Updated: Jan 20, 2021
With 2021 and promising vaccines on the horizon, it is time to think ahead and start planning for what the future holds for your professional life and career. Let me share with you some key perspectives that have always guided me throughout my careers. I say careers because in my lifetime I transitioned careers successfully several times.
Many people spend most of their professional careers navigating a singular major pathway to success and eventually retirement. I started my professional life as an entertainer, then into the leisure travel industry, moving into the business travel industry first as a supplier, then as a global corporate enterprise buyer in finance and procurement, then into the meetings technology world as an executive leader. Throughout the many career changes, I learned to leverage what I call the three R’s: Research, Re-imagine, Reinvent.
What is the importance of understanding the power of mastering the three R’s? To start, you can use it to help you process and facilitate any professional career changes you are considering or may be forced into doing.
Start with Research. Any kind of change management requires due diligence and research. Before you do anything, you must do some soul searching as to what you want to do and what you need to do. Sometimes these are divergent paths, so you must ask yourself some tough questions and be prepared for reality to weigh in on your decision making. Sometimes it leads to a surprisingly revelatory decision. Once you have determined the path you want to pursue, research the heck out of it including being open to and embracing educational opportunities, training, webcasts, certifications, etc.
During and after your Research phase, start to Re-imagine what this new career path would look like for you, not others, but for you. What material changes do you need to make? Are there individuals in your network that can help you or provide their experiences and perspectives about your new career path? Can you leverage their contacts or get them to mentor or sponsor you in your new career? Do not limit yourself initially, be bold and think big; you can always down scale your plans according to the realities you encounter later.
The third R is the scariest – Reinventing yourself is never easy. It requires a thick skin and a lot of conviction to reinvent yourself. You can and must develop your confidence and change conviction during the Research and Re imagining phases. Drown out the naysayers and use their negativity to fuel your desire and focus for reinvention success. Think of reinvention as a rebirth of yourself into a new space, leave the negativity and old baggage behind.
The singular thread for all the above is building your personal brand. Remember that by embracing the three R’s, you are building upon your long-term personal brand. Maintaining and enhancing your personal brand will be critical to your continued career success and integrity. Happy new year and I look forward to seeing everyone at SVBTA in 2021
Kevin is the Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) at Bizly, and author of the best selling book "Your Personal Brand", offering both strategic wisdom and practical tips for creating and nurturing a personal and professional brand. Kevin is well known as an in-demand speaker, thought leader, educator, and subject matter expert and consultant in business travel, GDPR, SMM, and meetings/events marketplace. Should travel open again, Kevin dreams to spend his vacation in New Zealand and Australia to visit good friends.