“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” – Albert Einstein
It was a cold dark February morning. I rolled up to work the same time as usual. My boss just pulled in behind me and got out of his car and started to open up the company. I wasn’t exactly crazy about this job, I landed the position right out of college and was still learning my daily tasks. The specific position was a technical inside sales representative position located in Northern New Jersey. During the interview I admittedly didn’t know too much about their product line; but they mentioned they would train me and get me up to speed. In the past weeks things were busy with the business; which was good. We were getting alot of product calls and all the other fellow salesmen were on the phones doing business; yet this was tough for me, because the time to actually train me to do my job, drastically diminished. On this particular day I spent two months with the company; I personally felt I wasn’t able to create all that much value due to not having the proper training and knowledge, but I felt it would all be ok and work itself out.
“Hey, do you have a minute” my boss said to me as he turned on the lights to his office, “of course” I replied. As my boss sipped from his coffee he started talking in a low quiet tone “Listen, you’ve been doing a really great job, you have a hell of a work ethic; you’re always the first one here, but we’re going to have to let you go.” I had just been fired. I literally had no idea what to say; they said they were going to train me, they didn’t deliver, and now I pay the price? I thanked my boss for the opportunity, packed up my desk, and started on my way home. All I could think about were the words “sorry, we’re going to have to let you go” as if someone was playing a proverbial game of catch and release with my life. Fast forward six years and getting fired from that place was probably one of the best things that happened to me. However, it was what awaited me that was the biggest learning experience. Here are my three ways to reinvent yourself before having a chance to actually invent yourself:
Get Creative – After I was fired I literally had no experience in the field I wanted to go into (pretty much anything with business) I just spent two months at a place I got fired from, do I put that on a resume? What if an interviewer asks what happened? I was still incredibility defensive and sensitive about it. So how did I get around this? One thing that helped me immensely to landing another job was creating a professional website. On the website I included a professional picture of myself, listed all of my relevant coursework and writing samples from college, included my resume, and included a mission statement of my website.
Nowadays with social media there is no reason to not only have a professional website. I would even take it a step further and record a video of you stating your mission statement. What does this do? It really allows recruiters and interviewers to vet and get a good look at you before meeting you. Putting a face to the name is such a powerful tool! Not sure how to build a website or where to start? I would definitely suggest checking out Wix or WordPress. Both content management systems make it incredibly easy to build a nice professional website. Picture yourself as just one fish amongst an entire school; you need to stand out and a website can certainly help with that!
Reinvent From Within – There is no way I am the same person I was six years ago. After I got fired I was absolutely fuming. I embraced and doubled down on the victim mindset. It was their fault I had no money to pay off my loans, it was their fault I was now set back in my life. Nothing could be further from the truth. It was my fault. You’ll hear me say time and time again that, at times, the only thing we can control in our lives is how to react to a situation.
The Thrive Vine is my reaction to my situation, which took place close to over six years ago. Why? Because I want to help others who might have gone through the same circumstances or who might be as frustrated as I was. It’s not an easy place to be in; but so much more positive can come out of a negative situation than you could ever expect; it’s all mindset. So how do you reinvent yourself from within? Analyze your character. Ask your closest friends and family how they perceive you and be open to their feedback. If you are currently working ask your supervisor three things that you suck at, and then concentrate on making yourself better at those three things. It’s all about self improvement and be open to always changing yourself for the better.
Do Your Homework – If you are not working, or even right out of college; the employment scene is something to study up on. The first thing you need to study is what are employers looking for? What kind of “must have” traits do all candidates have? Take this time to connect to recruiters. With tools like linkedin and facebook; feedback and help is just a click away. Stop viewing your phone as entertainment, and start thinking of it as an incredibly powerful tool where you can reach thousands if not millions of people from a single tweet. Do your homework on what is going on around you, pick up on those trends, adapt, network, get the job. Sounds like alot, but remember you are not the only one, and only the strongest candidates survive.
Conclusion – Having to reinvent yourself is not easy but incredibly necessary. I’m sure everyone has heard the Heraclitus quote- “nothing is constant but change.” Just as our species would have never endured without adaptation the same proves true for the job market. What are you doing to adapt? What tools or creative strategies do you use to constantly reinvent yourself? I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!