In college one of my suite mates, Robin, used to call me random. She would say I had the most random interests, jobs, and friends. Just last week I met John, and he told me I was the most random person he had ever met. I don’t believe I am random by definition, lacking a definite plan, purpose or pattern, but I believe I am passionate about a lot of things (as you know from my last blog )and I do not fear change or the unknown.
The reality is, that if John’s perception of me is that I am random, and I want to change that perception, I must understand his point of view.
Let’s consider my career path. Not yet in my 40’s, I have been COO of a commercial real estate investment company, owned a residential building business, been Publisher of an accounting technology magazine and website, and taught gymnastics. Today, I am a Vice President in an online advertising company, am the managing partner in a start-up, and referee basketball. RANDOM? Maybe, but rather than considering me to be one of no plan, I want your perception of me to be that I have taken opportunities to reinvent myself professionally. (You like that marketing spin?)
Growing from gymnastics coach to publisher of a technology magazine takes some obvious reinventing. But as a referee, a career of more than 15 years, I have had to reinvent myself many times to accomplish my goals and work for more than 13 different supervisors. This year I will spend at least three summer weekends at officiating camps. As I have shared earlier, camps are necessary today for officials who want to improve their ability, increase their schedule with a particular assigner, or get hired in a new league.
At the last camp I attended, a fellow official was telling me he learned how to be a “good camper” and told me he was mentoring another official on the do’s and don’ts of attending a camp. He said she needed to change the perception some people had of her. She, in essence, needed to reinvent herself.
I was reminded of our conversation after reading a blog on Linked In by Dave Kerpen, CEO, Likeable Local. He interviewed Dorie Clark, author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future. He asked Dorie for seven tips for reinventing yourself professionally.
I would like to take these seven tips and explore them in the next few posts through the lens of a referee.
1. Understand how you’re currently perceived
2. Test–drive your path
3. Look for mentors.
4. Don’t be afraid to go backwards temporarily.
5. Use social media to build connections
6. Show what you know
7. Get a wingman
Before my next post I want you to consider Have you reinvented yourself professionally? Do you want to reinvent yourself as a referee or an executive? Which of these seven tips will be the most difficult for you?