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Reinventing Your Career

Interview: Career Coach Ford R. Myers with TV Host Lynn Doyle

This month’s Feature Article is the transcript of an interview that was conducted at a Philadelphia television station. Host Lynn Doyle asks Ford R. Myers important questions about how to reinvent your professional identity and career.

Lynn Doyle:
Maybe you need some advice. To help us out is Ford R. Myers. He’s a career coach and president of Career Potential, LLC. He is also author of “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring.” I love titles that catch my attention. Ford, it’s great to have you with us.

Ford R. Myers:
Thanks, Lynn. I’m happy to be here!

Lynn Doyle:
You heard me say that the new buzzword is reinvention. Is it usually out of choice, like our other guest Leslie, or is it out of necessity?

Ford R. Myers:
Well, it’s really both. There are so many people who these days are affected by the economy and the job market. They’re being forced out of their positions and are being even forced out of their industries in some cases. But there are also people who have made proactive decisions and have chosen to move forward into a new phase of their careers.

Lynn Doyle:
Are there pros and cons that are associated with both? For example, if it’s out of necessity, do you handle reinvention one way? And if it’s out of choice, do you handle it another?

Ford R. Myers:
Well, the attitude of the client is very different when they’re doing this by choice. They have a lot of excitement or enthusiasm about the transition. But when people are forced out of their positions, it’s obviously a very different situation emotionally, personally and professionally.

Lynn Doyle:
Let’s talk about those two things individually. Let’s start with necessity. As you said, the economy has impacted so many different people, and Leslie is fortunate that she’s done this as a career choice and a life choice. But if you’ve had an experience where you’ve lost your job, you’ve been forced into early retirement, or you hate your job and you want to do something else, what’s the first thing you suggest people do?

Ford R. Myers:
The first thing to do is to really get a little bit introspective. Think about yourself. Who are you, really? What works for you? It’s almost like doing a personal inventory of your own skills, strengths, interests and passions. Get a plan together. Work with a coach, or not. You can even do this on your own or with a friend. Try to develop a plan that you can use going forward. The worst thing to do is to just go about this in a haphazard, willy-nilly fashion. You need to sit down, think it through and develop a full plan.

Lynn Doyle:
So, it’s like anything else. You need a plan!

Ford R. Myers:
Yes. But what’s unfortunate is that sometimes people will lose their job on a Thursday, and by Friday they’ve already sent-out 500 resumes, and don’t even know what they’re looking for. They’re not really clear about their path.

Lynn Doyle:
When they’ve lost a job or they’ve changed their career, do they use that opportunity to maybe pursue something they always wanted to do? Or do they feel compelled to get right back into what they know, what’s familiar and comfortable?

Ford R. Myers:
I’ve seen it both ways, Lynn. But I really think the intelligent person is going to take 10 steps back and get analytical, look inside, talk to some people, get support. Yes, there are some people who feel forced, sometimes by financial circumstances, where they really don’t have much of a choice. They feel like they have to jump right back into what they were doing before. I think that’s a missed opportunity sometimes. I’ve seen people reinvent themselves and go into new roles or new industries. They might have to start a little lower, but they quickly move-up. They get back to where they were. And because they’re so passionate, they can actually surpass the levels they had achieved before.

Lynn Doyle:
What if, like our personal story here, you have the option to reinvent yourself by choice? Do you approach it differently?

Ford R. Myers:
Yes, I think you do. Again, there’s a lot more energy and enthusiasm. So it’s almost like you’re unstoppable. A person who has an idea like Leslie’s, who reinvents themselves by choice, they have a whole other energy about them. They gather resources. They do extensive research. They get support. They borrow money perhaps, and they do whatever is necessary. They’re just unstoppable. It’s a whole other energy, and they’re a lot of fun to work with. They’re so energized and enthusiastic!

A lot of the professionals with whom I work are experienced business people; professionals in all walks of industry, and they’re smart. They know how to make a plan. They know how to get the resources and the help and the support they need, whether it’s an accountant, a financial planner, an attorney, a career coach – could be a real estate professional. Whatever is necessary. These are resourceful, intelligent people. When it’s time to make a major change in their lives, they know how to build that support system around themselves that Leslie was talking about.

As a culture, we have to think about reinvention differently. In the past, you would get a career, stay with it for 30 years and retire with the gold watch. We live in an entirely different world right now. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 20 years, you know that all the rules have changed. So reinvention is a theme that is very popular and common today. We have to understand that reinvention is not a onetime event. It’s a constant, ongoing process of evolution. The whole definition of the word, the whole experience of inventing or reinventing oneself, has been completely transformed.

Lynn Doyle:
You have paved the way for us to reinvent ourselves. Ford R. Myers, thank you very much for being with us!

About the Author:
Ford R. Myers is an award-winning career coach and President of Career Potential, LLC. He is author of the best-seller, Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring. Ford’s firm helps clients take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve! He has held senior consulting positions at three of the nation’s largest career service firms. Ford’s articles have appeared in thousands of publications and web sites, and he has been interviewed on every major television and radio network. Ford has also conducted presentations at hundreds of companies, associations and universities. Learn more at

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