Saturday, April 23, 2011

Handling Pauses in the Career Reinvention Process

3At times, any reinvention will require a pause – kind of like a moment of silence – amid all the work you are doing. The important thing to understand in career reinventions is this: a reinvention will take just as long as it's going to take.

Reinvention is a process that can take weeks, months, even years to fully evolve. Sure, you'll get excited once you've identified your career passion and begin designing your reinvention game plan, but don't worry if there are pauses in the effort. You may discover you have to take a few classes or do some additional work. Or, let's face it, your personal life may intervene in any number of ways:
  • babies are born
  • elderly parents or grown children need support
  • accidents happen
During those spaces where it feels like your reinvention is stalled, it's important to stay focused even if your plans for progress are on temporary hold. Remember, the situation will change – one way or another – it has to change, that's the nature of life and you can't stop it.

Take these breaks in the reinvention process as gifts, the chance to clean up your surroundings, put your financial house in order, simplify your schedule, whatever background efforts that need to be done to clear your path to reinvention progress. These pauses in the process are not bad. In fact, they can help you rest and recover because reinventions are packed with energy draining changes. Breaks in the process can allow your thoughts to flow more freely, give you the time to review the progress you've made and add or delete steps to be done.

Sometimes you can use a pause like this to tap into the ideas of others by seeking out groups or organizations you didn't have time to connect with before, or by getting involved in an industry-specific association to find out what they have to offer.

Even if you don't feel that real progress is being accomplished, keep the mindset and continue acting as if this change is happening. Acting 'as if' can transform elusive possibilities into real truths simply by keeping it in your mind and in the minds of others.

- Virginia

Virginia O'Connor, started out of college as a teacher of high school English, moved on to marketing writing, and then on to the then-new career of technical writing where she remained for over 20 years. She recently started her next reinvention as a writer and content manager for a number of highly successful websites.

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