Reinventing your career is probably the most scary area for you in the reinvention process. However, I assure you that it is OK if you feel that you are taking one step back and then two steps forward.

If you love your job and it is rewarding and you work for a great company then there may be no need to reinvent your career.  However, if you have been laid off or you just cannot take another day at your job, then let us look at some examples of people who successfully made the transition in reinventing their careers.  Think of it as recycling your knowledge base to create a new career or business.

Here are some examples of successful career transitions:

Example #1: From District Attorney to Senate:
Amy Klobuchar went from being a District Attorney to a United States Senator after she gave birth to a child and was kicked out of the hospital in 24 hours. She helped pass State legislation that made it a mandatory 48 hours of staying in the hospital. She campaigned for a Senate seat for the state of Minnesota and did not quit her job while campaigning. She visited 87 Minnesota counties at night and on the weekends. She raised 9 million dollars. She is the first woman to be elected to the Senate from the Great State of Minnesota.  When I look at her values, I see that she was always service oriented. She was a grassroots community type of person and she reinvented her job but it is the same type of job, just with a broader audience.

Example #2: From Lawyer to Personal Trainer:
A lawyer, in between jobs, and recently divorced, loved her aerobic classes every week. The teacher was out one day and she was asked to teach the class. She became intrigued with the idea of becoming a personal trainer. She made the investment and became a certified personal trainer and pilates instructor.  She loves what she does although admittedly, she does not have health insurance. Obviously this person is now honoring her penchant for discipline and strong desire for personal freedom.  

Example #3: From Sales to Yarn Lady:
A sales person for a steel company became a yarn lady. One day, she was driving by her veterinarians office and saw a “Wool for Sale” sign in the window. An avid knitter, she stopped and bought the yarn and saw two newborn lambs and fell in love with them and bought them, right there and then. She grew up with a grandmother that taught her how to knit and spin wool. She taught herself how to shear the lamb’s wool and joined the state Sheep Breeders Association. She became an expert. She started focusing on bright unexpected colors. She kept her day job and took four years to transition fully into her wool company. In fact, she hired a sales person as business became brisk. And later on, she quit her day job.  Today, she has a flock of 16 sheep and 18 employees across the country. Her yarn is sold in several hundred shops nationwide.  I love this story because it blends a skill learned in childhood with the power of sales that she learned as an adult.

Example #5 From HR Manager to Substitute Teacher:
After retiring from a fortune 500 company and securing a stable pension, this lady decided to become a substitute teacher at her local high school. First she determined that she always wanted to teach. She went back to college and took courses in sociology which was her life long dream and then she got her teacher’s certification. She was not particularly interested in going back to work full time so decided to become a substitute teacher. She feels fulfilled and happy and her students love her.  This woman always wanted to be a teacher but went the HR way because it seemed more prudent at the time. She was able to live her childhood dream as a retiree. She also took a huge cut in pay but she is very happy.

Example #5 From Stay at Home Mom to Coffee Importer:
A stay at home mom used 5K in seed money to become a coffee importer. She went on vacation to El-Salvador and visited a coffee farm. She felt very connected to the sixty year old woman that ran the coffee farm and could relate to her inspiring story as a woman and mother. She decided she wanted to help this woman and came back to the States and bought 1000 pounds of coffee beans from this woman in El-Salvador. She packaged the coffee in smaller packs and bought foil coffee packs on ebay for ten cents a piece and marketed the coffee to upscale coffee shops in Kansas for twelve dollars a pound.  As the owner of Mother Earth Coffee company, she recently entered into a contract with a national gourmet grocer and now has commitments of 37,500 pounds of coffee for that client. What struck me about this woman is that she wanted to help another woman that she felt she could relate to and got inspired by that.  

You can see that just walking down the street can change how you think and ignite creativity within you. From there you can totally reinvent your career.   

This article is part of a 40 page report by the author on “How to Reinvent Yourself at Midlife and Maintain Your Sanity.” If you would like a free copy of the full report, please visit

Iyabo Asani is a life and business coach. A former lawyer, she left the practice of law after twenty years and now, she helps empower smart boomer men and women to attract abundance by discovering their gifts and talents within their Inner Genius.

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