make sure you're ready.


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We’re in the midst of what experts are dubbing The Great Resignation. People are leaving their jobs, companies, and careers in record numbers; according to data from the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 4.35 million Americans left their jobs in February 2022—and according to recent data from careerarc, nearly 1 in 4 employees in the US are planning to leave their job in the next 12 months. 

Which is to say, if you’ve been thinking about saying goodbye to your current career? You’re not alone.

But if you’re feeling dissatisfied with your career, quitting your job isn’t necessarily the answer. Instead, you need to figure out how to reinvent your current career into something that will keep you interested, engaged, and fulfilled over the long term.

So how, exactly, do you do that? Let’s take a look at five steps that can help you reinvent your career—and find more career satisfaction in the process.

Take stock of what’s not working in your current career

You can’t successfully reinvent your career into something more satisfying if you’re not sure why, exactly, you’re not satisfied now. This is why the first step to forging a new career path is taking stock of what’s not working in your current career. 

Dig deep and ask yourself some questions about where you’re at in your career, how you got there, and why it’s not working. While this kind of self-inquiry will vary from person to person, some questions you might consider asking yourself include:

  • When did I start feeling dissatisfied in my career?
  • Do I feel dissatisfied with the actual work I’m doing or the circumstances around the work (for example, company culture or a challenging supervisor)?
  • When was the last time I felt fulfilled at work—and what was I doing that drove that fulfillment?
  • What is missing from my current career?
  • Would I be happier doing this job at another company—or would I be happier in a completely new career?

Once you’ve identified what’s not working in your career, you can get a clearer picture of what the ideal career path looks like for you—and then go out and reinvent your career to reflect that ideal path.

Pinpoint how your current skills and experience can transfer to a new career

Just because you’re reinventing your career doesn’t mean you have to start at square one! Chances are, there are some skills and experiences you’ve gained in your current career that you can use to jumpstart your new career; all you have to do is figure out what, exactly, those skills and experiences are.

Start by making a list of all of the different skills and experiences you’ve gained in your current career; then, brainstorm ways that you can transfer those skills and experiences to a new career that’s more suited to your long-term goals.

For example, let’s say you’re currently a product manager—but you want to launch a new career as a software engineer. As a product manager, you might have gained experience managing complex projects, interfacing with software and engineering teams, and working under pressure to hit tight deadlines. You may also have a deep understanding of the customer journey as well as a passion for creating and delivering innovative products to the market—all of which would be major assets for a software engineer.

Knowing how your current skills and experience translate to the career you’re targeting will not only make you feel better about reinventing your career, but when the time comes, it will also help you sell yourself and your background more efficiently during the interview process—which can put you in a better position to land a job in your new chosen career.

Invest in growth and learning

As mentioned, you most likely won’t have to start at square one when reinventing your career. But if you’re making a big leap into something new, chances are, there are going to be some new skills you’ll need to develop in order to succeed—and that means investing in your own professional growth and learning.

Do your research to find out what skills you’ll need to succeed in your new career path—and then go out and do whatever it takes to develop those skills. For example, if you’re looking to transition into a career as a copywriter, you might take a class on how to write effective sales copy. If you’re launching a new career as a software engineer, you might consider enrolling in a boot camp to learn how to code. If you’re looking to take your career experience and transform it into a new career as an educator, you may need to go back to school to get a Master’s Degree or teaching certification.

The point is, that launching a new career typically means learning new things and developing new skills—so if you’re serious about reinventing your career, be prepared to invest in your own learning and professional growth.

Create a plan and make the leap

You’ve determined what about your current career isn’t working—and what you want your new career to look like. You’ve figured out how your skills and experience will translate to a new career—and what skills or experience you’ll need to gain before you can start that career. Now, the next step? Creating a concrete plan for how to make the transition to your new chosen career—then making the leap and going for it.

Again, your plan for reinventing your career will vary based on your goals, but some things you’ll want to consider adding to your plan include:

  • Target date to transition into your new career
  • A list of job titles and/or companies you’d like to go after
  • A list of potential contacts you’d like to network with (for example, hiring managers at your ideal companies or people that hold the title you’re targeting to get insight into the role)
  • A timeline for transitioning out of your current job and into your new career
  • A list of colleagues to ask for references/letters of recommendation

Clearly outlining your plan to reinvent your career will give you a step-by-step process to get you from where you are now (in a career that no longer feels like a fit) to where you want to go (thriving in a career you’re excited about)—so make sure to create that plan sooner rather than later.

Get out there and reinvent your career

When you’re thinking about transitioning into a new, different career, it can be hard to know where to start. But with these tips, you have a great jumping-off point to say goodbye to your current job—and reinvent your career into something you feel excited and passionate about. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and reinvent your career!

Deanna deBara

Deanna deBara is an entrepreneur, speaker, and freelance writer who specializes in business and productivity topics. When she's not busy writing, she enjoys hiking and exploring the Pacific Northwest with her husband and dog. See more of her work and learn more about her services at deannadebara.com.

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