Spring is a season of activity and growth. Birds are building nests and caterpillars are beginning their transformation to butterfly through metamorphosis. Metamorphosis is the process of transformation from one thing into another. Like a caterpillar, you can change your career and reinvent yourself through a professional metamorphosis.
As cited in the article by Lifehack.org, “How to Reinvent Yourself for the Long Term,” there are specific steps one should take when embarking on the journey to reinvention:
- Determine your interests and strengths – Your AthLife advisor is available to aid you in this aspect of career exploration. You can complete the Strong Interest Inventory assessment; you and your advisor will review the results together and you can integrate discoveries into your career plan. There are also various online resources available. Lastly, ask family and friends for honest feedback, it can also be extremely helpful.
- Devise a plan – It is important to make sure that your plan is realistic and practical. This may require you to get advice from professionals to assess whether you are emotionally, physically and financially ready to proceed.
- Identify mentors – You need to determine what you want to learn before you identify a mentor. You may need to interview quite a few potential mentors before you decide on the one, or more than one, that you feel is the right fit. Keep in mind that the best mentor is not the person who will do things for you. Instead, they encourage you to figure things out on your own and provide you with support and encouragement along the way.
- Conduct informational interviews and experiment with things – Sometimes the best way to obtain information is to get it “straight from the horse’s mouth.” Reach out to those in your chosen profession of interest and pick their brains. Offer your services as a volunteer or intern so you can get hands-on experience and determine if it is really the right career for you.
- Accept failure as part of the learning process – Failure is an accepted part of learning. Recognize your failures, learn from the experiences and move forward.
- Remind yourself each day of your goals and commitment - Set reminders on your phone or computer. Write them down on post-it notes and place them where you will see them every day. This will provide you with constant reminders of what you are trying to achieve.
Just as the caterpillar struggles during the transition to butterfly, you may experience bumps in the road during your journey to reinvention. That is an important piece of any growth experience, without which, you will not develop the strength and ability to fly.