Pinsky: Reinvention requires taking risks, produces rewards

As the pandemic continues to play out, I have met with many clients who are looking to make a BIG change in their careers and in their lives.

It makes sense. Taking a big risk is a little bit easier when we have nothing to lose. If you are unemployed and see your industry in a free fall, you might be forced to consider new options. But the desire to make a career change is not just the result of external factors. 

A gnawing hunger for change and reinvention can also be driven by internal forces. The current state of the world is giving people time to pause and re-think what matters most to them at this stage of their lives and careers.

As a result of the pandemic, some people have enjoyed more freedom and flexibility in how they work. They don’t want things to go back to “normal.”  A client told me last week, “I enjoy taking a run during my lunch hour, cooking meals and eating in, and spending more time with my kids.”

Another common theme I hear from clients is that they want to be more of themselves at work and in their lives. They want to be genuinely appreciated for who they are and the value they provide. And, they want more time to explore their hobbies and interests outside of work. 

There is risk in changing careers. However, you may be taking just as big a risk in not making a change. Ignoring the internal call for change can negatively impact our mental and physical wellbeing. Risk is everywhere. However, so is sweet reward.

Conduct a risk assessment to determine if you are ready to make a career change. Evaluate the sacrifices required as well as the potential benefits to be gained. Next, determine the resources and support you need to launch a new career and lifestyle.

Over 10 years ago, I made a major career and lifestyle change. I transitioned from HR and health-care recruiting to work for myself. I started out writing resumés, freelance copywriting and HR consulting for local businesses. Eventually, I went back to school to get a counseling degree to support my desire to work with clients in deeper ways. 

I recognize the courage it takes to step into one’s truth. I am quite familiar with the struggle of reinvention. The struggle is real.   

I know what it feels like to give up a steady paycheck and medical benefits. I know what it feels like to walk into a college classroom and be the oldest student in the room. I know what it feels like to build something from the ground up in a town where there are many talented people providing similar services. 

When we take a risk, we set ourselves up for potential failure. However, we also open ourselves up to rewards beyond our expectations. 

It was during my own transition that I started writing for BizWest, which was then the Northern Colorado Business Report. Over the past decade I have written hundreds of workplace and career-related blogs and articles. Now it is time to pass the baton. 

This is my last column. Why? Because, I am envisioning a new chapter. I could not sign off without expressing genuine gratitude to Jeff Nuttall and Chris Wood. This column helped me find my voice and forge a new beginning. I hope that together we inspired readers to live and work happier.

Thank you, gentlemen, for taking a risk on me. The rewards of this experience far exceeded my wildest dreams.

Carrie Pinsky, LPC is a career counselor and job search coach in private practice at Pink Sky Career Counseling. Reach her at carrie@pink-sky.net or 970-225-0772.