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April 29, 2020

Reinventing Yourself

Photo: Silvana Marshall Photography

A couple of years ago, I was forced to reinvent myself.

After over a decade of working in a career I loved (and one that I thought defined me), the rug was pulled beneath me and I was careerless. Worse, I was scared, confused, lonely and unmotivated.

What was I going to do? What did I want to do? What was I even good at? Who would hire me?

2 years ago, I felt like the world was crashing on me. But I wouldn't be where I am -- who I am -- today if it never happened.

Statistics Canada recently reported 1 million Canadians have already lost their jobs as a result of Covid-19. April stats will be released soon. Make no mistake -- it absolutely SUCKS to lose your job, feel helpless and lost. But it also gives you the chance to reinvent yourself. Comparatively, thousands of businesses have also been forced to close their doors due to the pandemic.

Whether you're an individual or a business, you can't just sit around and do nothing. Now is the time to reinvent yourself. Now is the time to pivot -- the magic word of this pandemic.

So, how do you do it?!

Start with what you're good at. I found comfort in writing and then pitching writing services to clients and other business. List your skills and how you can transfer or use those skills in a different way.

If you're a business owner, take an element of your business where you excel and think of ways you can shift it online.

Next: think about what you enjoy doing. The age-old cliche is true: "It's not work if you enjoy what you do". I've always enjoyed taking photographs. In addition to buying a camera, I've taken classes, watched webinars, talked to photographers -- all in an effort to learn. Will I be a photographer? Who knows. But it's sure fun to learn -- and turn it into a new skill.

What have you always wanted to learn? How can your interests become future career opportunities?

Finally: Network. This is a bit more challenging during social and physical distancing, but not impossible. Join Zoom meetings, Instagram Lives, approach someone on LinkedIn. If you are a business owner and would like some tips on how to shift your business, I'm happy to have a meeting of the minds -- virtually, of course.

At the end of the day, if you choose to use this time to relax and recuperate, do it. I don't blame you and I completely get it. I did the same. Just remember: some of the best discoveries were made out of a crisis, and you can only get a rainbow after the rain.

You got this.

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