I was fired from my first real job one month after college graduation. The termination came as somewhat of a shock to me because just a couple of weeks prior I had confronted my supervisor and asked if she had any issues with my performance. She looked me in my face and told me everything was fine, but then continued to resort to the same passive-aggressive antics that had caused me to confront her in the first place. My lack of experience and unfamiliarity with shady office politics left me blindsided and traumatized by the termination.
For years after that experience, I lived in complete fear of being unemployed again, which is a very valid concern since I worked in an industry infamous for lay-offs, instability, and an oversaturation of job seekers. However, something clicked for me one day and I realized it wasn’t my industry that was restricting me, it was my mindset. For so long I was mentally married to the idea of only doing one thing while failing to realize my skill set was transferable.
If you’re feeling particularly stifled by your career options and would like exposure to more opportunities, it might be time to consider professionally reinventing yourself. Here’s how:
Create a skills list
What are you good at? What have you learned from your current and previous positions? Compile a list of those things. If you’re feeling stuck, going back to reread job postings for your prior and current positions is a great way to generate ideas.
Create a passions list
What brings you joy? What do you do in your spare time? What would you do with your life if money were not a factor? Compiling a list of things you’re passionate about could also serve a source of inspiration when looking to professionally reinvent yourself.
Divorce your job title
You are so much more than a job title. Sometimes, we become so fixated on titles and position that we can’t see anything beyond that. This can seriously hinder our growth and progress. Sometimes your next come-up won’t come with the job title you have in your head.
Don’t shy away from acquiring additional credentials
Sometimes new opportunities will require additional work on your end. Don’t shy away from the prospect of graduate school or getting additional certifications.
Consider other industries
Often times, our skill sets are not exclusive to one specific industry. Be open to transitioning between industries if you have the skills and qualifications to do so. Your path doesn’t have to be linear.
Don’t be afraid to start over
You don’t have to remain in an industry that makes you absolutely miserable just because you spent a long time there. Sometimes, a career makeover will require starting from scratch in a new field and that’s okay.
It’s okay to juggle, so embrace the side hustle
Your transition doesn’t have to be abrupt, it can be a gradual process. Many Black women are keeping their 9-5s and pursuing their passions through side businesses.