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Reinventing Your Career

    There are many reality shows documenting people who undergo cosmetic surgery in order to have a complete makeover. They want a fresh start - a chance to look more attractive. Surgeons work to reinvent their appearance.

    Reinvention involves a complete makeover. We don't have to visit a cosmetic surgeon in order to reinvent our lives. It may only involve taking a look at who we are, and what we are doing with our lives, and have nothing to do with what we look like. Reinvention starts by evaluating our degree of happiness, and examining what we want out of life. Oftentimes our career needs the makeover.

    Perhaps we have been in our current position or running our business the same way for too long. It may be time for a change, or for some, change should have happened a long time ago. For others, dramatic life changes have led to a need to reinvent their careers. Tragedies and setbacks have a way of creeping up on us unexpectedly. Injuries, illnesses, layoffs, and job terminations can dramatically impact our future livelihood.

    Six years ago I was crushed by a 3 1/2 ton tree while riding my bicycle, and sustained a spinal cord injury. At the time, I was a full-time speaker, trainer, writer, publisher and consultant. At first I couldn't imagine resuming my career and starting up my two businesses again. I could only picture myself doing menial tasks from my wheelchair.

    It took many months for me to adapt to life paralyzed from the waist down. I started to realize that my skills and talents were still intact. My limitation was that I couldn't walk. Three months after my injury I began speaking again to audiences. It felt weird looking at the group from my wheelchair, and telling them what happened to me. Two months later, I began sharing with audiences, the lessons that I had been learning about dealing with change and coping with adversity. This was the beginning of the reinvention of my speaking business. Prior to my injury, I focused on delivering presentations skills and communication skills seminars. Now I was a keynote motivational speaker.

    My friends in the speaking business, members of the National Speakers Association, were very supportive of me making this business model transition. One friend, Winnie Ary, had suggested that I keep a tape recorder by my bedside in the hospital in order to record a personal journal of my recovery. She told me that the tapes would serve me well to write speech material, and some day, write a book. She was right!

    In order to transition my business from predominantly delivering training seminars to delivering keynotes, I consulted with business experts to write a new business plan. The Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission, a state and federally funded program, provided the resources to help me rebuild my businesses. A counselor and business consultant worked with me to analyze the market for motivational speakers and helped me make the shift in my business. I then began to create new marketing materials to promote my new speaking services.

    Too often when people are forced to make major changes in their lives and careers they are overwhelmed with depression and want to give up. They wallow in self-pity, focus on their dilemma and lack motivation to pull themselves up and start new careers. Oftentimes people hit bottom and recognize that they can't keep living this way. This awareness starts the process of reinvention.

    If this is happening to you, it's time to talk with others about your situation. Get your family, friends, counselors and other professionals to listen to you and give you advice to help get you out of the black hole. Take their advice, gather resources, inventory your vocational skills and talent, and begin the process of reinventing. There are many ways that your talents can be utilized in the world. You can work for others or you can work for yourself. Be open to new opportunities and explore the possibilities.

    � Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D.

    Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D. is a speaker and writer. To book her to speak at a conference, or to subscribe to her free monthly inspirational column, go to: Rosemarie Speaks

    Rosemarie conducts presentations that bring out the best in people, to help them achieve goals, and take charge of their lives. Rosemarie helps her audiences discover their inner strength. Her core message is focused on sharing information, strategies, and life lessons that provide the tools to LIVE LIFE WITH CONVICTION.

    She is the author of �Take Back Your Life!� and is Ms. Wheelchair Ohio 2004.

    Rosemarie would like to receive your comments about the impact her article has made on your life. Write her at: Rosemarie@RosemarieSpeaks.com