Stories From The Reinvention Generation: 5 Ways To Reinvent Yourself

Have you reinvented yourself? Reinvention is a buzzword that describes many of the 78 million baby boomers who are coming of age this decade. Yep, there are a lot of us out there, and the sentiment that is running through our generation is that we are shifting the way we approach work. Some take the plunge into a new career by choice, while others are dealing with layoffs that make work and life transformations necessary. For retirees, funds may have plunged, forcing them back into the workforce.

Whether it’s the economy or other circumstances, for many, career changes often point to reinvention. For some, it may mean going back to school and becoming trained in a new profession. For others, it means moving on and starting over, and for some, it might mean cutting back and adjusting to a new reality.

Let’s do an “I’ll tell you mine and you tell me your’s.” Here is a synopsis of my story:

I was a teacher from the minute I graduated college. I started teaching kindergarten and worked my way up through the grades, and then became a private school co-administrator. Throughout my 25-plus years of teaching, I loved my job. Of course, I wore other hats too. Along with my husband, I raised two wonderful children and created an EcoNest. I also wrote articles for both national and local publications and books, and I volunteered in my community. It was a busy and fulfilling life. The last three or four years of teaching, I was increasingly experiencing what is dubbed, “teacher burnout.” I still loved working with kids, but the spark and creativity was losing steam. My patience with co-workers was lagging, and I felt my effectiveness slipping. When my nest emptied, I decided to take a sabbatical and see where that led me. I never looked back.

It seems that many of my friends are in similar situations. In fact, in an article called, The Fountain of Reinvention, the New York Times found two factors that generally accompany these reinvention stories – risk and fear. It takes a certain amount of risk to take the plunge (unless your’ve been pushed out of your job), and there is an ample quantity of fear associated with the shifting changes.

Once you face some of your fears, the risk no longer seemed so dangerous. I experienced some common fears. One was the fear of losing my identity. What would I call myself? I’ve always been a teacher. At the beginning of my sabbatical, I found myself saying that I am a teacher, I’m trying other things out. Now I just say I am a writer and educator, and a Green Living Expert (thank you Care2 for that definition). I had a fear of failing. I worked through this with the help of my family. They were very supportive, and while I chose to start over, my accomplishments have been mounting up. But, more importantly, I got that spark back because I am learning so many new things. I was also fearful that I would never make the same amount of money after leaving my teaching job (Geeze, I had two kids in college. What was I thinking?) Well, that is true. But, I am happier not commuting a few hours a day and my stress level is so much lower. Other pieces of life seem to shift around to make it work.

Here are 5 ways to reinvent yourself via this Huffington Post article that describes the essential self-assessment strategies to help empower you towards professional reinvention.

1. Consider What You Value
2. Rediscover Your Interests
3. Embrace Your Personality
4. Scrutinize Your Skill Set
5. Develop Your Brand

Do you have a story of reinvention? Have you changed professions, moved from full-time parenting into the work world, or been forced out of one job only to find yourself plunked into a whole new life? We can all learn from each others stories. Please share your story of reinvention below.


Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson6 years ago


Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W6 years ago

Yes, that's what I'm trying to do: forget my past completely, erase it and live as if I had just been born!

Mel M.
Past Member 6 years ago

Thanks for the article

Marla G.
Marla G.6 years ago

All women are NOT created equal. Ovaries aside, the packaging is rarely the same. Although we sort of start out the same: cute, cuddly, and soft, genetics and time play a cruel game of craps with our bodies.

Although once upon a time, literally in another century, when the number "5" came after the number "3" in my age, I was a svelte and leggy size 10 with the confidence that comes with unsuspecting youth, believing that this was the body I would get to keep forever.

In 2007, after twenty years as a successful television producer came a 6 month writers strike. With time on my hands and a mortgage on my back I decided that maybe I should consider what else I could do with my life. I wasn't getting any younger and the entertainment business eats its young and spits out its old. The prospects of finding a job were about as likely as finding a natural blond in Beverly Hills so I decided to reinvent myself by combining my creativity and passion for clothes which were increasingly difficult to find in my size.

I started with the fact that here was precious little out there that fit my changing body and lifestyle. No one was paying attention to the boomers, in entertainment or in fashion. I knew what my contemporaries were interested in wearing, just like I once knew what they were interested in watching. Clothing manufacturers seemed to be focused on making clothes for my daughter and didn't seem to really care about real women with their original body parts and increasin

Emma S.
Emma S6 years ago

I think we change subtly all the time. We don't always move forwards, either!

Peter B.
Peter B7 years ago

thanks for shareing.

Rhiannon S.
Rhiannon S7 years ago

I enjoyed both articles, the one from the Huffington Post and the New York Times one also. Being right on the edge of that "baby boomer" generation, at just turning 50 a couple of months ago, as I lay on an operating table with very bad complications from a gallbladder surgery gone wrong, when I finally awoke enough weeks later, I knew I needed to re-evaluate everything in my life. I needed to truly get priorities straight, figure out what makes the most of my life, how to accomplish what I feel I was put on this Earth to do, and take stock in the value of "me". I almost was not on this Earth at least 3 times during that 6 weeks plus stay in the hospital and another several weeks of being strictly sofa ridden due to all of the complications of that surgery and illness. It really hit home within my heart, and within my mind, that something was still here for me to do... for I did not die, I lived. So, these articles really helped to boost those feelings much more. I have many talents I have found out, I just have never given myself credit for the majority of them, and now it is time to do so.

Nona E.
Nona E7 years ago

Thanks for sharing the 5 points, and they work equally as well for personal reinvention as they do for professional.

Melissa Verduzco
.7 years ago

Thank you very much!!!

Jhons A.
Past Member 7 years ago

I got some really good information. Thanks very much.I not hold myself to come up with the constant evolution.