As we head into the fall of 2020, one thing is certain: there are many of us ready to make a fresh start! There is no doubt that it has been a tough year of change and uncertainty, and it seems as though that uncertainty is going to follow us right into the fall and winter.
No surprise then that phrases like “making a life pivot,” “reinventing my career,” and “refocusing my goals” have trended this year. I mean, if ever there has been a time for reinvention, 2020 is it!
At Distinctive Career Services, we’ve had a steady stream of clients this year reaching out because they are ready to reinvent their career and make a professional fresh start. For some of them the desire to reinvent their career has been “forced” reinvention because the pandemic has impacted their industry in negative ways. But for others, it has been driven by the extra time they’ve spent in personal reflection during quarantine.
But even beyond the complexities of life in 2020, the cooler air and shorter days of fall have always been a motivation for me to make a fresh start – to wipe the slate clean, set new goals, and make a new beginning.
People reinvent themselves and their careers for as many different reasons as there are different people.
We often make our way to the idea of reinvention after experiencing frustration and discontentment with our lives.
Sometimes there’s a sense of longing to do something different, to find a new way to live and to be. This kind of reinvention evolves from the human need to grow and to change.
Change comes about because there has to be more to human existence than simply existing and most people sense that over time.
Proactively Reinvent Your Career:
Identify Your Whys and Make a Fresh Start in Your Life
One of the most widely known slogans in the world is the Nike slogan “Just Do It.” No more excuses, no more talk, no more planning, no more second guessing… “Just Do It.”
Maybe that’s just what you needed to hear. Maybe it can give you that push, that nudge you needed to accomplish your goals and pursue that career change you’ve been wanting.
But there is something that this slogan does not fully capture: What about the why?
Why should I “Just Do It”? What’s the reason for doing it? Do I even want to do it?
In life, you can “Just Do It” day-in-and-day-out and not enjoy a single moment–possibly never engaging in passionate, fulfilling work.
So, before you go and “Just Do It,” identify your why. This will help you enact real change in your life.
The whys in your life are directly tied to what it is you love. What you love incorporates other things like what you are passionate about, what you think is important, what you ultimately care about, and what you enjoy doing.
Your whys, or what you love, point to your motivators. Your whys take routine or mundane actions and infuse them with passion and desire. They take the things you do and put life into them.
To identify your whys, ask yourself: What is it that I love?
The whys in your life are also related to the things that give you energy. Passion is fuel for action. Without it, you will quickly burn out. So, what gives you energy? What are the ways you recharge your batteries after they have been fully drained? Knowing this can help you see what your energy gainers are.
Another method is to identify what areas of life seem to be effortless for you. What can you engage in for seemingly endless periods of time without much output of energy?
Both of these strategies can help you identify your whys.
What Are Your Past Accomplishments?
The whys in your life are also directly correlated with your accomplishments.
Imagine you are near the end of your days, sitting on a porch, staring out onto the beautiful countryside. As you observe the landscape, your mind drifts back over the highlight reel of your life. What are the major scenes you want to see played back to you?
Do you imagine a few career highlights, family memories, personal relationships, charity involvement, or other activities? What do you want to be able to reflect on when your life is near its end? Your answer to these questions will reveal what you think is important.
Define Your Personal Mission Statement
Now that you have determined your why by establishing what it is you love, what gives you energy, and what you want to accomplish, put these thoughts into a personal mission statement. This is a way to take these ideas and write them down in a functional, usable format.
Your personal mission statement will help guide you during times of decision making. It will help you not just in this present exercise of career reinvention, it will remind you of the reason behind your actions in every area of your life.
With your personal mission statement written, as you consider and make plans for your career change, you will be able to support that action with the full understanding of your why. Having true passion behind your actions is a formula for pure, lasting, and impactful changes in life.
Align Your Career with Your Personal Mission and True Calling to Make a Fresh Start
“If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.”
Sounds like great advice, right? Right! Well then, what are you waiting for? Go out and do what you love, be successful, and pursue your calling!
Wait a second, pump the breaks for a moment.
That all sounds great, but there is one piece of the puzzle that we are missing here. What is my calling?
That’s the million-dollar question everyone is trying to answer.
A calling is a strong personal desire to dedicate your life to certain accomplishments and enterprises. It’s what you feel you were meant to do. What your purpose in life is. Callings are unique as each individually person, and most believe that everyone has a calling in some capacity.
Now, if you have gone through and answered the three questions to determine your “whys” and define your Personal Mission Statement, you are well on the path of defining your calling. But, lets go a little deeper.
Help Identify Your Calling With These Questions
In order to find your calling, it can be helpful to answer a series of questions.
As you are asking yourself these questions, write the answers down with pen and paper. Yes, with actual pen and paper. The act of physically writing will assist you in processing your thoughts.
Answer these questions:
What do I feel passionate about?
What are ideas, topics, industries, that I care about.
What do I think is essential in life?
If I had to list the top 5 things that are most important to me, what would they be?
What activities, subjects, and hobbies did I enjoy doing as a child?
When I was a child, what did I imagine I might want to do as a job someday?
What would be something that I would do for free?
What activities am I doing when time just seems to fly by for me?
What subjects do I enjoy reading about in my spare time?
What strength do other people see in me?
What energizes me when I am tired?
With the answers to these questions you can start to gather a picture of what your calling might look like. Similar themes and ideas will start to appear as you process through these questions.
Spend time investigating your calling. Ask questions of those that are currently engaged in what you believe is your calling. This is the only way to truly know if this is your calling. You need to stick your toe in the water and make sure it feels right.
Don’t settle on the first thing that you identify as your calling. Investigate and take advantage of each opportunity that comes your way. You may eventually settle on that first calling, but if that truly is your calling you will only gain more confidence in that assumption as you search out each different avenue.
Finding your calling will not happen overnight. Don’t put undue pressure on yourself to identify your calling on a pre-established timeline. Have patience with the process and don’t rush to select a calling. When the process is done correctly, you won’t be selecting your calling, but identifying you calling that is already there.
Reinvent Your Career & Fulfill Your Mission
There is nothing in life that is more fulfilling that finding and engaging in your personal calling. Life is more satisfying and fulfilling when you are living your purpose. “If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.” Sure, that can be true, but only if you know your calling.
Are you ready to take this to the next step and reinvent your career? Download our free Defining Your Ideal Work Workbook and then reach out to us at Distinctive Career Services for a Discovery Consultation to learn how we can help you reach your career change goals.