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During COVID-19, millions of Americans have had their work and career disrupted or upended.  With unemployment high and more bankruptcies on the horizon, it’s time for many to take action.  Those fortunate to keep their jobs are facing changes, such as revised goals and plans, new procedures and increased workloads.  The one certainty we can all count on is additional change and uncertainty in the future.

If you’ve been displaced from your physical workplace and routines, you may now be looking at your work through new eyes.  The need to fit into your organization’s new agenda may be challenging or unappealing to you.  This pandemic could be a turning point or catalyst to a different way of making a living that offers meaning and evokes passion.  Are you asking yourself, “What else would I rather be doing?”  It might be a good time to use skills you’ve acquired to take your career to a new level or create your dream job.  Maybe you’re ready for a fresh start like launching a business or serving others. 

In stepping out of your comfort zone, you discover new possibilities  for change, growth and transformation.

Career reinvention is not easy, especially in midlife and after.  During the first half of life, your career trajectory is the result of your choices, efforts and timing.   Considering a change in the second half of life, you may wish to slow down, pursue a new avenue or give back.  If you’re a woman, you may be free for the first time in your life to focus on yourself.  With children leaving the nest and physical body changes that occur with menopause, you may feel disoriented and also excited.  At last, you can follow your own inner urgings after years of serving others.

So, how will you navigate your career to maintain your current position, elevate your career to another level, or reinvent and pivot to a new career?  It starts with being honest, putting you first, and thinking differently.  

5 Steps to Reinvent and Upgrade Your Career

  1. Grow Your Awareness

A career reboot or reinvention process starts from the inside out.  First, you want to develop an understanding of what is happening with work, so you don’t just react to circumstances or your feelings.  Spend time everyday considering who you are today, your desires and what’s important to you.  Look at any limitations or expectations you are imposing on yourself and evaluate whether these are still necessary or valid.  Next, write about what excites you and what you dream about.  Then, write about the changes in your workplace, industry and any potential developments.  What new ideas or opportunities arise when you think about these? 

  1. Formulate a Vision

Once you gain some clarity, you can do some research and start listing your options.  You don’t need to have all the answers yet, as your awareness will grow throughout this process.  While you consider the long-term, there may be an intermediate step in which you continue on your current path and also plan and test a new direction to see if it is fulfilling.  Think about redesigning your career to fit your terms, pace and lifestyle.  What do you need to learn and who can you talk to that can help you evaluate your options?  As you gather information, create a vision of your future career and start mapping out ways to get there. 

  1. Choose Who You Will Be

In order to successfully move toward your next career, you need to believe in your vision and your ability to reach your desired outcome.  If you don’t believe you have what it takes to be successful, you will undermine your efforts.  You may decide to upgrade your value by branding yourself to stand out, focusing on your combination of personal strengths and abilities, developing new insights or approaches, or learning new skills such as leadership, sales, marketing or technology.  Also, know your personal blocks and limitations and choose not to let them hold you back.  Otherwise, you will spend your energy and time battling with yourself, rather than reaching for your vision with confidence. 

  1. Build Confidence and a Winning Mindset

When you know who you need to be and start implementing your plan, you may start to doubt or worry about getting to the next place.  Your beliefs, attitudes and feelings can stop you in your tracks at any moment.  This is when you need to clear out old beliefs, increase your confidence, own your self-worth, and adopt a winning mindset.  Also, know that if you find yourself going down a path doesn’t feel right, you can stop and turn in a new direction.  Move forward from a position of strength, and let your confidence, value and mindset attract others who can help you along the way.

  1. Get Support To Improve Your Success

Reinvention or pivoting a career can be a six to twelve month process.  You will want to pace yourself so you don’t burn out.  You can increase your likelihood of success by working with a Career Coach or Business Coach that will act as a partner in your process.  They can provide a proven process with steps, tools and resources to get you to the finish line.  Coaches can also share connections to people and opportunities that can shortcut your actions and time to achieving results.

Times of change and turbulence are great opportunities to reimagine and discover new career desires and directions.  It’s never too late to be whoever you want to be and do whatever you want to do.  I hope you make the best of this current situation and the new opportunities that will arise.  Know and trust that you are creating the career you wish for, and enjoy the ride!

Susan Rosenthal - Modern Aging

Susan is Co-CEO and Chief Operations Officer of Modern Aging. She is a businesswoman, author and coach with a mission to build global communities, eliminate stereotypes and inspire people to live authentically and fulfilled.

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