Personal and Professional Reinvention as a Life Skill

Note from Storm: One of the main purposes of REVITALIZATION is to help you find your personally satisfying—even joyous—place in the fast-growing, $3 trillion global restoration economy.

But simply becoming aware of opportunities to get involved in activities that revitalize communities, renew heritage, or restore nature isn’t enough. Inertia is powerful. We must also learn how to break out of patterns and habits that keep us in unsatisfying careers and lifestyles. This article might help. We’ll publish additional such advice in future issues.

Three of the key processes that revitalize places are “repurposing“, “renewing“, and “reconnecting“. They don’t just apply to a community’s natural, built, and socioeconomic assets: they also apply to the personal reinvention efforts designed to bring more joy, income, and/or personal satisfaction into our lives.

From the article: Ask any group of people if they’re doing today what they thought they would be doing when they started out. I begin every speech that way. Occasional a few people in the audience raise their hand, very few. Almost everyone will readily admit that they have had to reinvent themselves multiple times over their lives and careers.

And yet if you ask them how they did it or if formal education prepared them for reinvention you get mostly blank stares. You hear answers like, I just did it because I had to. Most seem unable to share useful knowledge on how they reinvented themselves. If anything is clear about the 21st century it’s that change happens faster than it used to.

Reinvention isn’t something to be done only as a last resort. It’s something we need to do all the time in order to stay relevant in a rapidly changing world. We have to make personal reinvention safer and easier to manage. Reinvention has become an important life skill.

If we wait until we have no choice but to reinvent ourselves it’s too late. It’s sad beyond words to see how many people and families have been devastated by the latest economic downturn. Politicians may take credit as the unemployment rate improves but we know better. Good high wage jobs with career ladders are few and far between. People not seeking work and the underemployed aren’t counted in the unemployment rate and their numbers are growing. The gap between the skills of our workforce and the needs of a new economy are also growing.

If we wait for our political and institutional leaders to act we will be waiting a long time. If we wait for things to return to the way they used to be, we will be waiting forever. Everything about our current economy screams for making personal reinvention more of a natural act.

Here are 15 things you can do now to start building reinvention muscle:

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