Reinventing career requires re-adapting skills

Reflections by AlexSandra  Lett

My focus on reinvention started even before I knew what the word meant.  My career in communications began when I did not understand there was such a profession.  As a child growing up in Buckhorn community near Sanford, North Carolina, my calling revealed itself at a young age when I wrote poetry by the pond on the Lett farm and was applauded by teachers for my essays.

During my 12 years at Broadway School I fell in love with reading and writing and eventually edited the newspaper. Since I had written a regular column for two years for The Sanford Herald, after graduation I was hired as a full-time reporter and discovered the power of journalism. When the papers rolled off the press each afternoon I would go downstairs and eagerly pick up a copy and read through the pages. My hands would be covered with black ink but my heart would be bursting with joy. I was a paid published writer!

Reinvention #1 – Education

Eventually I realized I was Eliza Dolittle, and if I wanted to become My Fair Lady, I needed to experience the big world out there. While reporting on events at Sandhills Community College I decided to start taking classes and worked part-time for The Pilot in Southern Pines where I got to know publisher, editor, and poet Sam Ragan. I received a journalism scholarship to transfer to the UNC Journalism School in Chapel Hill where I loved writing articles and edited a magazine SHE.

Reinvention #2 – Media

While visiting my family in 1980 I accepted an unexpected job offer as lifestyles editor of The Sanford Herald and thrived for several years while writing about health, arts, and anything that related to society and business. A date with destiny attracted me to Chapel Hill where I worked at UNC Public TV and learned about broadcast journalism and focused on promoting programs to the media.

Reinvention # 3 – Marketing

My communications career continued to expand, and I started a company focused on providing writing, editing, marketing, and public relations services. The promotion of clients took over my business, but as I helped them pursue fame and fortune, I felt my inner riches dwindling. By now I understood about worldly success as measured by working hard and making money. However, I wanted something more…a greater sense of meaning and mission in my life and career.

Reinvention # 4 – Writing

A deep desire for more creative self-expression led me to a cabin in the woods where I longed to find my authentic self. That search for sanity prompted writing columns that surfed the Buckhorn, Broadway, and Sanford channels in my mind, and I found a new voice as a nostalgia writer. Eventually that interest brought me back to Buckhorn where books continued to flow and understanding of my family increased.

The economic crisis and decline in product sales created the crisis I needed to stop the insanity of doing 100 book-signings a year and living like a gypsy. I returned to writing, knowing I would get guidance about next steps.


Reinvention # 5 – Speaking

As I wrote articles about reinventing ourselves personally and professionally, the phone rang with requests to speak to groups about this subject. Topics included “Doing What You Love and Making Money Too,” “Reinvention Is the New Norm,” and “Going Crazy…Getting Sane, Taking Risks and Embracing Reinvention.”

While facilitating workshops at colleges I expanded my expertise to include how to create name recognition and promote our businesses. Since we often teach what we most need to learn I am expanding my skill set from marketing through traditional media like newspapers, magazines, and television to social media on the internet in the form of facebook, LinkedIn, Inside919.

Meanwhile, I am writing a book “Going Crazy…Getting Sane” to share my story and offer insights to help others to find passion and purpose in their work.

As I reinvent myself again in the marketplace I am focusing on generating a second website……to promote my speaking services. In this incarnation I will continue writing my columns for newspapers and magazines; however I am creating blogs for my new website and other social media sites.

While continuing to learn I encourage others to realize that the best approach to success is to discover our talents and be willing to adjust them to meet the needs of the marketplace. Through re-adapting, risk-taking, reassessment, and resiliency we can reinvent ourselves and create prosperity.

©2012, AlexSandra Lett

AlexSandra Lett is currently writing Going Crazy…Getting Sane, a book about reinventing ourselves personally and professionally.

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