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Don't Hesitate To Reinvent Yourself In A New Job Or Career
by Toni Seger
TheSyndicatedNews columnist

Co-owner of a media/communications firm called ProseWorks(tm) Associates since 1992, Toni Seger has been a professional writer for four decades and since 2004, has produced a public affairs television show for the largest chamber in Maine.

The country's work force has never been more competitive or mobile. People are rarely content to spend their career working for one full time employer anymore. More and more, people are reevaluating their skills in light of marketplace changes while searching for new and more exciting things to do. In a word, people today are continuously 'reinventing' themselves.

Feeling like you're in control of your work life is an important element in feeling happy and maintaining good health. There are numerous reasons why people feel the need for a change. Graduation, divorce, the death of a loved one, a new birth, company relocation and/or plant closing are just a few. Whatever the event, whether it's planned or unplanned, if you feel the need to make a change take the time to reassess your life. If you think it's necessary, reinvent yourself.

When things change unexpectedly in our lives, it always leaves us with feelings and, sometimes, these can get in the way of being productive. Remember, it's natural for unsettling circumstances to create fear, anger and self-doubt. Knowing that much, don't punish yourself for your emotions or let your feelings hold you back. If you missed a good chance or acted precipitously, don't let that get in the way now. Recognize your mistakes and your vulnerabilities. Then, make the determination that you're going to move on to a better place.

After you've recognized your own views, it's easier to focus on your own goals and how to reach them. Make a commitment to build a new future and get started immediately. If you don't want to go into a regular job immediately or if you don't want to work full time for one employer, consider your value as a consultant.

Your skills may have more merit than you realize. For example, are you an experienced speaker? Growing entrepreneurial activity is requiring more people to give presentations all the time. If you can help those with a fear of public speaking, you could have a new career as a vocal coach. Education is being delivered in countless ways today. Business are constantly looking for consultants to provide workshop training in many subjects like how to quit smoking or how to be more productive. Every type of skill can be a niche. Ever hear of a technophobe? That's someone who desperately needs computer skills, but hates the thought. It shouldn't be surprising this is a growing market. If you can customize your computer expertise, you might offer home instruction to middle age people in need of learning or improving their computer skills.

Just the ability to be organized can have commercial value. Businesses regularly need to retool in order to increase their productivity or obtain fresh capital. With all the outsourcing today, you might consider becoming a professional resource for locating specialists and matching a company's needs to the available pool of specialists.

Besides marketing yourself as a consultant to businesses, there are always new start-up firms to explore. These companies can ask a lot of their workers in terms of time and general demands, but they can also offer enhanced responsibilities, new skills and an opportunity to be creative. If an exciting new startup is enticing you out of your current job, be sure to remind yourself there are no guarantees of security with a new venture. Before jumping ship, take a good look at the industry and the competition it faces. If you have to start by taking a pay cut, consider whether your new skills will make you more valuable in the future even if this venture fails. Try and get as complete a picture of your new workplace as possible, so you can determine whether a pay cut is really going to be necessary and, if it is, what this startup can offer you in the future and how long it will take to realize that.

Ask frank, open questions of your potential new employer. If you can't ask questions, at this stage, you won't be able to learn anything later. Cash flow is a legitimate concern with new small companies and stock options are worth considering. There are incredible success stories associated with small adventurous startups and there are also failures. Before you agree to anything, thoroughly research a company's potential. Stock options could mean substantial future wealth for you or they could be nothing more than paper.

Workplace Issues are as legitimate as salary. If you're unhappy where you are, there's reason enough to consider a change as long as you don't act without considering the consequences. If you know you could be valued more where you are going than where you are, maybe it isn't necessary to start at the same financial level. Promotions and improvements will follow if your new employers are fair and straight forward with you. Your long term experience is what's most important both in pay and fulfillment.

In an economy based on information and specialization, knowledge can have commercial value. Your particular skills and expertise could be useful in a variety of venues. Think about how you can identify your special skills and how you can market them most effectively. It could help you increase your sense of independence along with your income. As companies increasingly look beyond their own borders to outsource, new opportunities could open up for a 'reinvented' you.

Published: Aug 28,2008 15:47
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