How to reinvent yourself

You’re ready to take that next leap in your career. To get there, you need to boost your personal brand.

If you’ve become typecast, however, you’ll need to up skill and reinvent yourself. That’s create a new you along with a new image to get yourself noticed.

Author Charles Handy in The Empty Raincoat says employees may need to reinvent themselves several times in their career to keep with the ebb and flow of their industry.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Understand your current brand. How do you dress, are your skills up-to-date, which crowd do you hang out with at work, how are you perceived by management, and so on?
     
  • Know what you want. Are you looking to move to management? Do you want a more specialist role in your industry? Or do you want to change professions?
     
  • List your achievements. That includes achievements both in and outside work. If, for example, you’ve run a successful fundraising campaign mention it. It will reflect your communication and leadership skills.
     
  • Make a plan. Work out what you need to change to be perceived differently. Write a list, and tackle one point at a time.
     
  • Package yourself. This is about showing off the best qualities of your personal brand. The packaging is the first thing that an employer will see. Remember that your next employer might be internal, says Shay Peters, associate director professional services & finance at Robert Walters. “In the current market there are a lot of square pegs fitting in square holes,” he says. “It is easier to leverage off relationships internally.”
     
  • Up skill. This can be done in-house or externally. Upskilling could be as simple as learning from colleagues or at the other end of the scale, doing an MBA. For most people, a course or part time study would pay off, says Jonathan Rice of recruitment agency Rice Consulting. If chosen well, such courses can pay for themselves very quickly through increased pay.
     
  • Create a new CV with care. Your reinvented self will need a new CV or resume. Be very specific about your skills and achievements, says Peters. Quantify them where possible and highlight them in your cover letter.
     
  • Get yourself a mentor. Find someone who understands the route you need to take.
     
  • Network like mad. If you are job seeking then join your industry body, says Rice, and get out to industry events. This can help raise the perception of your status in the industry. Also look for cross functional teams that you can become involved in at work. This will help you get noticed by managers.
     
  • Associate with leaders. This can be engaging in person with these leaders or via social media, says Rice. “If used properly social media can become a platform for you to create a brand for yourself, which might be perceived as being bigger than it is in real life.” Running events or setting up online groups can also help boost your brand and benefit your job seeking.
     
  • Be authentic and passionate. Rice says your reinvention needs to be genuine if you want to convince others. If you’re passionate about the reinvented you, it will come naturally.
     
  • Be visible. Come up with new ideas for the business and industry you’re in.

Finally, upskilling and reinventing yourself requires that you put more than the standard nine to five into your career. Be prepared to invest out of work time creating the new you. 

Finally, upskilling and reinventing yourself requires that you put more than the standard nine to five into your career.