Many people at the moment, because of shrinking sectors are being forced to rethink their careers. They may have been with the same company or in the same profession for their whole lives, so this can feel very very daunting.

In times of economic growth, I help people change career direction because they want to, e.g. for better work life balance, to have more fulfilling work, or to turn an enjoyable hobby into paid work.

Experience of career reinvention

I also have a lot of experience of helping people reinvent themselves, because they have to, i.e. redundancy. My company was one of the first to be awarded a contract to do ‘Steer your career’ workshops after the credit crunch in 2007/2008, so we have lots of experience to support people being made redundant at this time.

I have also done many career events and workshops for membership organisations including the Law Society, ICAEW and the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) on portfolio careers, career reinvention, career strategy, personal branding to name a few.

Why I love career reinvention

I love career reinvention because it is helping people to see what they find it hard to see themselves as they are too close and seeing their confidence grow as they work out what they are going to do and how they are going to make it happen, with my support.

Career coaching is both practical and creative. One of my favourite client briefs is starting with a ‘blank sheet of paper’ i.e. a client who doesn’t know what else they could do, but do know that they have to or want to reinvent themselves in their career.

I have reinvented my own career. See my LinkedIn profile for detail

One trick pony

Often my career coaching clients feel that they are ’one trick ponies’ having done the same thing for years, when actually they have hugely transferable skills and just need help to see this and to market themselves, as they feel rusty, not having updated their CV or had an interview in ages.

Career transition client examples

My clients’ career reinvention transitions include:

  • An insurance broker becoming a teacher of children to learn the piano
  • A barrister becoming a company secretary
  • A direct marketing expert becoming a self employed photographer
  • A human rights lawyer retraining as a dance therapist
  • An education lawyer moving into music management
  • A project manager setting up a company doing cheese holidays in France

Common barriers to career reinvention

There are many barriers in people’s minds to career change, some actual and some perceived:

  • Fear of change/uncertainty
  • Resistance from partners, peers or parents
  • Worrying about money, making the wrong decision or taking a step down the ladder having worked so hard to progress up it
  • Not knowing what you don’t know
  • Being in the dark about how to find out about new options
  • Believing they are ‘too old’ to change
  • Pleasing others e.g. parents living their lives through their children’s success instead of focusing on their happiness
  • Lack of time
  • Not wanting to let go of a benefit of the current job e.g. being admired at parties for being a Doctor

11 Tips to reinvent your career

  1. Research employment growth areas; sectors and jobs
  2. Think about when you have felt most alive and fulfilled in your work and how you can have more of this
  3. Source examples of achievements and initiatives from outside your career to demonstrate your marketability
  4. Think your career change through thoroughly and create a long term vision with small short term steps
  5. Make time regularly to make your change happen
  6. Research your options and ensure they will give you what’s important to you e.g. security, learning or challenge
  7. Consider retraining and acquiring new skills to become more marketable
  8. Analyse what makes you distinctive to other people in your field – that unique combination of your skills, qualities and life and work experiences – this is your unique ‘brand’
  9. Speak to people already doing what you want to do to get inside knowledge
  10. Be creative about how you can get experience to prove your capability and demonstrate the transferability of your skills in a new area e.g. do voluntary work, help out a friend’s business etc
  11. Enlist the support of an experienced career coach

Client testimonials

“Energise helped me focus on my strengths at a very negative time for me, during redundancy. I found the whole process very rewarding.”

“Coaching has given me extra confidence. The process was very rewarding. The CV now looks punchier, and I feel ME again.”

“Coaching with Energise has given me choices, freedom and liberation.”

“Coaching gave me an objective, practical and understanding sounding board when I needed to get my life back in gear again. It really is a personal service that works around who you really are and what you really want to do. “

“Coaching gave me a positive attitude, confidence and insight. It has been instrumental in my success and by setting targets and deadlines it has speeded up the whole process of finding another job.”

Rachel Brushfield Rachel Brushfield is The Talent Liberator at Energise – The Talent Liberation Company, founded in 1997. She is a career strategist, coach and published author, with a career heritage in marketing and brand strategy and communications who helps her clients enjoy uplifting breakthroughs at major career crossroads. Rachel’s career coaching specialisms are helping women professionals and executives to gain more career fulfilment and comfortably and competently market themselves, and creating, editing and marketing portfolio careers for a future proof and sustainable career. Rachel co-runs the network PWHub with CPD style quarterly events for senior employed women in Oxfordshire.

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