Different Paths to Reinvent Yourself

In these economically difficult times many people have reinvented themselves because their once secure job was lost. The workplace is vastly different than it was in our parent’s era; the days of working for one company, retiring after a long rewarding career and collecting a pension has become a thing of the past. Some people simply lost their job due to outsourcing or downsizing. Some people could no longer take the long hours and pressure that many jobs require, while others chose a different route for family reasons. In this article, we’ll take a look at three life-changing situations and how people were able to reinvent themselves.

Going back to school to learn a new trade or skill set can be one way to begin a second career. Many people stumbled into a job that turned into a long career, but came to an end. People in that situation should soul search to find out what their true passion is and remember what they used to dream of doing when they were young. Furthering your education can be one solution to a new career. It will most likely be a sacrifice, such as moving in with a friend or relative to be able to afford the expense of school and cutting down on work to concentrate on school.  Going to school and working part-time also leaves little time for a social life, but it can pay off with a rewarding second career.

Here’s an example of a man who could no longer work 60 plus hours a week in a demanding career because of the health and emotional toll it took on his life.  With money in the bank and a two-year plan to enjoy life and regain his health, the man walked away from a six -figure a year career.  Unexpectedly, a family issue turned the two years into three years, and the money began to dwindle and panic set in. His skills were outdated to go back to the legal field, but he was considered over qualified for other jobs. He took his love of gardening and went to a major garden convention and volunteered and networked with vendors and convention organizers. He now works with a vendor and has built the fledgling business using his previous skills.. It is not a six figure paycheck, but he loves going to work every day.

A friend of mine was once challenged finding a job that could accommodate her husband’s erratic work schedule. Her love of animals led to a small dog walking and pet sitting business that gave her the flexibility she needed. The startup cost was minimal – a small ad in a neighborhood publication, car magnet signs and some legal expenses to set up the business, and she had her first client within a week. Word of mouth and networking has led to a nice income and a schedule that works for her family.   

If you are one of the millions of people that have had your world come to a sudden halt by the end of a lucrative job – think about your passions, spend time thinking about what you wanted to do as a child or things in your life you love doing – you might just find a new career.

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Michele Keeley is a Program Manager at the Rasmussen College Tampa/Brandon campus. She has worked in the field of Human Resources for more than 21 years and 11 years as an Employment Manager. Michele also has a B.S. in Radio and Television with a minor in Speech from Southern Illinois University. Michele worked for Hyatt Hotels for 26 years in Food and Beverage and Human Resources, and that gave her the professionalism and customer service skills that can be used in many other professions.

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