Job Seekers: Reinvent and Evolve

One thing I’ve learned from the last ten years of being an entrepreneur is that I need to continually reinvent and evolve.

Ten years ago I thought my business was going to go down a certain path, and I could see “the end” of that path.

Very quickly, within a few months, I started to realize that the path was going to be really windy… not straight at all.  I had no idea I’d write a book, and then another, and then another… I had zero clue I would do thirty courses for Pluralsight, or that I would write blog posts for resume writers, or white papers for thousands of dollars. I had no idea I would get on planes and travel the US (and to Istanbul) as a “professional speaker,” or that I would even speak at chapter meetings for the National Speaker’s Association, or that I would have a DVD on how to use LinkedIn, and create a library of how-to videos for job seekers.

I just thought I’d make JibberJobber better and better, and make a bunch of money from people who appreciated it and decided to upgrade.

What I’ve learned over the years, though, includes:

  1. You need to reinvent to stay relevant. Let me emphasize the value of putting out new things so you can market them… people stop talking about the normal status quo, but they like to talk about new stuff. So create new stuff for them to talk about.
  2. You must stay loyal to your brand, core, and focus (which can actually evolve).  I would not take on jobs to write blog posts for pet owners… that is just too far outside of what I do, and what JibberJobber does.
  3. Build it and they will come is usually garbage. I love the idea, but once you build it, you need to let others know about it. This means you have to get past your insecurities about self-promotion and start reaching out to people.
  4. You might find new passions that you never had a chance to explore. I had no idea I’d get such a kick out of getting on stage, or setting up a webcam to do videos. I’ve been able to improve skills, from public presentations to networking to technical skills… it has been fun and rewarding, and I feel like I’m growing (that is, not stagnant).

There is more I’ve learned, but I want to focus more on what this means for job seekers than for me, as an entrepreneur.

I know the job search is uncomfortable.  Many times, it sucks.  But realize that this is your time to reinvent, evolve, realize your loyalties and define your core, reassess your focus, figure out personal marketing (which you’ll use the rest of your life/career), and understand yourself more.

Take advantage of this time… once you land your next job you might find yourself back in a rut with no time, too focused on work, and continuing to ignore yourself and the health of your career.