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WITI CAREERS

How To Start A New Chapter In Your Life At Any Age



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Fed up with your job, wanting to try something new or different, or ready to finally go for that career you've been dreaming about? Stop daydreaming and start going for it. But, before you do, benefit from these tips from career reinvention coach Dr. Miriam Reiss:

1. Start a new chapter for the right reasons.

Take a good look at why you want to leave your current job or career. Do you have a pattern of running when you get bored, tired, burned out, sick of politics or afraid of bigger challenges? If that's so, get support and shift that pattern before you move on, or you'll drag it with you into your next chapter.

2. What are you telling yourself about starting a new chapter?

"I'm too old." "It's not that bad, at least I've got a job, benefits, etc." "I don't have a clue what else to do." "I'll follow my passion when it retire." "I don't want to have to go back to school." "Things will get better at work." These are common things we tell ourselves when we consider new career turf. Be sensitive to statements that sound oh-so rational but effectively keep us from moving forward.

3. Most people say they like their job. Don't believe them.

Global research shows that the majority of people worldwide don't like or are tolerating their jobs. This is very different from loving your job. Job dissatisfaction, over time, can affect way more than your mood. It can jeopardize your health, your relationships and whole life. Don't let unhappiness fester, your body wants you to do something about it.

4. Staying in your job because of your children may not be doing them a favor.

What do you want to model to your children about what it's like to work for a living? A mother who radiates happiness from her work gives her children the message that work is to be savored, that it can create opportunity, exciting challenges and expansion. Children copy what they see, including parents' work-related beliefs and values. Your work imprint won't typically surface until your children enter the workforce. The impact on their careers can be lifelong.

5. You may not need to totally reinvent yourself. Chances are, you also won't need to go back to school for another degree.

There are six possible doors of career change, from shifting who you're being in your current position to total career reinvention. Don't presume you know which career door is right for you. Many people, when they work with a career coach, discover that complete reinvention often isn't needed. Each career door involves a different strategy and a different amount of energy, commitment and time. The journey can actually be fun and a transformational experience.

6. Don't overanalyze the career process.

Use that tech mind of yours wisely. Be careful of using your mind to prematurely negate career options. Talking to 3-5 people who are already in careers you're considering will give you a wider, more accurate lens. 

7. There's no such thing as an "average" amount of time to do career shift.

The right kind of support will enable you to move faster and more efficiently. The older we get, the more time is a factor. Through the process, you might uncover a career that you were unaware of or wouldn't have considered on your own. You might even have it in you to do something pioneering, creating a job or industry that didn't previously exist. 

8. Take career assessments with a large grain of sea salt.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if a career assessment could rapidly and precisely identify our most perfect career? Unfortunately, even the best, most expensive assessments aren't able to factor in your unique personality style and needs, values, preferences and cumulative work experience.

9. Personal foundation work evolves the process.

Starting a new chapter may reveal buried treasure. It may also surface unexpected emotions. Skipping or avoiding personal foundation work dramatically affects results. This is where people most frequently quit on themselves. Having the right kind of support is essential.

10. Don't let geography derail you.

If you want to make it in your field, go where the opportunity is. Life is short. Don't set yourself up for later regrets.

11. Use everything for your advancement.

Take advantage of organizations like WITI and everything in your tech toolbox to give you a next chapter advantage. Whether you're an extrovert or introvert, make the most of your style.

12. Be honest with yourself.

If you've been thinking about starting a new chapter for more than a year or so, and you're still thinking about it, it's time to get real with yourself. Get a career coach. Your life will thank you.


Dr. Miriam Reiss, DSS, MCC, and President, Spirited Marketing(tm), specializes in helping women in technology radically improve their careers through a 5-step process that systematically reveals, recognizes and realigns core values, needs and strengths. Recognized as a Master Coach by the International Coach Federation, Miriam co-authored, "Branding and Marketing Mastery." Contact Miriam at miriam@spiritedmarketing.com, 818-817-2332, www.spiritedmarketing.com.