How do you distinguish between a short-term itch and an actual life-defining moment to reinvent yourself? Here are five signs that it’s finally time to reinvent yourself both in career and in personal life.
Spending too much time online and on social media
When people spend too much time surfing the internet or monitoring their personal social media accounts during productive work hours it’s usually due to one of two reasons: Procrastination or day-dreaming.
For previous generations suffering the same disinterest with their jobs four decades ago the distractions were different (long smoke breaks and talks by the water cooler). But the underlying reason has always been the same: lack of interest in whatever it is that you actually have to do to get your job done.
For the next week, purposefully keep track of precisely how many hours you’re not working during your typical 40, 60, or 80 hour work week. If the answer is anywhere close to 20 per cent, you may want to introspect on how committed you are to your current job.
Dreaming about your dream job
There are some mornings when you spend two hours online before doing any meaningful work dreaming about your perfect job. When you already love what you do, it naturally follows that you’d constantly be thinking about how to make your job better, energize your team towards a new, common goal, increase morale and productivity, and propose innovative strategies to management. If you find yourself staring out the window at the new luxury hotel under construction across the street every morning wondering what life would have been like if you had actually become an architect, it’s time to think about reinventing yourself again.
We all have less than positive habits that often become conspicuously more prevalent when we’re not happy at work (or in life). Not going to the gym, watching too much television and retreating socially from friends and family are all good examples.
Reinventing yourself is in large part an exercise in leaving old habits and baggage behind, and creating a new personal narrative. If you find yourself falling back into the same hole you keep stumbling into it’s likely a good time to evaluate whether the real problem isn’t actually out of your control. People will always say that you can’t reinvent yourself, start a new business, or become an entrepreneur. But the personal stories about successful, bold, and innovative start-ups every day are testament to the fact that this simply isn’t true.
Experiencing out of mind-body interactions at work Notwithstanding the specter of the Millennial quarter-life crisis, this isn’t meant to be a metaphysical analogy. True long-term professional detachment is an art form that’s practiced and honed. It’s also the death wish of every start-up CEO or big business HR or professional development director. The 1999 movie Office Space pretty much summed this up in the most culturally accessible, possible way.
We all get pre-occupied under external pressures at one time or another. So don’t mistake temporary detachment from work because of a short-term account or a bad earnings quarter for a third life crisis. But don’t mistake the true serendipitous timing for reinvention as just a bad week at the office. You already have a pretty good idea from the movie how that turns out (really well).
Losing sight of your ultimate goal
Some people grow up dreaming of being an engineer, economist, politician, or CEO. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Along the way I’ve gotten side tracked from doing it full time at least a half-dozen times. But I keep coming back to it.
Whatever “it” is in your life, if “it” keeps defining you, and people keep telling you that you’re good at it — whether that’s playing music, crunching numbers, or cooking — you may just be overlooking your greatest natural asset. Some of the best skills are honed later in life when they are more mature so don’t ever think it’s too late. Forbes