Starting over is not a career death sentence, it is a career re-boot! A job setback is actually new opportunity to give your career new life!
I would be lying if I said that I didn't feel a slight tinge of envy when I meet peers who are fully actualized in their career goals. Those who have defined a path, followed it, and are now walking in the fruits of their labor are always admirable in my eyes. Not that I haven't been on my own journey, I have been working, creating, and growing my entire life... but alas, things happen, decisions are made, and sometimes you just have to start over. Be it due to a relocation, a lay-off, or a shift in the industry; change is inevitable. However, when building a career, change definitely does not mean "the end"!
When life calls for a reset, "starting from the bottom" can become the best thing to happen to you and your career. Here's how to make a career re-do work for you!
1. Learn - Starting over allows you to learn a new set of tasks and skills that you may not have had access to in other positions, no matter how mundane. Although you may feel like you have "been there, done that", there are always opportunities for learning something new at every level. Instead of lamenting about having to sit through a training session that seems basic, view it as an opportunity to learn about different systems and methods. Take advantage of workshops, certification programs, tuition reimbursement, and other educational opportunities offered within our new company. Keeping your knowledge base current is always a plus when climbing up the career ladder.
2. Share - Although you may be new on the job, chances are you have done other things. Therefore, you have a skill set that may be helpful to your new team. Don't be afraid to share ideas from your past experience that are useful to your present situation. You'll be surprised at how well your previous tasks and practices can enhance your new workplace.
3. Build - Networking is key when starting over. Being exposed to new people in a new environment is the perfect way to introduce yourself to new circles that may be helpful throughout your career path. Don't shy away from communicating with coworkers at all levels. Building a network of contacts is helpful when starting and growing in a new role. Tools like LinkedIn.com, professional organizations, and even civic/social groups are resources for meeting and networking with people in similar industries.
4. Reinvent - New office, new people, new opportunity to be the leader/ trainer/ mentor/ supervisor/ manager/ director/ counselor..... This is your time to present a new and improved you! Become better organized this time around... Dress for success at the new office... Be on time this time.... If your career dream is to finally overcome your fear of public speaking, take on a role that allows you to give presentations! Now you have the chance to be the career person you always wanted to be; reinvent yourself! The slate is clean, what will you write on it?
5. Gratitude - It can be easy to feel discouraged when starting over, but guess what? There is someone out there who would love to be in your position. This reset is your chance to create the path that you want, with the knowledge and abilities that you have attained over your career. Be thankful for employment, thankful for you past experiences that brought you this far, and thankful for the opportunity to try again!