A quick story of reinvention
I recently had coffee at a new cafe that has just opened up near my daughter’s school.
As it happens I started talking to the owner who was a lovely Chinese Australian lady names Chris (nor her real name).
She was in her early 20’s and full of life and energy.
Chris told me that she did an accounting degree then a masters in Finance so she certainly knew her way around a balance sheet.
She had worked at a major accounting firm for 2 years and soon realised that the life of an accountant was not for her.
Her real passion was to own her own business.
So for the next 2 years in her spare time she looked at hundreds of different small businesses.
In the end she decided on a small cafe.
Why a cafe?
Because she loved food, coffee and people.
So 6 months later here she was talking to me and planning the purchase of another cafe in a near-by area.
Is it better to reinvent your career at point A or Point B of your career Sigmoid Curve?
The Sigmoid Curve is a rough approximation of the life-cycle of most products, brand and businesses.
There is a start, growth, a plateau and then decline.
I suggested in this post that most leaders of an organisation should start reinventing at point A, (i.e. growth) rather than at Point B (i.e. Decline in sales etc).
I think that you can apply a Sigmoid Curve to a career as well.
I believe that people should start planning to reinvent their own career at Point A for many of the same reasons that apply to a brand or business i.e. you operate from a position of strength, there is available resources and you are winning in the market-place.
Lets return to Chris again.
When I asked her why did she want to reinvent her career (i.e. from accountant to cafe owner) at a stage in her life when things were if you like on the up and up (i.e. at Point A).
Chris told me that it was the ideal time.
She was young, single and did not have a mortgage or children to worry about.
Chris had saved up enough money and had done her homework on what type of business suited her, the size (i.e. small) and where it should be located.
She also felt confident that if the cafe did not work out after 12 months then she could return to an accountants role.
The key message?
She had decided to reinvent her career at point A — a growth time in her life.
This is contrast to many people who want to reinvent themselves when they are at Point B.
Perhaps when they have been retrenched or lost their job or have a big mortgage or dependent kids etc.
To reinvent your career can still be done at a decline stage but it is a lot more difficult.
The decline stage could be in terms of energy levels, available time, risk acceptance etc.
So start planning your career reinvention in the good times rather than when things are much tougher.