Today, I spoke to Deborah Shane, who blogs here and is an author, entrepreneur, radio host and expert. Her new book Career Transition-make the shift-the 5 steps to successful career reinvention is available now. In this interview, Deborah talks about how you know when you need to reinvent your career, how to go about reinventing your brand and putting yourself back in the marketplace, and more.
What is career reinvention and how do you know if you need it?
Career reinvention is NOT a new idea or issue. We have experience employment cycles in several decades. People have changed jobs within careers for a long time. The difference today is that technology, housing, the economy and generational shifts have fueled the accelerated pace of change. What it takes to be in business, get a job and grow a career is much more demanding than ever before. The skills, qualities and energy it takes is very different than it was 10 years ago. The new world of work requires new rules, tools and approaches. Career reinvention is really about taking who you are, what you do and making it relevant and effective in today’s business environment. That may require some reinvention. “Career reinvention is a lot like cooking”. You take your passion and expertise, together with your skills and qualities, prepare them , mix them together, present them and serve them! If you are not happy doing what you are doing, not getting mobility opportunities, the business that you are currently in is not growing, you are not getting called for interviews, then you are probably a good candidate for a makeover, re-brand or update!
What are the first steps to reinventing your brand/career and establishing yourself back in the marketplace?
The first step I would suggest is defining or re-defining who you are, what you do, what you want people to know you for. What is your X factor, your key intangibles that are your essence that can make you stand out. “Everything you need is already inside of you”, just go within and “discover and uncover”. Ask people who have known you and worked with you that you have a relationship with, what qualities they like best and least about you. I highly recommend some career and brand consulting and coaching. Sometimes we don’t always see things in ourselves that others see. The next really important thing is to make sure your professional image and persona is relevant, up to date and somewhat bold. What people see and how your words impact is very important. Your brand impression stays with people from the very first touch, so make sure you look the way you want people to remember you and communicate what you want people to remember you for.
What are some tools you can use to project your new career path?
We live in two worlds now: online/virtual and face to face/ in person. They are equally important, mutually-dependent, inter-dependent. We know the power of networking in person and how much it still matters when it comes to making key connections. There is nothing that can replace a face to face interaction with someone and it will always be where the magic happens. Joining chambers, professional organizations, networking groups can have BIG rewards, as “membership has its privileges.” Having said that, the new media and social media platforms including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube are creating an amazing opportunity to make virtual connections that can and will turn into actionable, valuable relationships. They all have groups that people can join and interact with online. Additionally, if someone has a flair for writing, blogging is a proven way to build brand awareness and credibility. The days of just networking online or just in person are kind of over. The two work together to grow relationships, referrals and connections! One more platform that has worked amazing is my weekly business Blogtalk Radio show Deborah Shane’s Metropolis, which I have been on almost 3 years. This has opened up more doors for me than almost anything else. I do this show weekly, and to date have over 27k downloads and climbing!
What inspired you to write a book about career reinvention?
Right now this is a key theme and dynamic in many people’s lives and it will continue to be. There is a 23 year low in job satisfaction (Harvard Business School) and 84% of Americans plan to look for new jobs in 2011 (Business News Daily). I have been writing since I am 10 years old! Poetry, songs, short stories, articles that have been published over the years, but not a book! This was an opportunity to take my own personal career transition journey from 2006 and tell it. This book is my story, my process and the lessons I have learned through several transitions and the 5 steps I created to help people go from where they are to where they want to go. I included other inspirational profiles of people who have reinvented themselves throughout the book including career powerhouse Tory Johnson, workplace contributor for ABC’s Good Morning America and founder of WomenforHire.com, J.T. O’Donnell, founder of Careerealism.com, and Maddy Dychtwald, author and founder of Age Wave, plus many more.
The book also offers lots of resources, including websites, blogs and books from some well-known career experts. As the finishing touch, I created a FREE 30 page Career Action e-Book, a companion journal full of exercises and book excerpts that will help discover their passion and determine their next career move. The Five Steps are designed to help people uncover new career possibilities, develop a bold, fresh persona, and establish a realistic and achievable career transition blueprint and plan. It is my hope that my story inspires and motivates women and men of any age to believe that the life they want is the life they can have especially now and at any juncture of their life. The new book is available on Amazon.com and on Kindle too!
What are the negative side effects to reinventing yourself?
The only negative side effects I can think of would be making changes to just change without really evaluating why and if the career change is a good fit for you. I would also suggest following trends to see what careers, products, services and niches are going to be active, strong and areas that have sustainability. Going back to school be it college, adult education classes, free workshops presented by professional organizations, chambers and government agencies can all be keys to your success. Other than that……..When you can embrace Career Transition as another beginning and a new adventure, it can actually be fun!
Deborah Shane is an author, entrepreneur, radio host and expert. She is the heart and soul of her business education and professional development company, Train with Shane and is in her third year of hosting a weekly business radio show on blogtalkradio.com. She writes for several national business, career and marketing blogs, and websites including smallbiztrends.com, careerealism.com, Internationalbusinesstimes.com, Smartbrief.com and teachstreet.com. Her new book Career Transition-make the shift-the 5 steps to successful career reinvention is available now on amazon.com. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Blogtalkradio @Deborah Shane, or visit www.deborahshane.com.