How many times have you changed your hair-style?
And how many careers have you had in your lifetime?
As Expats, every move is an opportunity to start all over! Here’s how:
On today’s Today Show’s third hour, a group of experts shared tips for reinvention.
Marci was a lawyer for 10 years, and changed because she had other passions, like writing.
1. What would you rather be doing?
One step to take if you find you’re no longer happy, fulfilled, or thrilled to wake up and go to work in the morning is find out what it is that could make you happy, fulfilled, and thrilled to wake up in the morning by “creating a Board of Directors”.
Get good friends, colleagues, and people from your childhood together to honestly talk about your strengths, weak points, and remind you of those childhood dreams you may have forgotten.
2. Honor your innate preferences
The Type perspective I would add is that given Personality Type Dynamics and Development, it is common for people to “flex” into their opposite preferences around mid-life. You’ve heard of the 45-year-old accountant, who always lived prudently and then spent his savings on a red sports car? Or perhaps you know a “home-body” who in her 40s started skydiving and other adventure sports.
Carl Jung stated that our goal as humans is to become whole, a process he called “individuation”. That means, we spend the first half of our lives perfecting our dominant and auxiliary function, and become more interested in practicing skills associated with our third and inferior functions later in life.
3. Take off the rose-colored glasses
If career reinvention was easy, everyone’d be doing it. The challenges of changing an established career are not to be underestimated. They include
- Investment – it took a long time to get there and it may be hard to let that go
- Circle of influence – once you do something for a long time you surround yourself with people who do the same and who keep you pulled in
- Fear – of failing, of succeeding, of losing what may be a comfortable life, including your pension.
4. Educate yourself and Get Coached
Gina overcame her challenges by educating herself, going to school, and starting her own business. I would add that a coach can help you find answers to what your particular obstacles are and how to overcome them – faster and more effectively than a self-help book that usually gathers dust on the shelf.
5. Take baby steps
and explore the world while you’re at it.
Sometimes, you need to test the waters with your big toe before you jump all in.
www.travelandleisure.com ‘s digital editor Sarah Spagnolo shared resources for vacations and places to go that offer a change of perspective:
When you’re ready to give back: volunteer vacations
www.globeaware.org – one week experiences in 15 countries, e.g. teaching English
When you need to find your center: meditation, Yoga, and reflection (may help with Step 1 – find your passions)
www.kripalu.org – centers in North-Eastern USA that offer retreats for individuals and couples to connect with your inner spirit
www.esalen.org – on the West Coast, California, where you can spend time to explore your creativity in serene settings
www.jackiesonthereef.com – in Jamaica, doing Yoga, hanging out
More active (may help with Step 2 – perhaps you just need to exercise more to balance the desk job!)
www.bodysouladventures.com – hiking in Brazil
More relaxation and healthy food, in Europe:
www.shawellnessclinic.com in Alicante, Spain
Bonus: 6. Do the reality check
How feasible is your new idea, and how do your main stakeholders feel about it?
Before you decide to go for it and change careers, try at least these 3 Tips:
- Save money and plan for at least one year of transition
- Talk to your significant other and family members about your dreams to minimize resistance (and resentment!*) and maximize buy-in and support
- Spend time with people who a) do what you want to be doing to get their perspective, and b) fully support you during your transition (not just once you’ve succeeded)
*Remember, not everyone is happy and has the courage to do something about it: you going after what you really wantreminds them they’re still in their self-made cages. Don’t be surprised if some come after you trying to clobber you back inside.
287 Secrets of Reinventing Your Life, More Magazine
YOUR TURN TO SHARE: when was the last time you reinvented yourself, and how did you pull it off?