Is it time for a career change? Are you ready to reinvent yourself?

Is it time for a career change? Are you ready to reinvent yourself?

I’d like to share why and how I made a career change to reinvent myself. Though I wrote resumes for many years and ran my business, Design Resumes, it wasn’t a full-time business.

Waiting to reinvent myself

I wanted Design Resumes to be full-time but I wasn’t confident at the time to build it into a full-time professional resume writing business. I settled. In the early years, I had young children. It seemed easier to do other things. My lack of confidence as well as detractors got in the way of me following my passion.

Instead I chose to combine the resume writing business with non-profit contracts. It was a pretty good fit since it used all the skills I used in my business: people interaction, writing, marketing, and accounting principles. But these sideline options didn’t fill me with passion in the same way working with clients to help them find their career happiness does.

In December 2009, I took the chance and made my move.

I dropped my last non-profit contract, Wausau Whitewater. Anyone paying attention to economics would realize that it wasn’t a particularly great time to eliminate other income and forge ahead. It was the midst of the Great Recession. People told me I was crazy.

It wasn’t a snap decision. I contemplated the change for several years. At the same time, I was studying the changing technology and figuring ways to make it work for me. One of the unique differentiators for my business is the way I work live with my clients. Initially, I created the process with people sitting across the desk from me providing input as I wrote.

As I studied, I realized Skype could recreate a similar experience but the client could be virtually anywhere. Key was “virtually.” I learned that I could share my screen and people would be able to collaborate in writing their resume.

Recognizing what changed opened the door to my reinvention

While advertising had been a part of my business plan for years, I was weak in website presence and this new concept of social media was intriguing. I researched extensively. In October of 2008, I joined Twitter. I had already joined LinkedIn in August 2006 and Facebook in September 2008.

In the early days of Twitter, I was able to find marketing professionals who understood social media. I discovered blog marketing and content management. It wasn’t in vogue in Central Wisconsin but social media opened the world to me and I saw no limits. I learned from some of the best in the world.

Seeing time in a new way

Pivotal to my reinvention was my recognition of time. I was 53 when I made the change but around 51 when I starting seeing time. I didn’t want my life to pass by without doing what I wanted to do.

Managing detractors

I had my share of detractors. People who predicted my failure or misunderstood my reasons. When I left the last contract, I told one person that I wasn’t changing my career for the money. She laughed at me. I am sure she was convinced that I would fail. She wasn’t alone. Someone else told my husband that we would starve and I would be sorry. Fortunately, at the same time, I had plenty of people who were supportive and encouragers.

I chose not to listen to negative voices and I sought expert advice to help me do things the right way.

My reason for my career reinvention was the desire to help others find their own dreams. In working with clients, I was helping them follow their passion.

I often use my experience as a coaching point with clients.

Although I don’t see age limitations, I am well aware of how quickly life can change as you grow older. My own family has a history of Alzheimer’s. My mother lived in fear of the disease that took two sisters and her father.  She died with dementia symptoms stealing her last three or more years of her life. Rather than living in fear, I became determined to follow my dreams.

I’ve written about my journey in the past. You can catch up here if you desire:

End of the Era

Job Seekers, do you struggle with change?

Are you at a point where you should make a change? Is it time for you to follow your passion? I have helped thousands of people find new roles and guided clients to a path of career reinvention. I don’t believe you should stay stuck. If you need help, simply click here.

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Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

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