The Road To Self-Reinvention

The Road To Self-Reinvention

4 weeks ago, a former consultant reached out and asked for help: his wife had been looking for a job, hadn’t gotten any luck, and needed guidance. She’s not in the technical field, said he. Could Vivo possibly help?

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Assessing the situation, the wife – let’s call her Ms. Courageous – seemed to be bent on reinventing herself. She has years of dental office administrative experience, had grown tired of it, and decided to wholeheartedly pursue her passion: social media marketing. The problem was Ms. Courageous had her resume out there but hadn’t received any interest at all.

Cut to last week and Ms. Courageous sent a thank-you note. She was absolutely positive that my help turned the tide since she had nary a luck prior to my input. She has started a 150-hour PR internship with a fast-growing social media marketing agency with offices nationwide. She also had another offer on her tail. It’s pretty cool, right?

The road to self-reinvention is rough. How do you make the industry you want to break into take you seriously? Beats me too as I tend to chalk up most good fortunes to cosmic luck. (Read on to identify which Syndrome this statement exemplifies.)

Here are a few non-expert tips that hopefully can help you:

RESUME

Here is where I had my hand in helping Ms. Courageous. I edited her resume to highlight her qualification. I reformatted: changed the font, spacing, indentation, bulleting, consistency, and most tellingly, the FUNCTION. I’ve noticed that a lot of job seekers make the mistake in assuming that their resumes’ function is to tell every job held. Your resume’s function is to share relevant experience (education, job, training, association) to the job you’re after, not to every industry and career fields you’ve been in. By changing the function, I zeroed in on her skills such as SEO, AP writing, and blogging on top of her Journalism degree. Packaged sensibly, her resume communicated her objective… without its explicit statement.

For other superbly helpful resume tips, check out my colleague Harp’s recent take on resume do’s and don’ts HERE.

MOOC

MOOC is a funny term. But this funny term is a game-changer in career-reinvention. MOOC, or Massive Online Open Course, is an education platform enabling millions of people worldwide get quality education without the premium cost. Want to learn on the side about Algorithms, JavaScript, or Python taught by a Princeton University professor? Or how about an Information Security subject from the University of London? The caveat is these courses are supplemental sources of education and cannot be applied towards a college degree. Still, you get the benefits of getting a solid foundation towards a career you want to break into, one of which is overcoming this nasty syndrome you’re about to learn. (Keep reading!) So learn which MOOC platform has a solid reputation. The one I particularly like is through Coursera, a company founded by Stanford University professors.  They partnered with top universities to offer courses in various categories such Arts, Engineering, and Medicine. www.coursera.org.

SUPPORT NETWORK

You may have read my love for Girl Geek Dinners HERE. Its Bay Area Chapter vigorously combats the menacing and highly debilitating (dun dun dun) Impostor Syndrome! Impostor Syndrome is the “I’m a fake” feeling you get whenever you’re trying something new and you see everyone around you as the experts that tell their FB friends about “that wannabe newbie in the office”. Another symptom of this syndrome (say that five times fast) is depreciating own’s value in success.

GGD encourages women to get into technology and engineering-related careers; two fields where Impostor Syndrome for women is rampant. By hearing the accounts of women who have successfully conquered the Impostor Syndrome and got into leadership positions, those who try to follow this path will surely feel what Olaf has been wishing to feel in summer.

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So what have we learned so far in this incredibly long post?

Define your resume. Leverage the free tools that can build your foundation. And find yourself a support network, a group of people that says, “Hey, I get you. I get what you’re feeling. You got this.”

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Angeline Lo About the author