Ah, reinvention. Is there a more hopeful concept? Summer is in the air, and with it comes a desire to throw off what’s old and embrace what’s new. Our apartments, our wardrobes, our hair, our boyfriends – we’re all about embracing change. But our careers? Let’s be honest. It doesn’t matter how fast or furiously we’re excelling at work, we could all use a little improvement in our professional lives. In the spirit of the “Weekend Transformation,” call off your date and turn off your cell phone – you’ve got some reinventing to do!
8:00am Wake Up
Before you bound out of bed – like you were going to anyway – assess how you feel most mornings before jumping into the shower and onto the subway to work. Are you excited? Bored? Frustrated? What you experience first thing in the morning, before you percolate the coffee and apply your game face, is the closest thing to truth you’re going to find. How do you actually feel about the work you do and the job you have?
Need time to think? Need some added energy? Go for a jog or start your day with yoga. Get into your rhythm and let those creative juices flow. Exercise is one of the best ways to invigorate the mind, energize the body, and improve your state of mind. If you want to reinvent yourself, put first things first and get moving!
After you extract yourself from the shower, get ready for work. Yes, you heard me. I know it’s Saturday, but I want you to get ready as if you’re going to work. Apply your makeup, style your hair and slip on the outfit you most frequently pull from the closet.
Now, take a long, hard look in a full-length mirror and ask yourself two questions. One: if you were a stranger, what five adjectives would you use to describe your look – your signature style? Two: is that the brand you want to project? If you’re not getting where you want to go, it might be time to think long and hard about the image you’re projecting.
11:30am Take Notes
Record your reflections, your aspirations, and your observations. Thinking about where you are and where you want to go is not going to do you any good unless you write it down. Thoughts are fleeting, and a goal written down is vital to starting your path to change.
Eat the gourmet bread – you know you want it. You’ll have more on your mind than counting carbs. Pick up the New York Times and flip through the Career and Business section. A quick peruse through the career section will not only help you see emerging opportunities, but it will enable you to identify jobs you’ve never heard of, let alone thought of before. And if nothing else, a cruise through the business section ensures you have something to contribute in the next staff meeting.
You had to know the fun would start sometime. We’re talking about a night on the town. But get this, your focus isn’t on the cute stranger at the dance club; it’s on the smart, well-connected, influential one at the library, the bookstore, the art gallery – wherever there’s people with all their clothes on. Really, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, and the “who” that you need to know isn’t spending his Saturday night downing tequila shots. Get out and engage with people whom you want to be associated with. Be observant of your surroundings: the people, the environment, the culture. What can be learned and how you utilize that information can prove to be life changing.
As you drift into La La Land, spend some time dreaming about the most exciting career you can imagine. What would you do? How much would you get paid? Reinvention relies on a vision of something more, something to move toward. Keep a pad and a pen by your bed. Even if that multimillion dollar idea never comes, dreams can bring a new perspective to life. Start dreaming!
Not ready for a career reinvention quite yet? Drape a towel over your head as you face a steaming pot of water. Paint your toes bright red. Change inspires change, and you have to start somewhere.