Reinvent yourself.

Kathryn Sollmann-MARGARET-FOX-PHOTOGRAPHYKathryn Amarante Sollmann ’80

“Just get to ‘next.’ People are often paralyzed when it comes to career decision making because they feel they only have one shot at what they perceive as a monumental, lifelong decision. A career is actually a series of steps—your only responsibility is to make your best move to the next step.”
“Make sure that your career decisions—to switch jobs or leave/re-enter the workforce—are made in the context of long-term financial security, even if you may be in a comfortable position today. No one escapes life’s twists and turns.”
“Don’t assume there is only one traditional way to work; there are many more options than the full-time-plus corporate grind. Recognize that the workplace is changing dramatically (we’re moving to a freelance economy) and consider the work that best fits your life—flexible full-time and part-time positions, long-term consulting roles, shorter-term freelance projects, job shares, telecommuting opportunities and entrepreneurial ventures.”
“Don’t forget the research step. To develop a sound job search or entrepreneurial strategy, you need to check the viability of your plans. Do your homework and don’t make assumptions based on a handful of conversations or things you read in the media. Before you assume you’re too old, too young, no one is hiring in your industry, you have the wrong or outdated skill set, company X has a bad culture or there’s not a market for your product or service idea, have as many networking conversations as possible with people you know and people you don’t know to get the real story. Part one of career reinvention is solid, expansive research.”

The best time to reinvent yourself

“There are two times when people rethink their work-life blend: on January 1 and after Labor Day (what I call “the second new year”). Psychologically, it’s better to launch a reinvention in January when you have the expanse of a whole new year ahead of you—rather than feeling pressured to make big progress in the few months before the end of the year.”