Some of you might remember the time where you went to school, got a job, and kept working there until you retired. Oh, happy secure days! However, those happy days are definitely over. But, still a lot of employees think that reinventing themselves or retraining their skills is for those that get laid off and will need to find a new job. Or for those that are already spending way too much time applying for jobs with no luck so far. Or for those that are stuck in a job they are not happy with. Or for those that don´t have an attractive profile or great performance so they won´t get many opportunities at their current employer.
You don´t need to reinvent yourself because you are in a good, well-paid and stable position right? Or, you don´t want to reinvent yourself because you have found your dream job. Reinventing yourself is for those that are in a way worse position than you are, that´s for sure.
And that´s where you are wrong. Everybody should be reinventing themselves in order to stay competitive but also to stay up to date. Fact is, no matter how much you plan your career, your professional life can be completely unpredictable. Because no matter how good your position, what will happen when your company needs to reorganize and therefore downsize significantly? Or worse, when your company will get out of business and everybody will be on the street? Or, due to technological advances, your specialty might become obsolete one day? And you need to be prepared for the unpredictable.
Furthermore, if we stop the pessimistic thinking, reinventing yourself means you are more versatile. This means that you can be much more successful in the opportunities coming your way.
But, how do you do this reinventing yourself? If you are good in your current position it can be challenging to think about worse case scenarios and in what direction you should reinvent yourself. Here are some tips to get you started.
- Assess your current qualities, skills, and competencies
In order to make an action plan, you need to know where you are currently standing. Start by asking yourself what your professional characteristics and skills are. What do you think you are known for? Which competencies and expertise make you unique? Try to make a complete overview of who you are as a professional.
- Engage in activities that will make you more versatile
Now that you know where you stand, it is time to get active with becoming more versatile. You know which skills you have, so start working on filling your skills gaps When a new challenging project needs an owner, put your hand up so you can develop yourself further. And finally, make sure you become indispensable. Customer needs can change and new technologies can change the market but there is always an indispensable person that can overcome these challenges. Be that person.
- Work on your personal skills that allow you to be versatile
There are some skills that allow you to be a more versatile professional. Willingness to change, tolerating anxiety, and your willingness to live with some degree of uncertainty, for example. If you don´t have these skills naturally, find ways to develop them. Instead of booking your holidays from beginning to end, try to go a bit more backpacker style, making your plans when you´re already at the destination. This might sound scary, but it will teach you to be more used to new situations that require versatility and flexibility. Try to find opportunities in your life to develop those skills.
Finally, besides the positives of reinventing yourself for a professional purpose, see it as a fun way to work on yourself and who knows, you might even find a new passion!