I recently ran across an article on Sixty and Me titled “14 Ways to Reinvent Yourself After Your Career Ends”. It’s a good read worth checking out. But I wanted to add my own two-cents to the subject of reinventing your career.
On some level, I think that’s what this blog is all about – reinvention. It’s about reinventing retirement, whether that’s in your career, lifestyle, etc. To me, reinvention is about change. And successful reinvention is about managing change successfully.
That being said, we need to remember that reinventing yourself happens at every age. Yes – it’s true that we might need to reinvent ourselves in our 60s. But chances are, this isn’t our first reinvention. We probably have reinvented ourselves at least once. Maybe it was after a promotion. Or when we changed jobs or companies. Or when we learned a new skill.
As you’re thinking about your career and the future, consider the times you’ve had career change – both the good and the bad. Use it as an opportunity to make some decisions. If you’re in your 20s or 30s right now, thinking “I’ll deal with this when I’m old.” Guess what? You’ll be faced with reinvention long before then.
Next, your career ends when you say it does. No one else decides that for you. I want to draw a distinction between jobs and careers. It’s possible a company might eliminate your job. But that doesn’t mean they took your career away. You can still pursue your career with another organization or become a freelancer or consultant, offering the same services.
Now, this doesn’t mean our career decisions are always easy. At some point, we have to decide if we can physically, mentally, and emotionally continue our career. We also have to decide if we want to redesign our career. We can take the parts we like best and focus on those. Stop doing the things that have become challenging or we simply don’t like.
It’s important to realize that reinventing your career doesn’t just happen at age 60. For me, a car accident at age 23 made me reinvent my career. That’s how I ended up in human resources. The car accident didn’t end my career. In fact, it opened a door for me that I never thought existed.
Instead of viewing it as the end of something, maybe it’s time to look forward to reinventing our careers. It might just be a wonderful change.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring Naples, FL