In true Gen X style, I have changed careers about five times since university (this does not include the coat check girl, catering, go-go dancing or telemarketing jobs I worked to pay for tuition or my backpacking trip to South East Asia). In retrospect, each career was a natural evolution to the other and how I got to where I am now makes sense. Along the way, I have acquired plenty of transferable skills that helped me to serve similar client populations, but in slightly different ways. I enjoyed how each new position was a chance to sort of reinvent myself, use another talent, pursue another passion or apply a different part of my personality.
According to a 2015 Workopolis survey, I am not alone. 24% of Gen Xer’s (people who graduated from university in or around 1992) have changed careers three times already. Some respondents claimed career boredom/disillusionment as the reason and chose to leave. Some cited job loss due to technological advances which rendered their positions obsolete. The days of staying in one career until retirement are over.
Career change, whether by choice or by chance can inspire/jolt many to rebrand or reinvent themselves. For others, it’s not a career change, but rather career advancement within the same field that becomes motivation for transformation.
It doesn’t matter if you are starting out on an alternate career path or climbing the corporate ranks in an industry you know well, if you want to be successful, it is critical to be seen as someone who can handle responsibility, represents the values of the company and belongs in the industry. Strategically dressing the part helps you, your employer and/or clients to believe you are cut out for the position.
But a career change is not the only time you may need or want to reinvent yourself. It might be motherhood, divorce, hunger for adventure, a shift in lifestyle or other pivotal time in your life.
It can be a conscious decision or sudden turn of events you are forced to deal with.
No matter what the catalyst for change is, it’s a lot easier to step into the next chapter of your life and OWN it when you don’t feel like an impostor. While there is no substitute for skills, the transition from rookie to pro is smoother when you feel and look credible. Even if you have limited experience in your new profession or you’re new to dating after divorce or whatever it is you are unseasoned at, you will be more convincing to yourself and others when your look says “I’ve got this”.
Adjusting your personal style can be a symbolic and exciting part of your newest venture especially if you are leaving behind a career, relationship or life choice that made you unhappy. Some people crave a dramatic transformation, but there’s no need to become unrecognizable! Often it’s small tweaks that when combined have a huge impact.
3 Easy Style Tips When Trying to
- Get a current haircut that flatters your face. It’s an instant pick-me-up, and you will look more polished, youthful and refreshed.
- Look at others who are already successful in an area you want to become successful. Steal a page from their style book. For example, maybe that top saleswoman you admire always wears a tailored blazer when meeting clients or that woman with the busy social life often wears bright lipstick to accentuate her smile.
- Dress the part. Do this not only to make the desired first impression but to instill confidence in yourself and therefore feel genuine in your new role. For example, if you want to show your creative side, try wearing coloured or patterned shoes instead of a safe neutral.
The fact is, the world needs people who are adaptable and multi-skilled and who follow their passions and interests. Embrace your renaissance mind! It is a gift. Easier said than done? I can help you step into this new chapter of your life feeling authentic, confident and powerful. Contact me today.