The 5 Essentials Of Reinventing Yourself

While Wall Street claims that the recession has run its’ course, the jobless rate continues to hover at more than 10 percent and millions of people are experiencing prolonged unemployment.  In fact, in a recent report put out by Rutgers University entitled “No End in Sight: The Agony of Prolonged Unemployment,” experts state that economic improvements have had little to no positive effects on those still searching for work.  Eight in ten people who lost their job in the recession have yet to find a new one, and those that have found work have been forced to take a pay cut, work without benefits or take a job they don’t like.

Unemployment itself is bad enough and prolonged unemployment, described as those who have been searching for more than 6 months, is quite simply put… a nightmare of the very worst kind.  People have lost their homes, sold valuable possession to make ends meet, borrowed money from friends, dipped into their retirement funds, overlooked medical care and the list goes on and on.

Let’s not forget to mention the physical and emotional toll that joblessness takes on a human being.  Insomnia is on the rise, and it goes without saying that stress levels are too.  Anxiety, anger and depression are all results of this economic debacle the world is facing.

In fact, as you read this, you might even be nodding in concurrence because of your own harrowing experience or that of a friend or relative.

Those of us who are out of work wonder if we will ever find another job again.  We wonder “what happened?  I was so good at my job.”  But then, after 6, 7 months, even a year without a job… a year of sending out resumes into the world wide web to seemingly anonymous employers, of waiting for those anonymous employers to respond, a year of rejection emails… a year of trying to hold your head up high as you walk to your mailbox anxiously awaiting your next unemployment check (of course, that’s only if you’ve been approved for an extension)… we can’t help but wonder “was I really good at my job?”  “Will I ever get hired again?”  “Do I even want to continue working in that field?”

And that brings me to my point… as difficult and challenging as unemployment – of any amount of time – is… could this also be a chance to re-evaluate your career path?  To re-invent yourself?

In an article I wrote a few months back, “The Upside of the Economic Downturn: Why Being Unemployed Isn’t So Bad” I asked:  Is this a chance at your dream???

Think about your life before your first job.  What was your dream?  Not your goal or your plans, but your dream… that far away, far-fetched idea that you spent late nights discussing with your college buddies.  Did you dream of owning your own business?  Or maybe you wanted to become a writer, nurse, lawyer, or singer?

There are certainly a lot of factors involved in making the decision to reinvent oneself.  And it is a personal decision that one must make oneself.  This piece has not been written to suggest that you neglect your responsibilities of paying bills, caring for your children or finding a job.  But, rather, it was written to suggest that in the 8 hours a day you spend looking for that job, I think at least 60 minutes could be taken to work on achieving your dreams as well.

Here are a few tips to help start the re-inventing process:

  • Stop thinking of yourself as being unemployed. Make a personal affirmation to convince yourself that you are not unemployed, but taking another path towards a different career.  When someone asks you, “What do you do for work”… Instead of telling them you don’t work, tell them what you want to be doing, what you will be doing.  I was in the fashion industry for 10 years before losing my job.  I’ve been unemployed for a full year and in this time; I have rediscovered my passion for writing.  It is still challenging for me, when asked, to answer someone that I am writing rather than answering that I am not working.  But, the more you speak the positive; surely the more you believe it.
  • Redesign your resume. Evaluate your resume and redesign it to highlight the skills you already possess for this new field of interest.  For instance, my experience and major responsibilities in the garment business were focused on merchandising and trend spotting, but I also wrote all types of reports from analytical ones to trend and color reports.  These skills are now listed first on my resume.  I bet if you really look at your former job experience, you will find a hint of your college career dreams hidden in there.
  • Get a part time job, volunteer or do freelance work in this new field. If you have always been an accountant, but have forever dreamed of being a nurse… then why not volunteer at a hospital while researching what is required of you to become a nurse?  Or have you always wanted to act?  There are always casting calls for extras.  And there are boundless freelance writing gigs posted daily on the internet.
  • Take a class. An old colleague of mine has just entered her second year of law school.  I am looking into brushing up my writing techniques and researching classes in the area. How about a local program that focuses on entrepreneurship if what you want is to run your own business.

And lastly, but most importantly:

  • Believe in yourself. Being out of work takes a toll on our self confidence, but we must remind ourselves of all of our personal accomplishments.  We were good at our jobs, in fact we were great!  We achieved sales goals, beat deadlines, impressed bosses and even ourselves.  And we can do it again. 

Again, I’m not suggesting you stop looking for a job and pick up your paint brushes, head to the beach and seek your inner Picasso while your bills stack up and your kids wait for you at the dinner table, but if you are going to take a pay cut, or a job with no benefits, rather than it be a job that you hate… why not look for a job that can get you just that much closer to achieving that far-fetched college dream!  As Bob Dylan says, “a person is a success if they wake up in the morning and gets to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”

Melisa Verrecchia is a freelance writer and former fashion diva.  She is also co-writing a book entitled: “Unemployed: The Single Girl’s Guide to Getting By in Los Angeles.”

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Related Articles:

The Upside Of The Economic Downturn: Why Being Unemployed Isn’t So Bad

Overcoming A Loss Of Motivation

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  • http://www.life.yinteing.com Yin Teing

    Great article as it really address the feelings of someone who is out of job. Most of the time, people who are out of job try to remain low profile and avoid meeting up with friends because of the dreaded question, “So, what are you doing now?”. Even the most confident and self assured person will start to seriously doubt himself when faced with one rejection after another.
    It’s true- I wish many people will take this time as an opportunity to explore their dreams and things they wished they had time to do (when they were working in jobs that they hate) instead of dwelling in negative thoughts like “I’m not good enough” or “What’s wrong with me?”

  • http://gurutalks.com Guru Talks

    Thanks Melisa! Good Article with Great Motivation

  • http://budurl.com/ynfr Megan Zuniga

    I’ve been unemployed for quite some time. Now that I’m employed, I miss being unemployed. (Yeah, I miss doing nothing). Thing is enjoy being unemployed if you can. You can choose to see the glass half empty or half full, it’s up to you. And the post is right, it’s the chance for you to search your soul and pursue your dream. And there are lots of home business ideas popping up. Get a friend to help you out. Attend classes and meet more new friends. Chances are they are looking for networks and partners like you are. Here’s one idea http://budurl.com/3zmn to get your started on your home business.

  • http://www.selfpersonal.com Kim – inspirational thoughts

    My favorite tip listed here is about getting a part-time job or doing volunteer work. This is exactly what I did when I was laid off and it did wonders for my confidence and sense of productivity. I really hope that others reading this take your tips to heart. They really can make a difference.

  • http://enlightr.com Craig Thomas

    Nice post! :)

    The best way around it all would to become self-employed if the job type is feasible :p

  • http://www.myaspergers.net Steve-Prosper With Aspergers

    One of the best things I did when working at a ‘not so ideal job’ was to go get some vocational testing to further clarify directions that I might want to pursue. It was some of the best time and money I had ever invested. Thanks to that testing, i am doing what I am very happy doing today!

  • Jim Bardwil

    What was said about the Anxiety, Anger and Depression are true. Put faith in God. Everything gets rattled including your faith. I am a witness to it. However, I also recently learned to get my relationship straightened out with God, maybe this is the real lesson. Also, as hard as this may be, do not define yourself by your job. This is something that we all need to learn.

  • Robin

    I couldn’t keep looking forever – and i’m so glad I finally stopped waiting for someone to “Pick me,” With no job prospects in sight, I figured that I really had no choice – starting my own company was the best and only option. Funny how a brick wall can seriously stop you – until you find a way around it! Now i’ve started my own lice treatment company, and work with families in their own homes. It’s been brilliant, i tell you!

    • Bob

      Talk about ‘pick the brain…’

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Grace-Galape/100003196879156 Grace Galape

    The last tip was the greatest of all: Believe in yourself! It’s the key factor in reinventing the old you into the person far better. I came across a great video about how to reinvent yourself quickly. The tips are also great and I’m sure you’ll like it too. http://marieforleo.com/2011/02/quickly-reinvent/

  • Dpc1026

    Your article sounds great but it is easier said than done. I have revamped my resume volunteered etc. I am now homeless and broken with nowhere to go but up and nothing to help me claw my way up any suggestions

  • http://www.howtoreinventyourself.org/ How To Reinvent Yourself

    These tips answered the question I had about how to reinvent yourself. I was lost, but now I’m found, if I were a little cliche. But these tips have really helped. I am thankful for your powerful advice.
    -Dean
    http://www.howtoreinventyourself.org/